ysabetwordsmith: (moment of silence)
Pagan author Edain McCoy has crossed to the Summerlands. Although she wrote in various fields, she is best known for her work in Paganism.  My favorites include Lady of the Night: A Handbook of Moon Magick & Rituals and Celtic Myth & Magick: Harness the Power of the Gods and Goddesses.  I will miss seeing her work alongside mine in the Llewellyn annuals.
ysabetwordsmith: (muse)
These are the instructions I pulled together for our Ostara rock painting activity. Be aware that many of the links have cookies, pop-ups, or other problems that I usually route around -- I ignored those this time because I was mainly interested in printing out the instructions and images, and didn't have enough choices to avoid the virtual fleas.

Read more... )
ysabetwordsmith: (muse)
Tonight I am painting rocks for tomorrow's Ostara ritual.  Rock painting is our craft this sabbat.  I wanted to have some with the backgrounds already done, so I left half the rocks natural (in case someone wants a different background) then painted equal batches of white and green. 
ysabetwordsmith: (moment of silence)
Pagan author Raven Grimassi has passed to the Summerland. Memorial details are included in the link. In lieu of flowers, a donation in Raven’s name can be made to the Temple of Witchcraft.

He wrote many books. Among my favorites are Beltane: Springtime Rituals, Lore, and Celebration and Ways of the Strega: Italian Witchcraft In Lore, Magick and Spells. I also like The Hidden Path Oracle and The Well Worn Path
Divination Kit

I knew Raven through my work at PanGaia magazine. We met at events, including the Pagan Picnic in St. Louis.  See a picture of us there.  I found him to be thoughtful, insightful, capable, and gracious.  He will be missed.
ysabetwordsmith: (moment of silence)
Pagan author D.J. Conway passed beyond the veil on February 1.

Like many Pagans my age, I discovered her books growing up and loved them. Unlike most of the other folks, I knew they weren't historically accurate. But here's the thing: they didn't have to be in order to work. She put the bottom rungs on the ladder better than almost anyone else. At that time, very few people were writing Paganism with a solid scholastic core. But she inspired a lot of us to dig deeper after we got done enjoying the light, airy stuff that works great as an introduction. I still use a few of her guidebooks because she wrote about some topics that not many other authors have picked up on. She will be deeply missed.

"Candlemas Crossing"
-- an elegy for D.J. Conway, 1939-February 1, 2019

a cloak of snow
cast over a waiting world --

a bank of flames
dancing on beeswax legs --

reaches down
to scoop up Her daughter --

and the Summerland bursts into song.
ysabetwordsmith: (muse)
We held our esbat today, with a Greek theme.  Took a while to get the fire started, because it's been so wet here.  We couldn't even get the grass mowed.  0_o  But overall it went well.

For supper we had a black walnut quiche (fast becoming a favorite), a garden salad, a couple of different picnic salads, zucchini nut bread, and dessert was yellow watermelon.

I made the garden salad with a large carton of baby spring mix leaves, a medium carton of alfalfa sprouts, a small carton of sliced cucumber (which I cut into bite-sized pieces), and a pound of mixed mini tomatoes.  The other day we went to Amish territory for eggs, and they also had the tomatoes and watermelon. So we got the tomatoes and built a salad around them.  To assemble it, I simply put in a handful of each ingredient and built it up in layers.  Tossing salad just makes the chunky stuff go to the bottom.  I offered to make dressing, either vinaigrette or yogurt base, but people just wanted plain drizzles.  So I put out the balsamic vinegar, full-flavor olive oil, and truffle olive oil. There was shredded cheese to go on top too.

I was amused that the six people demolished all but about one serving of the salad.  Used to be, we had people for whom "salad isn't food, salad is what food eats."  If we put out vegetables, they'd pick at it.  Now we've got people who scarf down the green stuff, so I'll try and remember to serve it more often.  I know how  to build a good salad, I just don't usually because neither of us are big fans of salad.  I'll sample it if it's on the table, though.

The yellow watermelon, as promised, tasted pretty much like the red kind.  A bright sunny yellow with a light sweet taste.  :D  I would happily get that again.
ysabetwordsmith: (muse)
I have my first assignment for my summer writing project: "Building the Bridges" is an article about interfaith rituals for Llewellyn's 2020 Witches' Companion.  \o/ 
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This poem came out of the April 3, 2018 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired and sponsored by [personal profile] gingicat, based on this picture by [personal profile] minoanmiss. It belongs to the series Glimpses of Minoa, which you can find via the Serial Poetry page.

Read more... )
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
We went up to Champaign today for various errands.  We scouted the Indian restaurant Kohinoor.  I went inside to see if they had take-home menus, which they do.  It smelled so good.  But we were already booked to eat somewhere else.  Argh.  We have some other occasions coming up and we'll fit it into one of those.  :D

We stopped at Harvest Market for fresh produce to try a recipe for curried black-eyed peas.  They had Buddha's hand again, this time some very nice ones, so I bought one to try!  :D 3q3q3q!!!  The smell really does cling to your hands.  So later on, we got thin-sliced chicken breasts.  I'm going to zest some of the rind onto the chicken.  I'm thinking I'll probably candy most of it, though.  That'll give me the crystal candy and the syrup, and Trevor makes homemade soda flavors, so we can think up something to do with Buddha syrup.  I may look up other recipes too, though.

For supper we ate at a Chinese restaurant, Rainbow Garden, which was not bad.  I had barbecue pork lo mein, which was tasty if a bit salty, and the crab rangoons were excellent.  I'm curious to try some of their other dishes.  We met with a couple of folks from Enchantment Alley to talk about teaching classes there.  Looks like we're on for a series about different traditions, and one or two standalone classes of mine.    \o/

Buddha's Hand Recipes

Scented Sugar or Salt


Buddha's Hand Shortbread Cookies
ysabetwordsmith: (muse)
In return for a beautiful day and a truly stellar performance from the Sun God and Moon Goddess, I am posting one of my eclipse poems for free.  You can see some of my eclipse photos here.

"Only in the Gift"

I have seen the moon-shielded sun
and the Father God winking
as he turns his one wide eye
back toward the waiting world 

a reminder that we live,
moment by moment, 
only in the gift of
his infinite light.
ysabetwordsmith: (muse)
This poem came out of the May 2, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] alexseanchai. It also fills the "I Will Survive" square in my 2-1-17 Love Songs card for the Valentines Bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by [personal profile] alexeigynaix, bartered in trade for "Wind the Labyrinth."

Read more... )
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
I just got the first message from one of my editors at Llewellyn Publications, and another one will be making assignments in May.  So far I'm talking about the Witchy Tips for the Witches' Datebook, September in the Witches' Calendar, and ideas for the Magickal Almanac. The Herbal Almanac isn't scheduling yet as there will be some changes to it.
ysabetwordsmith: (muse)
The Poetry Fishbowl is now CLOSED.  I am done writing!  \o/  Thank you all for your support and inspiration.

Starting now, the Poetry Fishbowl is open!  Today's theme is "nature."  I will be checking this page periodically throughout the day. When people make suggestions, I'll pick some and weave them together into a poem ... and then another ... and so on. I'm hoping to get a lot of ideas and a lot of poems.

I'm aiming for two things here: These are intended to be one-shot poems, NOT series installments, so I expect most or all of them to be sub-epics.  This is a chance for those of you who aren't as fond of the series to request things that stand alone, and for those of you without deep pockets to enjoy more modestly priced shopping opportunities.  It's also a perfect time to prompt for short poetic forms.  I'm hoping to keep this to one day's writing, so I can work on my backlog of projects. Technically we have slots open for new epics, but LiveJournal is still malfunctioning and won't let me edit the open epic posts.  I'll let you know when that changes.

If you're not sure what to do with the theme, I recommend plugging it into your favorite search engine and looking for photos or articles that you like.  You're also encouraged to prompt for things in your locale, which should make for a nice variety, since I have fans from around the world.

What Is a Poetry Fishbowl?

Writing is usually considered a solitary pursuit. One exception to this is a fascinating exercise called a "fishbowl." This has various forms, but all of them basically involve some kind of writing in public, usually with interaction between author and audience. A famous example is Harlan Ellison's series of "stories under glass" in which he sits in a bookstore window and writes a new story based on an idea that someone gives him. Writing classes sometimes include a version where students watch each other write, often with students calling out suggestions which are chalked up on the blackboard for those writing to use as inspiration.

In this online version of a Poetry Fishbowl, I begin by setting a theme; today's theme is "nature." I invite people to suggest characters, settings, and other things relating to that theme. Then I use those prompts as inspiration for writing poems.

Cyberfunded Creativity

I'm practicing cyberfunded creativity. If you enjoy what I'm doing and want to see more of it, please feed the Bard. The following options are currently available:

1) Sponsor the Fishbowl -- Here is a PayPal button for donations. There is no specific requirement, but $1 is the minimum recommended size for PayPal transactions since they take a cut from every one. You can also donate via check or money order sent by postal mail. If you make a donation and tell me about it, I promise to use one of your prompts. Anonymous donations are perfectly welcome, just won't get that perk. General donations will be tallied, and at the end of the fishbowl I’ll post a list of eligible poems based on the total funding; then the audience can vote on which they want to see posted.

2) Swim, Fishie, Swim! -- A feature in conjunction with fishbowl sponsorship is this progress meter showing the amount donated.

3) Buy It Now! -- Gakked from various e-auction sites, this feature allows you to sponsor a specific poem. If you don't want to wait for some editor to buy and publish my poem so you can read it, well, now you don't have to. Sponsoring a poem means that I will immediately post it on my blog for everyone to see, with the name of the sponsor (or another dedicate) if you wish; plus you get a nonexclusive publication right, so you can post it on your own blog or elsewhere as long as you keep the credits intact. You'll need to tell me the title of the poem you want to sponsor. I'm basing the prices on length, and they're comparable to what I typically make selling poetry to magazines (semi-pro rates according to Duotrope's Digest).

0-10 lines: $5
11-25 lines: $10
26-40 lines: $15
41-60 lines: $20
Poems over 60 lines, or with very intricate structure, fall into custom pricing.

4) Commission a scrapbook page. I can render a chosen poem in hardcopy format, on colorful paper, using archival materials for background and any embellishments. This will be suitable for framing or for adding to a scrapbook. Commission details are here.  See latest photos of sample scrapbooked poems: "Sample Scrapbooked Poems 1-24-11"

5) Spread the word. Echo or link to this post on your LiveJournal, other blog, Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, Digg, StumbleUpon, or any other social network.  Useful Twitter hashtags include #poetryfishbowl and #promptcall.  Encourage people to come here and participate in the fishbowl.  If you have room for it, including your own prompt will give your readers an idea of what the prompts should look like; ideally, update later to include the thumbnail of the poem I write, and a link to the poem if it gets published.  If there is at least one new prompter or donor, I will post an extra freebie poem.

Additional Notes

1) I customarily post replies to prompt posts telling people which of their prompts I'm using, with a brief description of the resulting poem(s). If you want to know what's available, watch for those "thumbnails."

2) You don't have to pay me to see a poem based on a prompt that you gave me. I try to send copies of poems to people, mostly using the LJ message function.  (Anonymous prompters will miss this perk unless you give me your eddress.)  These are for-your-eyes-only, though, not for sharing.

3) Sponsors of the Poetry Fishbowl in general, or of specific poems, will gain access to an extra post in appreciation of their generosity.  While you're on the Donors list, you can view all of the custom-locked posts in that category.  Click the "donors" tag to read the archive of those.  I've also posted a list of other donor perks there.  I customarily leave donor names on the list for two months, so you'll get to see the perk-post from this month and next.

4) After the Poetry Fishbowl concludes, I will post a list of unsold poems and their prices, to make it easier for folks to see what they might want to sponsor.

Feed the Fish!
Now's your chance to participate in the creative process by posting ideas for me to write about. Today's theme is "nature." I'll be soliciting ideas for  amous naturalists, country folks, city folks who don't like getting nature on them, explorers, people who love wilderness activities, kids running wild, landmarks, habitat types, mountains, forests, rivers, oceans, caves, gardening for wildlife, birdwatching, cloudwatching, stargazing, hiking, rock climbing, kayaking, other outdoor activities, native flora and fauna, natural sciences, cultural tidbits based on nature, Paganism and other nature religions, raw materials, nature crafts, and poetic forms in particular. But anything is welcome, really. If you manage to recommend a form that I don't recognize, I will probably pounce on it and ask you for its rules. I do have The New Book of Forms by Lewis Turco which covers most common and many obscure forms.

I'll post at least one of the fishbowl poems here so you-all can enjoy it. (Remember, you get an extra freebie poem if someone new posts a prompt or makes a donation.)  The rest of the poems will go into my archive for magazine submission.


ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)

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