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Making time and having it all

18 Jul

What a wonderful idea. Unfortunately, it hardly ever works out this way. I still fondly remember the times when, during summer vacation, I read a thousand-pages book in a day, sitting in our garden and completely forgetting the coffee next to me. This year I decided to track my reading, and so far I have completed twenty-one books. That’s not all that bad, but I wish it could have been more.

I also haven’t run as much as I would like, haven’t written as much as I would like, haven’t witched as much as I would like, and haven’t made as many pretty cakes as I would like. Everyday life keeps getting in the way. It also keeps me from meeting friends and family. or getting enough sleep, or watching all the TV shows I would like to watch.

And I KNOW this is a first-world problem. My comfortable office job, which pays not too bad, keeps me from pursuing all my hobbies and dreams. I am sorry. I will stop complaining now. Just know that I am not yet dead. I am not yet famous, either, but working on that.

Oh, and I am training our cats to jump through hoops. Best use of my time ever.

Anyway, what have you been up to?

Review: The Violet Countercharm (Pearl Goodfellow)

9 Jul

Get the books here!

Where there’s murder there’s magic. 

Ding Dong! The witch is dead!

Spithilda Roach didn’t croak from natural causes, though. Did one of her attempts at gloomy magic backfire again? Or did one of Spithilda’s many haters finally do her in?

Onyx, Shade, Midnight, Gloom, Eclipse, Carbon, Jet and Fraidy; the group of eight immortal cats that make up The Infiniti, join their witch-in-denial, Hattie, to help solve Spithilda’s murder.
When they come face-to-face with the caustic old witch’s past, they realize it isn’t just magic to be found there. Instead, they find Spithilda’s history is rife with jealousy, revenge, and full moon mania!

Hattie’s inner sorceress is still beckoning, waiting for her to accept the power of her bloodline. But, can she solve the murder without using her innate magic? Only time will tell.

Tick-Tock, Hattie. Tick-Tock.

“The Violet Countercharm” is the second book of the Hattie-Jenkins series, and I enjoyed it just as much as the first book. There are cats, there is romance and mystery, and there is lots and lots of humor. You do not have to have read the first book, although I do not see why you would not want to do so, because they are both hilarious. One might argue that the culprit was a bit too easily found, but still the tale unravels in a breath-taking, highly entertaining way and leaves the reader wanting more.

(Having said that, I am off to download the next books … )

It’s here!!!

3 Jul

And sorry you had to wait so long … “Taught by flames” has finally been published! My dearest proofreader tried to catch all mistakes I may have made, but I am sure there a still a few for you to find – and they are all mine!!! (Not sharing.)19598923_1088455481255667_1341620238296673100_n

Anyway, get your copy through the usual channels and let me know if you enjoyed it! And I swear by my cold pinky toe that I will try my best not to leave you waiting so long for the next book! Actually, it’s being plotted and written as we speak.

Summertime!

21 Jun

It’s the summer solstice, and despite my best efforts the day has been swamped, and I have no ritual or celebration prepared. It has been like this for almost every major witchy holidays for years, and I have complained about it more than once.

Today we met with a friend and her daughter after work. Burgers turned to ice cream, cats and dirty talk in different dialects – a hilarious topic. Then I remembered I would have to rush home, give input on the blurb for the hilarious tentacle book and continue with edits. Plus you guys are still waiting for, but only about twelve pages away from, “School of Fire” (which might end up being called “School of Flames” after all). No rest for the wicked, eh?

Anyway, I decided to do a bit of everything. There’s a bottle of pear cider in the fridge, I blew up a bed on the balcony for later and promised myself I’d switch off the computer at ten p.m. sharp. Outside the birds are chirping a lullaby, the neighbors have turned on the decorative fountain on their terrace, it’s agreeably warm outside and the sun is sinking below the horizon. The cats are doing the only proper thing to do on a day like this – chilling nearby and waiting for pettings. Later I will lie outside, call Richard (who’s still working in another city four to five days per week) and watch the sky turn dark as I count my blessings.

Merry midsummer everyone!

The things we find

7 Jun

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This is a picture of my grandparents (on the right) – a bit blurry, suffering from age and neglect. I found it while I was emptying out boxes from our last move (in 2013, mind you). I don’t know where the picture was taken, but I was glad to learn that I have something to put on to remember them by. They were married for more than sixty years, apparently happily most of the time, and they have been gone from this plane for many years. I think I was still in school when my grandmother died, and maybe had just started university when my grandfather followed her.

My grandmother, in my opinion, went out the best way a human can go. She was more than ninety years old, having coffee with several of their children on a Sunday afternoon, went into the kitchen and had a stroke. She passed swiftly, without much fuss, having been in rather good health right up until that moment.

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Another thing I found in that very same box. A tiger’s eye bracelet I must have bought way back before I became all environmental and started my crystal crusade. Honestly, I don’t remember when or why I got it. But I find it strange that it was in the same box as the family pictures.

Tiger’s eye always reminds me of my grandmother. I remember wearing a narrow tiger’s eye pendant on a gold chain most of the time. And the stone suits her well. It brings out strength, resilience and determination, helps balance your finances and gives you that push of luck you need every now and again. Just the things you need to feed your children and hold everything together while your husband is a POW in Germany. My grandmother loved to travel and spend time with her family, and she was one hell of a stubborn woman. I guess I still miss her.

(This is the Dutch side of my family tree, by the way. From what I was told, my grandfather was livid when his youngest daughter married a German, and he refused to meet my father in the beginning. After a few drinks, however, and over a game of cards, they must have become friends, for I remember them being very fond of each other.)

(And if you want to know what makes me think of my grandfather – honey. They had a fancy honey pot made from plastic that was filled with stones, and we children were allowed to play with these stones so we would not get on their nerves. Also he liked to drink a lovely honey-flavored schnapps.)

And now I am wearing the bracelet, thinking of my grandmother and hoping I may turn out as great at life as she was.

Do you have any weird family memories, heirlooms or stories you would like to share?

Ours for the taking?

1 Jun

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Witches are a really nature-loving folks. I’m the first to admit it. We use lots of natural ingredients in our spells and rituals, and outdoor rituals are strongly encouraged. At times, however, I wonder whether much of this practice may be “a bit” self-centered.

Some time ago I talked to a fellow witch who insisted on picking up every single feather she found outside, for those were signs for her. Personally. My suggestion that sometimes birds just lose feathers, and that other beings in this world might have better use for random feathers was met with utter surprise. It seemed impossible, in her mind, that the whole universe had not set about evolution, crafted birds from dinosaurs and sent them to shed their feathers in that special place at that time exactly just so she would gain insight into her thirty-whatnotsth spirit guide.

Similar attitudes are kind of regular occurences in the witching community – go and get branches, herbs, flowers, rocks, crystals, snail houses, seeds, basically WHATEVER you fancy, for witches are nature-loving, and as such we have a right to everything we find in nature.

Yeah, or maybe not.

I’ve ranted about the use of crystals and the conditions under which they are extracted repeatedly, so I’ll spare you that. But imagine if everyone started picking flowers in your garden, or on your balcony, how quickly that would turn into a sad wasteland. Or imagine people taking tiny stones from your house, everyone taking just one – eventually your house would collapse.

Now I am not saying that we should never ever take anything from the natural world. As humans we have to compete for ressources with other humans as well as with creatures from other species (or other planes of existance, while we’re at it). This goes for single plants as well as for food, air or water. And while I am not suggesting that we should stop existing so someone else can have our share, I do recommend, strongly, that we should only take what we need, and at the same time think about the ways in which we can give back. A few things I can think of are:

  • Plant wild flowers everywhere. Not just your place. Everywhere you might encounter bees is a great place to drop a few seeds and just walk away. (Of course NOT on other people’s property. But if you live near the forest or have a few meadows nearby, or a park, you might do some guerilla-gardening in favor of bees.)
  • Dry and grind egg shells and bury them in the ground. The minerals help fertilize the soil – and some animals use them as mineral sources as well. (Again, not on other people’s property.)
  • When you head out, collect the things other people drop – empty bottles, plastic wrappers etc. Make it a habit to take a bag with you and see how far you have to go before it is full.
  • Make realistic meal and snack plans before you go out shopping. This is something I often struggle with myself, and I end up buying too much and then throwing out all kinds of food because they have spoiled. What a waste of money, energy and natural ressources!

Do you have any suggestions to add to this list?

Just racing around

16 May

… trying to get everything organized and have my coffee while I do it. Nothing much has happened around here, and the things that have been happening are kind of exciting. Most of all, I GOT A BOOK CONTRACT!!! This is not so interesting for you, as it is a contract for a German book with a German publisher, but I am sky-high with endorphines and confusion, and I thought I would let you know. The story contains tentacles and jokes and super heroes and a cat, and maybe we will even find a way to have it translated in the future. Speaking of translations, “School of Fire” had to take a backseat while I was editing the tentacle novel, but I am trying not to forget, and I promise I won’t let you wait as long for the next book in the series.

Caffeinated witch greetings to all of you!