Tag Archives: magical realism

Witch Lit is Magical Writing!

Standard

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.

 

Advertisements

Witches don’t share their magic

Standard

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

 

 

Listen with Woo

Standard

I’ve always loved having a story read for me, have you? I’d curl up with Rosy rabbit in front of the radiogram, running my fingers across the metal grid on the front until Listen with Mother began.

And now I’m reading my own stories for others to listen to.

This week on Phoenix and the Dragon, I’m talking about WitchLit and reading a magical extract from my first Wendy Woo Witch Lit Novel, The Naked Witch. Happy listening! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hBjmFeYMgLM

 

 

 

Happy Birthday to me!

Standard

To celebrate my birthday, I’m treating my readers to an ebook copy of my first Witchlit novel, The Naked Witch, for just 99p from 1st – 5th December and 99c 2nd-5th in the United States.

Why Witchlit?

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.

Writing about women gives me the opportunity to write about a different kind of protagonist. My women don’t need to behave like men to succeed and they don’t need a man to define them. Their power, their strength, grows through the books as they learn to connect with both the feminine and masculine energy inside themselves, standing up for what they believe in and facing adversity with courage.

Who’s the main character?

Hi, I’m Lizzie and I’m a witch. Not that I wear a pointy hat and travel to work on a broomstick! In fact, unless you get to know me well, you would never know. I live my life following the Sacred Wheel of the Year and use magic in my daily life. I might draw a single card from my Tarot pack, set a candle spell working or consult with Cerridwen and her cauldron but even if my focus is not on a magical act or ritual, the Wheel turns and I move with it.

 I was a ‘ginger’ at school but if you’re going to label me, I’d prefer redhead. I love wearing bright clothes that compliment rather than clash. Paisley, velvet and Indian fabrics are my favourite, swathing my body in colour and light. I’ve never felt the need to show off my figure so I let my clothes do the talking. I rarely have to do more than smile, which I prefer. I learned to be quiet at an early age while my parents argued.

 I’m not a great one for shouting. At our old house, I avoided the neighbourhood squabbles and gossip, preferring peace to provocation. I got on well with everyone but had no particular friends. My fault? Probably but I’m a private person and I worry about sharing too much of myself with strangers. At our new house, it’s different. Mr Brody is our next door neighbour, his house adjoins ours, so we met on the day Rowan and I moved in. I was worried about Rowan’s music disturbing him and he was embarrassed that his TV would annoy us!

 Louise and I are friends, good ones I hope. She’s one of the security guards in the building where I work. She’s raven haired and vivacious, completely different from me but they say opposites attract. She’s kind and funny and that’s why I like her.

 With Josh, my ex-husband, out of my life, Rowan is my family. My father died when I was young. He is my first thought on waking, while my mother and I struggle to form any kind of relationship, even now. Affectionate isn’t a word I use to describe her. Some days, I don’t think she cares about me at all but she’s Rowan’s Granny, so I do the best I can. Marsha, on the other hand, Josh’s mum is a sweetheart. She continues to treat me as family, phoning for advice about her dreams and welcoming Rowan to her villa in Spain every year.

 ‘Call yourself a witch! Where’s the magic?’ I hear you ask. At the bottom of my garden is a little wooden shed that I call Sanctuary. Rowan calls it my ‘Mum cave’. Within its warm and welcoming walls, I draw and paint and surround myself with magic.

Celebrate with me and treat yourself to a bewitching read for December. Bright Blessings xx

and for my friends across the pond

 

 

 

A Magical Life

Standard

We all experience magic in our lives. There is no need to be pagan or a practising witch. All you need to do is ‘be’.

We believe we live in the present, this time, now but often our minds have wandered to the past or the future and because of our lack of being rooted in the present, we miss the magic.

Sitting on my riverbank is magic…sunlight trickles through the leaves blessing my skin with the warmth of the sun…water rattles and skates over rocks and stones…dipper tips his wing and skims across the water.

Dancing in the rain is magic…clouds bursting their blessings on the earth…the wind blowing up the valley…music, friends and smiles.

Time with my children is magic…catching up on news…sharing success and new ideas…supporting them taking adult steps into the world.

Time with animals is magic …snuggles with a rescued lamb…warmth and love for a rescued kitty.

Looking into the eyes of a new born baby is magic…Dancing together to raise money for those in need is magic…Sharing my stories is magic…Decorating my home to welcome in the light is magic…The first flower of Spring is magic…Walking on the beach and paddling in the sea, whatever the weather, is magic…

 

I write about magic…real magic…the magic that fills our lives with moments of inspiration, hope, understanding, empathy and love.

Join me for stories on my Welsh riverbank https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCw3ee9CuNdek9ZC1Im8I_iA

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

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

 

Make time in your life to ‘be’ and enjoy every magic moment.

 

 

Look out for The Orphan Witch!

Standard

The Orphan Witch,  Wendy Woo Witch Lit Novel 2, is out to first readers! I’m excited, especially as they couldn’t wait to read it.

Have you met Lizzie Martin yet? You can read her story here https://wendysteele.com/2017/03/17/my-name-is-lizzie-martin-and-im-a-witch/ 

Here’s the blurb for Lizzie’s first story The Naked Witch…

Lizzie Martin lives in Romford with her fourteen year old daughter, Rowan. She enjoys her job as a receptionist and typist at an old established, family run company. She clothes herself from charity shops in vibrant, joyful colours with matching headbands she makes herself. Colour is Lizzie’s armour and she uses it to hold at bay the emotional angst of her ex-husband, Josh, whose girlfriend is barely out of her teens, her mother who has the sensitivity of a crocodile, and the big bad world from which she tries to protect her daughter.

But today Edward Brown – her new boss – has asked Lizzie to ‘bare all’, and become more corporate. For Lizzie, swapping paisley for pin stripe is like asking a parrot to wear pea hen.

Meanwhile, as Edward Brown retakes his position as head of the law firm, Lizzie has to choose between her job and her integrity, cope with an unexpected stay in hospital, continue seeking the truth about her father’s death and juggle two new men in her life.

There is hope though.

At the bottom of the garden is a little wooden shed that Lizzie calls Sanctuary. Within its warm and welcoming walls, Lizzie surrounds herself with magic…

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Naked-Witch-Wendy-Steele/dp/1543165044/ref and for my friends across the pond

 

The Orphan Witch continues Lizzie Martin’s story…

Lizzie Martin doesn’t ‘do’ committees. Without a job, having discovered her mother isn’t her mother and the recent loss of her beloved Marsha, attending the PA meeting to please Richard was a stupid thing to do. On the other hand, organising a road trip to Wales with her best friend Louise, was her best idea yet.

But was it a holiday or a ‘detectoring’ expedition? Was she taking a break to grieve for Marsha or was the fear of being alone more important? Had she thought to find roots in the Welsh landscape or was she running away from her responsibilities in Essex?

There is hope though.

The squirrels are on her side, the rescued chickens love their new home and her new magical plan to get closer to the earth brings her real mother, and her father, into her life.

 

Cover will be ready in July and I’m hoping for a publication date of 21st August 2017 so keep in touch for more books you’ll want to read again and again!

Bright blessings xx

 

My name is Lizzie Martin and I’m a witch

Standard

dsc_1342

Hi, I’m Lizzie and I’m a witch. Not that I wear a pointy hat and travel to work on a broomstick! In fact, unless you get to know me well, you would never know. I live my life following the Sacred Wheel of the Year and use magic in my daily life. I might draw a single card from my Tarot pack, set a candle spell working or consult with Cerridwen and her cauldron but even if my focus is not on a magical act or ritual, the Wheel turns and I move with it.

 I was a ‘ginger’ at school but if you’re going to label me, I’d prefer redhead. I love wearing bright clothes that compliment rather than clash. Paisley, velvet and Indian fabrics are my favourite, swathing my body in colour and light. I’ve never felt the need to show off my figure so I let my clothes do the talking. I rarely have to do more than smile, which I prefer. I learned to be quiet at an early age while my parents argued.

 I’m not a great one for shouting. At our old house, I avoided the neighbourhood squabbles and gossip, preferring peace to provocation. I got on well with everyone but had no particular friends. My fault? Probably but I’m a private person and I worry about sharing too much of myself with strangers. At our new house, it’s different. Mr Brody is our next door neighbour, his house adjoins ours, so we met on the day Rowan and I moved in. I was worried about Rowan’s music disturbing him and he was embarrassed that his TV would annoy us!

 Louise and I are friends, good ones I hope. She’s one of the security guards in the building where I work. She’s raven haired and vivacious, completely different from me but they say opposites attract. She’s kind and funny and that’s why I like her.

 With Josh, my ex-husband, out of my life, Rowan is my family. My father died when I was young. He is my first thought on waking, while my mother and I struggle to form any kind of relationship, even now. Affectionate isn’t a word I use to describe her. Some days, I don’t think she cares about me at all but she’s Rowan’s Granny, so I do the best I can. Marsha, on the other hand, Josh’s mum is a sweetheart. She continues to treat me as family, phoning for advice about her dreams and welcoming Rowan to her villa in Spain every year.

 ‘Call yourself a witch! Where’s the magic?’ I hear you ask. At the bottom of my garden is a little wooden shed that I call Sanctuary. Rowan calls it my ‘Mum cave’. Within its warm and welcoming walls, I draw and paint and surround myself with magic.

FAQs about The Naked Witch

Standard

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 Naked Witch is here!

Standard

the-naked-witch-kindle1

Thank you for waiting for my first Witch Lit novel! Get ready to immerse yourself in Lizzie Martin’s world but why squirrels, you ask? Let’s ask Lizzie…. “It’s no big deal. I like squirrels. They’re surprisingly good company.”

Here’s the synopsis for The Naked Witch…

Lizzie Martin lives in Romford with her fourteen year old daughter, Rowan. She enjoys her job as a receptionist and typist at an old established, family run company. She clothes herself from charity shops in vibrant, joyful colours with matching headbands she makes herself. Colour is Lizzie’s armour and she uses it to hold at bay the emotional angst of her ex-husband, Josh, whose girlfriend is barely out of her teens, her mother who has the sensitivity of a crocodile, and the big bad world from which she tries to protect her daughter.

But today Edward Brown – her new boss – has asked Lizzie to ‘bare all’, and become more corporate. For Lizzie, swapping paisley for pin stripe is like asking a parrot to wear pea hen.

Meanwhile, as Edward Brown retakes his position as head of the law firm, Lizzie has to choose between her job and her integrity, cope with an unexpected stay in hospital, continue seeking the truth about her father’s death and juggle two new men in her life.

There is hope though.

At the bottom of the garden is a little wooden shed that Lizzie calls Sanctuary. Within its warm and welcoming walls, Lizzie surrounds herself with magic…

Pre-order your copy now!

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06W5D6GVV/ref

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B06W5D6GVV/ref

 

Summer of writing

Standard

DSC_0183

In June, I joined a new group on Facebook, asking for short stories for an anthology. As you may know, I put myself on a one year course from September last year, to explore short stories again and after attending a great workshop by Rosie Dub of Honno Press, I had my first one accepted for publication in an anthology. I’ve had a lot more since then and have enjoyed honing the skill of writing a cracking short story so, I was intrigued by this new ‘shout out’ as the genre was Witch Lit. New to you? I’m a writer and I hadn’t heard of it so I had a think and came up with a definition of my own and wrote my first Witch Lit short story called Last Chance for Love.

A publisher had shown interest in putting an anthology of Witchlit stories together in lieu of publishing Witchlit novels. We shared our stories on the group offering help and advice and so, with this support behind me, I decided to write a Witchlit novel.

My first attempt was not good. I tried to change my writing style so it was a clunky, clumsy read and the storyline was too vague. 10k words in, I gave up…and broke my toe. This was it, I had no excuse not to write and with a big pad of paper and my trust fountain pen, I scribbled ideas and drew circles, linking ideas together until one jumped out at me and I began to write.

Today, I’ve written two thirds of the book and with a week off next week, I’m looking forward to completing it.

So what did I choose as my definition of Witchlit?

Chick Lit is a genre of fiction which consists of heroine-centred narratives that focus on the trials and tribulations of their individual protagonists. These women live in a modern world, coping with work and home life and the genre often uses lightheartedness and humour.

My Witchlit novel’s protagonist is Lizzie Martin, who lives in Romford with her thirteen year old daughter Rowan, works as a receptionist and typist. She clothes herself from the charity shops in vibrant, joyful colours with matching headbands she makes herself, attempting to hold at bay the emotional angst of an ex-husband whose girlfriend is barely out of her teens, a mother with the sensitivity of a crocodile and the big bad world from which she tries to protect her daughter. Colour is Lizzie’s armour. On her thirty eighth birthday, she is requested to bare all. There is hope though. At the bottom of the garden is a little wooden shed that Lizzie calls Sanctuary. Behind the oak and rowan trees, within its warm and welcoming walls, Lizzie surrounds herself with magic…one day, a candle spell or another, a conversation with a goddess. She consults her Tarot cards and some day, she will paint in that shed.

This month I also published the third book in the Standing Stone Series – The Gathering. Linked together across space and time, Rachel, Candy and Fern each work towards ‘a gathering’ of their own, guided by the goddess Rhiannon.

The Gathering - SMALL(1)You can buy all my books via my author pages at

http://www.amazon.com/Wendy-Steele/e/B007VZ1P06/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Wendy-Steele/e/B007VZ1P06/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1365459567&sr=1-2-ent

I do hope you’re enjoying the Standing Stone Series…just wait for book five! This young man seems to be enjoying it. I spotted him at a Steampunk event we were dancing at and asked if I could have a photo.

DSC_0284 At this same event, I bought myself a present…I know it’s a children’s book but it’s beautiful. DSC_0285

Research is still ongoing with the third book in the Lilith Trilogy, Angels and Demons…I save it for rainy days I can spend in the library. I’ve written fewer short stories this month, only managing to submit one so far but there are only so many hours in the day.

I would love to hear your thoughts about Witch Lit. I love the idea of a light hearted, fun read where I can empathise with a protagonist but laugh with her too and know all along, that she’s a Hedge Witch like me.