All posts by conniewood75

Pagan Power

Is global warming real? Or is it a fallacy? I’m no scientist so I can’t go into detail either for or against. However the weather sure has been strange lately. Recently the world has seen changing weather patterns that have caused major problems for the human race. Here in Australia we have had record-breaking heat waves over a continuous unprecedented timeframe. We have had drought, water shortages and huge unheard of dust storms.

Last week we had massively hot temperatures and then a phenomenal electrical storm. Personally, I love electrical storms. The pagan in me is in awe of the awesome power such a storm wields. The magic of it, the intensity, it really gives you pause. The storm also caused a blackout and we had no power for about 14 hours. Its not really a long time, not in the scheme of things. But it did get me thinking.

In todays age we take electricity for granted and the huge number of things in our world that run off electricity. I loved the quietness of the blackout. A candlelit bath, reading a good book by candle light all through the night. I felt like I got back to nature that night.

What I didn’t like was the little conveniences such as making myself a hot cuppa, the fridge working, checking my emails. The world runs on electricity. Just imagine what would happen if major electrical grids went out for an extended period of time. You couldn’t fill up your car with petrol, banking systems would be down, ATMs, Internet, communication lines. It would be catastrophic.

We did once live without electricity, it would have been a simpler time, but I can’t say it would have been better for us socially or economically. But would it have been better for the earth? To make electricity fossil fuels are still the main contender in what is a huge debate over where our electricity for the future will come from. We all know what fossil fuel does to the land and our Mother Earth. We also have a pretty good idea what the alternatives such as nuclear power does to the world.

So we are in a conundrum, we need electricity, but how do we fuel it without ruining the world? It is the question the world is pondering as we head toward an unknown future. Here in Australia there is much debate over carbon emissions schemes and what we can do individually to lesson our carbon foot print. Some say that we are such a relatively small country that any scheme we endorse will be insignificant and cost us too much money. But if everyone makes a small contribution then surely it must add up. And what will the cost be to us if we dont start taking this seriously.

There are some that question the existence of global warming, and yes it is good to have a debate. But what is the cost if they are wrong? Surely it is better to consider differing possibilities to our energy crisis. Yes environmentally friendly gestures such as solar power, wind power ect are a step in the right direction. I dont know the answers, but I do know that I now dont take electricity for granted.

I also know that as pagans, spiritual people and people who care about the environment, this is a topic close to our hearts. Nature surely has a spirit and you can reconnect with it by turning off the electrical appliances that tend to bombard our daily lives. Turn off the computer, tv, games, even the lights. Light a candle and go out into the fresh air and breathe it in. Reconnect with nature and say thank you, for ultimately it is nature that gives us the electricity. But nature also gives us power simply by accepting it into our hearts and re-energize ourselves. And nature and the weather is changing, so lets give back to nature and harness that pagan power 🙂

Cheers

Connie

Writing Class

Recently I completed a creative writing class and it reminded me of one thing. Everyone has a story to write….most people have more than one story. For instance, I have so many stories bounding around my head that there is barely enough time to get them all out.

But what makes one person a writer while the other person dreams about writing. The answer is simple and yet so hard for so many. It’s the simple act of writing. A writer writes.

The fear of rejection, perfection and judgement (among so many others) are a huge barrier for a lot of people who fall into the “wantabe” writer. The act of actually sitting down and writing is very confronting. There is a great deal of emotion spent in writing, it shows the soul, it shows our personality, our hopes and dreams. Once it is out there in the world, out on paper, there is no bringing it back.

But the adrenaline, the passion and fire so many writers feel when they sit down to write is easily addictive. The flow soon starts and all of a sudden the writer is in the “zone”. Hours have passed with relative ease as the writer has been caught up in their characters, plot, places and themes.

This is how you know you are a writer. You have the burning desire, you have the fear that goes with it. You write. I dont think a writer should be judged on the one and only fact of if they are published or not. To be a published writer is a whole different story. A writer simply has to write. If you decide to share your stories, poems or an entire novel with other people then thats great.

But you dont have to share, there is a feeling of freedom to be able to write whatever you want without having the censure in the back of your mind that says “what if people read that!!” But if people do read what you write, you may be surprised by the effect and the reaction.

When you write you grow as a person, you gain confidence, you can work through emotions, create worlds and people. You can write about your dreams and hopes, things that you could never say out loud to anyone can be written down for all to see in the guise of a character.

Writing is like reading, it is freeing. So if you have a passion to write, if you have stories within you that scream to be let out…..then write. I thought about giving up writing at one stage but a friend reminded me of what a writer truly is…..someone who has stories within them and needs to share them so others can see the magic they never knew was there. Seize your passion and go with the flow. You will be amazed what happens.

Then you can call yourself a writer.

Cheers

Connie

Supernatural Beings in fiction

Supernatural beings in every form have been gracing our bookshelves for centuries. As readers we are so used to reading about ghosts, witches, vampires, shape-shifters and so many other beings. Has their popularity run out? Are people wanting more subtle forms of the supernatural? Not according to what is popular on the top twenty fiction lists. Vampires reign supreme at the moment with Stephenie Meyer and Charline Harris standing out as the incredibly popular. But what makes  the supernatural being so very alluring?

Is it the unrequited yearning that is so obvious in these books that calls to our souls and pushes us to read the vampire’s story over and over? Is it the base animatistic primal instinct that has us running for more shapeshifter stories? The magic in stories of witches and parallel fantasy lands feeds our imagination and transports us to a magical place that is beyond the mundane capacity of our daily existence.

Yes, supernatural, paranormal and fantasy books are here to stay. They are obviously tapping into a universal need for magic, fantasy and imagination that we need in our reading. But what is to come next? Are there any other slants on the tried and tested stories that have been with us for generations? How many different ways can a vampire, witch or any mythical creature be portrait? That is what is wonderful about the world of fiction, the possibilities are boundless.

But are we becoming blaze about the nuances of the supernatural. It is everywhere in our popular culture, both fiction and non-fiction. I recently opened a non-fiction book about witches and pagans only to find it filled with pictures from the popular television series “Charmed”. This got me thinking, with all of the special effects in movies and tv and all of the graphic description now prevalent in books, what about the subtlety of real life magic.

Do all these effects and graphics take away from what is really practiced and achieved through real life pagans, witches and the like? Does it downplay the very real magic that is felt at a ritual or when magic happens in your life? Is the real life magic enough or is it an anticlimax against the fiction of today?

I dont know the answer, but I do think that we need to see the real miracle and magic that happens to us on a daily basis. And we need to encapsulate the emotion, culture, history and fun of the fantasy and paranormal fiction that is shaping our modern literature culture.

Cheers

Connie

Red Dawn

dawn

On Wednesday morning a large part of Australia woke to a very red dawn. A huge dust storm brought huge amounts of copper-red dust across town and country alike.

It was a very biblical site. That may seem a strange thing to say on a pagan site, but this red dawn had many people thinking the end of the world was here. And with the consuming red glow and the sun a fluorescent bright blue it really was life inspiring.

What if that red dawn had sparked the end of the world? Would it have been carried out as it is stated in the Christian bible or would there be another turn of events? And what you do about it?

The coming of the end of the world has been prophesied since the dawn of man. The most recent date is infamously 2012 when the Myan calendar ceases. It will be interesting to see what will happen to say the least because the date has a lot of people quoting the date. If this date were correct, then we only have a few years left. It begs the question….what will you do with your time?

But many religions, and therefore peoples perspectives of the end of the world vary greatly. The Ancient Egyptians and the Indigenous Australians believe that time is cyclical and not linear. So how can there possibly be an end of the world?

If the end of the world did have a specific date, would we as humans be better off knowing of it’s existance because, quite frankly there isn’t a damn thing we could do about it. So what would be the point? The point as I see it would be very interesting. If we all had the same finite amount of time to live would we begin to see each other as different parts of the same whole and start to accept one another and our life on this planet?

Would peace reign?

Could we finally embrace our differences and see our similarities?

Would you live your dreams and love all while you have the chance?

Cheers

Connie

Eccentric Children

heart

We live in an age when everything is rushed, scheduled, moderated, recorded and competitive. Especially where children are concerned. If our children dont have the latest and greatest then we are judged as not providing the best for our kids. Children are scheduled into group activities from a very early age, and while this is excellent for their development and social skills, there is a thing as going to far and over analysing our children’s every move.

I recently read an article on eccentric children, and it suited my sweet little man, who is now four, to a tee. The article stated that most of the eccentric children who went to see this person usually were tested for disorders such as ADD, ADHD, Asbergers ect, as some of the symptoms can be mimicked and it is vitally important to make sure your child has the best diagnosis possible.

But what do you do when the answer is, your child is in the eccentric category? By eccentric, they mean not as socially aware as most children, sometimes prefer to be alone, happy in their own little world. Eccentric children are also classed as highly intelligent and have a great imagination.

So what could possibly be wrong with being eccentric? Personally, I quite like eccentricity, it adds character. But in todays world, especially children’s it is hard to be different. Perhaps the eccentricity they speak of has always been about, they are just “diagnosing” it now.

But I think there are times when we over analyze our children and their life. I was recently told that my little boy seemed “pessimistic”. He is four, how can he be pessimistic? It is just in his nature to be more serious, but trust me, he can be happy and rambunctious as the next kid when he wants.

We definitely have to make sure our children are given the best possible start in life, including any specialities are found and dealt with early on. And perhaps we need to slow down on the over analyzing of our children quite so much. After all, eccentric children may be the starlight children whom the world is depending on.

If your child has their idiosyncracies, then encourage them and smile, and love them all the more. I’m an eccentric adult, so what’s wrong with an eccentric child?

Coming out….in every sense of the word.

Tulip

When you read the words, “coming out” it usually refers to someone coming out to the world as gay or lesbian. But I am talking about coming out in every sense of the word.

The reason why coming out for gay’s can be hard is because it is opening up a very private and integral part of themselves to vulnerability. What happens if a loved one doesn’t take the news well? What about the still fairly prevalent bigotry engraved in society?

This sense of vulnerability, fear, excitement and expectation can also happen when we “come out” about other things that are very personal to us but may still hold either social or personal taboos.

Take for example the life of a writer. You wouldn’t think that an author would have to come out of the closet about such a wonderous creative skill such as writing. But there are some that do and some that prefer to remain in the closet for numerous reasons.

If you write erotica, sexually explicit, GBLT or even romance there maybe a stigma attached. How do you break it to your ultra-conservative mother that you write about the intimate relationship between a man and his lover? What happens if you are ostracised at your work place because in your spare time you write those “porn books”?

It may not seem like a big deal to some, but to others it is a decision that weighs heavily on their minds. Is it better to tell people what you write and risk their disapproval and sometimes outright hostility or do you stay in the writers closet?

The same thing can apply to any faucet of life. Take religion as another example of a subject that holds great passion and division. Being raised a strict Catholic and then converting to Paganism may set your heart free, but do you set yourself free and tell all and sunder about your new found passion? Do you openly worship or do you take the simple pleasure of being a solitary Pagan? And what happens if someone comes out to you with a secret that pushes your moral or religious boundaries?

It’s even possible to come out of the emotional closet. Bottling up resentment and emotion causes stress and anxiety, but it is sometimes a lot easier than coming out of the emotional closet and letting someone know how you feel. You may hate confrontation, dont want to loose the person as a friend. There are numerous reasons.

There is a lot to be said for coming out of the closet in any aspect you care to mention. There is freedom to be who you truly are and to be free. There is a sense of peace and accomplishment. There is pride that you stood up for who you are and what you stand for.

But there is also a lot to be said for staying in that comfortable closet. You are in a comfort zone, safe and warm. You dont risk any relationships with others whom you know will not accept your “secret”. Sometimes it’s just a lot easier to live with.

I’m not sure which is better, it all depends on your circumstances. Only you know what is right for you. Either in or out of the closet, always be true to yourself and live with your moral compass in mind. And no matter if other people know your “secret” or not, it is always a part of you so cherish it.

Cheers

Connie

Why ebooks rule.

Book

The ebook industry has come a long way, and I have to admit, I am only a new player. For quite some time I have been buying ebooks and reading them on either my computer or my PDA, which is equipped with fantastic ebook qualities.

Technology is a wonderful thing, and in the case of ebooks, I think it has been a revolution. In a purely physical sense, the rise of the ebook has brought about a great opportunity to reduce the extent the writing industry has on the environment. I don’t believe that the ebook will totally replace the physical paper-back book, but it is a great start. Financially, the ebook industry has allowed excellent quality literature to be purchased at a fraction of the price of a shop bought paper-back book. Some argue that the prices of some ebooks may be too low and the fact that you can download multiple copies is still a contentious issue.

Socially, the rise of the ebook has allowed some interesting aspects, such as the broader market of writing genres to be read by a wider variety of people who may never have contemplated the genre before. Ebook publishers seem to embrace differing genres, such as GBLT, erotica, pagan, ect, while the paperback publishers sticks to narrower traditional genres. Hopefully, with more people reading a wider variety of genres, perhaps more understanding of certain social issues can be understood and open the doors to communication.

Another reason why ebooks rule, is because it allows a lot more people a different avenue to write their story and have it accessed by such an expansive audience. That is not to say that writing ebooks is easier than writing paperback, it’s not. Ebooks still need to be written well and in guidance to good literary practice and rules. What I mean to say is that it can give writers a foot in the door that was not previously available and it is a great way to build up a faithful readership.

The last reason why ebooks rule, is because it also gave way to a telecomunication community of readers and authors to express ideas, cultivate friendships and careers and allows for a myriad of cultures and personalities to meld and hopefully make the world that little bit easier for everyone.

Thanks for reading my ideas on why ebooks rule. I currently have two ebooks out, one is a romantic fantasy about fallen angels called “The Fallen Fae” and can be found Freya’s Bower : http://www.freyasbower.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=4&products_id=169

And a contemporary romantic suspense which can be found at Pink Petal Books as of September 3rd: http://www.pinkpetalbooks.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=6&products_id=36&zenid=cd6a0495be81a5c4d67887a9d3a1acd5

Thanks for reading.