New podcast project and office reorganization

Sorry I’ve been quiet lately, I’ve been a little swept up in first edits on my novel, Altar of Change.  I’m nearly finished, and then I’ll be asking some friends to read through and hack it apart so I can make it stronger, better.

While I’ve been editing, I’ve had another idea gestating in my brain.  I watched this video on YouTube last week, and I felt very drawn to try and introduce a daily devotional element into my personal practice.  Since I don’t do anything quietly, without lots of examination, writing, and sharing, I decided that this might just make a fantastic podcast.

Bewitching Your Day was born.

I’ve been wanting to do more with this blog, and this is a great reason to move it to its own domain, which will be happening soon.  I’ll make an announcement on that later.

It will not only be the home of my typical bloggy ramblings, but it will also be the home of Bewitching Your Day, a podcast dedicated to finding spirituality every single day.  I will talk about various things that present themselves to me, or occur to me, and I will release a new (short) podcast EVERY SINGLE DAY FOR 366 DAYS.

Yeah, it’s kind of a big project.

Cleaning/reorganizing my office

We all need a little sacred space in our lives.  This office (my half) has been used for hardcore, marathon gaming sessions, working from home, job searches, storage for art supplies, and everything else.  I feel like I’m embarking on a new journey in my life, and I want this space to change with me.

So it’s time for me to clear the clutter and make this space a welcoming, creative, sacred place for me to do my thing.

In the spirit of honesty, let me show you what I mean.

My dirty office 1/3

My dirty office 1/3

My dirty office 2/3

My dirty office 2/3

My dirty office 3/3

My dirty office 3/3

 

I’m a strong believer in receiving omens

The omens have been good on this one.  I keep seeing hawks everywhere I go, and they’re a symbol of finding your life path.  I’ve been searching for some time, and this just feels right to me.  Also, a tarot reading I did on Mother’s Day (Tarot and Tea 2014) was very positive.

So I have a feeling that things are about to start looking up!  I wish you luck in all of your journeys as well.  🙂

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My patron deities- Sarasvati (Air)

Creativity can be a double-edged sword. On one side, dreaming up and making beautiful things is wonderful, right? Whether you dream in poetry, write your truth, sing the song of your people, or bring a vision to life, you’re tapping into a process as old as humanity, and perhaps older.

However, what happens when you’re a manic creative? What happens when your ideas keep you from sleeping at night? What happens when the ideas come faster than your productivity?

That’s what happens to me when I get into a serious creative phase. Which I’m in now, incidentally.

(Speaking of, while I will continue to do what I’ve been working on- aka incenses and other goodies, some knitting/crocheting projects will be showing up as well.  I also have 2 short story ideas I’m noodling.  :-))

Dried green paint

Dried green paint (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

That’s the call of Sarasvati in my life. While she’s typically known as the Goddess of knowledge, writing, and music, to me she will always embody creativity in ALL endeavors including arts and crafts. Traditionally, Brigid’s affiliations with craft might have been a better fit for the things I do, but as I said in my last post, I felt called by the Lakshmi/Sarasvati rivalry. It’s a struggle I feel continually in my own life.

Do I want to be true to myself and be broke and creative? Or do I want to take time away from my creative endeavors to pursue enough money to live off of? I know there’s a solution where I can have both, but in 39 years, I haven’t found it.

Lakshmi and Sarasvati came to me when I was in my mid 20’s.  I had just left a very lucrative, but soul-crushing, job, and I was embarking on my first business.  It shouldn’t be surprising that it was an aromatherapy company.  It was called SmellyGirl, and it had a bit more Riot Grrl flavor than the things I tend to do now.  I was experiencing the joy of giving my ideas form with the aim towards making a living for the first time.  And I found it imperative to balance my creativity with enough practicality and gumption to actually make money at it.

What happened instead is that my very obsessive personality took over.  I surrounded myself with essential oils and bottles and bathsalts, and I made my own labels, and my own order forms, and did all my own graphics, and my own website, and promotion, and, and, and…  I worked 12-16 hour days with no rest.  I would go to bed at 4 am reeking of peppermint oil, and that is the LAST thing that will help you go to sleep.  So when I did try to sleep, I would just dream about what I would do tomorrow for the business.

Basically, SmellyGirl crashed and burned, and I did too.  I began to hate it and hate my life.  There needed to be a balance between my creative and my practical sides, and while I was burning myself out, I wasn’t able to bring it down to a practical enough level to make any money.  I made a few sales, but quit before anything could take off.

I’m still obsessive with Ravenson Reagents, but the fibromyalgia is forcing me to take it easier on myself.  It’s like my body has given me an internal alarm for when I start getting too type A about things.  That’s when the pain starts.  So, while the ideas continue, I don’t tend to try to do everything all at once anymore. There’s a balance to be found there too.

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But back to Sarasvati.  She is associated with water in Hindu legend, and there has been recent satellite imagery that has uncovered the path of the enormous and ancient Sarasvati river, which was thought to be a myth.  The idea is that knowledge flows like water, and while I do like that analogy, as a Western Pagan, she represents air to me.  She is the very embodiment of communication, inspiration, knowledge, and all things air in the traditional Wiccan element alignments.

She is usually clothed in white, and has 4 arms, representing mind, ego, intellect, and alertness.  She usually holds a veena (a musical instrument similar to a sitar), and manuscripts.  She usually has a swan at her feet, and is near or floating on a river.  Her festival is the Sarasvati Puja, and is celebrated at different times depending on which part of India you’re in.

Painting of the Goddess Saraswati by Raja Ravi...

Painting of the Goddess Saraswati by Raja Ravi Varma (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As always, here is my Sarasvati Pinterest board, and my Sarasvati Spotify playlist.

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Another naNOwrimo.

I tried.  I really did.  I got to 17,451 words.  But I haven’t written in the past 7 days, and I just don’t see myself making it, even though I logically know I could just bust my ass and finish it.

There are a few reasons (excuses).

One, sitting in bed for long hours is painful.  It hurts my butt, my hip (the bad one), my back, etc.  And sitting in the living room means that the TV or loud Xbox is usually on.  So I just don’t have a great space to sit for the hours and hours it takes for me to quiet monkey brain and start writing.  I’m going to work on that.  I’m spending today cleaning my office, and making the desk a workable space again.  For the last 2 years or so, it’s just been the place where I put shit that I don’t have any other good place for (TM).  Here are some before pics.  I’ll post after pics, you know, AFTER.

Nasty messy office

Nasty messy office

 

You can see my attempts at TRYING to organize

You can see my attempts at TRYING to organize

 

Let's make this more peaceful and useful, shall we?

Let’s make this more peaceful and useful, shall we?

 

Two, stress is bad for fibro.  I’m definitely a type A personality when it comes to reaching goals and accomplishing things, and I’ve been driving myself to write around my work schedule, write when I hurt, write, write WRITE!  I’ve been causing myself so much stress, that I started having a major fibro flare.  My life is stressful enough without adding my own obsessiveness to the mix, and I needed a break.  Another thing that’s bad for fibro is not getting enough sleep, and NaNo is the great sleep-killer.

NaNo was productive, however.  I did get those 17,451 words, and I’m very proud of them, as I don’t think they’re all that bad.  I also hit on the idea of writing ritual, and I realized that I need to dedicate a quiet space to writing (hence the great office overhaul of 2013).  I also discovered some fabulous writing YouTubers, and I’ll be following them for a long time to come.  I’m also going to keep a date book where I write down a word count for the day, as I think that making less of a word GOAL, and more of a writing RECORD (to look back on and be proud of) will help my mindset immensely.  I also learned a lot about making really good coffee.  🙂

I’m certainly not beating myself up over this.  My life has taken a lot of turns over the past few years, and I can honestly say that I gave it a good shot.  I just have a lot of other shit that needs to be addressed as well.  So I’ll definitely continue writing, (I like this book SO much more than the first one), but I’m going to continue plodding away at it slowly and steadily.  And I’ll be plodding away in a new space, with candles and stones, and the right music, and etc.  Lots of etc.  I particularly enjoy the etc.

Now the question remains: What do I do with all this leftover candy??

Liam’s playlist

Liam is a minor character in my books so far, though I intend for him to have a larger role at some time in the future.  I find myself fascinated with him lately, possibly because his patron deity is Cernunnos, and I’m feeling very drawn to Cernunnos right now too.  (Maybe because it’s nearing Autumn, maybe because I have a lot of male energy in my life right now, who can tell?)

English: Gundestrup Cernunnos Français : Gunde...

English: Gundestrup Cernunnos Français : Gundestrup Cernunnos (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When I envision Liam, I tend to see Jonathan Rhys Meyers, but a bit scruffier.  Not so pretty, a bit more masculine.  But he’s young, Irish, sexy, and has a bit of an ego to go with it.  He assumes that he can charm women into giving him what he wants, and he’s usually right.  Vine doesn’t trust him because of that, however, and he grudgingly respects that he can’t manipulate her.  I may add more details later.

Jonathan Rhys Meyer

Jonathan Rhys Meyer (Photo credit: NIKON__D200)

LIAM’S SPOTIFY PLAYLIST

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Finished Altar of Change- what’s next?

So I finally finished my novel about 2 weeks ago. I kept having to psych myself up to write a really tough scene, but when I sat down to write it, it wasn’t that difficult after all.  And I had planned to get to 125K words, but when I finished the tough scene, I realized that I didn’t need that many.  I think I ended up around 105K, and that’s fine.  It ended where it needed to.

Sadly, my laptop is out of commission since my charger cable broke (and the new one didn’t work).  I have backups in various forms, but I really need to be able to get onto Scrivener to do the editing I need to do.   Just another thing to worry about another day.  🙂

So I’m obviously going to be working on the second novel in the series, Altar of Wisdom.  But I have other projects that are fighting for my attention right now too.  Bear and I decided to go completely vegetarian about 2 or 3 months ago, and we try to eat vegan as much as possible.  (I wish cheese didn’t taste so damn good!)  So I’ve been gathering and testing recipes to create a vegan Pagan cookbook with recipes for the sabbats.  For Lughnassadh, for example, we had a veganized corn souffle, sprouted barley salad, and fried seitan.  There are more recipes I need to test, and I’ll do those over the course of a year or so while I gather everything together.

I’m kind of wondering if a Kickstarter project would be good for this one.  Just to get a new laptop since mine is so old and shot, and I honestly don’t know if another power cable would even fix it.  *shrug*  I would need to calculate the cost of the laptop and the cost of the food to try all the recipes out.  I think that would really be all I would need.  I would most likely publish it as an Ebook first, so I could take some pretty nice digital pictures of the food.  I probably need to do more research on this one and create a list of what I would need to do it right.

I’m also really wanting to write short stories about the characters in my altar series.  I want to set them during different time periods so that you get some back story on each character.  I think this will be a great exercise to keep me on track and in my world, but it will be short and fun enough to not be derailed by DragonCon (LESS THAN A MONTH TO GO!!).

I’m toying with the idea of writing these by hand in a notebook.  It’s been a while since I’ve actually WRITTEN anything, and I’m curious to see how it might slow my thinking down, and whether the story would be better or worse because of it.

I also need to get down to the (totally fictional..  ahem..) area where I’ve set Willowisp.  I want to experience it during different times of the year, and we’re coming to a year since I’ve been there.  It was soon after Mabon last time.  So I either need to go now, or just wait until Samhain.

There are always just so many things that I WANT to do, and limited time to actually DO them.   The broken computer is a big thorn in my side, and is part of the reason I haven’t been updating here as much.  It’s something to fix sooner rather than later.  *shrug*

 

NOTE: Sorry for the late publishing on this one.  I thought I’d published it, but just saved it as a draft.  Oops!  🙂

2013- goals and better luck

English: Pink sunrise on snow, Wheeler Crest a...

English: Pink sunrise on snow, Wheeler Crest and Bishop Pass, viewed from Swall meadows. Mono County, Eastern Sierra, California. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In my last post, I vented about all the things that went horribly, horribly wrong last year.  And there was a lot.  It seemed neverending at times.

However, I truly am an optimist.  I tend towards stupid optimism, even.  Even when I get truly depressed and feel victimized, I usually come back around and start looking at what I can do differently to better my life.  I also tend towards a little depression/introversion/introspection in January, so this is when all of my plans begin gestating.

  1. FINISH MY DAMN NOVEL!  This has been 3 years in the making, and it’s time to write those last 30K words and just finish it.  It’s aching to be finished.  It’s actually kinda good in some ways, and will be better once I finish it and edit it.  It needs to be born.
  2. Make kyphi, and begin selling my incense.
  3. Stay spiritual.  At the very least, light a candle every full moon.
  4. Lose at least 50 lbs in 2013, more is better.  It’s definitely time that we get back into healthy eating.  For Bear’s health, for my health, for J and Little J’s health.  We all need to be healthy.
  5. Find a different second job.  I’ve been working at my parents’ shop for 18 years now, and it drives me absolutely insane.  I need to do something that doesn’t involve my family in any way whatsoever in order to save my sanity.
  6. Take a trip.  Anywhere.  Even an overnighter a few hours away.  I need to go somewhere SO badly.  I get itchy when I don’t travel for a while, and it’s just time.

I’m sure that I’ll come up with more later, but for now, these are the biggies.  I also want to remember to tell Bear how much I love him as often as possible, and make more time for us to be romantic together.

*****

Things I’m obsessed with right now:

  • The idea of using an oil diffuser as an incense stove/burner.  There are really expensive Japanese incense stoves that retail for $300+, but I can’t see why an oil diffuser with an adjustable temp would be any different.  The idea is that when you add powdered incense to smouldering charcoal, it burns too quickly, is too smoky, and then the bitter burny smell lingers.  Also, the self-igniting charcoal that most people use has a scent of its own, so it’s tough to gauge the actual scent of your incense.  With a diffuser, the incense is warmed gently, and you get to experience the full range of the scent without the charcoal smell or the scorched herb smell.
  • Starting my own YouTube channel.  J gave me a video camera for my bday, and I’m stoked to set it up and start using it.
  • Little J, our little darling.  She’s part cross-dresser, part little, part submissive, and completely lovely.  She gives me hope.
Incense. Frankincense on coal.

Incense. Frankincense on coal. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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