Category Archives: My magic

The Book Fair Blues

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I was at the Carmarthen Book fair on Saturday, sharing a table with my good friend, Nicola Beechsquirrel.

The book fair was founded by Sarada and John Thompson (You can find out more about them here https://wendysteele.com/2018/08/06/john-thompson-author-and-gentleman/

and here https://wendysteele.com/2018/08/08/sarada-thompson-giver-of-light/

It’s always a friendly book fair; the authors are always helpful and happy to share ideas, and the public are there because they love books. A great range of genres were represented and special guest this year was Dr. Paul Wright, Head of Cultural Studies Lampeter & Course Director for the BA in English and the International Foundation programme, manning the table for the University of Wales, Trinity Saint David, featuring course studies of Literature & Creative Writing.

The morning was quiet, a gentle trickle of shoppers seeking out a little diversion and tea and cake from the fabulous Caffi Iechyd Da. I had a great morning, chatting about magical writing and listening to the general public’s take on magic.

And then the rain came down. We had a few soggy customers, but not many, which was a shame with all the gorgeous goodies on show. Nicola had a good day, chatting about her family history and sending book buyers home happy.

The blues began in the afternoon, drip dripping into my consciousness, started by a comment made to the delightful children’s author Angela Fish. A lady stood at her stall, so Angela began telling her about her books. “You needn’t bother,” said the lady, “I don’t read books and nor do my grandchildren.”

On Sunday I spent the morning thinking about how we can attract more adults and children to books fairs. In this age of celebrity, who wouldn’t want to meet the author behind the words we love to read? Social media gives us the opportunity to form a link that wouldn’t have been possible twenty years ago, but is that why meeting authors ‘in real life’ is no longer so exciting? Has the creation of the digital format for books taken away the ‘real person’ behind the words?

I handed out more business cards on Saturday than I’ve done at any other book fairs, to readers who read on kindle, so some of them were there, but in the same way as I believe there will always be a place for real, tactile, gorgeous paper books, we mustn’t lose the opportunity to interact in person. You can’t beat meeting people in the flesh, listening to their stories and sharing their lives, if only for a few minutes.

I beat the blues with a walk on my riverbank in the rain. I watched the drops bounce off the leaves from my seat in our shelter, ripples forming and spreading on the water as the river hurried by. The rain refreshed me, the Welsh landscape soothed me and I hurried home, inspired to pick up my fountain pen and allow the magic to flow once more.

 

 

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Be in a book Take 2

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So….I came up with this really cool idea….how much fun would it be for a reader to be in the book they were reading? Sarah at Y Stiwdio Brint tidied up my art work and we were off…Gorgeous poster…fabulous application form…but for some reason, readers are being shy.

In my corridor position in the Great Glasshouse at the National Botanic Garden the other week, I set up a huge poster beside my stall, pinned to a mic stand, right in ones eyeline. I approached a few browsers, only to find they were reading the notices on the wall behind the stall! I handed out small leaflets and copies of the application form for readers to complete at home, but as yet, I’ve received no entries from that event.

There’s two weeks to go before the deadline and I’d love to hear from you. There’s a FREE story to be downloaded just for taking part, so pick up your pen and join in my Summer Special Giveaway today and Be in a Book! https://www.facebook.com/events/2092900517659645/

 

 

 

Welcome to Witch Lit!

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This is a call out to magical readers and writers, poets, songwriters and creatives alike. Be part of a magical group on Facebook and Twitter, that wants to ‘take over the world incrementally’, a wonderful phrase from Laura Perry, one of the group of four of us who head up this revolution.

It all started with Sheena Cundy who brought in myself, Ruth Aitken and Laura to form a working group, working in unison to sail us in one direction; to fight for our creative talent to be heard in the world at large. Talking together, we began to understand what that meant; we weren’t just talking about stories anymore.

These are Sheena’s welcoming words that head our group page:

As the Witches among us will know, this (magic) happens when we weave the web. And here, the threads are constantly flowing from the earthly to the unearthly, reading to writing – the craft of words and magic binding together where the boundaries blur.
Witch Lit is something we are passionate about, not just because it reflects what we do but more importantly because it expresses who we are as magical creatives:
The Wise and Wild among us, the Warriors and the Healers. The Visionaries. Storytellers, poets and songwriters, bards.
The Walkers between the Worlds.

If you have work out in the world, we want to know about it.
If you want to put work out into the world we can help you do it. And in the doing we can all grow and build together, individually and collectively.
We don’t have all the answers, but between us we try and work them out with large dollups of humour and respect for each other, our paths and crafts.

So enjoy the vibe and we hope you get something out of being here. Make the most of it and ask questions…it’s how we all learn!!!
Remember to add your links to the file Laura has set up, it’s always useful to know where to find out more about each other.
And if you’re particularly nosey like me, this will feed any curiosity and hopefully inspire you to move out of that comfort zone.
Because that’s where the magic happens.
Dark Moon blessings! )O(

This takes you straight to the Witch Lit FB group https://www.facebook.com/groups/1055104057875422/

Our twitter handle for the group is https://twitter.com/WitchLit1

Here are links to the websites of the admins on the group, giving you an idea of where each of our creative magic comes from…

Laura Perry http://www.lauraperryauthor.com/blog

Sheena Cundy https://sheenacundy.com/blog/

Wendy Steele https://wendysteele.com/

Ruth’s is under construction!

Come and share your magical creative talents, ideas and thoughts, on our group, interacting with other creatives with love and respect.

 

 

Witch Lit is Magical Writing!

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I had a lovely day at the National Botanic Garden of Wales on Saturday at their storytelling event, Plant & Plots, talking to the public about the inspirational, magical landscape of Wales, writing and Witch Lit.

Some people are confused when they see the word ‘witch’. In their minds, witch = demons/devils/black magic/sorcery/Satan/baby killers, not necessarily in that order. While many are interested in the idea of living in harmony with nature, giving back and celebrating the beauty and bounty of the planet and taking time to be present and appreciate all that life has to offer, some cannot see beyond the above list. Saturday was no exception; I stood and took the spitting abuse and personal remarks, as well as the advice that I should ‘look to my Bible’.

Brought up in a Christian household, I went to Sunday School and church and became a Sunday School teacher. I’ve always loved the stories of Jesus, full of kindness, compassion and common sense. As a pagan and a witch, I have no problem appreciating Jesus as a prophet before his time, in the same way Buddha was. I’ve read many books by the Dalai Lama and the inspirational Amma, Mata Amritanandamayi, has my vote as one of the most important and influential women of this time.

As a witch, I follow no organised religion, only a path of love, kindness and compassion towards the planet and all those who live on her.

That’s what I want to inspire with my books. The Lizzie Martin series is funny, the stories are compelling and Lizzie uses magic in her every day life to help her with the stresses many of us face. She is a strong woman. She likes men, but doesn’t need a man to define her.

Witch Lit is magical writing of every kind; prose, poetry and song. Join the #witchlitrevolution and bring a little magic into every day of your life.

 

Summer Special Giveaway! Be in a Book!

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I’m running a new event from today until Monday 13th August. It’s FREE to take part and the prizes are awesome!

Join in the fun on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/events/2092900517659645/

Summer Special Giveaway is open worldwide.

The winner will be announced on Wednesday 15th August.

Join the Witchlit revolution and Be in a Book!

Bright Blessings xx

Six months without a fag

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In ten days time, 21st July 2018, it will be six months since I last smoked nicotine.

How’s it been?

In some respects, it is easier. The gnawing, gut churning pangs have lessened which is great, as has the insomnia. Looking back, I might have three good days and nights in a row…but the craving is still there.

I’m like a crazy stalker if a smoker comes towards me in the high street, inhaling deeply as they get close and turning with them to make the most of their smoke.

I’ve seen smokers sitting on a bench and been tempted to ask them to blow smoke my way.

I’ve stuck to walking two thousand steps when I wake in the morning, but I come in exhausted and want a cigarette.

People don’t have to be very mean and I want to cry. If they shout at me, I want a cigarette really badly.

And the benefits?

My physical body is settling down. I’ve lost the weight I put on and the HRT is doing the job. I’m very aware that my body is not the same, however, so the body I’m building will be a different one.

I’m embracing this as a challenge (I didn’t to start with! I cried and shouted and stamped about the unfairness of it all!) because I have to. I refuse to accept that I have to ‘settle’ and that because I’m in my crone stage that I have to put up with aches and pains and tiredness.

My bottom is changing shape, my arms are toning up and though I still get a little out of breath walking up steep hills, I recover much quicker.

Other benefits?

I haven’t noticed any extra money in the coffers, but I suppose there must be. I’m proud of myself, sticking to the promise I made to myself, but there are still days when it isn’t much fun!

Will I be celebrating six months smoke free?

On the 21st July, and the 22nd, I’ve been invited to the Great Glasshouse at The National Botanic Gardens of Wales for a weekend of story telling, ‘Plant Pots’. I shall be there with all my books, including The Flowerpot Witch, so why not arrange a day out of flowers and stories? https://botanicgarden.wales/visit/whats-on/storytelling-weekend/

For more musings, magic, dance and words, sign up for Wendy Woo’s Round Robin here http://wendysteele.us15.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=bd3cc38cba01c2dea4a5f386f&id=6210056252

Bright blessings xx

 

 

 

The Waning Moon

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If I could choose, I’d snuggle up in my writing room from full moon to new moon.

At new moon, I’m fired up and open to ideas zipping around the universe. I take them, examine them and claim them if they’re useful. Sometimes I let them go; often I save them in case they may prove useful.

At new moon, I’m working towards. I act on new ideas. I can see where I want to be, what I want to achieve and a path to follow to get there.

At new moon, I’m fresh, vibrant and excited.

On the full moon, I give thanks – I’m here! I made it! There’s a sense of achievement, even if I’m not where I expected to be.

And then the moon begins to wane.

Louise asks Lizzie the question in The Orphan Witch:

“So the full moon isn’t necessarily the end of something? You mean while it’s waning is the time to dot the ‘I’s’ and cross the ‘T’s’ and confidently file away the past weeks?” Lizzie nods in reponse to Louise’s grasp of the concept.

I’ve completed one week of the waning moon, with another to follow before the new moon on 13th July, and I’m longing to hide on my riverbank, just me and the trickle of water over the rocks, the call of the red kite and the abundance of butterflies flitting among the brambles. Reducing the Vesuvius size pile of day-to-day, is exhausting. But there’s five days to go. I must complete what I’ve started. I must rally, summon the energy and push through to the end.

This is also my time of the month for letting go. Some tasks are challenging, some actions may not have succeeded or caused problems. Often my own doubts surface at this time of the month and cloud my vision. This weekend, on my riverbank beneath the waning moon, I’ll write down those niggles, those old stories that take away my confidence and I’ll burn them, sending them away so as not to carry them forward to the new moon.

…and then I’ll be ready for whatever the new moon has to offer….and I’ve new ideas battering my ears already; new music to dance to, new dance combinations, new lesson plans and, best of all, new stories.

For more magical musings and a FREE short story, sign up for Wendy Woo’s Round Robin here http://wendysteele.us15.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=bd3cc38cba01c2dea4a5f386f&id=6210056252

 

Witches don’t share their magic

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I’ve not read it or been told, I just know; witches don’t share the details of their magical workings. You’ll read books of spells, books of correspondences, practices and rituals you can create for yourself, and manuals and guides for you to create your own magic, but the magic of an evening beneath the moon is for the witch alone. Her personal feelings, gains and knowledge gleaned are for her benefit, for her to mull over and learn from, as it should be. Except for Lizzie Martin.

In the Wendy Woo Witch Lit Series, Lizzie Martin shares it all, just like the characters in Dion Fortune’s fiction. It was through Dion Fortune’s books, especially Moon Magic and The Sea Priestess, that I felt compelled to write stories of my own about real people and the magic they create in their lives.

Lizzie Martin includes you in her world, and that includes her magic. In The Naked Witch, Lizzie extends to you the privilege of her Sanctuary…

‘At the bottom of the garden, she squeezed past the oak and rowan trees and opened an old wooden door. Smells of pine, incense and wet wool greeted her. Rowan called it her ‘Mum Cave’. Lizzie called it Sanctuary. Neither carefully synchronised calendars nor lists adorned the walls. No colour co-ordinated work outfits or labelled files filled the cupboards. Swathed in rich tapestries and layers of ancient rugs, Lizzie’s escape was the home she longed for. An ancient chaise longue, draped in rugs and throws spread along one wall. The corner opposite held an exquisite, dust free altar. In the centre sat a curvaceous wooden figure of the goddess.’

Near the beginning of The Orphan Witch, Lizzie shares with you her simple ritual, and her feelings on this Samhain, All Hallow’s Eve or Halloween…

Inside her Sanctuary, safe in her circle, Lizzie made a bed in her lap with her cloak for the chicken. The bird trotted around, mimicking a cat following its tail. Cooing contentedly, she nestled down. Two white candles burned on the altar, casting an eerie flickering light, quickly guzzled by the fog of frankincense. The mist swirled, set in motion by splutters from the candles.

Wrapped in sheepskin, Lizzie sat on the hillside, watching the moon bathing the land in shadow. Sheep huddled among the giant boulders. Men and women stood around the standing stone on the hilltop behind her. Darkness was coming. It was time to return to the valley.

She climbed to the peak, the crackling of the fire welcoming her before its blessed warmth. Tonight they would keep the dark away, for one night at least.

The comforting aroma of ancient books stirred Lizzie and she looked down to the tome open before her. The ticking of her heart sped up. The pages turned in a blur, glimpses of the past bleeding through. Marsha waved from a luxury yacht as did her Granddad, recognisable by the watch chain he always wore in photos. Faces flickered, the pages speeding up, sucking Lizzie into the past with them until she sat wrapped in skins again, looking up into a beautiful, dark brown face framed by oiled and braided plaits. The word ‘mother’ burst within her and Lizzie knew. On the night we remember and revere our ancestors Lizzie was not alone. This was her mother; the mother of us all.

In The Flowerpot Witch, Lizzie invites the reader to Tal-y-Llyn lake and her ritual for Imbolc…

Backpack bouncing, Lizzie set off across the uneven grass. She grimaced over the stile, her ribs screaming at her, across endless streams and springs gushing from the earth, onto the track around the lake. Large stones and rocks littered her way. She stopped often, enjoying the fresh wind on her face and the glints of sunlight bouncing off the water. Diverting from the track, the land was rutted and boggy. Her thighs ached and her ribs burned, climbing over the grassy mounds and ridges before dropping down towards the lake.

There was little flat ground, but she was sheltered from behind, the only wind blowing off the lake in front of her. She trapped the flapping, white altar cloth with her goddess statue from her Sanctuary. She’d never get the candle in the Goddess’ arms to stay alight, but she’d planned ahead and brought two glass jars and two chunky candles, one white and one orange, already charged with chamomile, myrrh and cinnamon which she placed on the cloth along with a handful of white ribbons, a cloth bag, a jar of milk and an old but serviceable horseshoe.

Standing on the tiny beach, the cold wind tugged at her hair and the cloth bag in her hand. She grounded herself, and then cast protection around her before kneeling at the altar. A warm stillness hung over her circle of protection.

            Blessed Brigid, Triple Goddess, Protector

            Preserver of All Memory and Knowledge

Lizzie lit the white candle.

            Goddess of Fire and Fertility

She lit the orange one.

            Welcome to my circle.

Lizzie knelt before the pregnant maid, mesmerised by the candle circlet adorning her tendril curls. Swathed in a cloak the colour of new leaves, her arms wrapped protectively round her belly, the goddess looked into Lizzie’s eyes. Wisdom, compassion and understanding connected the women and Lizzie found the courage to speak.

            The long days of Winter are behind us

            With your blessing, we look to the Spring.

 From the cloth bag she withdrew multiple stones, offering each to Brigid to be blessed.

            Sweet lady, Goddess of light

            Bless these rose quartz so they may bring me wisdom

            To heal with love and compassion.

 

            Bless these citrines so they may drive away the darkness

            Bringing light into the hearts of those who need it.

 

            Bless these rubies in memory of the fire of life that glows in your belly

            And the promise of life to come.

She picked up the horseshoe.

            Bless this iron horseshoe

            Above whichever door it hangs

            May that house be a happy home.

At her altar, around each stone and the horseshoe, she tied a white ribbon before picking up the jar of milk and stepping back onto the beach, in front of the goddess. Opening her arms to the wind, she breathed in the beauty of Brigid and sent up her prayer.

            Dearest Brigid who nurtures the seeds through the winter

            Bringing the promise of Spring

            Blessed Goddess who gives and shares

            Showering us all with your enchanted, empowering light.

            I honour you and give you thanks

            Offering back the milk of innocence

            To ensure new births and new beginnings.

            She unscrewed the lid and dripped the milk onto the stones and in the lake.

            Goddess of fire and light

            Grant me the courage to see the truth in my life

            And to understand the truth when it is shown to me.

            On every Spring day

            When the sun shines

            I will remember you.

 

Begin your magical journey with Lizzie Martin and The Wendy Woo Witch Lit Series.

For all my books:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Wendy-Steele/e/B007VZ1P06/ref

https://www.amazon.com/default/e/B007VZ1P06/ref

 

 

Magic Matters 2

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Almost a year ago, I posted about my exploration of the definition of magic and I offered my interpretations to help you live and enjoy a more magical life.

https://wendysteele.com/2017/07/10/magic-matters/

I showed you how small changes in your life, connecting with the planet and the universe, spending quality time with family and friends, getting closer to animals, birds and other wildlife and caring for the world family, would change you. These small changes can make a big difference; being LESS attached to technology, electricity, gadgetry and computers and MORE in touch with the natural world, showing kindness and love, will impact on your health and wellbeing.

In this second post, I’m focussing on one aspect of your life you could change that could bring you new adventures, new challenges, exciting opportunities and more love in your life… removing the old stories.

We believe we’re making our own decisions, walking new paths every day but instead, we carry the past with us and its influence on every thought and action means we’re living old stories….

“I’m so stupid!” “I can’t move like that because I’m too old/too stiff/unfit/fat.” “I’ll never be able to do that because I’ve got my mother’s feet/knees/eyes…” “I always get nervous when…” “I always give up when…”

From today, this very minute, now, hear when you say this, correct yourself and change your life. “I’d like to learn more about that.” “Tell me again and I’ll make a note of it.” “I’ll need to practise. I’m sure I’ll get it.” “I love a challenge/new idea/adventure/book/song.”

Some old stories will take a lot of clearing, however. I was lucky enough to be invited by Katie Holland to join her first facilitator training course for Awakened Bellydance™.  Awakened Bellydance™ is healing through movement, using sound, vibration and bellydance moves to clear and cleanse the chakras. You can find out more here https://www.awakenedbellydance.com/what-is-awbd

Letting go of the old stories leaves room for you to write new ones, giving you space to explore and helping you understand how unique and special you are. Obstacles and fears are only perceptions.

Use the changes from Magic Matters to inspire you… DANCE under the stars, LAUGH and CRY with your family and friends, SING to the birds and animals and spread LOVE and WARMHEARTEDNESS wherever you go.

Don’t let old stories hold you back. Enjoy writing a new story for yourself today.

Bright Blessings xx

 

Why Witch Lit?

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The Flowerpot Witch Blog Tour finishes tomorrow, so I wanted to add my own blog post to the tour.  My interview on Friday at Showboat TV with Judith Barrow gave me the opportunity to talk about many things, including why I write Witchlit and magical realism.

Have you read any fiction by Dion Fortune? I read Sea Priestess and Moon Magic and I knew I wanted to write more stories like those.

Fortune’s female lead is a strong, focused, determined woman and her magic is ‘real’. Destiny of Angels was my first novel and my female lead, Angel Parsons, uses the paths of the witch’s Qabalah to explore different ideas and perceptions of reality on the astral plane. I followed it with Wrath of Angels. I believed readers had had their fill of vampires and werewolves and would appreciate real people and real magic but I struggled to market the books because they didn’t fit neatly into the established genres.

I needed a different approach…

In August 2013 we moved into the field of the house we were buying in Wales, waiting for the purchase to be completed.

Once we’d moved in, we discovered an ancient Bronze Age settlement site on a hill beside the house and we cleared our riverbank of brambles and nettles to give us access to the river via a number of secluded ‘beaches’. I took inspiration from the Welsh landscape and penned the first book in the Standing Stone Series, Home for Christmas. These books were more accessible to readers, giving them a story of three women linked across time and space by the standing stone. In there time of most need, the women ask for help and it is given in the form of guidance from the goddess.

And then there was Witchlit! Inspired by a short story I was asked to pen for a possible anthology, Lizzie Martin, my protagonist, sprung into my mind and the Wendy Woo Witch Lit Series book 1, The Naked Witch was created for her. These books are about a real witch who uses magic in her every day life.

Defining and publicising Witchlit is my mission, introducing readers to my stories and others who write this wonderful, exciting, new and sexy genre. We want to start a Witchlit revolution!

You can join the revolution by adding @Witchlit1 to all your magical tweets and be sure to follow us on Twitter…

https://twitter.com/WitchLit1

and my personal account https://twitter.com/WendyWooauthor

Witch Lit is contemporary, magical realism, where the magical and the mundane co-exist. The stories are gritty and believable while magic is sprinkled through the stories, offering the reader a new perspective on reality.

Unlike Chick Lit, Witch Lit women do away with the sweet, sickly or fluffy. Their passion, determination and creativity shine through the stories, though none are averse to a well-rounded buttock or a chiselled jaw. Witch Lit isn’t anti-men but Witch Lit women’s lives don’t revolve wholly around their presence or absence.

You do not need to be pagan or a witch to enjoy these stories!

I’ve had a lot of fun on the Blog Tour, meeting and chatting to new people and sharing my passion for writing, dancing and magic with bloggers and readers. If you’d like to stay in touch, why not sign up for my newsletter?

http://wendysteele.us15.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=bd3cc38cba01c2dea4a5f386f&id=6210056252

Or you can use the link ‘Sign up to Wendy Woo’s Round Robin here!’ on the Home page.

You’ll receive a link to a FREE story, the one I was telling you about, the story that links everything I’d written before, with the new Lizzie Martin Witchlit stories.

Why not begin your journey into witchlit today?

You can find all my books via my Amazon author pages

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Wendy-Steele/e/B007VZ1P06/ref

and for my friends across the pond http://www.amazon.com/Wendy-Steele/e/B007VZ1P06/ref

Join me to heal and inspire, spreading ripples of warm heartedness and love into the local community and the world. Bright blessings xx