Where the Wild Things Are: Pagans and Writing

Originally posted to ‘BackWash: Where the Wild Things Are’ newsletter, November, 7, 2003.

What have you written or published lately? Not that every Witch or Pagan needs to be a writer or share their writing with others. But, we do tend to be journal keepers of some sort. Most like writing in their Book of Shadows; thoughts, ideas and experiences. Some choose to go farther and share those same ideas and experiences with others. Of course, each of us chooses where and how large our audience is. Also, how personally connected they are to yourself.

Anyway, I’ve found a lot of Pagans in the arts: writing, crafting and so on. We’re a pretty artsy bunch.

If you do want to dip your toes in the water and share your Pagan writings you can find plenty of online groups. Some are geared to specific areas of Paganism and some are geared to those who are Pagan and writers. It’s not trading one craft for another, it’s growing yourself and your craft.

Of course, you are taking a chance. You can count on finding someone to disagree with whatever you write about. Sometimes they disagree in the form of an attack against you personally. You can choose to ignore this immature stuff, though it’s not easy to stop yourself from feeling defensive. This is all very personal stuff after all. But, if you’re lucky enough to stumble into a group of like-minded people you will have so many new ideas, new angles and slants on old ideas and access to so many experiences. It’s like finding a vast treasure vault without having the expense of hiring a boat, getting seasick and risking pirate attacks, well something like that. You get the idea.

Anyway, this newsletter is one of the things I have written to share with other Pagans. Before this I write a few articles for a print zine and assorted other odd bits here and there. Some newsgroup postings too but that was quite a long time ago before the newsgroups got so snit picky.

I wouldn’t count myself as some grand high authority on everything Pagan. But, I do think I have some ideas and a sense of what I believe to be right and good that I can share. You, the reader, can decide how you feel about what I write. I’m always glad to hear from you, even if you don’t think everything I write is glorious and completely right. We all see things differently and what feels right to me could seem completely crack-brained to you. I don’t mind. I’ll listen to you and make up my own mind. Just as I expect you do with the blatherings I type in here.

If you do post/ publish your Pagan writings online let me know. I’ll be glad to give you a link in the newsletter. Although I believe in reading things I don’t agree with, in order to get more perspective, I won’t link to or promote something I believe is completely harmful.

Seasons Greetings (cause it’s always some season).

Pretty for Spring Flowers

Spring is very much here. Outside the Spring flowers are blooming and… it’s been raining all day. Grass is green, robins are pecking around for worms and I’m ready to feel pretty again.

I found a “Blushing Necklace” at Nesting Pretty Things shop on Etsy.  Very pretty with that romantic, soft and slightly fragile look. She has some really lovely things in her shop.

Have a look at the recycled denim necklace. When I first noticed it I thought it was made of rocks. Kind of neat looking and yet not at all heavy to wear.

Nest Pretty Things has a decorating journal with pretty things.  Also a tumblog, on Tumblr.

Does anyone know about Cory Doctorow?

The first piece of writing I put into this I was told I write like Stephen King. But it was a short bit I wrote as a writing prompt and an odd style. An off style for me. My second try at it came back:

I write like
Cory Doctorow

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

I’ve heard the name Cory Doctorow but don’t know a thing about him or his writing.

The Book Meme

The Book Meme from Lady Banana.

Here are the rules: Grab the nearest book. Open the book to page 56. Find the fifth sentence. Post the text of the next two to five sentences in your journal/blog along with these instructions. Don’t dig for your favorite book, the cool book, or the intellectual one: pick the CLOSEST. Tag five other people to do the same.

I just finished reading Playing with Fire by Gena Showalter. I’ve got it near the computer so I remember to look up her blog. It’s not the first of her books I have read but it was one of the better ones, quite fun.

Page 56:

Hell? I’d never seen anything like it, never heard of anything like it. Was I hallucinating after all? No, no. That couldn’t be right. This felt real. That meant the air was stopping him, really stopping him.

I’m cheating on the tagging part. Tag yourself if you’re interested.

LockerGnome: Blogging Should Be Sexy

I revamped and changed the focus of the blog I was writing for LockerGnome. Now it’s called Blogging Should Be Sexy. Is the neon pink too much? Just cause I like it doesn’t mean anyone else will. 🙂

I wrote an About page for it:

Blogging should be personal, artistic and sexy. Innovative, original and imperfect web publishing for free spirits.

My first blog was on Geocities. Not an official CMS, just something I typed into a text file, added HTML to it and saved to my freebie Geocities pages. I wish I had saved those but I was also writing in my handwritten journal offline so it’s not all gone. Since then I’ve tried several versions and styles of blogs. I’ve stuck with Blogger longest cause it’s fairly simple and lets you focus on the writing and creating instead of figuring out coding and bugs. My current blog was begun June 2004. My first blog was started in 1998.

My blog style is imperfect, experimental and requires creative ingenuity. It’s also a lot of fun! That’s what makes it sexy. I make mistakes, I patch things up and find work arounds. I discover great new ideas and use them. I take risks with my blog cause at the end of the day I’m really doing it to hear myself type. I am pleased to have readers and comments but, I’ll let you know ahead that it’s only me you’ll find behind that curtain. Whatever I am; I am myself first.

There are a lot of sites to find out about SEO, monetization and professional blogging. This isn’t one of them.

Toronto Not Yet Known

Unknown Toronto

Sarah’s journal of secret Toronto facts and mysteries: TTC lore, hidden spaces, history, art, urban wildlife, film shoots and great Toronto food, clubs, bars, galleries, museums and shopping.

Unknown Victoria

Victoria: The Unknown City is a new guidebook about that eccentric town on the southern tip of Vancouver Island. This is the author’s blog. Look here for Victoria lore, updates and additions to the book, and hate mail.

Still Trying to Catch Up

I have updated BackWash, the journal/ column part and one of the newsletters. Not a great post for the newsletter, just another blab about Adsense which I have likely done too many times for it to be new and interesting. Two more newsletters to go there and I should do something for the communities. They say it’s all working again. I haven’t done much for BackWash in awhile.

I also want to get another post out for the LockerGnome blog. I have been keeping it almost daily, pretty good for a new blog. I don’t know what kind of traffic it will bring in. Maybe not much or maybe it will become a raging success. It’s entirely impossible. 😉

I also need to finish making a list of the damaged books for the insurance claim. Everyone seems to have different thoughts about that and how it will all work out. I don’t want all the books back and I doubt they are going to send someone of their staff out to purchase each and every book on my list. Likely it will be a cheque of some amount, based on the price of the books currently. I can easily spend money at the book store. Plus, there are some I do want to replace. I have another bag to take to the second hand bookstore but now I don’t have a local one. I will have to keep an eye out for something good around here. Maybe towards Scarborough since that would be an easier trip while carrying a bag of books. Or not. So much to find and figure out about living here.

I met someone new through Craigslist. We plan to meet for coffee/ tea on the weekend. I’m looking forward to it, only a little nervous. His name is Paul and he is in the area here too. It will be nice to meet someone, however it happens to turn out.

I’m making noodles with salsa tonight. More lazy than gourmet but they taste good.

The TV is on and working, I get two channels as it is: CBC and CTV.

Taking Power Back

No matter what you are feeling powerless about, it can help to simply create a plan of action. When we feel powerless, we often feel like we are trapped in a box with no way out. There seem to be dead-ends every way we turn. If we can sit down and create a plan with step by step actions we can take right now, guess what happens? We realize that we’re not powerless. The most empowering thing you can do is to get moving. Don’t just sit there and accept what life hands you. Get up, get out and create the life you deserve!

Wendy Betterini – Wings for the Heart

Journal of the Morning

I feel powerless. I give up cause no matter what I do or how much I do, in the end it won’t be enough or good enough and nothing I do matters. I don’t matter.

I feel giving up is what I need to do, what I should do cause I need to hurt myself. I should be hurt, it’s what women should live with and how we were meant to be.

Government, society and men know this. That’s why abuse and crimes against women are fairly ignored and tolerated. Often the abuser, the molester, the criminal is given more care and consideration than the women he hurt or killed. Men still make the laws, men still have the unofficial and unwritten knowledge that women are here to be abused. We are tools and no matter how far we try to get, we can’t out run that fact.

We will even hurt each other in order to keep the order. No one woman should be allowed to think she can step out of line and into the light.

I feel angry. So angry that I’m afraid to let even a corner of it show. I’m angry at people in my life yet I won’t blame them for being human and imperfect. So, I direct my anger at myself. I hate myself. I hate myself for being powerless and I hate myself for being so angry when it is so unfair and mean spirited to be angry at others. Everything is my fault. I should be better. I should be less sensitive. I should do more. I should think less. I should stop being so angry. I should utilize my potential which I don’t believe really exists cause I’m powerless and I deserve to fail cause I’m wrong somehow. Something about me or in me is bad. There is nothing I can do about it.

I feel ashamed of myself. I know how little I really do. I hide it from others so they won’t all know how little I really matter. They were right, if anyone really knew, no one would ever want me. If people knew me, the real me, they would know there really is nothing good about me.

So… What is This Little Monster I’ve Created?

Ezine, blog or just plain everyday website, how do you know which is which and what makes it one or the other?

From the Dmoz category descriptions:

Ezine: An e-zine is the electronic form of a magazine, delivered via the Internet through the web, by e-mail, as a PDF file, or some other commonly accepted electronic form. It shares many of the characteristics of a paper magazine. It will have a regular publishing schedule: daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, yearly, etc.

It can accept submissions, which are then approved and edited by an editor or a staff using an agreed upon editorial process. Or it could be produced by a small group of writers.

An e-zine will typically publish only a small selection of the work submitted to it, setting a tone for the zine.

Weblog: A weblog (blog) is a cross between an online journal and an ezine. Weblogs must have links to other websites, they also need a commentary on the sites. Blog entries must be dated.

Weblogs are personal surfing diaries — daily or weekly lists of links that the writer thinks are interesting.

“Personalized news isn’t about going to excite and getting words that match your keyword. It’s about going to a person you trust. Personalized.” — Sabren

Weblogs come in two major flavors: Weblogs, which are more link-oriented, keeping track of news in a particular topic area; and online journals, which emphasize more of the writer’s own thoughts, opinions, and daily life. Both need to be updated on a fairly regular basis in order to be included here (at least three times a week).

Zines and Websites don’t seem to have a description, or any one category. Instead they are listed by subject matter.

I think that leaves ThatGrrl.ca: WordCraft as an ezine then. But, I don’t accept submissions or work with any other writers. As of this moment I also don’t have it sorted into it’s own section on the site. I created 3 index pages: Inspiration and Creativity, Internet and Publishing and Business and Home Office. But, there is no one page I could say is WordCraft itself. I still have Writing Prompts, Quotations and my Author Blab pages up too. But, they are all seperate, joined in a sidebar but not on any one page I could refer to as a seperate identity from the site in general.