Tag Archives: goddess

Meet Mabh Savage – pagan, author and herbalist

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For my second interview from the WitchLit group on Facebook, I was contacted by Mabh Savage. Her two beautiful books are published by Moon Books, and she’s been a contributor to many of their anthologies. Join me in welcoming her to my blog…

Welcome Mabh! Tell us about your writing…

1 How do you write? Is everything plotted, planned to perfection? Do you ever change tack as

you go along or always stick to a pre-made plan?

I change tack constantly! I have a very busy mind and as new ideas pop up, I find I have to adjust what I have done already to allow the new bits to fit in. It’s like doing a complex dot-to-dot puzzle where the dots you’ve already connected keep shifting. I’m never 100% sure what the finished picture, or book, is going to look like. So, I do plan but I nearly always end up with something wildly different to what I imagined in the first place.

2 Do you have a writing ritual? Meditation, certain cup for your tea, writing trousers?

With up to three children and three cats around the house at any one time, my ritual is pretty much grab what scraps of free time I have and splurge something out onto a page! An odd thing I’ve started doing recently is putting the cooking channel on the TV in the background. I have no idea why this helps me concentrate. Maybe it’s the contrast of something else that’s creative but entirely different to writing. Other than this, in the day I write by tea; in the night I write by wine and this is when most of the poetry happens.

Until we moved to Wales, I too used to write with the ‘aid’ of children and cats….now it’s just cats!

3 Aside from writing, what makes you tick? Tell us 5 things about yourself we probably don’t know.

I’m a huge sci-fi geek. I love Star Trek, Babylon 5, and Blake’s 7 and more recently, Stranger Things and the entire Marvel Defenders collection. I adore a good box-set binge!

I’m the same with reading too. Once I get into a fictional series, I get completely absorbed and need to get the next book, at any cost. I recently re-read all the Pratchett books again, and am looking forward to starting on The Dresden Files for another session of self-imposed hibernation.

I suffer from chronic and occasionally severe anxiety and depression so I have a real interest in mental health and ways to cope and even thrive with mental health conditions. I write about this a bit on my blog, and lots of my poetry is about struggles with mental health.

I’m an amateur herbalist and I have a column at PaganPages.org every month called Notes from the Apothecary in which I examine the magical and medical qualities of different plants.

I play music and sing, and have lots of different influences from traditional folk to prog rock! I have a few tracks on Sound Cloud and hope to add to those soon.

Lovely to know your creativity goes beyond writing to music too, fabulous. And you can’t beat a good Sir Terry binge:-)

4 If you were stranded on a desert island with shelter, food and water, what 5 items would you

want with you?

A replicator! Ha ha, I guess 3D printing isn’t quite there yet so… My guitar, my Irish whistle, a pad, a pen and a special blanket which helps me sleep.

5 On said island, what 5 books would you take and why?

Ooh that’s a hard one. If it’s not cheating, I’d take the Elfin Diary, to keep track of days and also because it’s full of fascinating info. I’ve had one nearly every year for over 20 years. If I was in the middle of a series, I’d have to take the next book(s) in that series then just sit rocking with fiction withdrawal when they ran out. The SAS survival handbook would also be useful on a desert island! Maybe sack all that off and I’ll take the Earthsea books by Ursula Le Guin. I don’t think I could live without them.

6 Off the island now, which famous person would you like to have dinner with?

I have crippling social anxiety so the thought of having dinner with someone I don’t know it’s absolutely terrifying. I wouldn’t even go on a blind-date. I would very much have loved to have met Stephen Hawking though. He seemed like such a warm, funny person as well as incredibly intelligent and insightful about the universe.

7 Your current writing projects?

I’m currently working on a book about Lugh; his mythology and also how he is revered in modern Paganism. In the realms of fiction, I’ve been working on a science-fiction/magical cross-over for some time. There are elements of artificial intelligence and also inexplicable universal energies. The protagonist is a scientist who is trying to make sense of the weird events unfolding around her. My eight-year-old boy wants me to write a children’s book, so I’m thinking of re-working some Celtic myths and legends for younger readers.

How exciting that you’ve such varied projects in mind. Good luck!

8 Other published work and links….

My first book was A Modern Celt: Seeking the Ancestors which is an exploration of the relevance of Celtic culture in modern society. It’s told through the voices of many different people from all walks of life.

My latest book is Pagan Portals: Celtic Witchcraft and this looks more specifically at following a magical path inspired by Celtic spirituality and with the influence of Celtic deities.

I’ve also contributed to the following anthologies:

Essays on Contemporary Paganism

Paganism 101

Pagan Planet

Naming the Goddess

iPagan

Every Day Magic

The Seven Ages of the Goddess

The Celtic Goddess

My main website and blog is at http://www.mabhsavage.com and I write for paganpages.org every month too. People can follow me on twitter @mabherick and I’m on Pinterest, Facebook and tumblr too.

Thanks so much, Mabh for your honest answers, allowing us into your writing life and thinking processes.

Check out Mabh’s books, and pop back for more interviews, writerly discussions, dance, healing and plant based recipes. Why not sign up for the newsletter and receive a FREE short story as a welcome. Bright blessings xx

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The inspiration behind The Standing Stone Book Series – Home

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Even though our house only had a tin roof, heating was various and I spent sleepless nights wondering if we’d made a huge mistake, within a year I’d written the first in The Standing Stone Book Series, Home for Christmas. Whatever the weather or the living accommodation, the Welsh countryside inspired me to pen a series about the people who had dwelled on the land before me, or who will live here in the future.

We’d holidayed in Wales for fifteen years with and without the children, but finally living here, in a tent, then a caravan and finally a house, I felt I’d returned home.

Each of the books begins with a song and it beautifully sums up the idea of home.

Home

Think of me in this barren landscape

Think of me, on this hill

Far away from love and friendship

Think of me, if you will.

 

Spare a tear for my weighty burden

Digging new this foreign land

Felling trees to build my homestead.

Hearth and home made with this hand.

 

But the earth, it is the same earth

And the sea ‘tween shore and shore

Gives me hope in times of hardship

That I’m coming home once more.

 

Coming home, I’m coming home

Coming home from distant shore.

 

Think of me as I bring in the harvest

Plucking crop from land and tree

Tending flock and growing family

Dry your eyes and think of me.

 

Trees and hilltops, plants and flowers

Glossy stars that light Her dome

Where I live in Nature’s beauty

That to me, is truly home.

 

But the earth, it is the same earth

And the sea ‘tween shore and shore

Gives me hope in times of hardship

That I’m coming home once more.

 

Coming home, I’m coming home

Coming home from distant shore.

Rachel, Candy and Fern make their homes in Wales, dependent on the land, the people and the culture, to help them call it ‘home’.

Today, for a limited time, you can download The Standing Stone Home for Christmas for just 99p/$1.30 and begin a new, exciting series. Discover how Rachel copes in her little cottage, how Candy seeks to escape the Dome and Fern becomes a leader for her people, while immersing yourself in the Welsh landscape. Mabon blessings xx

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Standing-Stone-Home-Christmas-ebook/dp/B00OCPBVV6/ref

https://www.amazon.com/Standing-Stone-Home-Christmas-ebook/dp/B00OCPBVV6/ref

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pagan Tribal Gathering – The power of women

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Last weekend I was invited to teach American Tribal Style® Bellydance at a brand new Pagan Tribal Gathering in Upton, Nuneaton. I spent three nights in a field with a brand new tribe.

Organised by Pia Morgan and a team of fabulous, dedicated helpers, I enjoyed a relaxed, friendly weekend in tune with the Earth Mother, taking part in ceremonies and rituals and learning new skills. There was no pressure to join in, only respect requested for those who wished to. There were crafters, traders, artists and wise folk, sharing their work and beliefs, and selling their wares. Together, three hundred people birthed a new tribe and laughed, danced, drummed and danced some more.

New enterprises are never easy to get right, yet one woman’s dream was brought to fruition by the belief and endeavours of others and the blessings bestowed by the Goddess.

And that’s why I write Witchlit. Women are awesome and, guided by the Goddess, unstoppable. Who doesn’t want to read about strong women? If Witchlit is a new reading genre to you, think Helen Fielding, Sophie Kinsella and Candace Bushnell stories with witches.

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.

You can find all my books on my author pages https://www.amazon.co.uk/Wendy-Steele/e/B007VZ1P06/ref

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

and for FREE Witchlit short stories and extracts, subscribe to my YouTube channel Phoenix and the Dragon https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCw3ee9CuNdek9ZC1Im8I_iA?view_as=subscriber

Join the Witchlit revolution and demand more fiction about real witches. Follow on Twitter @WitchLit1 !

New moon blessings to you all xx

 

The first signs of Spring

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While taking part in an online interview last week, talking about the progress of my Witchlit books and my writing life, I realised that now, the end of January, is the end of the calendar year for me this year  and this fills me with hope.

While there are good things to carry forward to a new exciting year, Awakened Bellydance™ , dancing with Tribal Unity Wales and the publication of two novels ‘The Naked Witch’ and ‘The Orphan Witch’, there has been one sadness I would have done anything to change.

The loss of my beautiful friend, Anna… I , the writer, have no words

But instead, today, on the eve of Imbolc, the beckoner of Spring, I begin a new year in memory of my friend. I carry her spirit, her passion, laughter, humour, song and dance, all of it. After the pain, sorrow and heartache, I am changed, renewed, refreshed.

I stopped smoking ten days ago. I am a non-smoker.

I will publish two more Lizzie Martin Witchlit novels this year.

Somehow, someway, I’ll share Awakened Bellydance™ , guiding women to their inner goddess and to the strength within themselves.

I will teach the dance I love, ATS® Bellydance, to my Tribal Unity Wales ladies and wherever we share the dance with the local community, we will be awesome.

I will be part of the Wheel of the Year, celebrating the seasons and tides.

 

Full moon blessings to you all.

Do subscribe to my YouTube channel for short stories and extracts from my novels, read to you from my Welsh riverbank

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCw3ee9CuNdek9ZC1Im8I_iA

 

 

 

FAQs about The Naked Witch

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The Naked Witch is available for pre-order now! https://www.amazon.com/Naked-Witch-Wendy-Novel-Book-ebook/dp/B06W5D6GVV/ref

or for my UK readers https://www.amazon.co.uk/Naked-Witch-Wendy-Steele/dp/1543165044/ref

Not sure if The Naked Witch is your kind of book? Here are some of the FAQs about the book to help you decide…

Do I need to be a witch or a pagan to enjoy your book?

Absolutely not! The Naked Witch is a contemporary read for all women everywhere…that’s not to say men won’t enjoy it but ladies, I wrote it for you.

What or who inspired you to write it?

My daughter, Jasmine, to whom the book is dedicated. Lizzie Martin is a modern woman, juggling full time work, a teenage daughter and the usual gambit of relationships and The Naked Witch is her story but her relationship with her daughter is her inspiration too.

My previous novels have either focussed on the witches Qabalah, Destiny of Angels and Wrath of Angels, or the energetic links of the land, The Standing Stone book series. I wanted to write a book that all women could identify with, about a woman with dreams and aspirations, faced to conform in a modern world.

Tell me more about this new genre, Witch Lit.

The Naked Witch fits into the genre magical realism…but without the fantasy elements. Witch Lit sums up the book perfectly…it is a heroine-centred narrative focussing on the trials and tribulations of the individual protagonist, Lizzie Martin. She lives in the modern world and the book is peppered with a smattering of light heartedness and humour.

Is it a romance, mystery or thriller?

That’s the beauty of Witch Lit, it encompasses all three. Lizzie’s life doesn’t revolve around dependence on men but she’s not averse to a tight buttock or chiselled jaw. Matt is the lead singer of a band while Richard is a widower, seeking to build a new life for himself and his son.

The mystery is in Lizzie’s search for the truth about her father’s death and when she attends a beach party in Spain, she enters an underground world of money, deceit and intrigue.

If I enjoy it, will there be any more Witch Lit books and where will I find them?

Oh yes! The sequel to The Naked Witch is already penned in first draft and entitled, The Orphan Witch. All my books are available via my Amazon author page http://www.amazon.com/Wendy-Steele/e/B007VZ1P06/ref

or for UK readers http://www.amazon.co.uk/Wendy-Steele/e/B007VZ1P06/ref

 

I hope I’ve answered some of your questions. Press on one of the top links to pre-order your copy for a compelling read you won’t want to put down.

 

 

The Standing Stone – Home for Christmas

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Home for Christmas is the first book in the Standing Stone series, linking together Rachel, Candy and Fern. Each woman lives there own life, though they share the same earth, just in a different time and space.

This morning, I’m sharing an extract from Home for Christmas, the first time all three women meet.

Though the feeling only lasted moments, Rachel likened it to being trapped inside a raindrop, a myriad of colours swirling with cool wet air, while the drop joined with others and spun and swirled like eddies in a pond. She landed on the grass with a bump and lay back, breathing heavily before sitting up.

To her left lay a small woman in a shiny metallic suit, her long auburn hair matted across her face. Rachel crawled over as the woman stirred but before she reached her, a scream from behind her ran down her spine. Another young woman, wearing scraps of fur and bound cloth, knelt at the stone and stared in horror at the sky above her.

Rachel crawled over to her, discarding her coat. The air was warm though no sun shone.  Above them, the sky gleamed cerulean but as Rachel scrambled up off her knees, beyond the green hilly mound was pure white nothingness. She put her arm around the young woman’s shoulders, her screams having lessened to shaky, gulping sobs.

“It’s okay,” she said, gently, “You’re okay. I’m Rachel,” she added.

“F-F-Fern,” said Fern, wiping her nose with the back of her hand. Looking over Rachel’s shoulder her eyes widened and she pointed, “Who…she?”

Candy stood in a dark blue jumpsuit, her bio suit discarded on the grass, refastening her hair band and knotting back her auburn dreads.

She smiled at the other women as she walked over. “I’m Candy,” she said, “And I think I’ve just escaped from the Dome.”

Begin your journey to the Standing Stone today!

http://www.amazon.com/Standing-Stone-Home-Christmas-ebook/dp/B00OCPBVV6/ref

 

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Standing-Stone-Home-Christmas/dp/150272278X/ref

 

Author. Wise woman. Goddess

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For most people, when the year date changes a new year begins. They look forward to new beginnings, better luck and a change for the better.

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My new year began at the winter solstice and I welcomed in the light. Every day gets a tiny bit longer even though the wintry weather is only just taking hold and I look forward to waking to that light and the rebirth of spring.

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The title of this blog is the title of my website but both could be replaced by ‘Me’. ‘Author’ is the easy bit. Under ‘Wise woman’ is my spirituality, teaching dance and healing but all those descriptions would fit into the ‘Goddess’ side as well. ‘Goddess’ is my personal journey, my family and my partner.

My plans are underway for the first two terms of teaching dance this year, including three workshops for my ladies, structuring my lessons to give them the best tuition and support I can. We’re going to dance more and perform less, bringing dancing to drums into our lessons and music that inspires.

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Collaboration has begun with my good friend, Peter Jones (writer, speaker, actor), to publish my first WitchLit novel ‘The Naked Witch’ and I’m excited *happy dance* Work on the next book ‘The Orphan Witch’ is underway.

Kind folk have been sharing my Youtube channel, Phoenix and the Dragon, also the name of my publishing company, where I read my WitchLit short stories and I’m thrilled. Being able to deliver my stories through such a powerful medium is a privilege and I’m looking forward to telling more stories as the seasons change on our Welsh riverbank.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCw3ee9CuNdek9ZC1Im8I_iA

The announcement of the Literature of Wales bursary is in February. If successful, my work will focus on writing the third book in the Lilith Trilogy ‘Angel and Demons’. (Now you know why I’ve needed to make plans early!)

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The past year has been hard work but memorable. Author, wise woman and goddess finally merged together in my mind, showering me with ideas and possibilities. I’ve surprised myself in many ways. Out of these surprises has come confidence but also fear so this year, to redress the balance, the goddess will be embraced. My personal spiritual journey will come higher up the priorities.

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And I started 2017 with a sale on my pixie coats! My dad worked for Horne Brothers, Men’s Outfitting. He could tell your collar size just by looking at you. He always maintained that Horne Brothers had a proper sale, discounting the stock in the shop while other, less creditable sellers in his opinion, brought it ‘rubbish’ for their sales. ALL pixie coats, short or long length, are on sale at £25 with free postage to the UK. Dad would have called it a proper sale.

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I wish you all Bright Blessings for the coming year xx  Share the love and spread warmheartedness wherever you are xx

 

 

The book that changed my life

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More than ten years ago, I was struggling with life. My daily battle with depression was compounded by debilitating and fatiguing IBS. I was dancing Egyptian belly dance but feeling stuck and uninspired. A new lady came to dance class and loaned me a book. It changed my life and the rest, as they say, is history.

Violet Mary Firth, aka Dion Fortune, penned her first short stories in 1919, as a way to bring spiritualism, psychism and inner awareness to readers, otherwise unfamiliar with these practices. Two of her novels, Sea Priestess and Moon Magic greatly influence Doreen Valiente, in many people’s opinion the resurrecter of modern British witchcraft, and it was the first of these books I opened all those years ago.

I devoured every page. My magical practise, until then, had been purely personal but Sea Priestess opened up new possibilities, especially the opportunity to share, heal and inspire, not only through my writing but my dancing as well. In 2007, I created Phoenix Bellydance and began teaching Egyptian belly dance. Over the four years I taught in Essex, I was able to teach and, hopefully, inspire over 300 women and girls.

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At the time, my first novel was underway and I spent 3 years (30 minutes in the car every day waiting to pick up my children from school), writing and editing. ‘Hubble Bubble’ was about an English teacher who lived her life through her passion for literature. I was wordy, over 100k but it started me on the path I follow today. The characters were vivid and the imagery exciting…I just needed to learn how to plot and write story more effectively.

For three years, I taught dance, practised self healing and gathered holistic healing experience. The premise for my first novel ‘Destiny of Angels – First book in the Lilith Trilogy’, ‘what if a traumatic childhood experience sent a woman on a different life path?’ inspired me to write my first novel about the use of magic, contacting other planes of existence and the Qabalah, in our physical life on earth.

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Although my books are fantasy, the characters are real, living live like you and I, falling in love, raising children, finding new jobs and moving house. Relationships are an important element in my novel, often unconventional and sometimes surprising. ‘Destiny of Angels’ relies on the strength of friendship, as Angel’s friends help her dispel the hurt of the past. In ‘Wrath of Angels’, Angel’s love for Aidan is tested, as is her self belief and self worth.

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Bringing magic, inner awareness and affinity with nature into my stories brings them to life. In ‘Sea Priestess’ and ‘Moon Magic’, Vivien Le Fay Morgan, the main character, is both of this world and ‘other worldly’ and this other dimension, almost a secret side to her personality, fascinates me and is always with me as I write.

The three women in The Standing Stone books, inspired by my arrival in Wales, appear to live ‘ordinary’ lives across three different points in time but, all three are searching for something. Even Fern, the only one who already has a connection to the goddess through ritualistic nature worship, is seeking more. In Home for Christmas, they are guided by Binah, the Great Mother, the dark goddess who stands proudly beside Chokmah on the left hand pillar of the Qabalah Tree.

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My only foray into non-fiction is ‘Wendy Woo’s Year- A Pocketful of Smiles – 101 ideas for a happy year and a happy you’, written at the request of friends who kept telling me to write down my tips to combat depression and bring peace and self healing to your life. The book is often practical, sometimes spiritual but never religious, occasionally witty and full of ideas to bring a smile to your day.

Have you read a book that changed your life? Be lovely to hear from you.

 

Finding myself

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Since welcoming the Goddess Brigid at Imbolc, looking forward to the new shoots of spring and new ideas and projects, I’ve struggled to hang onto me.

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Within the safe circle of our ritual, we shared our hopes and love, there to support each other through the coming months and from that evening onwards, I’ve dreamed every night. No big deal, you might say but I haven’t knowlingly dreamed since my mum died, over a year ago.

At first, they were comforting, almost supporting my days. Opportunities became known to me and I wanted to do them all. Having already made plans at Samhein, my diary expanded at a rapid rate so two weeks ago, I called a halt. I needed time to reflect, time to assess what I really wanted to do but every day, though I’d planned yoga and reiki, writing and meditation, demands of others shook my resolve.

And then, I dreamed the big dream. It was a nightmare, waking me three or four times in the night but when I shut my eyes, I returned to it, vivid and real until I hauled myself, weeping from the duvet to stop the pain.

I walked arm in arm with my dad, pointing out the daffodils opening their yellow trumpets to the sun. I held is hand, felt the soft, crepey skin and he told me he loved me. I carried my mum, first on my back and then in my arms, through landscapes, up stairs and along corridors, all the while knowing she was no longer alive, part of me basking in the feeling of her heart beating against me and the other half knowing this couldn’t be true. As she rested on her bed, I held her hand and she squeezed mine back, her last act before she died.

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I was wobbly the following day, tearful, emotional and confused but then I began to understand…to know myself, to find the person I really am, I needed to go back to my roots…I began with mum and dad. I remembered their hopes for me, the skills and life lessons they had taught me and knew my time had come to truly grieve.

It’s been a tearful week but out of my sadness has come strength I was not aware I had. On Wednesday, I was bombarded with phone calls and emails, ‘do this now’ requests from all sides and I did them, keeping the work on the byre moving, ordering skylights, transferring money, making calls. On Thursday, I caught up with my work and on Friday, I planned a writing day….not a ‘do stuff for everyone else and then if there’s time, do some writing’ day. I said ‘no’ to two people with no apology, only that I would meet their requests the following day….you should have seen their faces! Two short stories emerged from seven hours of writing….one is a cracker that needs a little work while the other may well be rewritten in the first person but I don’t care. I’m happy that I valued my own work as equal to others.

The invitations I’ve received have been considered. Some I will attend because I want to, others I won’t because they are not what is best for me…so many times in the past I have said ‘yes’ because of others feelings but my feelings are important too. I’m deciding as me, for me and it feels wonderful.

These decisions do not come from ego but from a sense of myself within this amazing world. Understanding my place in it, defines me as a person and as the sun shines this week, I shall visit the riverbank and say ‘thank you’ for being alive, for my mum and dad, friends and family and for the opportunity to dance, heal, write and love.

 

Running scared

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I’m an author and I’m scared of technology. There, I’ve said it. I’m scared to switch over to my new laptop because I know the old one so well…and I’m scared I will mess up the change over! I back up onto a separate hard drive once a week yet every time, I’m scared I’ll delete everything.

As I’m  confessing, I only learned there was a selfie button on my camera last week…only ever took photos like this before…DSC_0224

I remember watching my children in awe as they accessed their computers with ease and confidence. I knew I would never be like them.

I’ve learned the basics and acquired a few new skills along the way but I’m a writer, a dancer, a healer and a goddess, bound to the earth and the living beings upon it. I’ve had to include technology in my life to share my stories and now, I’m faced with formatting them myself…and I’m scared.

Wendy Woo faces her fears, accepts challenges as gifts to learn about herself and believes every day is an adventure yet this obstacle leaves her wobbly and nauseous. Follow this blog to see how she copes over the next few weeks.