Enchanted

gray-wolf
A gray wolf howled in my dream last night as he sat at the edge of the dark woods. Then he turned and ran into the forest. I took chase, following him through the woods to a clearing where a fire lit the night sky. Slowly, from above, a familiar chanting began and I looked up as they descended.

Draped in black they swirled and twirled landing to form a circle around the fire.

Six witches.

My witches.

The Witches of Ravenscroft.

They danced and sang and called for me.

The elder male witch looked at me with knowing eyes, “Where have you been my darling? The night grows short and your magic weak. It’s time to throw kindling on this fire lassie, lest your magic goes up in smoke.”

His message clear, I joined in the dancing and singing. I was home again amongst my creations. 

I woke from my dream knowing I must immerse myself in their world and get back to work on my novel! The six witches and the wolf are characters in my book, A Conspiracy of Witches.

Have I mentioned that I’ve fallen in love with one of my characters?

Anyway.

Something must come off my to-do list.

So, my friends, I am taking a break from blogging to go make some magic!

Until we meet again, 

…enchanted under the stars,

~Sue, An Artist’s Path
A Space for Creative Seekers

A Conspiracy of Witches – 2016 NaNoWriMo

conspiracy-of-witches-bc
‘Tis the season of the witch! With October comes the “thinning of the veil” and a reconnection with the spirit world.  Oh, and the mad-dash to prep for NaNoWriMo  – National Novel Writing Month. Nano officially launches on November 1st. The challenge is to write a 50,000-word novel in 30 days. Crazy right? That’s what I love about Nano!

This is my third Nano and I’ve learned a thing or two. This year I’ve done a bit of prep work and actually have a story outline, character sketches and a few plot points developed. I’ll be blogging weekly on my progress. For now, let me share a short synopsis (work in progress) of my novel.

A CONSPIRACY OF WITCHES

In the small coastal town of Harvest Haven, overlooking the Puget Sound, an eclectic writer’s group serves as a front for a modern day witches’ coven in search of new recruits. Newcomer, Selena Bodin unwittingly stumbles upon the group of writers having coffee and scones at the local bakery and is invited to join them for a cup of joe and a spoonful of local gossip.  Will Selena be enchanted by the witches’ charms or repelled by their dark magic? And what of her husband, Gabe Bodin and his skeptical nature? How will he respond to his wife’s obsession with magic?

As the Bodin family settles into their old victorian home on the outskirts of town a dark cloud descends on Harvest Haven and the Coven. Shannon Strathmore the coven’s legal counsel has met with an untimely death. Was it an accident or was dark magic at play? The Coven, comprised of six chairs, six witches, now has a vacancy in chair number five.

Join me, dear reader, on a journey of mystery and intrigue as we unravel the history of the town, the Coven and the ever mysterious Selena Bodin, the Southern Witch.

~ Bright Blessings ~

Monday Musings ~ A Journey with Fear

FEAR EYES framed

I took a journey with my old friend “Fear” last week. A few other friends came along for the ride. Allow me to share a short excerpt from my travel journal. Oh, and I brought you back a souvenir! I’ll share it at the end.

Warning: It got a little heated on this trip because my old friend, “Fear” was livid and decided to wear her favorite mask – Anger.

~~Travel Journal Entry~~

“I’m fired up! I’m gonna combust any moment!” my old friend Fear shrieks as I take a deep breath and grip the steering wheel.

“Breathe everyone. Let’s practice what we preach,” Spirit Guide cheers as she fastens her seatbelt.

“Shut up!” Fear screams, reaching her foot over and stepping on the accelerator as we speed toward the valley below.

“Oh no, this isn’t going to end well,” cries Inner Child as she cowers in the back seat next to the slumbering Artist.

“Calm down Fear, let’s all breathe through this,” instructs Spirit Guide as we approach the valley floor.

“I can’t breathe! I’m so angry I could spit fire!” Fear yells as we begin to slow and pull off the road near the river. “I need to get this out,” Fear demands. “Give me my sword!

“Ah, but the pen is mightier than the sword,” Spirit Guide replies, grinning.

“Whatever! Hand over your pen and parchment!” Fear demands as I rummage through the glove compartment. Fear is so melodramatic, I stifle a giggle as I hand over pen and paper.

“May I have pen and paper too,” Spirit Guide asks calmly.

“Me too, me too!” shouts Inner Child from the back seat. I watch as they scribble frantically and the Artist slumbers.

“There, I’m feeling better now,” Spirit Guide declares as she sets down her pen.

“Oh no! There’s more! Can’t you feel it?” Fear moans and scribbles a barrage of conflicting thoughts on the page. “There! That should do it!” Fear says gleefully and  slaps her pen down on the page.

Inner Child finishes doodling and cheerfully holds up her scribble for all to see.

The slumbering Artist awakens.  “Let me have a look ,” she says as she gathers the pages, sifting through the scrambled rant of words. “Ah, we may have something here.”

“Of course we have something!” Fear boasts.

“Shut up fear. I’m busy here!” Artist shouts. “It’s a mess, a tangled mess, but maybe … just maybe….,” she trails off and begins to work her magic.

~~End of Travel Log Entry~~

Alas, I survived another journey with Fear and Friends and arrived safely in the Valley of Creativity. Let me share a souvenir from our journey together –  a rant, or a poem, of sorts.

Defiance Poewm

use more red, try more blue
can’t you find a better hue?

write it this way, make a choice
search within and find your voice!

remain humble, a step behind
assert yourself and use your mind!

mind your prose, that will not do
the words don’t flow, they don’t ring true!

know the box and learn the rules
stray beyond and join the fools!

hear me speak, don’t look away
watch me act, not what I say!

NO!

I will not stop or be made still
my magic flows from brush to quill

I’ll paint my world, I’ll fill the pages
I’ll seek my truth among the sages

and deep within, creativity brews
the inner artist ignites the fuse

and there you have it, my story be told
defiant and grand, no box can it hold!

Poetry By Sue

Monday Musings ~ The 10 1/2 Inclinations

The 10 12 Inclinations
I have a unique list I want to share with you. The list contains ten and one-half inclinations – sounds mysterious doesn’t it? Although the list is intended for children, I think you will want to take heed of its message.
I stumbled upon the list while reading, A Time for New Dreams, a book of essays by Ben Okri,  an award-winning Nigerian poet and novelist.  Among his many thought-provoking essays I discovered the “The 10 1/2 Inclinations”.
Okri had been asked by the Royal Society of Literature to recommend the top ten books that children should read before leaving school. Okri rebelled, and instead submitted the following:

 “The 10 1/2 Inclinations”

1 ~There is a secret trail of books meant to inspire and enlighten you. Find that trail.

2 ~ Read outside your nation, color, class, gender.

3 ~ Read the books your parent’s hate.

4 ~ Read the books your parent’s love.

5 ~ Have one or two authors that are important, that speak to you; and make their works your secret passion.

6 ~ Read widely, for fun, for stimulation, for escape.

7 ~ Don’t read what everyone else is reading. Check them out cautiously, later.

8 ~ Read what you’re not supposed to read.

9 ~ Read for your own liberation and mental freedom.

10 ~ Books are like mirrors. Don’t just read the words. Go into the mirror. That is where the real secrets are. Inside. Behind. That’s where the gods dream, where our realities are born.

10 1/2 ~  Read the world. It is the most mysterious book of all.

Have a magical Monday my fellow readers! ~ Namaste

Monday Musing ~ THE CHASE

Chase Framed

They chase me as I walk along the trail. They try to run me off the road when I’m driving!  Lately, they creep into my garden while I’m tending my flowers. I’ve thought about telling them to leave me alone but I need them.

And so I’ve turned the tables and now I capture them.  I have several of them trapped in a press. They sit, simmering…waiting their turn – waiting to be released. I check on them often, watering them, some of them grow, others shrivel and die. The ones that grow get released. Sometimes I put two of them together and they thrive and morph into something quite unexpected.

I don’t mind them chasing me anymore. I’m ready for them; I’ve armed myself. I still have to pull off the road to capture them safely, but now I have the proper tools on hand. I have the devices needed to capture these wispy, fleeting, magical things. So what chases me? What do I desperately need to capture?

IDEAS!

I asked the universe to send me ideas and I may as well have cast a spell! Because now they won’t leave me alone! They’re everywhere! Pure magic!

“Ideas are disembodied, energetic life forms.” ~ Elizabeth Gilbert

I was reassured when I read those words in Elizabeth Gilbert’s book, Big Magic. She validated what I know to be true. Ideas are things, magical things. They seek us out – chase us, haunt us – if we’re open to receiving them. This part is important. If you don’t believe in magic you won’t experience it. This doesn’t mean you won’t have ideas, they’re just harder to come by and feel more like work.

The magic of the universe is effortless and fun. So let’s play a game of chase and see how many ideas you can capture today – tag, you’re it!

~ Namaste

 

 

 

A to Z Blogging Challenge – Theme Reveal

atoz-theme-reveal-2016 v2

Okay, so I’m a bit competitive! I hear the word “challenge” and my ears perk up. A friend told me about the A to Z blogging challenge and I thought, “sure I can do that!”
It doesn’t seem to matter that I have little to no experience blogging. But that’s the point I suppose – to immerse myself in the blogosphere and learn! I equate it to learning to swim by jumping in the deep end of the pool. Hopefully, there are lifeguards in the blogosphere with floaties for those of us drowning in alphabet soup.

Here’s how it’s gonna go down – for the entire month of April (with Sundays off for good behavior) I will be participating in the blogging challenge. Starting with April 1st (no foolin’) and the letter “A”.  I will blog my way through the alphabet – clever, huh?
But why Sue? – You may be asking. How does that saying go? … “Repetition is the mother of skill”. At some point, I hope to be good at this blogging business.

Oh, and they suggest we choose a theme for our alphabet soup of blogging … drum roll,  since today is the big reveal ….  I’m going with the spiritual side of life – A Mystic’s Journey through the Alphabet”. Are you excited yet?

Let me beg forgiveness from my friends and family now for blowing up your social media next month – please don’t be a hater, block me if you must – or “like” my blog posts and create some good Karma (K is for Karma). For those willing to stick with me through the month, I will be forever grateful (G is for Gratitude).

Twenty-Six days and counting (P is for Patience)! See ya on April 1st!
~Sue

Memoir – Life as Fairy Tale

Once Upon a Time

A few years ago, I began working on my autobiography. Last year, during the November NaNoWriMo (National  Novel Writing Month) I added another 50,000 words. Okay, I can feel my Nanowrimo friends cringing – I know that makes me a “Nano Rebel” because an autobiography is not a novel – but 50,000 words are…well, 50,000 words!

My autobiography was approaching a sizable mass, but it read more like a chronology of my life – snore. In an effort to learn how best to tell my story, I read Tristine Rainer’s book, Your Life as Story – Discovering the New Autobiography and Writing Memoir as Literature.  I was intrigued by the idea of writing a memoir as literature – a memoir that reads like a novel. 

Several writing exercises and prompts are outlined in Rainer’s book, but for me, the most revealing was the challenge to write your life story as a fairy tale. She challenges her reader to engage imagination with memory. She references Joseph Campbell’s, The Power of Myth, in his words,

“This I believe is the great Western truth: that each of us is a completely unique creature and that, if we are ever to give a gift to the world, it will have to come out of our own experience and the fulfillment of our own potentialities, not someone else’s.”

The fairy tale challenge rules limit the exercise to two pages – good, I can do that, I thought. The purpose of the exercise is to help reveal the themes within your life. Your choice in fairy tale genre is the first big thematic hint. I chose Cinderella – don’t laugh! My choice in the fairy tale was vindicated when the author confessed to choosing Cinderella too. But your story need not be limited to fairy tales of the past – make up your own if you want.

I am sharing my fairy tale below for those who may be interested. The revelations in my fairy tale are now the themes woven throughout my memoir. My autobiography outline was a great source of information, but my memoir, if done well, will be a work of literature.  Continue reading