Witches are…

Witchcraft has long been sensationalized and misunderstood.

This negative campaign reaches its pinnacle each Halloween with the image of the black-robed, black-pointy hat wearing crone. Old, ugly, evil. But…

Samhain is the witches’ new year. It is our time. A night the veils are thin between the worlds and the mind ripe for reflection.



Witches are not EVIL. They LIVE…deep.

Witches are:

Sometimes silent; sometimes not.

Often apolitical, until pushed. Fierce proponents of social justice.

Reverent of Nature. Celebrate her, cry for her and fight for her; understanding that without her, we are nothing. Witches sing and dance for joy, appreciate her bounty and her beauty, and raise power in her divine goodness.

Observant. Revelling in the revolving wheel of the seasons.

Realistic. Accepting the certainty of death and rebirth; acknowledging the elements and appreciating their power.

Mindful. Witches meditate, craft, and heal. And seek to do no harm.

Energy-workers. They know that energy is mutable, can be bent and shaped by vibration, by words. They understand the power of manifestation, and know that thoughts cast out, come back three strong.

Healers of body, mind, and spirit.

Enamoured by numbers, symbols, myth and story.

Truth-Seekers. Casting ancestral memories back through time, they search their mother’s remedies for simpler, less invasive ways to heal and to live well.

Nurturers. Witches grow clean simple food, work with animals, herbs, and stones.

Creators of art, music…children. And so, envision a better future.

Intuitive. Listen to their internal voices and trust their feelings.

Strong and loving. Witches are not just women and not just men, but creatures whose sexual identities shift and shimmer in the changing winds.

Hopeful. Finding strength in each other, witches send hope into the world.

Reading Lovecraft for Halloween: 4 Short Stories and Other Fiction

“The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown.” – H.P. Lovecraft

I love this quote. Fear is what drives us. It lies at the core of our being in the cells of our ancient brain and arises when triggered. We cannot help but respond. We fight, we fly, we freak.

I recently attended a workshop with thriller writer, Michael Slade, on writing dark fiction. Slade recounted some of our deepest fears:


dismemberment, disfigurement & deformity

the dark

closed in spaces

crafted people, dummies & dolls

creatures & monsters

the Other

and most frightening, I think,

fear from within

Am I going insane? Sci-fi horror writer, HP Lovecraft delves into several of these fears in his stories, often combining them to create the ultimate fright.

In this post, Kristen Twardowski, provides insight into Lovecraft and his work.

Though Howard Phillips Lovecraft’s …

Source: Reading Lovecraft for Halloween: 4 Short Stories and Other Fiction

25 Rejection Letters to Famous Authors

This is what drives Indie publishing. I sincerely hope these letters were placed in files and not actually sent to authors. I really don’t understand what drives commercial publishing beyond money. To that end I’m going to a workshop tomorrow called “Inside the Mind of a Publisher” at Surrey International Writers Conference. I will let you know what I find out. My thanks to Kristen for another remarkable post.

Kristen Twardowski


I’ve mentioned before that to be a writer is to be rejected, but how have famous authors really been treated by the publishing industry? I’ve tracked down several excerpts from rejection letters to well-known authors and shared them below. Some of them are hysterical. Others are horrifying. But all of them offer a brief peek into the realm of publishing.

Rejection Letter Excerpts

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1. “You’d have a decent book if you’d get rid of that Gatsby Character.” – to F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

2. “Stick to teaching.” – to Louisa May Alcott, Little Women

3. “We are not interested in science fiction which deals with negative utopias. They do not sell.” -to Stephen King, Carrie

4. “I rack my brains why a chap should need thirty pages to describe how he turns over in bed before going to sleep.” – to…

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YA or New Adult Fiction?

When it comes to writing and publishing, there are myriad decisions a writer makes. This is a solid article that can help you decide whether you’re writing or reading Young Adult or New Adult.

I am definitely writing New Adult with the Hollystone Mysteries. In To Charm a Killer, my protagonist, Estrada, is a free spirit–high priest of a Wicca coven called Hollystone. Most characters are in their late twenties. And, although seventeen-year-old Maggie is a female lead in this book, she changes overnight once the charm is spun.

via 3 Ways to Know If Your YA Fiction Is Really New Adult Fiction – Fiction Notes

Fall Photoshoot

Canadians celebrate Thanksgiving this weekend. It gives us a chance to think about what we’re grateful for; to roast turkey and yams, mash potatoes, bake pumpkin pies, and spend some precious time with family and friends. My daughter, Tara, and I have always made turkey dinners together, even though, most years it was just the two of us. A couple of years, when I was a “vegetarian” we just left the turkey out and ate the trimmings. Yeah, that doesn’t work. Yesterday, we cooked a seventeen-pound turkey and fed ten people! Everything was amazing, but the stuffing was definitely the winner–gluten-free rustic bread mixed with buttery organic herbs I grew in my garden, and slow roasted in the bird. No stove top stuffing for us. Never. Ever.

While the turkey was roasting, we took advantage of the afternoon sunshine and walked down to the river for a photoshoot.


I needed an “author” photo and Tara is magic with a camera. Standby for new author photos.

Meanwhile, here’s a little action she caught on video.

Yes, Your Work Is Readable

A strong voice and honest thoughts from Aaron Jacobs.


The rallying cry of the aspiring writer is typically some variation of “could you look at this for me? I really can’t tell if it’s any good or not.”

This is fair. This is a completely normal reaction to reviewing your own work. This is something that happens to literally everyone who writes, even published authors I have spoken to who’ve got large fanbases clamoring for their work and an agent/editor talking about how much fun their writing is to read on a regular basis.

You have to take a step back, though, and really look at your writing if you find yourself saying that out loud so often. If you write, you probably read. You know what story structure looks like. You know what a good hook looks like, and you know that it makes certain promises to the audience that you need to fulfill over the course of…

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