Monday, March 24, 2014

The Writer's Corner

 
I'm coming up on 50,000 words written in the manuscript to my next book.  I don't know where this will end, other than to estimate that I have approximately 45 short essays to write for 45 sections, and I have about a half dozen longer sections in a different area to create.  I'm thinking that this book may be around 70,0000-75,000 words when everything is said and done, and I still have lots to say on the topic, which remains my secret at this time.
 
My husband, bless his soul, got me a "Dragon" for Yule last December.  You're suppose to be able to 'talk' your words in, no more typing involved.  So far, I haven't been terrifically successful at this.  The directions say that it takes a lot of practice, and that you have to 'speak in' the punctuation, and that it might take Dragon a little while to get use to your speech pattern.  I've always thought that I was an articulate, fairly intelligent person, but after trying to use this tool, I'm not so sure. It doesn't seem to understand a word I say, except "scratch that", which deletes what you've dictated.  I was saying to someone the other day, that I would hate to think that English is my first language and I spoke it so badly I would need English subtitles (as does a popular reality tv family, who shall go unnamed here)...subtitles, really, so that you can understand their English.  .
 
I spent a good deal of time this morning being all artsy and creative making banners for the Facebook pages devoted to my books, and my 'author' page.  Please don't make me think I wasted all that time and creative energy for naught-- check out the pages and hit the "like" button:
 
 
 
 
 
I went all crazy making banners, and now I want to make banners for everything.  It's addictive, like Pinterest or Twitter. I made a banner for our private coven group, I made banners for my blogs, I've made banners just to make banners.  I'm telling ya', it's relaxing and therapeutic.
 
The biggest drawback I have to getting any real writing work done during the day are 1) emails-- they always take so long to sort through; 2) Facebook; 3) blogs-- like writing in here when I should be writing somewhere else *cough*; 4) Pinterest, Twitter, Tumblr, and my Google site.
 
There's just too much to look at and read out there; too many people to connect with; too many posts to write to keep everything fresh and interesting.  We don't want Stale!
 
The next couple months may find me busily trying to finish some work up, so if I'm not posting regularly, you'll know that I'm very busy, but I'm still here, still hangin' on, still doin' my Thang.
 
And that's enough from this Writer's Corner.
 

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Old Cowboys Never Die

The wicker rocking chair on the front porch would creak and move occasionally as the old man jerked his knees, or threw his arm in the air, waving it in feeble circles above his head.  His daughter stood on the porch and watched him.  She looked at the old man's eyes.  They were lit up and sparkling, seeing things she couldn't.'

She knew where he was, just by the look on his face. He was on his horse again, swinging the rope above his head with firm brown hands, strong thighs hugging the saddle, handsome face shielded beneath the brim of a cowboy hat.  But in an instant, the sparkle vanished from the old man's eyes.  He brought his twisted fingers down and grasped the arm of the chair.

The old man turned to the young woman standing before him, seeing another face there, a beautiful face from his past.

"I want my hat, Clare, and my boots, too." he croaked.

"Okay," the young woman said easily.  She was use to him calling her by her mother's name.

The sun was just setting when she came out to get the old man.  She opened her mouth to speak and stopped.  His eyes were closed, his lips slightly parted.  She reached down and took the cowboy hat gently from his hands.  They fell limply in his lap, the fingertips already turning blue.

She raised her head suddenly, cocking it to the side, startled, listening.  For a second she thought she heard the sound of horse's hooves beating against the hard ground, the sound fading into the distance.

The young woman looked down at her father's face.  The old man's lips were curved in a smile.

 
In Memory of My Father, James Reinartz,
who passed away
Thursday, March 13, 2014
 

Monday, March 3, 2014

When is Enough Too Much

Dealing with the public can be a strange experience. I've had unique and magical experiences, puzzling experiences, shocking experiences, and a few unpleasant experiences-- but very few have been unpleasant, I have to say.  My most unusual, I like to tell people, is the one from the transsexual who wanted to know if I had a magick spell that would allow him to go back and forth between female and male genitalia.  I've had people call me at 2am with a question about my website, and I've had people call me expecting a free and instantaneous tarot reading-- as I'm driving down an Omaha freeway.

I love receiving emails and feedback from people.  I wish I could answer every single message that comes in, and I'm sure that anyone sending me an email would certainly expect an answer.  However, because of the bulk of emails I receive, about 200 a day, this is not possible.  And actually, I have very little time to dabble with correspondence unless it's something financial, business related (from an editor, producer, etc.),  or something from a client that would require my immediate attention in some way.  Other than this, I might scroll through and catch some of the Subject Lines, but that's about all I can do.

Once in a while, just once in a while mind you, something does catch my eye and I'll type off a quick reply.  Usually I'll receive a quick 'touch back', a quick 'thank you' in return.  It makes me feel good. I've reached out to someone and they've reached back, and this is as far as it goes. 

Usually.

Until this past week.  This is what transpired to bring me to the question that is the title of this post, "When is enough too much?"  I've changed the name of the individual who sent me these messages to protect her privacy, bearing in mind that there might be a slight chance that she actually doesn't realize she's being rude.  We'll call her "Melissa".  All of her correspondence will be left completely unedited except for the name change in the first sentence...

Melissa:

hi, my name is melissa

Im just starting to get into all of this and I found your website (http://ladyamythyst.webs.com/crystalsstones.htm) great website by the way

which comes my dilemma, i tried to google for my answer but every website seems to say something completely opposite the information on your website. And the other information that comes up in my google searches doesn't seem like reliable sources. getting bad vibes from them.

Im trying to do a lo shu grid in my home and place the corresponding stones in their positions, but i don't have all the stones, im wondering if you can give me some sources or maybe your know yourself if there is other stones i can use besides what you have listed

my problem areas that i need stones for are the career section & the family section, im wondering in the career section can i use obsidian or azurite instead of (black onyx, blue tiger eye, lapis)

AND in the family section can i use azurite instead of (aventurine, chrysoprase, malachite)

if these aren't adequate substitutions do you have any recommendations for other stones that will also work in these areas?

My Response:

An excellent source for information on substitutions (whether for stones or herbs) are books by Scott Cunningham:  his "Encyclopedia of Magickal Herbs; and his book "Crystal, Gem, and Metal Magick".  You can find these books at Amazon.
 
Your choices sound excellent to me-- and don't be afraid to go with the feeling you personally get from the energy.  You know what your family needs in the way of energy, healing, and rejuvenation better than anyone else would.
 
Blessings,
Amythyst

Melissa:

so it doesn't matter what i put in the lo shu grid? How did you come to the conclusion of what stones go where in the information provided in your website? Is there really no rhyme or reason? just what i feel I should put there? Is that why every website and information source has completely different stones in their lo shu grid?

My Response:

You apparently have not read all the information.  Scroll down from the lo shu grids for northern/southern hemisphere and you'll find specific stones for specific intentions, and you'll also find a list of stones connected to the elements:

http://ladyamythyst.webs.com/crystalsstones.htm

Why do I associate the stones that I do with various intentions, locations, etc.?-- because this is how I was taught.

Melissa:

well i did read all the information, i just dont have all of the stones you have specified so i am wondering about substitution stones. im sorry obviously you are irritated by me. I was just wanting to talk to you because you seemed knowledgable and friendly. im sorry to have bothered you. ill just have to find my answer another way. hope what ever is stressing you out subsides.

____________________

Okay, let's get a few things straight...

1)  I do retain a pretty good amount of occult information in my head, but I am not a walking encyclopedia.  In order for me to decide what stones would be appropriate substitutions for you, I would have to consult some books, do some research, and actually put time and effort into the endeavor.  Do you have any idea how many such requests I get for this type of thing each week?  Lots.

2)  On the link to my website, I believe you'll find quite a listing of stones to begin with, from there, it's up to you to do your own research.  I gave you the title of a book (Scott Cunningham's book) which would be an excellent place for you to start, and an excellent book to add to your personal library if you're going to start working with crystals and stones.  In a lot of books on this topic, you can actually look up stones by "Intentions", and you will find lists of stones for unique individual purposes, i.e. love, money, protection, health, etc.

3)  I would love to be independently wealthy and to have nothing better to do than work 24/7 on research and foot-work to help other people put together spells, etc.  However, this is not the case.  My time is valuable to me.  If you want me to spend time researching your situation, lining up correspondences, pouring over books, putting your spells together, and everything else that goes along with this-- you will have to pay me for my time.  That's why I developed the page at my website called "Spell Consultations"... http://ladyamythyst.webs.com/spellconsultations.htm

4)  "Melissa" broke the cardinal rule...she was rude.  "Melissa" does not realize how lucky she was just to get her email answered the first time.  And yes, Melissa, you are right about one thing-- you are irritating.  Buy a book, read, learn.  It's okay to ask questions, most definitely, but it's not okay to be rude; and eventually, if you're really serious about getting into this, you'll have to make some decisions on your own. 

You want substitutions for your stones?-- I told you that your suggestions sounded excellent.  I gave you the title of a book and where to purchase it so that you could find more answers.  And that's all I can do for you.