Tag Archives: gods

DJ Conway – A book to change your life

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On hearing of the sad passing of author DJ Conway, I wanted to share how one of her books changed my life….

It wasn’t the book I really wanted. I had my heart set on two books, each a comprehensive tome about gods and goddesses of every pantheon from around the world. Until I saw the price.

And then I spotted it, its glossy black spine shining at me. It was a large volume. It was second hand, but still in perfect condition. I handled it with care, pulling back the cover to reveal the price pencilled in the top right hand corner. My heart beat hard, my cheeks glowing with excitement. I turned pages, read paragraphs and thanked the goddess. I paid cash at the counter. Magick of the Gods and Goddesses was in my hands! I almost skipped out the door, not suspecting my life would never be quite the same again.

Magick of the Gods and Goddesses was the first book where I found details of the Kabbalah, and more appropriately for my needs, the witches Qabalah, inspiring me to seek further and look for other work. I began to read. I started to research. I discovered the writing of Dion Fortune. I travelled the magical paths of the Qabalah. I wrote Destiny of Angels, my first novel, starting my journey as an author, and this book was with me from the beginning.

From this book I learned of Angels and Archangels, Elementals, Elements and Planets, as well as the beliefs and history of the world of the occult, from Egypt to Africa, Greece to India and more. There’s Ritual and Magick, Shamanism, Witchcraft and Paganism, and at the back, a cross reference section I’ve found incredibly useful. Because there’s so much, there may not be all the detail, but there are links to other reading throughout the book.

Her legacy will live on in more than twenty non fiction works, and every time I open my copy of Magick of the Gods and Goddesses, I shall think of her smiling down on me, happy that her love of the occult fields she studied for more than thirty five years, is still much appreciated by her readers.

Here are the links to her Amazon author pages https://www.amazon.co.uk/l/B004582BDC?_encoding=UTF8&redirectedFromKindleDbs=true&ref

and for my friends across the pond https://www.amazon.com/D.J.-Conway/e/B004582BDC/ref

 

 

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Sharing my story

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I’d expected to be boosted when summer arrived this year but both the weather and the reality were a let down. A gale still blew through the top of my old farmhouse and my novels and novellas weren’t being bought for holiday reading. On top of that, as I now teach dance in a studio on Lampeter University campus, I’m surrounded by students and they were excitedly signing up for new courses.

I’ll admit to a grumpy tearful few days before I had a word with myself and decided to embark on a year of learning that would be appropriate to my homelife and financial situation.

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I was already revisiting short story writing with a writing group The Cwrtnewydd Scribblers, in the next village but needed a boost, a challenge for myself to explore different writing styles and genres. I mentioned this to one of my dancing ladies who had just signed up for an MA in creative writing (having already published her own short stories) and she introduced me to Duotrope. For £3 per month, they provide access to online and paper magazines requesting short stories as well as writing competitions. I decided to invest in myself and dedicate two days each week to writing, editing and submitting short stories.

Some magazines pay a little but most don’t and this bothered me at first. Would my stories be appreciated if they were given for free? What does that say about me as a writer if monetary gain is not important? It means that the reason I write, is to share my stories. Yes, I do want my work to have value and worth but if I share and readers enjoy my stories, that makes me happy. I hope that readers who enjoy a short story will look for more of my work.

My plan was to have ten short stories ‘out there’ at any one time. I started with stories already written and wasted a lot of time with ‘searches’ as they were not genre specific enough so I began writing for requested submissions. Duotrope send a weekly email with useful listings and this is what I work from.

It took two months to achieve my ten story goal and in days I was back to eight so I don’t worry about it any more. Some days I write three stories, other days just one. It doesn’t matter. Every story I write is honing my skills.

I’ve explored horror and fantasy these past months and love the stories produced. A few weeks ago, I attended an afternoon writing workshop about the role of myth, legends and fairy tales in story and began exploring new angles and new ideas in my own writing. As a writer of magical realism, stories about real people, real magic, gods and goddesses, I revisited stories I loved as a child as well as reading legends and myths I was not familiar with.

This week, I had my first short story accepted for publication. I’m looking forward to sharing many more.