39 Days of Prayer – Day 32

Day 32 – For a Healthy Physical Body


I place the well-being of my body into your hands.

Thank you for freeing my body of aches, pains, and discomfort.

By your blessing and power, any illness I carry in my physical body, known or unknown, is now healed and I am free from harm.

Thank you for restoring my health,

and for giving me the strength and wisdom I need to maintain my healing.

May I be supplied with healthy foods and clean water,

May I discover the joy in movement and a respect for my body,

and may my will be supported by your love for me.

Blessed be.

39 Days of Prayer – Day 31

Day 31 – Aligning the Self with Spirit

Today Goddess/God/Spirit

I will follow your divine example.

I will practice my faith with patience,

I will show myself love and nurturing.

I will be gentle with others,

I will work to heal the land.

From this day, Goddess/God/Spirit

I will be a mirror, a reflection of your light.

Blessed be.

39 Days of Prayer – Day 30

Day 30 – For the Home

Thank you Goddess/God/Spirit

For supplying me with a peaceful home

and for making my house a sanctuary for all who enter.

Negative feelings are left outside my doorstep for

the love you have for us radiates through the walls

transforming ill will into compassion and peace.

Allow my family to start each day with a optimistic outlook and joy in their hearts,

And may they carry that energy with them throughout their day.

Blessed be.

39 Days of Prayer – Day 29

Day 29 – Confidence

On this day I give thanks to Goddess/God/Spirit

for granting me the experiences

that develop my strengths and teach me confidence in myself.

I trust my decisions today,

because I choose my path with a clear mind and a loving heart.

Blessed be.

Thoughts on Writing “The Other”

Once again I got the increasingly common question from a white writer about how to write non-white characters (in this particular case how to write Cherokee characters) without getting it wrong and offending someone.

There’s always a risk of “getting it wrong” when you’re dealing with writing about anybody outside of your own experiences. I worry about it all the time as someone who writes characters of different cultures, nationalities, even characters who live with disabilities that are beyond my personal experiences. The best you can do is research, talk to as many people as possible within that group, and when someone from that group tells you said or did something offensive or problemsome, listen and learn. Another important thing to remember is to respect when someone from that group says “No.” It is not their responsibility to educate you, but if you are respectful and open, your chances are pretty good at finding someone more than happy to talk to you.

As far as how and where to gather your research outside of the obvious talking to people from that group and asking respectful questions ( and honestly listen to the answers), go to the experts. Not just a random person from that particular group, but one of their scholars, educators, community outreach folks, etc… For example, every tribe, in my experience, will have departments dedicated to historical and cultural information.

One very important thing to remember is do not assume if you know about one nation’s traditions, that information will suffice for all Native American traditions you write about. It won’t. This may sound like a “duh!” statement, but I have lost count of the amount of times I’ve had a writer send me something that was a mismatch of tribal tradition, region, housing, food details, etc… When I told them Native Americans were not hive minds and the author had to “choose a tribe” they didn’t understand what the big deal was. It’s a huge deal.

For me personally, if you want to write Cherokee, or any contemporary Native American character ( please are plenty of poorly done historical depictions, unless you must do history fiction to keep your muse happy, please set your native character in a contemporary or even futuristic setting) hit up the website of the Cherokee group you want to center the character in, and not only talk to the cultural department, and see what books on the website or by e-mail they recommend to learn more about their traditions, stories, and history. There is a lot of crap out there. The experts within the tribes themselves can help guide you through the minefield of garbage to where the the gems lay.

Many contemporary Native Americans feel invisible in the eyes of the average American, only remembered as seasonal trimming during the thanksgiving holidays or as the mystical advisor for some white hero in movies or books. We need the faces of contemporary Native Americans in the stories read, as well as TV movies or any other sort of popular entertainment. Realistic examples of contemporary of Americans, not caricatures or unrealistic idealizations no one could ever live up to. It’s not as hard as some people think it is. The “Others” in a lot of ways we’re not so very different. It’s important that people remember that we can be heroes too, we can have romances, we can fly spaceships.

Authors do not have to be afraid to write POV characters who are not like them, as long as they’re willing to do the work it takes to do the best they can, and be willing to listen and continue to learn even if they do get something wrong.

Ancient Calendar: June 23, 2010



How about some Irish lore on this fabulous Wednesday? Cheer up. Wednesday means you are halfway there….halfway to Friday.  On the 23rd, way back in Irish Calendar, today would have been an observance for Cú Chulain. Have no idea who he is? No worries, I’m going to give you the 411 right now.

Fathered by the God Lugh, Cú Chulain’s mother, Deichtine, was the King Conchobar mac Nessa. Now interestingly enough,  Cú Chulain was named after a dog he killed when he was a child. The crazy and mean dog belonged to a Smith named Culann. And since Cú Chulain killed his only means of a watch dog, he had to do the duty until the Smith could get another replacement. *raises brow* The things half gods are made to do, ya know?

Anyway, the Irish really adored Cú Chulain because their lore says that by the age of seven, the boy was a feirce warrior. But this came to no surprise or shock mind you, because a great Druid gave him the prophecy of Cathbad, swearing that Cú Chulain would be an eternal flame–although his life would be short, he would live forever.

Of course later on as Cú Chulain grew up, his tale becomes even more bizarre and wild. Sources list him as being trained by Scáthach (a sorceress & famous warrior) in Scotland. But he screwed that up after sleeping with the enemy of Scáthach. And then after the enemy told him she was with child, he kind of played the dead beat dad and took off. His story only becomes even more depressing because later in life, he ends up killing his own son, named Connla, even though Cú Chulain was clueless that he was his own.

What he was most praised for, though, was his brave defense as he stood before the armies of Queen Medb of Connact. It is said that Cú Chulain took every single one of her warriors on…one by one. While it went on for months and months and months, Cú Chulain became the victor.

But alas, Cú Chulain met his final end by Queen Medb’s hands, who wasn’t such a silly Queen after all. No, she found every single one of Cú Chulain’s enemies and brought them forth to face him. Eventually Cú Chulain took his last breathe. And if you don;t believe me…the next time you are in Dublin, I am told there is a statue of Cú Chulain in front of the General Post Office which shows him and his death.


Hope you enjoyed some Irish lore today! See you tomorrow for another Ancient Calendar!





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Making Enemies

It would be fair to say that along the way, I have managed to seriously irritate and offend a few people, such that they’re either made that very vocal, or stopped speaking to me. Thinking about this last night, it occurred to me that I am not at all alone in this. Of the people I know, the ones who are most active seem to be the ones who also catch more flack from others.

A quiet person who does nothing controversial and keeps their opinions to themselves is unlikely to make enemies. The more neatly you fit into the expectations of others, the less you ask of them and the more convenient you are, the better, if you want everyone to be nice to you. But is nice the holy grail here? Certainly it makes life easier, but as anyone who reads my posts regularly will have noticed, I don’t think ease is the most important thing.

Enemies are made when we challenge or offend people. I recall an enmity that sprang up because I said ‘I am doing this voluntarily, I do not actually owe you anything, nor am I obliged to run round after you.’ There have been several instances now where people have made it very clear they were jealous of me – a girl who felt I’d been given every chance and opportunity when she had none and who took that as a reason to go on the offensive. (I know this because she was helpfully honest about it.) There are people who, having done little with their own lives, are offended by the success of others, perhaps because it brings their own choices into question.

Of course, betrayal, acting dishonourably, cheating, being corrupt, cruel or otherwise morally bankrupt is also a way of making enemies. If you treat people badly and without respect, most of them will not undertake to love you in return. If it is not your intention to make enemies in this way, then it is important to listen to the people you offend and ponder why they may feel as they do. We all make mistakes and can cause offence by accident. If someone takes umbrage at your words or deeds, then it is important to give their grievances fair hearing. If you can see an error, then it should be apologised for, explained and amended. That’s the only honourable response. “I’m sorry you feel that way, let’s see what we can do to fix things,” is usually a good place to start. With genuine desire to mend on both sides, the damage can be undone.

However, there are times when any of us will decide that the person complaining has no grounds to do so, or that the cry of ‘foul’ is in fact an attack in its own right. It is not an easy decision to come to, nor should it be reached lightly.

I have not sought to make enemies. Where I have caused distress, I usually try to make amends. There comes a time when the same person repeatedly finding problems takes a toll, demoralising and distressing. I have learned that if you hit the point of feeling that nothing you ever do is right, then maybe that’s because you aren’t going to be able to do anything right for this person. The time has  come to admit defeat and walk away.

Life is full of opportunities to learn. Sometimes the lesson calls for bending, flexibility, patience, tolerance and a willingness to change. Sometimes the lesson requires us to admit that we can do no more, and that it is beyond us to please or appease a certain person. For a person of integrity, that second lesson is by far the harder one. To be active is to risk offending someone. No one is obliged to try and make everyone happy. Making an enemy is not a thing to do lightly, but there are some people in this world who really do need offending.