I’ve Become Super Noob

I started writing as Super Noob on Lindsay’s blog, Web Design for Idiots. Tonight I wrote the following as an introduction to who I am and why I’m someone who might have a reason to be writing there.

I’m posting this from my very messy desk with the TV on to my left and my nearly cold coffee at my right hand, in danger of wrecking my faithful little scanner. I’m a real woman. I’m a real, live, 40+, divorced Canadian woman, a writing legend in my own mind.

In June of 1996 I began on the Internet. I was an IRC diva for quite a long time. It was a lot of fun and most of it I really should not write about here. That’s what personal blogs are all about. I wrote for a zine first, a small print publication called The Crying Clown. From there it was all online. At one point I was producing my own newsletter for writers, InkSplatters, sent out through what is now Yahoo Groups. I was a web writer for HerPlanet, BackWash, BellaOnline, Suite 101, WZ-ard.com and other sites, forums and newsletters some still living and some not. I still write for Creative Fat Grrl on LockerGnome, a babbly blog more than anything seriously functional. Writing for a network is a different educational experience than writing for yourself. Which is one reason I keep doing it.

I’ve had sites and then blogs of my own. I didn’t begin online in the great time of blogging, I was here before that. So my first sites were put together with just HTML code as I learned and goofed it up. I’ve used software and I’ve cut and pasted code and I’ve hand coded my own pages. I’m not an expert, time alone isn’t enough to make you an expert at web design or development. I have learned however and as I learn I see how much more there is to be explored and discovered. But, don’t look to me expecting I’m a know-it-all. If I ever say that you can be sure I’m just laughing at myself.

I love creative things. I’ve done so many interesting forms of art, just to try them out. I made ASCII art for a few years. I continue to take digital photos of abandoned places here in Ontario, starting in 2006 when I bought my first digi camera. I’m also teaching myself to draw cartoons, some people even like them! This week I re-learned the art of cutting out paper doll chains so I could make them into a graphic for a blog. I really think it’s important to keep the creativity and free writing in blogging. It would be a real shame if the personal journal and creative element of blogging were lost in the rush for SEO and money making.

Anyway, I’m here to help the less experienced blogger with my experiences. I’ve got a stack of great books about web design on my bookshelf and I will be using them (finally) for more than a place to hide my dust bunnies. I seem to collect books with great good intentions and then not get very far. You can also find me writing about web writing and posting writing ideas and prompts on my blog, Word Grrls.

ThatGrrl.ca

Completely off topic… did you know that a nail file works really well if you have an itchy spot on your back that you just can’t reach? I’ve been rubbing my back on my chair tonight wishing for something to work. Then I had the great idea for the nail file (not one of those treacherous metal ones, just some cardboard type) and that worked great!

Intolerance is the New Black

Intolerance is black. Not black and white and no room at all for shades of grey. Intolerance is a dictatorship.

To me it seems intolerance has become more important than respect, love or anything else. If you read the intolerance manual you would believe it was my generation and those before us who were intolerant, bigots, and so on. But, that isn’t true. We may have been racist, but we were not intolerant. We had black, white, shades of grey, men, women, old and young.

Now there is just one way everything is allowed to be and everyone must stick to the right rules. I see only black, there can be no exception. Any feelings or thoughts (and certainly any actions!) to the contrary will not be tolerated. Even those you love will choose the rules over you. Don’t get in the way, don’t have any other opinion and don’t complain.

Writing this, this morning, I wonder how people have gotten this way.

I have tolerance. I’m sad, I’m angry and I’m disappointed but I am not throwing rocks at anyone. I am not insisting on having my way or ignoring someone else who does not agree with me. I am tolerating someone who ignored my beliefs, my feelings and everything I am. I am not throwing anyone out, or under a bus. I am not screaming, hurting someone else, or insisting on a boycott. I am not using social media to gather others to my witch hunt.

I am of the generation who believe in human rights, including the human right to be human. Being human means everyone is entitled to be imperfect. Being human I expect people to not have all the same thoughts, feelings, culture or experiences. I like to explore other cultures and experiences. I like knowing there are people who disagree with me but listen to how I think and care enough to tolerate me when I feel or think differently.

You have to be entitled to be so firmly intolerant.

Today people have a feeling of entitlement they say. I have seen this in the younger generation, but not just there. The feeling of entitlement is part of the blackness of intolerance. I think it backs it up, keeps it from letting in any of those other colours. You have to be entitled in order to be so firmly intolerant.

Where did we lose the idea that it is ok to say no and have that respected? Of course, you can say no to the acceptable things: rape, bullying, racism, homophobia and transphobia. To a much smaller extent you can still say no to religious discrimination and a few other, older and less popular in the media discriminations we are still allowed to say no to. Racism is not tolerated, if you are black. If you are any other race, culture or colour, you will need to have tolerance. I’m not sure why. Why are some causes supported so fervently and others almost forgotten and ignored? Why do only some people matter?

We have lost the right to respectfully disagree.

I wish people could remember, or care, or respect the fact that we do not all agree. We do not all have to agree. But, with intolerance there is no right to respectfully disagree. I respectfully disagreed but I was not respectfully tolerated, instead I faced the intolerance and being family, years of love, respect and everything else could not overcome the intolerance which is held up like a solid, black wall, higher and thicker than any human being can ever hope to come across, or around.

I am sad and sad is grey, not black.

Urgh…

Today’s title is a sound, not an actual word.

I am tired and I don’t know why. True I took a book to bed with me last night and read about 150 pages before I finally turned out the light. But, I also slept in. That should equal out, right?

But, I started taking medication for depression and OCD (which is short for obsession, really). I didn’t really think I had any abnormal hang ups until I started looking at the things I do a bit closer. I do have a lot of focus for details, especially once something catches my interest. I do get fussy about the smallest things, having them right. Not that I’m a tidy neat freak. Apparently though, being a neat freak is not actually required. Being a hoarder is the other side of the bucket.

Don’t get pictures of hoarders you see on TV. I’m not that extreme. I keep it to one room, mostly. I don’t bring food around here, other than coffee and the occasional snack which I am careful about. I don’t have mice and the only bugs are those attracted to my hoard of paper, not crumbs of food. So, I’m not a disaster of a hoarder. Just a hoarder light. I did get quite a bit of it cleaned up too but it seems to be creeping back. Anyway, that’s a story for another day.

I think the medicine I’m taking is making me tired. That is one of the side effects but I thought by now (over the first month of taking them) Id’ be past that. The tired comes over me all of a sudden. If you have ever taken an allergy pill (anti-histamine) you will know what that’s like. One minute you are fine the next you can’t possibly seem to keep your eyes open and your body wants to melt down and rest on the floor (or something softer if you can pull yourself together long enough). Maybe not everyone reacts to allergy pills that way. I find even the non-drowsy pills get me.

I’m mostly back to working on my sites again. Still getting sucked into little details rather than starting in on the bigger jobs like all those photographs for the exploration which need to be posted to Flickr (no posts since 2013!) and now my own urban exploration site, Wrecky Rat Bird. I also want to find a simple way to watermark my photos. This gets complicated because I don’t want to watermark my originals, just a web copy. Also, I have a lot of photos on Flickr but my originals from years past are burned on CDs and I’m not sure where they are in the clutter. Another thing, I found one of my saved CD’s but it was broken in half. Discouraging. So I guess that is all part of why I keep putting off the big job of posting my photos. Instead I’m fluffing around with plugins which I could really not bother with compared to the actual photo content which I do need.

There won’t be an image with this post. I’m mostly writing to keep myself awake and it seems to be working. So far. But, I need to get more done than this today. I should have gone out to the grocery store but I put that off for another day. I did the same thing yesterday. Urgh and bleh! There are days like that.

From Live Beta March 25th, 2001

The following is the introduction I had written for my website on Geocities, posted March 25th, 2001.

I’m a Sagittarius, year of the Dragon kind of woman. I like being outdoors, having a great coffee in the city mall, spending too much time in bookstores, traveling around on a shoestring budget, comfortable shoes, Civilization 2, Carmageddon 2 and Caesar3, cats (predatory animals in general), writing, reading, sewing, quilting and embroidery, yellow smiley faces, being on the Internet, publishing online, Wicca, nature, tulips and wildflowers, ascii art, Raggedy Ann, taking pictures but not so much being in them, history, my family, Christmas and Halloween.

My favourite colour is deep dark red. My favourite food is chocolate ice cream with nuts and sauce. Though I have found a really great vanilla flavour called Vanilla Storm but its not always available. My favourite smells are vanilla and lemon, not together. My favourite place to travel to is British Columbia, Canada. My favourite time of day is very early in the morning. My favourite time of year is a tie between Spring and Winter. I don’t like people who are fussy nit-pickers, they usually look for ways to stab you in the back. I like people who enjoy life but aren’t agressively perky about it.

I used to write to penpals around the world and trade postcards and coins with them. I met my husband when we were both 14 and began writing as penpals. I still like to collect postcards and old Canadian coins. I enjoy learning new things about computers and the Internet, history and nature. I can’t ever see myself being one of those tidy, organized people. I live in chaos yet I know where everything is, until someone moves it. I always have projects on the go, half done or not quite started yet. No doubt that tells you a lot about the kind of person I am. But, if you’re the sort of person to sit there feeling superior we’ll never get along anyway. 🙂

I’m the “Oh Canada” Contributor on Squidoo… Now What?

I was happy to become the “Oh Canada” Contributor on the Squidoo network site. I like writing about Canadian culture, history and so on. But, the more I write and post over there the more disappointed I am feeling. Almost none of my Canadian posts are keeping afloat enough (in traffic and reposts) for them to stop sinking to the bottom of the tank (tanking them, literally).

Within a month of being posted half of them are in the red. It is discouraging. I don’t like losing the time I put into them but more than that, I feel sad that not enough people care about any of it. I’ve written about Canadian things like movies and TV shows. Those are popular posts for the US TV and movies. But, not the Canadian content.

Anyway, I am going to begin moving them here. Someone (other than myself) may some day find them and be glad to have found out more about our Canadian content, people and so on and so forth.

Men Can be Witches (Pagan) Too

magic manA male witch is not a warlock or a wizard, he is a Pagan, Wiccan or Witch who happens to be male. So, of course, there are men who are Witches too.

If you are a male Pagan you could be the only one, or one of few, in your coven or group. There may be many men working as solitary Wiccans, Witches or Pagans just because they feel isolated even when they are in a group. Women are drawn to Paganism, at least partially, because it is a religion (set of beliefs) which focuses on the feminine Goddess.

However, Pagans don’t have a one sided belief. Pagans have a dual God and Goddess. The Horned God, the Green Man, are names for the male God of the Pagans. It’s a mistake to think of Wicca, Witchcraft, or Pagan paths as female centred only. If it were not for the men who began researching the older Gods, ancient religions and societies we would not have some of the great Pagan history and literature which we enjoy, study and follow in our modern days.

Actually, there have been a lot of men in the Pagan religion. Some of the most popular books for Pagans have been written by male Pagans.

  • Scott Cunningham
  • Aleister Crowley
  • Robert Graves
  • Raymond Buckland
  • Stewart Farrar
  • Gerald Gardner
  • Isaac Bonewits
  • Charles Godfrey Leland
  • Sir James Frazer

Finding Pagan Men Online

Men are Welcome

If men don’t create their own rituals they may find inspiration from the rituals and spells of others. If the spells were written for a woman, men will have to adapt them to their own needs and purposes.

This is nothing unusual. The Pagan religion is very adaptable, making room for all sorts of new ideas and beliefs – different ways of looking at the world.

Men should not be uncomfortable about taking part in Witchcraft, Wicca or Pagan groups. There may be some groups which will not welcome men, depending on the unique point of view and focus of that particular group. For instance, there are covens which focus on the female Goddess or Maiden, Mother and Crone aspects of women. In this case, the group would be specific to women.

Many groups and covens are far more generic and welcoming for men, new Pagans and solitary Pagans too. Just as any other time you are looking at a group to become involved with, you have to do some research and get your foot in the door.

Comments from the original post on HubPages:

Radical Rog

Personally, I have a problem with this need to label everyone as being this or that. Witch, Wizard, Hedge, White, Black, Wiccan, each is an individual on their own journey towards spiritual enlightenment, understanding, whatever you want to call it, or maybe just standing still on the Path.

So which Path do you follow? In truth, it’s a labyrinth with many turnings and junctions and crossroads. The symbology of the labyrinth in occult mythology is there for a reason.

LaurencePJones

Waband, far be it for me to question that remark as I have ony begun posting hubs a short while ago and haven’t been involved in Wicca that long but isn’t it a sweeping statement to say that ‘witches are female’. I’m sure the majority of them are but surely a little research is required before dismissing male witches out of hand.

That Grrl

Don’t let me interrupt. I’m loving to hear about word history – two of my favourite things combined.

Radical Rog

Correct Raptorcat, or go back further to ‘wys’. ‘Wizard’ has a different entamology and is more of a construct, though with a similar meaning, from ‘zinoti’ – to know.

There is also a connection to the phrase: ‘Singers of the Earth’s Dawn,’ from a time before the written word, when travelling storytellers passed on news and ancient tales. Many of these tales were what are now dismissed as the creation stories of mythology. A wizard was a travelling story teller, a bard, who ‘knew’ the story of man’s relationship to the gods. The early Church missionaries set out to suppress this ancient knowledge and replace those tales with its own version of creation. Hence the subsequent denigration.

A witch was someone who ‘knew’ the tale keeping it alive where they were. A wizard was someone who travelled to spread this knowledge and wisdom, though that last bit is my interpretation.

Raptorcat

Actually, Radical Rog, the word “witch” goes back even further to the original root word “Wicce” which means “Wise” or “Wise one”.

There is also the possibility that it is the root for the word “Wizard” as well, but I am not sure, though the linguistic similarity is there.

Radical Rog

To support your argument, the word witch derives from the original, wichá and wiché (masculine the feminine). The word refers to knowledge/wisdom and a more correct transliteration would be:, wise man or wise woman respectively, or even more correctly, one who knows.

It is this knowledge the Church wished to suppress hence their denigration and persecution.

That Grrl

I’m kind of the opposite. I get started with an initial spurt of idea, even something I don’t know much about. Then I dig up information, decide what I think and what I want to say about everything I have found. Then it all piles into the article. I’m not an expert about anything but I use research and common sense to share information and hope for the best.

I do feel that there will be people who read what I have written and tell me I don’t have a clue. But, usually my research, common sense and my own experience pull me through. I just think it is a shame to let someone else intimidate you from writing and sharing the information you have.

My Uncle told me no one should be a writer until they are 40 and have experienced life – which would mean they had something to say at that point. I was about 14 at the time – a long way from 40. I let that keep me from writing anything more than my diary for a really long time. It wasn’t until I was in my last year of high school and then college that someone made me feel good about my writing again.

Raptorcat

@That Grrl, Actually, there are a few people on the hub that are at least equal, if not superior to me in that regard. They are also better writers than I am.

It is not with any false sense of modesty that I say that, it is just that I know my own limitations in writing on any subject. In some areas, I am a very skilled technical writer and in others I am a more skilled emotive writer.

I am well versed in many subjects, btw, so it is not as if I feel any inferiority or don’t know my voice, but more that I do know my voice and as I gain more and more knowledge, that voice grows, as all voices do.

If people have specific questions, I am more than happy to address them to the best of my knowledge and experience, but to just start writing on a specific subject is tricky for me. Getting started on anything that is not historical is usually where I run into the problems.

That Grrl

Kittydreamer is one of the HP people I follow. I try to keep a watch out for all the Pagan writers here. (As well as all the other Lauras).

That Grrl

@Raptorcat – You aren’t writing to people who are experts and far more experienced than you consider yourself to be. You are writing to people who know less than you do and would benefit from the knowledge and experience you (in particular) have.

If you always consider yourself to be writing for people who know more than you – how will you ever find your own voice and write anything? There are far more people who know less and would like to know more than there are people who know a lot and don’t want to learn anything else. Even the people you call experts are likely to read your thoughts and find something new or interesting to take away with them.

LauraD093

That Grrl- I found this article interesting also the comments made by Raptorcat were things I never knew in regards to this particular belief system. Paganism doesn’t seem female oriented-although until knowing the true definition for “witch” from Raptorcat I always associated Wiccan belief as female dominate with men taking a secondary role which is the exact reverse for most Western religions. It is informative to know that there appears to be a balance. kittydreamer is a fellow hub-writer who addresses a lot of Wiccan and Pagan beliefs you may want to check her work out.

Raptorcat

To be honest, I really would not know where begin. There are a lot of far more qualified and experienced witches out there that can discuss the issue with far more information and knowledge than I.

Authors like Kerr Cuhulain (who has a column on Witchvox) come to mind.

Factually speaking, we are at a point in the craft where we need to move away from the female-centered attitude and start to balance all practices of the craft, taking the male into the same level of serious consideration that we have, to date, given to the female.

Both are mysteries that are equally important to us, as humans and to us as practicioners of the craft.

That Grrl

Raptorcat, I hope you write about Pagan men too. You have a lot more background to make a better post than mine. I got the idea and wanted to write it up before I forgot my ideas/ thoughts. There is a lot more which could be added.

Raptorcat

That Grrl, There are a lot of books that are mostly fluff and many more that are complete and utter nonsense. Many are geared toward only the female practicioners, which is kind of dishonest, since Paganism is neither exclusively a male nor female practice (with few exceptions). It is bi-gender, like our species is.

Many books are filled with gems of useful information, but the real trick is to discern the wheat from the chaff. Not an easy task for any newcomer to any Pagan path.

A lot of the books in our personal library are a bit on the fluffy side, but we still have them for the gems of useful information buried within them.

Raptorcat

Wabond, the word “witch” is actually based in the old English “Wicce”, which means “wise”, which has no gender. SInce the word has no actual gender, I have never called myself a male witch. I am, simply, a witch.

The wicce have always been the ones that performed many duties, from healing to leading ritual at the sabbats and esbats, to officiating at weddings and funerals. They were always the ones that understood herbalism, signs and portents and, sometimes, counsel to the village elders or even to the nobility before the rise of Christianity.

In some cultures they were called priest or priestess, depending on gender, yet there were other cultures, like the celts that had a single word to denote that person who was of the wicce.

That Grrl

I know people who think there is a big difference between being labelled as a Pagan, Wiccan or Witch. I don’t see it that way myself. It’s a shame you let a label change your path. But, you said there were other reasons too.

@Raptorcat – Thanks for the suggestion of another book. I looked for awhile to find books that seemed worth listing. I remember when I started out and had no idea what the right books were to start with. There are some who trust faithfully in books which I think are pure hogwash. There are always people who will write a book full of fluff and nonsense just to create sales.

Raptorcat

Interesting article. As the acting HP of a Gardnerian Coven, I often find myself pointing out that the word “witch” is neither male nor female and that the term “Warlock” is wholly inappropriate as the word means “oathbreaker”, not male witch.

Many of the books that you have listed here I have. They are all good reads, but I would also add the book “Wiccan Warrior”. Most male pagans will find it to be a very enlightening book concerning the warrior spirit found in the God and how it can be applied to both practice and everyday life.

wabond

I was a male witch years ago, and never felt comfortable with the concept. That was one of the reasons I got out of witchcraft. To me witches are female, why do we need men to be witches as well?

Curating Content and Blogging in the Future

This blog continued on… Divorce Darling.

October, 6, 2017 – Update – Decided to close Divorce Darling and move the content here. I don’t know if this will be an active site. I’m not that interested in writing the topic as it ends up being about others more than writing for myself. 

Unfortunately, I can’t find anything to migrate posts and images (content) from WordPress into Blogger. There is a site which everyone passes around but it does not seem to work. Instead it opens spam links when you try to use it. If you click a second time to upload your file, it then spits out a “converted” file. But, this converted file is going nowhere when I try to import it into Blogger. So, after hours of giving it a chance to work, I am ruling it a spam trap. 

In the end, you can only import your CMS into the same CMS again. Conversions seldom work between CMS’s. b2evolution I did have some success with but I just let my domain go so there isn’t a domain to host it on now. The adult site never made a cent to support keeping the domain for it. 

Where the Wild Things Are: Choosing your Words

Originally posted to ‘BackWash: Where the Wild Things Are’ newsletter, June, 10, 2003.

“The bible was written by the same people who said the Earth was flat.”

This was on a button, a collection of buttons, on a website. I think it’s an interesting point.

How much trust do you put into someone’s words. If they make it into black and white are they gold? Or do you think about what they say, compare it to your own ideas, values and common sense?

Then, do you go a step further and consider who the writer is. What influence do their own values have on their writing. After that, do you think they are a good source to base your opinions or actions on? Never stop using your common sense as a guide, no matter how grand the authors seem.

Just as you should never copy someone’s Book of Shadows and claim it as your own. It will never be yours, why would you even want it to? Your opinions should be your opinions, not a copy of someone else’s life and thoughts. Stretch your mind, take a chance and have opinions and experiences of your own.

In the end, people who believe everything they read and copy it as their own, never are anything but a clone – a copy. Be unique, be an individual, take a deep breath and step out into mid-air, invent something new – yourself!

Repurposed Jeans and Crocheted Purse

crochetdenimpurseI found this on Amazon while writing about crochet purses. But, the Amazon link was screwed up and wouldn’t let me include it with my post on HubPages. So here it is anyway. I love the idea of combining crochet with repurposed old jeans.  You can buy the pattern to make your own crochet and denim purse.

Crochet book crochet bag pattern with up upcycled jeans (101) – The link to Amazon.

Addendum: I found a link on Etsy but she intends to take the shop down soon.