Quote of the Moment

"Magic comes from what is inside you. It is part of you. You can't weave together a spell you don't believe in." - Jim Butcher

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Magic Is Reality, Reality is Magic: Samhain

Magic is Reality, Reality is Magic is a series that highlights aspects of religions, particularly Paganism. We pull things from everyday life to use in our fiction. Magic is one of the key attributes of fantasy. Why not explore the realm of magic that many people already have in their lives?


Picture By Fredde 99
Most people know of Halloween! October 31 (or sometimes November 1, depending on who you talk to) is also Samhain, the Sabbat (holiday) that Halloween was derived from. Samhain is also considered the Witch's New Year. It's the end and beginning of the Wheel of the Year. This is the final harvest festival before winter begins. It is also the time of year when many Pagans and Wiccans believe that the veil between this world and the spirit word is thinnest.

Some symbols of Samhain are the jack-o'-lantern, the witch's besom (broom), food made from pumpkins, ghosts and skeletons, the cauldron, bats, black cats, owls, spiders, and so many other things that have been incorporated into Halloween throughout the years. As a religious holiday, Samhain is the best day of the year to honor the dead.

If you'd like to explore some more websites on Samhain, here are a few suggestions: Samhain History, Samhain Lore and Samhain.

Further Reading Suggestions:

Dunwich, Gerina. The Pagan Book of Halloween. New York: Penguin Compass, 2000.

RavenWolf, Silver. Halloween. St. Paul: Llwellyn Publications, 1999.

I hope you found this tidbit interesting! If you would like me to touch on a particular topic that fits in this series, please don't hesitate to contact me with suggestions.

NEXT UP: NaNoWriMo and Monthly Update (a small one)

Saturday, October 27, 2012

SFFS Snippet - 10/27/12

The barn doors lay open, welcoming the night, but the sky outside was black. No hint of stars or moon. Close to the door, a nail pierced one of the beams that held up the roof. And on that nail hung the silver shoes.

Click, click, click. Tap, tap, tap.

The wind and its tricks made the shoes dance. First they knocked against the beam three times, followed by tapping together another three. A long pause, and then the dance started again. The consistency was eerie.

Excerpt from "Dancing in the Wind".

About "Dancing in the Wind":

The Wizard of Oz is a timeless story that nearly everyone knows about. So what happens when that timeless story is turned on its head? Dorothy is a bully who is thrown into the world of Oz. She gets a taste of her own medicine from a crazy trio of munchkins and the Wizard of Oz himself.

This story received an Honorable Mention in the L. Ron Hubbard's Writers of the Future Contest for the 4th Quarter of 2009.

You can purchase this short story from Amazon, B&N, Smashwords and Kobo!

Please visit Science Fiction Fantasy Saturday (SFFS) to read more great snippets!

NEXT UP: Magic is Reality, Reality is Magic - Samhain

Thursday, October 04, 2012

October = Break Time!

A day late and a dollar short? Sorry for the delay. My daughter had a field trip early this morning, and I didn't want to stay up late to post last night!

Anyway, as seen from the last post, I'm still in a bit of a funk. I honestly think that the weather is affecting me more than usual even. The winter blues have pounced on me and they are digging their claws in! Therefore, I think I at least need a bit of a blogging break. Only for a couple weeks. I will probably have two more posts this month, then if I do NaNoWriMo, I'll likely be posting frequently in November.

That doesn't mean I'm not going to write. I'm through Chapter 4 for revisions on Dead As Dreams. I hope to revise at least another 10 Chapters, but we'll see how the month goes. I need to get my head and house in order so I'm not worrying about a million other things when I write. Maybe it's time to start meditating again (although if I try that, I may just fall asleep instead).

The Mind Behind the Mind received another rejection, and I hope to send it off to the Harper Voyager open submissions call in the next few days. I also received another short story rejection, so I have a few short stories to push out into slush piles again. One I may need to edit first though. =)

Speaking of short stories, I will be editing and formatting "Dancing in the Wind" and placing it up on Amazon for sale (may also go up on B&N and Smashwords) later this month. I need to finish the cover art for it, and I'm waiting on a friend to help out with some nice art. My initial goal is the 15th, but definitely by the 25th, as long as I get the artwork! I can always change the cover I guess if the art is delayed.

So, that's really what I have on my writing plate. I just need to keep plugging along. The two posts I hope to write up this month will likely be a contribution to Science Fiction & Fantasy Saturday with an excerpt from "Dancing in the Wind" and then on Halloween I'll have another Magic is Reality, Reality is Magic entry talking about Samhain--the first sabbat (holiday) in the Wheel of the Year!

Don't forget about Writing Quest - October!

NEXT UP: Only two more posts in October--one for SFFS (date to be determined) and the other will be a post about Samhain on Halloween!