Thursday, June 26, 2008

Summer Solstice Celebrations

What a weekend!! It was three full days of summer solstice celebrations and reveling in abundance and a sizzling sun, only too willing to show of what power really feels like.

We began with a Book Release Party for Rogelia's House of Magic at Four Crows, a Spiritual Center In Tustin. We opened the evening with a simple ceremony and welcoming of the four directions. Last time I did a ritual like this in front of Daryl (owner of Four Crows and Lakota Pipe Carrier), I laughed from nervousness and he got mad at me for being silly when what I needed to do was be a strong and powerful Priestess. Now five years later, I was totally confidant to trust whatever words would flow through me and with my head held high, carried the power of the four directions in and through me. Melinda Rodriguez welcomed Father Sky and Mother Earth in the beautiful Cherokee language. Then I read from Rogelia's House of Magic - a passage where the girls visit Four Crows in the book. That was cool. Melinda then lead a kick ass drum circle. We really raised the power!

On Saturday, Melinda, her hubby Rogelio, and my friend Dana Wardop, and I shared a booth at the Women's Spirit Summer Solstice Fair in Long Beach. I had my books - of course. Melinda brought traveling altars and a sacred journey CD and Dana did a smoking business as the only massage therapist on the grounds. Melinda and I then did our Phoenix Rising ceremony (I read from the poem in The Enchanted Diary - see below in another posting) on the center stage. We invited the audience to annoint themselves with a sunflower petal and waters that were being infused with a female and male crystal. At the end I annointed myself by dumping the entire bowl over my head (kinda Flashdance-esque). It was over 100 degrees and felt SOOO GOOD!!!

On Sunday, I joined the team at Tea & Sympathy BookShoppe at the Irish Fair in Irvine. As Ann Scott says, I bring a young crowd to their booth, what with my Teen Spell Book selling out nearly every time. This time I sold mostly The Wicca Cookbook. I finally met reknown Wiccan author, Timothy Roderick. He pointed out my book to a friend and said, "Jamie is my friend." To which I responded, "Really? We're Friends?" We had only met online, even though his brother was in my wedding. He introduced himself and we hugged. After selling scads of books, I left for the meadow where they had set up an ancient village of Tara. Then off to the dance floor where the Fenians sang some old favorites including Danny Boy - my alltime favorite melody - and one that combines the Mexican and Irish folks - San Patricio.

What a weekend!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Do You Write to Inform or Entertain?

A writer friend posted the question, do you write to inform or entertain on her myspace blog and I thought it so intrigueing, I had to respond.

It is my dearest desire and goal as a writer to inform/educate as I entertain or vice versa (depending on whether or not it's fiction or nonfiction). I find that having written four books on an earth spirituality known as Wicca, education is a major part of my work. Letting people know what Goddess spirituality isn't is as important to letting someone knowing what it is. My writings have given people tools necessary to fight ignorance that would deprive them of their jobs, children, parents, friends, etc. At the same time, being a rather bossy oldest sibling (oldest grandchild as well), I need to be careful not to be too didactic with my lessons and educate through parables and stories, offering something that makes the writing accessible, relatable and universal. Finding the right balance is key. Now that I'm writing fiction, I need to let the story reveal the message, which is trickier for me, yet in some ways closer to my heart. I dream of being one of those storytellers that you imagine around a latenight campfire in the woods who captivates all who can hear her words and once you've heard one of her stories, you'll have learned something so valuable and dear, you will never be the same again.

Monday, June 2, 2008

The Slippery Art of Book Reviewing

June is ‘Book Reviewing’ month at Blogcritics Magazine! To promote the release of The Slippery Art of Book Reviewing, co-author Mayra Calvani will be interviewing 15+ reviewers and review editors during the month of June. Learn all about the business of book reviewing and what’s in the mind of some of the most popular reviewers on the internet today. Some of the guests will include: Alex Moore from ForeWord Magazine, James Cox from Midwest Book Review, Irene Watson from Reader Views, Andrea Sisco from Armchair Interviews, Magdalena Ball from The Compulsive Reader, Sharyn McGinty from In The Library Reviews, Lea Schizas from Muse Book Reviews, Linda Baldwin from Road to Romance, Hilary Williamson from Book Loons, Judy Clark from Mostly Fiction, and many others! To see the complete lineup, visit: The Slippery Book Review Blog.

Between June 1st and June 30th, stop by Blogcritics and leave a comment under the reviewer interviews for a chance to win a Pump Up Your Book Promotion Virtual Book Tour (coordinated by book marketing guru Dorothy Thompson), OR, as an alternative to a non-author winner, a $50 B&N gift certificate!