Writing like a movie camera and what to expect in November 2019

Returning home after the morning walk with the little, wise, old dog, I take a look around the place I call home …

… There is the backdoor entrance, behind which is the den for my three philosophical cats. They are all lying around or sitting on one of the boxes attached to the walls, sniffing in the air, moving their lips almost unseen, as if they draw in the fresh breath of a late October morning, to taste it and to get attuned with Nature …

… Here is the kitchen from which I have the most beautiful view to my garden yard where my husband works hard throughout the year to create all this just for me to enjoy. That is his statement of love to me, not to mention how much he shows me love, and more for every day ,,,

… Walking through the house to get to the living room, right next to my permanent work place. For the time being, I sit down on the couch in the living room, where the laptop awaits me for today´s blog post, for notes to my novel, and for the big task of researching human psychology, psychological thrillers, and setting principles …

“Hey. Baby, won´t you make a fresh pot of coffee for us to enjoy when I come back,” my husband says from outside the kitchen window. “Sure, my darling,” I smile back at him and pour water in the coffee machine, put the filter in and measure up our preferred amount of coffee.

Then I sit down again, light myself a cigarette, grab my calendar and look at November 2019. What to expect is yet to be announced, I need some time just writing my inner stream of consciousness for the day. To name my world so it can be felt is not an easy task, for it is tough to use your senses to describe and show at the same time.

It sounds easier than it is, I can both tell and show you, dear reader. The words tease me today, they seem to have a life of their own, running faster across the keyboard this morning than I have the finger capacity to accommodate. So, I make my breaks, I leave the words for a while, then come back for more.

A writer always come back for more, because of the thrill of maybe this time to be able to catch the magic dragon in its tail and write, so angels sing, and as if nothing else matters. To reach the level closest to perfection, knowing inside that perfection is forever unattainable.

… A panorama view of my witch´s den, yet filled with the sound of children playing there during the weekend. The pillows in the rocking chair bear the mark of cats sleeping there in the night. A calm, welcoming atmosphere makes me want to stay here forever …

… “Could you rewrite the part where we talked about making coffee, my husband says. “You tend to describe a lot and use many words around what you want to say”, he elaborates with a kind voice. “Of course I can, my love,” I reply …

… Now re-read the part for me again,” my husband says, looking interested at me. As my second worst critic, only second to myself, I listen a lot to what he says, because most of the time he is right. So I rewrote and re-read, and now it made sense and got readable.

The movie camera is on hold at the moment, for I believe that practice needs a break. When I return, I will turn on the camera again, for I also believe that only through hard work will I reach my dream of writing a novel. A life-long dream, on the edge of becoming true …

… Thank you, dear Universe. Thank you, dear fellow human beings. For being my direct inspiration, for being as flawed as you are, for being as beautiful as you are. For in every darkness there is light. Behind every rainy sky, there is the Sun. Life.

Camera rolling … back behind the keyboard, I see the words being born on the screen, the coffee is hot and aromatic, and the music inspires me to write another session. Not one tension in my muscles, no sign of any side effects of mundane disorders and pains and aches, nothing to slow my pacing, everything´s fine.

Planning next month´s blog posts at the same time, the TV turned off, only the sound of one of my playlists for writing, and everything is quiet, yet it tingles in my body, it buzzes in my mind. My muse is humming along and watches me from the right shoulder point of view.

Some days she turns away in a resentful snarl as if this writing of mine was just a piece of shit, pardon my French. Then, like today, she is quiet and comes to me out of her own will. She´s a difficult muse because she will only let herself be tamed to a certain point. The untamed part, that´s where the magic is.

Outside, the Sun lights up my garden yard, only one incident with rain until now, and soon the little, wise, old dog and I go out there, him sniffing in the wind and doing his special dog thing, I take a look around and count my blessings. We walk to the back garden and there, behind the compost bin, we stand for a couple of moments, him standing on three legs, while the fourth leg is ready for action, should anything be going on.

Then we speak with our neighbors, maybe sharing a cup of coffee and treats, before we again turn inwards to continue with what we were doing. Foreshadowing is subtle, and it takes practice to get it right. In reality, I´m taking the writing course I never got to before late in life. Camera cut, enough practice for one day.

What to expect in November 2019

During the writing of this blog post, I planned the content for November. I like this late deadline. It triggers my thoughts, and it makes me more effective. I get the job done, in other words.

My plan for next month´s blog post is like this :

  • Friday November 1 2019 : All Hallow´s Eve and intentions for the new year
  • Monday November 4 2019 : Making a dream come true
  • Friday November 8 2019 : Daily mini-rituals when inspiration is an issue
  • Monday November 11 2019 : Preparing for nine months of drafting
  • Friday November 15 2019 : Daily mini-rituals when time is an issue
  • Monday November 18 2019 : From idea to novel
  • Friday November 22 2019 : Daily mini-rituals when a budget is an issue
  • Monday November 25 2019 : Free writing
  • Friday November 29 2019 : Living with the shadows and what to expect in December 2019

When I began this blog, I promised to write something about daily rituals in witchcraft. I have now worked out a mini-series of three blog posts concerning the lack of inspiration, lack of time, and lack of money so that you will see what I do when I work with witchcraft on a daily basis.

My writing posts are concentrated on my current work with my novel, the psychological thriller I have always wanted to write. Then I follow through on my other promise about taking you, dear reader, with me on a guided tour inside my journey as a writer.

A third promise, the technical part of running a blog, will be kept. When I feel that there is a need for that. And I honestly don´t believe there are any good reasons for hurrying along to do the same as everybody else seems to be doing these days. It is also a question of prioritizing money for the project.

It might as well tell you that my priorities are not in favor of spending perhaps 500 dollars or more on something that on the surface sound mighty awesome, but which in reality both takes more hard work and time than it looks like at a first glance.

And since I´m writing a novel, I think my priority of getting grammatical support for my work is a better and more affordable choice than the uncertainty of going all-in with the blog. That does not mean that I in the future will not take my blog seriously. I most certainly do. I happen to live on a strict budget, so things have to add up.

In my fifth month of blogging, it has become a part of me. I look forward to writing on Mondays and Fridays, and keeping a deadline is becoming more natural to me. And by doing word counts, I have managed to get used to writing between 2,000 and 3,000 words a day.

But writing a novel is a lot different from writing on a blog. There will be days, where there only are a few words left after a whole day´s work, or perhaps more correctly, running around in circles, for my muse is even more restless and intangible than usually.

So nine months of drafting between 80,000 and 100,000 words are not a long time if I get stuck in the middle of a chapter or a scene. But having the deadline for a finished first draft on December 31, 2020, is what makes me able to work hard to get there in time.

Today I have tried to write as if seen through a movie camera in the first part of this blog post. I will during my research time for my novel try out the different methods I study to see, if I can become a better writer before I begin outlining and writing my novel.

It will not save me for the rewriting process, I still need to learn to kill my darlings. But I believe that it from time to time is necessary to refine my work with new input and well-proven ideas from reliable sources. Learning is a life-long process, and not only in writing.

I have also experimented a little with dialog, which will be one of the cornerstones of my novel. Another important matter is setting and mood and tone. That research I have reserved for November, for soon it is All Hallows Eve, and I need some days to prepare the ritual in detail.

In my next blog post on writing on Monday, I will try to both show and tell you why I have a dream about writing a novel. The show, don´t tell rule is a slippery one. It looks and sounds mesmerizing easy, but believe me, it is far from easy.

And why not use this blog as a learning station, where I can try out different methods of writing well. I know I will get feedback from my readers if anything is wrong or could be written better. And I trust myself enough to dare to show my progress to other people.

In my witchcraft blog post on Friday, you will get my inspiration for mini-rituals on a daily basis. It can be difficult to be creative when everyday life seems to be filled with anything else but the inspiration for daily magick. It can also be troublesome when you are having a rotten day.

I will also write about my Samhain Sabbat on Thursday 31, 2019. The Sabbat of the year to me that is. Then I pull out all the fancy stuff. decorate and enjoy my ritual with my husband. It will be quiet and beautiful, it will be centered around my re-dedication as a witch and ancestor work.

With this said and done, I wish you a fantastic week with lots of useful energy and happy moments. May your days be filled with inspiration and joy of life.

And then, after another cup of fresh-brewed coffee, I take the little, wise, old dog for a walk in the garden. So Mote It Be.

Picture of Mohamed Hassan fromPixabay 

Last Friday in October

Rainy mornings

On a wet, watery cold Friday morning in October, it is getting close to the Sabbat of Samhain or Halloween on October 31, 2019. My husband is preparing a treat for the neighbor´s kids, with all that comes along with the concept of Halloween in modern times.

My preparations are of the witchy kind, and it is going to be about ancestor worship and setting new intentions for the coming New Year. This is my kind of New Year´s Eve, and as always things have changed a lot during this almost gone year.

This year I plan for a simple, yet beautiful ritual with lots of lit candles, incense, and remembrance of those gone before me. My intentions for my work with witchcraft the coming year are to follow the rhythms of Nature and celebrate the Sabbats and the New and Full Moons.

Setting the intentions on New Moons and reviewing the results at Full Moons. To release negativity at every opportunity and to work with the shadows will be a powerful support to my work with my novel where I´m going to explore the human mind in its flawed version.

This time of year, the veil between the worlds is thinnest, as it is at the Beltane Sabbat in May. So perhaps this year I will succeed in feeling closer to my ancestors. To strengthen my bonds with them is of great importance to me, because they are part of me, as I´m part of them.

It is also time to work with divination, and I prefer the Tarot cards and the old Nordic runes to be my guides for the coming year. It can give a few clues of what to expect, but the work itself lies in daily life and its many challenges in a stressful modern mundane world.

Today, the weather does not inspire for much more than staying indoors and doing my best to create something worth reading about witchcraft. Just following the stream of thoughts and feelings and write straight from the heart is my plan for now.

I´m getting used to doing things on my own, after a couple of years with cognitive therapy and necessary help getting to cope with especially bipolar disorder. The main issue has been to get to the point of acceptance, to focus on positive things rather than feeling devastated.

It´s a serious mental condition, but with the correct, individual prescription medicine, therapy and a will of steel, much can be done to get a lot better and to learn to cope with it on a daily basis. Staying positive no matter what is a goal of mine that means a world of difference to me.

On a rainy, but beautiful morning in October, I sit behind the keyboard, writing as a witch. My husband lit the candles a little while ago, and the little, wise, old dog, is laying completely relaxed near him. They have a pretty special bond, even though my dog is truly mine, and our love is not of this world alone.

This time of year I contemplate a lot about life in general. It´s time for the yearly speech to my inner child about staying true and never compromising myself. It´s time to re-dedicate as a witch, and it´s time to plan for the Winter and the Christmas seasons to come soon enough.

The planning about witchcraft is a rough draft of events needing ritual preparations, special interests to research and take in as a creative input, and intentions of living in the moment and learn to spot the everyday magick.

A journey in a day

Later this weekend I´m going to host my neighbor´s daughters for a happy visit. We´ll go to my witch´s den, bringing paper and crayons, toys, and tea with cookies. It will be a journey in a day with each of them, for they are just lovable. They heal me every time we meet.

I love their curiosity and their immediacy and directness. That´s living in the moment when it´s best. It´s going to be some intense hours, where there are joy and laughter, fine conversations, and many hugs. And after I allow myself a longer nap, it takes quite a lot of energy, but it´s worth it big time.

Every time I write as a witch, I´m on a journey in a day. I have some clues to begin a blog post with, but I never know where the journey is going to take me before I have written it. It all depends on my mood of the day, on the music I listen to while I write, and what I have planned to write about.

Today, I only planned to write something connected to witchcraft. This part of witchcraft I call reflection and introspection. It is as important as rituals and spells. To get to know yourself is a major goal to have as a witch, but it is necessary to learn to evolve. My best approach to this is to write about my changes.

It has been three unique and tough years as an eclectic solitary witch. It has changed my worldview, and I know now that I truly have found my path for the rest of my life. It calms and soothes me, it provides me peace of mind and soul, and it gives me the ability to let go of my past and to look ahead instead.

I´m prepared to continue my path, this coming year at a bit slower pace because of my work with my novel. But there will be time for witchcraft along the way. I´m going to fill the breaks with both mundane chores and my love for witchcraft.

About the writing part, there are still many blog posts to write about witchcraft. As a witch, I have a broad range of interests, and it will be an ongoing project, as long as I live. My Book Of Shadows needs some loving care, too, so there are always new ideas and old gems to work with.

Before the storm

The cats are fed, the dog has his bone, and I have closed the windows and am preparing myself for the storm that was announced on TV this morning. There is powerful energy in a storm, and I´m going to use it by asking the weather gods to carry my needed release of things that do not serve me anymore away with the wild wind.

Before the storm, it is always fair and bright a couple of hours after morning rain. When the clouds come forth, and the first icy raindrops fall on my hand, it is time to go inside and make the most of it. But well before that, it will be time for a walk with the little, wise, old dog,

Even though he does not speak as we humans do, he speaks in multiple voices and with energetic body language. He speaks also when our eyes meet, and I just know deep inside that this is mutual love. He´s a friend for life, as are the three philosophical cats, who also speak in more than one voice.

The storm closing in

A couple of hours have passed. It is quiet and a feeling of calm rests over my workspace for today. Behind the keyboard with sore hands because of the icy watery feeling of cold earlier at the dog´s morning ritual, I sit and listen to some inspiring music with my husband watching The Walking Dead.

The weather changes, the sun hides from the world once again, and the wind makes the branches on the trees shiver and shake. It´s not all black and blue-gray yet, nor is it going yellow as when the shit truly hits the fan. I live close to the Wadden Sea, and there are stories enough to be told about high tides.

The magick also closes in. Today is an intention day, where it feels so easy to write about what I want and need to get done in the year to come. Later, in December, I have three yearly Tarot spreads that I read every year at the same time.

I do that to remind myself of the calendar year gone by, to release what no longer serves me, and to trace any patterns to work with in the coming year. This is my way to try to adapt to the recurring changes in this world. Change is inevitable, it will outrun me if I don´t follow its rhythm, it was in vain to try to escape.

During the past two years I learned to help control my inner storms. It´s like being inside a volcano, to be the eye of the storm, to ride a wild roller coaster, front row POV (point of view). Together with the right prescription medicine, my iron will, and my control over my breath, there is a path forward to reality.

The relation to witchcraft is a positive attitude towards life and its many challenges. Without challenges, there would not be mistakes and life experiences to grow from. In witchcraft, the challenges as a solitary witch are to learn to cope with solitude and to learn to trust the Universe.

The end of the journey for today

This is one of the more quiet days, where I mostly tend to myself and put earplugs in my ears. Until it is time for family, friends, for some awesome hours with good people. Then it feels wonderful to leave the keyboard alone for 2-3 hours of pure joy.

When I return to my writing, I´m always refreshed and in a happy and inspirational state. But is is not coming by itself, there is hard work behind all these many words twice a week. Witchcraft supports me with inner peace which enables me to write even on a rotten day.

Throughout the day the weather rhythm changes my mood together with music, and it is several writing sessions at most times due to my constant side-kick, my side effects of medicine and inner tension as well as physical troubles sitting still long enough.

Next time I write about witchcraft, I will do it in a series about the daily small rituals that make it possible to work with witchcraft on a daily basis, also on a tight budget and a strict schedule. I like to make small, subtle rituals for my daily work with witchcraft.

It can be anything from a simple prayer of gratitude to a bigger setup with candles, incense, and crystals. Most of the time I pick up what I have at the moment and use that in my daily practice. I have a rather well-assorted collection of diverse props and ingredients, but less is actually more.

I only pull out the big stuff, when it is time for the big rituals, such as Sabbats, celebrations of the Moon´s phases, and special occasions when a need for a certain ritual arises. That could e.g. be to try to heal some of my loved ones spiritually in case of disease or the more tricky of having a really shitty day.

So we came together to the end of today´s journey, dear reader. Now I have only left to wish you a pleasant and memorable weekend with as little trouble as possible in this crazy, modern world of ours. And to fade out the music in an appropriate manner.

While I have been working today, I have felt the magick being present in my life on a daily basis. I feel a safe inner calm, I see strength in the flames of lit candles, I can smell the fresh coffee I´m about to brew, I can, if I close my eyes, taste wonderful food later, I hear beautiful words in my earplugs.

It is fun to work with all your sense, the sixth unmentioned because it is magick in itself. And so the music fades. Cut.

Picture of Mira Cosic from Pixabay 

Journal prompts and to do´s for writer´s block

When I´m having a writer´s block I always promise myself to do anything possible to break the negative spiral. The key is to keep on writing, even though inspiration seems to be stuck, and writing all of a sudden is not only difficult but also feels like the worst choice I ever made.

I have developed 10 journal prompts that I use when the blank page curls up, refuses to cooperate with a sneer and hisses at me for even daring to put myself behind that keyboard or sit with that pencil in my hand.

I hate writer´s block, and I, therefore, use all the means available to me to fight it back as quickly as possible. The goal is to keep on writing, no matter where it takes me.

1) Your life story

You are your own main character in your life. You are also your own worst antagonist. So there lies inspiration for a lifetime. Everybody knows a lot about themselves. To write it down is not an easy task, for you may find that both the gems and the fishy stuff going on are hiding there.

First I make a timeline. Then I choose which year or decade I would like to think about the remains of the day. It calls on memories and past learned lessons. I write about a page with my random thoughts and feelings without editing or doing anything but save it for later reviews. Like a running diary, it is.

2) Your dream life

You may sit and wonder, why is it as if the whole world is against me for I can´t, I can´t, oh hell, I can´t write. Well, get on to it and write about the life of your dreams. Her you truly can expand your thoughts and get it onto that resentful paper who believe it´s a human problem alone. No, I call it diversion of the mindset.

We all have dreams and hopes. No matter how shitty the day has been, write about what you love, what you would love to try before it´s too late for regrets, write your heart out. And learn to love writing again. There are always wants and needs. What to choose is up to you. You are your own boss here.

3) Your loved ones

For better or for worse, the loved ones of your life are a direct inspiration to work with. They are close to you, you get to study people, and you can, if the love is for real and not for appearance, discuss the behavior of other people with them.

My loved ones are my extended family, consisting of family and friends of the rare kind, those that show up in the middle of the night if necessary. They are both my inspiration and my tough critics. Because we are so different and yet so close, they are my solid foundation for everything in my life.

4) Things to be grateful for and why

I´m grateful for many things in my life. Being alive is one of them. The much of everything that I have. I may be living on a tight budget, I may have to carefully work through one day at a time due to my physical and mental troubles, and I may not have lived the perfect life (whatever that might be). But I´m still grateful.

Being content is not to compromise yourself. It is to take charge of your life and adapt to the recurring theme of change as the only believable and relatable character to connect to in life. The reason that I´m grateful for my life is that it is being lived in the present moment. There´s no room for regrets.

5) Positive affirmations about yourself

Yes, you are good enough, yes, may write it to yourself and the whole world as well. It´s time for a positive outlook on things rather than sulking about life´s way of swirling you 360 degrees around when least expected. Be generous with the adjectives. Be kind to yourself, you deserve it.

I write something like, “I´m good at controlling my anxiety.” Or, “I know how to transform a writer´s block into useful tips for others to use.” Always in the present tense here, because the best way to deal with writer´s block is in the moment of the inner battle between you and yourself. Believe in yourself. Then so will others.

6) What other people do

To study other people is easy today. Just go to the local shopping center and watch the deadly sins being released in the sales of the seasons. If you want the stereotypes. But still, there are often many funny and thoughtful fragments of dialog in the notebook after such a journey.

But, more useful, listen to what people actually say. Then watch what they do. And go home and describe with all the senses what you saw, what you heard smelled, tasted, felt. Write about your own feelings about it. And there you have a piece of work to further evolve ideas from.

7) Lessons from past mistakes

Here it aches, it hurts, it itches. I´m riding a roller coaster on the loose, had it not been for my life experience and positive outlook. I chills down my spine to think about my lessons learned in life. I have tried many different things, seen and heard my part of things.

This is like doing shadow work, so it has to be one of the good days without too many side effects of mundane ailments. But when I do write about such things, I focus on the positive outcome of transforming negative events and experiences into useful life guidance for me to trust as well as my gut feelings.

8) Goals and achievements

Goals should be realistic within the sphere you live in. Keep them simple, attainable, and workable. Achievements are what you let them be to you. Outside expectations should not be a shadow in your life, so don´t judge yourself for not achieving the perfect way of life. Perfection is not my goal.

I prefer the simple, yet complicated, unconventional life. My goals are to evolve as a writer and as a witch, as a human being. My achievements in life have been and are to do my best in whatever I do and never give up. There are no trophies in my collection of past memories.

9) Rewrite a piece of your work (and kill your darlings)

This is something I want to do from time to time when the black cat hits the road and the writer´s block lurks behind my left shoulder where there is a panorama view to my muse. Who is eagerly defending the writer´s right to originality and creating darlings to keep, because they fit in and to change is difficult.

Well, you need to do the editing part sometime, anyway. So instead of allowing the block to enter your mind and existence, you rewrite your last piece of work. Or something you have postponed a couple of times already. I will use proofreading marks to trace my progress here. So I won´t regret pressing delete later on.

10) Lists, lists, lists

If nothing else helps, then making lists is a never-ending thing I turn to when facing a writer´s block. I have done it as long as I can remember. The joy of getting through all the items on the list. The hours of work behind that only I feel in my body, mind and soul.

The grocery list, the books to read list, the psychological thrillers to watch in the evenings, switching to the laid back afternoons … only fantasy sets the limits here. Then add working your own way through the list to the to do´s for a writer´s block.

To do´s for writer´s block

All I know is that there is only one guideline to fight back a period with the feeling of writer´s block brooding over your workspace, over your life, over everything. And that is to keep writing, no matter what. Be flexible enough to remember the breaks away from the pen and the keyboard.

But keep also s somewhat strict schedule of writing according to your known and learned habits. When I read about writing, I try to learn new tricks, to form my writing habits into something positive that I can work with on a daily basis.

I get up in the morning around eight or nine a.m., have a cup of coffee, and walk the dog for his morning ritual outside. Morning medicine, a checkup on things around me, and a fresh pot of coffee ready for me to dig in. If nothing needs to be done around eleven a.m. I open my laptop and begin to write almost instantly.

Typically to research for this or that element for my novel, I use about half an hour to warm up my fingers, hands, and eyes before the writing session. I love to write in hand, but my osteoarthritis sets strict limits, so I reserve the good days for the special notes, the words of the moment that inspire, and my many ideas.

I then write and read the next four to six hours every day. Dedicated time need not be as long as mine, but the more practice the better. Given also that I have my two blog deadlines every Monday and Friday, I have something to do with my writing along with writing my novel.

So the best advice I can give is to dedicate time and hard work to fight a writer´s block. Number two is to tire yourself out by writing about something you love and know about, the journal prompts of your choice. I have listed mine as examples, you know yourself best and may have other preferences.

Next Monday I´ll try to write parts of my blog post as if seen through s movie camera. I like writing best when it takes me to unknown places, such as describing the five senses and show in the difficult task of creating decent dialog.

And I enjoy reading the most when the writer captures my mind and allows me to feel my own way through the novel. Then a novel and its characters are unforgettable to me. To write like that is a major goal to me, because it is difficult, it is scary, and it is a choice of mine.

Try to do something you are afraid of doing. Write, when you don´t feel that you are capable to do it. Tell me not, but show me what aches, what hurts, and what itches. One of my side effects of prescription medicine is that I feel physically restless a lot, and I shake a bit as well. Quirks, like a silly walk.

But it is an advantage when listening to feel-good music and beautiful songs about the human ways of life. Then a shake here, a spasm there, is quite alright. I sit and dance at the same time. And it creates great tension in muscles and joints. So it hurts physically, too, to write at certain times.

Not today, though. Today. I have already fought the black cat of writer´s block by writing about it. Well. go away and stay away, please. Let my muse sit in silence and help me write a novel worth reading. As I Will It, So Mote It Be.

On Friday, we´re getting close to Halloween. Who knows what´s going to happen ? I don´t yet. But I will find out, and so will you, dear reader. On purpose, I haven´t decided beforehand what part of witchcraft to write about. I would like to let my creativity on the loose and see where it takes me.

Remember that writer´s block is an insider job. It is something we create out of inner doubts that need to be handled in the moment of point of no return.

Picture of congerdesign fra Pixabay 

Shadow work

What is shadow work ?

Today it is the birthday of my late grandfather on my mother´s side. The timing for writing about shadow work could not be more appropriate since I almost always call for my ancestors before doing shadow work.

I like to believe that they protect me during the process, and I feel very close to them, because they know me, as I am, from the inside out.

To me, shadow work is a way of getting to know myself better on a informed level. By confronting my inner demons and fear I take control of my reactions to them so that I can use my energy on the positve approach to a great life.

It is important, however, to remember to take good care of yourself before, during and after shadow work, never if in a bad mood, depressed or otherwise indisposed. After all, it is a close up sort of work, where you get in touch with what hurts and displeases you.

I work with the shadows of my life for three important reasons :

  • To confront my darker sides such as selfishness, secrets, and fears
  • To heal and grow mentally, emotionally and spiritually
  • To transform negativity into positive affirmations (releasing energy)

I have lived a somewhat troubled life for many years, so there are many shadows lurking around in my soul and mind. Years of psychiatric care with a lot of therapy sessions have helped me recover from being so concerned with the negatives that I almost forgot to remember to love myself.

Here shadow work is a great companion, on the better days of course. Through asking myself some sharp and candid questions I get to understand that 90 % of my troubles are self-inflicted. Rather than pouting, I take note of the conclusions and try to change them into positive affirmations that I can use on a daily basis.

It heals and it makes me grow as a human being. And it releases a lot of energy that I can use for better purposes such as preparing for the next Sabbat, Samhain, where shadow work is closely related to ancestor worship as a recurring theme.

I strongly believe that transforming negativity is of great importance in the modern constant stream of negative news, negative people, and negative events. All the bitching needs some counter-action, and I prefer to do it by sticking to a positive outlook on things.

Shadow work always inspires me to do something about my mental, emotional and spiritual clutter that tends to grow wild by itself if left alone for a while. So I typically do shadow work once a month. Sometimes, I use a mirror to look myself in the eyes and confront the demons inside directly, but that I only do when I´m having a truly good day.

It can be rather demanding and lonesome to do shadow work, but as a solitary witch, I´m used to working alone and don´t mind the solitude.

Benefits from shadow work

There are many positive benefits of doing shadow work, e.g. :

  • Self-acceptance and more courage in life
  • Clarity and deep understanding of passions
  • Ability to release negativity

After I have worked with the shadows for a couple of years, I can honestly say that shadow work has helped me accept myself more, and I have also gained more courage about life´s many challenges.

It gives me significantly more clarity about many of the issues that I have fought with during my life, and I know understand in-depth, where my true passions lie. I have found that it enhances my ability to release negativity, so I can focus on the positive approaches to what really matters in life.

It is a psychological journey that I only embark on when I´m feeling fit for the work. It is of absolutely no good use if you are angry, sad, or otherwise not fully fit to get in touch with both inner demons and old hurt feelings.

It is a whole life of painful experiences that I confront when I´m doing shadow work. But it is necessary to heal, and therefore I dare to cross my own limitations and look beyond what hurts, aches and itches inside of me.

I dare to deal actively with the negatives now for the many psychiatric therapy sessions taught me how to cope with my mental and physical ailments with a positive outlook.

I get to know myself better by the day, and I begin to see patterns of behavior that previously hindered me from getting the best out of things, no matter how gray the days may have seemed at the time. It´s too late and impossible to turn back, so instead, I try to change my behavior by looking forward and do my best in whatever I do.

When I have done shadow work, I always cleanse my sacred space, my den, with sage incense to clear away any stale energy. It is a demanding task to work in the shadows, so when I´m done, I clear the remains of the day and do something mindful like drawing, painting, or playing my acoustic guitar.

The releasing part is done by the next bonfire in the garden, in the next ritual, or by closing the shadow work session off with So Mote It Be.

There are many different ways to do shadow work and there are more qualified people than I to discuss in detail how to do it. I use my own method of asking blunt questions to myself and try to be as honest s possible.

I may not like my answers, but I will learn my lessons about my strengths and weaknesses as a human being and as a witch. In witchcraft, the core wisdom lies within. You will know what to do when the time comes for action. Because of the intentions behind, it is a learning process to do shadow work.

To work with shadows is inner guidance.

Journal prompt examples

Shadow work to me is also writing. Not like writing a journal, but true and brutally honest answers to equally demanding questions, that is what I practice :

  • Playing the victim – where do I feel most weak and why
  • Inner and outside judgments – how do I respond to them and why
  • Repressed feelings – what am I afraid of and why
  • Defensive triggers – what makes me react, how and why

This is my guideline in adapting my behavior to the present moment.

I don´t write down every answer to such questions. I prefer to act on them instead. It is, however, not about mocking myself or only search for the negatives. There is a lot of contemplation, too.

The essence here is to transform the negatives into something useful and positive. To make the best out of everything, so to speak. It is also about acceptance and release. Not everything can be changed, it is not meant to be. The past is a constant, but it is not the only side of being a human being.

Not everything can be seen, heard, and known, it is not meant to become before we are there. The future is unknown territory, but it is just another human thing.

Only the present moment is tangible. Letting go of the past and accepting change as the only reliable factor makes life so much easier. Hard to get there, though, since shadow work is a recurring theme in my life.

I try to make myself comfortable before doing shadow work, by creating a positive and warm atmosphere with incense, lit candles, and chai tea. I set my limits for the session by addressing only one issue at a time.

I deliberately look at my weaknesses and confront myself without hesitation. I often learn some tough lessons, but the more I know about things, the more I control my reaction to them.

I need to control my reactions because of my anxiety disorder. Being bipolar, too, helps me, strangely enough, to know the difference between the highs and the lows, so I have something to work with. I can feel it with my whole body, mind, and soul.

Shadow work is suitable for making healthy boundaries. They are as necessary as being open toward other people. There need to be certain private limits for you to cross only. Here I learn to define my boundaries and to keep track of where I have been avoiding saying no at the appropriate time.

It demands a lot of energy, so I practice shadow work with great care. Only once a month or to the big Sabbats, Beltane and Samhain. I look at my previous questions and written answers and make new from the intentions of the particular day.

My plan is to get organized more when I get the time to it. As you know I´m a person with many interests and many projects at the same time.

Shadow work and witchcraft

Shadow work is as old as witchcraft. Before psychotherapy, it was the wise men and women who worked with shadows and knew a thing or two about life´s many mysteries.

To me, it is as natural as breathing, but I have always been a free-thinker. I like to work within the reach of a thin veil between the worlds. I have learned a lot from my shadow side, and today, I know both my weaknesses and my strengths.

I try to transform the weaknesses into strengths by exposing myself to situations where I feel socially awkward, insecure, or in need of support. The only thing I have said goodbye to permanently is driving. I don´t like to drive anymore due to the many crazy drivers nowadays.

But is is not a weakness not to be able to drive. It is a strength because I made a mature decision of not getting behind the wheel. I had too much stress and anxiety when driving. Fortunately, I know people who can drive me, if I need to go somewhere.

I also acknowledge that some things cannot be changed by accepting those of my weaknesses that have a more permanent character, like my physical and mental ailments.

Much of my releasing work is prepared during shadow work sessions. I therefore always have something to use in witchcraft rituals.

As a witch, shadow work is sometimes much deeper and more comprising when combining it with ancestor work. My biological family has a love for genealogy which is helpful when working with my ancestors. I call for them on special occasions like Beltane and Samhain or when doing shadow work.

As a gray witch. I know that working in the shadows creates a need to relax in the rays of the Sun and the Moon, so I never overdo my work here. The limit is when it gets enough after half an hour to an hour.

I occasionally use shadow work to ask for inner guidance about how to be a witch. There I call upon the dark Crones, like Hecate, Kali and Rhiannon.

But the most important ability is to trust your gut feelings in whatever you do. Shadow work should only be used with the intention to understand yourself better. It is not to scold yourself for everything that goes wrong in this world.

I have come to love shadow work. But I´m still careful not to go overboard. I only do it on special occasions and once a month to check if everything is as it should be. And I stop if I feel that it would be too upsetting to continue.

It cannot replace the realities of life so don´t make your life´s plans from it alone. It can be a valuable supplement to many other ways of self-discovery that exist today.

Shadow work is a unique way to get to know yourself on a deeply personal level. It is enriching, tough as hell, and it works.

Photo : S. Hermann & F. Richter fra Pixabay 

A novel to write during a year

Current view into my writer´s den

Writing a novel has become the journey of a lifetime. It is as if there always has been something lurking, sneaking around and occasionally showing off its teeth in my mind. Something scary, that wants to be written by me. Because I can´t help but love to write.

I have always written. Little pieces, a novella here, a poem there. A few chapter into a wannabee story about me, myself and I. And all the time, all those yellow post-it notes and little pieces of paper, all scribbled and doodled with leftovers of an overheard conversation, part of a famous quote, ideas and loosely spun words about the human dark side of the Moon.

I have always dreamed about the possibility to write a novel. Knowing that it is a tough task to commit your whole life to in a time of your life, where all the dreams are attainable. And now that dream is about to come true for me.

I´m also scared speechless. I think of other writers and I bend my head in awe. But I´ve been told to do something about that writing of mine, for I have my own voice, and I have something on my mind to share.

So I decided to write that novel, the psychological thriller, which I find inspiration for in the way people treat each other for good or worse. I have met a lot of different people throughout my life, and from that I know that the only limit to human behavior is fantasy. And sometimes reality bites back.

The next couple of months I will also be reading and watching a lot of psychological thrillers to truly get the inner feeling of what I´m working with. I also study the technical aspects of the genre, e.g. plot structure, keeping the tension throughout the novel, and the character cast.

But still it will be my novel. One thing is to get ideas and to learn new skills, another matter is to actually do the writing part of the job. I work with several ideas that need time to evolve to contain enough tension and frightening moments.

So in other words, I take the advice I can get, but I produce my own material. I´m no copy-and-paste kind of writer. I also make my own mistakes and learn from them thanks to my readers and my family and friends, who tell and show me the way forward.

Thank you for being in my life, for support and care.

Today, you will get a closer look into my plans for my novel. I have dedicated a little more than a year to write it, and I plan to keep a pretty tight schedule to fight my inclination to procrastination, There is also a life outside of writing a novel, and it is also wise for me to plan breaks and days off because of my physical and mental ailments.

Research and the basics

The months 1-5 October 2019-February 2020, I have dedicated to research and getting the basics done. My work agenda looks like this :

  • American English grammar is a necessary tool
  • Genre psychological thriller (reading and watching as much as possible)
  • Characters, backstory, and theme
  • All about outlining and plotting, where I will try out different outlining techniques, e.g. the three-act-structure, the snowflake method, and the hero´s journey
  • ‘The story mountain/plot structure from exposition to rising action, climax, falling action and resolution
  • Writing techniques (POV, stream of consciousness, and foreshadowing)

This month I´m working with character development, how to place backstory, both in dialog and in vivid descriptions, and themes for my characters and the novel.

In November my plans are further to work with the characters, this time through the setting, mood and tone, and in December I will be looking at the outlining process and the plot structure for my novel.

In January it is time for me to work intensely with the writing techniques that I need to learn more about to use it thoroughly and creatively in my novel. The whole month of February is dedicated to plotting and the first actions and voices of the characters.

It is a busy schedule, and I admit that I now work throughout the day and not only four to six hours a day. Writing has become a full time quest that I love more for every day. It heals, it feels just right.

The novel writing process

The months 6-15 March-December 2020, is planned to be my writing of this novel that I keep writing about, that can´t let me go without at least passing by with an hour or two after the morning coffee, that keeps getting stronger in voice.

I tame myself from writing specifically about my characters before that. I would rather let them come to me in their own pace than risking to take over the conversation that should be for them to speak in their distinctive voices.

This is the hard part, where there is no turning back. But I believe I can do it, if I work hard enough to attain my goal about a novel with approximately 80,000-100,000 words. Nine months of writing is circa 300-400 words a day.

How this will effect my goals with this blog, I´m yet to discover. But to write the double of what I write on a weekly basis seems to be reasonable enough. I have the time to write, I have the resources to write. And I have the drive to actually sit down and do it on a daily basis.

I want to transfer my progress in writing from the blog to the novel, to write in the same manner but with different objectives. I have achieved to write between 1,000 and 2,000 words a day by now through the use of word counting. It has trained me to write longer and better in more concentrated time periods.

How to attain a suitable daily writing practice

I need to do my daily chores as well as writing, so they will be made in my planned breaks, fifteen minutes every hour and one hour for lunch. Two hours of daily reading and watching psychological thrillers is also attainable with all the modern resources for both offline and online entertainment.

I also need to re-arrange my working areas, so that I easily can ove around between the laptop and the setting consisting of multiple story boards, hand-written notes and typed character records.

Depending on what I end up choosing of plot structure, writing techniques, and point of views, I will begin testing my knowledge and write freely as the story evolves by itself during the month of February 2020. It is the plotting month, anyway, so I might as well do some test writing before the actual writing of the first draft.

I have planned with seven months, but it may be less or more. It all depends on my belief in my knowledge of how to play music with words.

The melody may be gloomy and difficult to live with, but it changes not my opinion that humans are not always the cleverest animals of this earth. We spend so much time brooding and bitching about other people that we tend to forget that we are not perfect ourselves, when all comes to all.

That kind of music is what I hope to bring forth in my novel.

Stream of consciousness Monday October 14th 2019

Today there are deliberately no pictures for this blog post. I´m learning to show the story I want to tell, so the view into my writer´s den is entirely up to you, dear reader, to figure out.

I sit in my living room with my husband next to me, and the little wise old dog chewing on a bone. The three philosophical cats are outside in their den. On a rain free day, with blues and old school rock in my ears, it is easy to daydream my way into my novel.

But I behave, for it has to be done with great care and determination. Ideas need time to evolve and thrive, and I need to build up a believable story with believable characters, setting and final outcome.

I know it is a gigantic task that I have put myself into. And I don´t expect the journey to be easy, nor painless. There will be darlings to kill along the way. Not necessarily physically, though, unless we speak of the editing part, where there needs to be a secure and robust attitude toward bad writing.

Bad writing to me is lazy. The least you can do is to try and do it as good as possible by using your knowledge of and experience with language, written as well as spoken and shown.

My greatest challenge will be the American English grammar. But I take a baby step at a time, and I learn from every writing session. Once a week. I study the grammar in American English to be close to the language in whatever I write.

Oh, I would like to write down my characters today. I can sense them with my whole body and soul. They´re still at a distance, however, so I hold my horses for now and take notes instead. I´m working with their different inner conflicts and getting to know them better to be able to believe in them enough to write about them.

I´m also getting closer to twist and turn the story like a roller coaster on the loose. How well do we know people, when the masks are off and it is time for a reality checkup ?

My inspiration comes from life-long experiences with many different kinds of people, both high and low, no one mentioned, no one forgotten. Not to mention the books and movies/series I have read and watched throughout my life …

… the list is long and awe-inspiring.

Change of music into something high-pitched and fast going. I have a busy schedule today. After this blog post, I´ll study the different types of characters that typically show up in a psychological thriller and how to write the genders.

Next Monday I´ll try to show you ten suitable journal prompts and strategies for writer´s block. I take up the subject, because it is the black cat on the road, if you don´t take your precautions before the shit hits the fan.

I have no award-winning tips, but I try to evolve my own creative ways out of this period of time, where there can be a long way from love to writing to actually do the writing.

It has been easy to write this blog post, because I write about something I know and love. May my ideas and points of view be inspirational to other writers and readers.

Change back of music into calming and strong songs of the human way of life. It is an ever-lasting interest of mine, this human way of messing things up when life could be so much easier without all these silent wars of people against other people, often due to petty and meaningless details about appearances.

Conflict and change are inevitably connected. Without conflict, we would not learn from our mistakes.

Some people never seem to learn. But I believe we all get to learn somehow and somewhere in life. If not anything else, then let it be up to Karma to decide.

Now, it is time to leave my novel for a while, to let it simmer and find its own pace. I have to learn so much more, before I feel fit for the drafting process in the year to come. But I will return with more insight into my novel-writing adventure, when we get closer to the point of no return.

“I have this feeling, it is going to be the roller coaster ride of my life”, the muse said.

How I relate the changing seasons to other areas of my life

Last week´s post was about the changing seasons related to my work with witchcraft. Today, I will try to relate them to other areas of my life as a writing witch.

Fall

At present moment I embrace the rain, the cold, and the changing colors of the leaves on the trees. It all inspires me to tie up loose ends and begin new indoor projects like developing my characters for my novel and try to show mood and tone in both the setting and the dialog.

Regarding witchcraft projects, I have the Sabbat Samhain to prepare for. It is my kind of New Year, so it is also time for new intentions about the year to begin soon. My intentions for the year ahead is to stay attuned to Nature and Her changing seasons by celebrating the Sabbats, the New Moons and the Full Moons.

I need to harvest sage, thyme and rosemary for incense, kitchen spices and protection. And I need to rewrite my dedication as a witch, as I do every year, it´s a tradition now.

We are about to do our physical Fall cleaning, old clutter needs to be recycled, and the garden needs tender care to prepare for the coming of Spring.

I like to write to sounds. Not only music, but also sounds like the different feelings that different kinds of weather stir up in me. Loud, as when the gigantic cloudbursts of rain pour and flood my back yard, silent, like the soft rain drops on my cheeks on a walk with my little old and wise dog of mine.

I also like to work with music around me, no matter what I do. There are few days with little music in my earplugs. It is so inspirational, it is like riding a roller coaster all by myself, it is making my fingers dance across the keyboard.

The season of Fall I relate to my creative areas of life. There will be other creative projects to handle with care and love. There is always a drawing to draw, a painting to paint, and words to write.

And there is always magick around me whatever I´m working with. Lit candles, a cozy, relaxed, and stress free atmosphere. A little incense and chai tea.

I have strong, good memories with me about this time of year. My grandfather on my mother´s side used to take me to interesting places, where we always ended up gathering chestnuts which later that day were used to make funny and cute animals with matches as legs.

Winter

In December, the light month, it is time to say hello to the Sun. This time the dark forces loose the battle, because freethinkers like me believe that the darkness always will equal with light. And at some point there is no need to run from darkness, because after the Winter Solstice/Yule, the light prevails.

Physically, there is light both inside and outside. That beautiful sight of an early Winter morning with the Sun in its most reddish and violet-bluish tones is too early for me to get up and write, but I get to see it from time to time.

The light inside is from my strong working lamp without which I would be in serious trouble doing creative projects. My sight is getting older than I like to think of.

But, on the other hand, life is a funny compilation of ups and downs. I´m experiencing the advantages of becoming a Crone. With time comes also ailments and mental changes to adapt to. Some days are just reminders of what you no longer can do.

I try my best such Winter days to keep my positive outlook, and that is best done with a lot of self-care and light creative projects I can make in our living room, where the district heating is on, plaids are comfortable and warm to wear, and the lit candles glow with a soft, smooth light.

The season of Winter I relate to my healing areas of life. I have heard a lot, seen more than enough in my life to know to take good care of myself. So I dedicate myself to aromatherapy baths, pain soothing creams, and learning new skills and tricks.

Mental care to me is also to learn new things and keep the brain busy, especially since I became early-retired. I cannot sit on the couch with nothing to do. So I practice to learn as much as possible about witchcraft, writing and my many interests.

It is the Christmas season for my rainbow family to celebrate together with pleasant common traditions and happy hours of laughter and togetherness. We like to make homemade presents and ornaments together, because we can´t live without each other.

It is more than family and friendship, it is a unique way of life, and it is so rare in this so-called modern world, so we care for each other.

Spring

Along with the growing light comes Spring, and it is again time for outdoor activities. I can´t wait to be able to sit outside in my yard with my fresh brewed coffee and just listen to the birds singing for Spring to blossom.

The projects that were planned during Winter are now to be set in motion, and the Spring cleaning sets off the next couple of months being outside as much as possible. All these hours of waiting, it is worth all the efforts to see.

Next Spring will be in writing mode most of the time, though. If everything work out as planned, I will embark on writing the first draft of my novel from Spring to Winter 2020. But if the weather gods behave their best, it might be possible to be writing in the garden.

Like the Fall season I tie up many loose ends and clear out clutter at this time of year. That includes sorting through papers and documents, looking for unworn clothes in the farthest corner of the closet, and letting go of clutter not used for two years or more.

The season of Spring I relate to my outgoing and extroverted areas of life. Being inside both in Fall and in Winter makes me long for warmer days and the possibility to bask in the Sun with a touch of freshness and high spirit.

To enjoy my sweet dog lying in his basket outside, gnawing on a bone or with all four legs straight up in the air just being a dog, to watch my three philosophical cats in their garden den, half-sleeping curled up in a ball or sitting on one of the boxes or branches to watch me, that is animated setting.

The perfect frame for an early Spring picture to capture on my camera or to paint from memory is enhanced by flowers of all sizes and colors surrounding me everywhere in the garden. To me Spring is also my husband working hard to present wonders to me, the love of his life.

He is the love of my life, too. Without him I simply don´t know where to begin and where to end anything. He is my soul mate, my best friend, and my one and only. We owe each other much. We have been together for more than eleven years and been married in ten.

Summer

We have only just passed this year´s Summer, and already I long for the next to show up. I was born in Summer, I´m a Cancer, with Moon sign Cancer, and Rising in Leo. Here I gather energy and vitamin D enough for a year if possible.

I`m at my best during the year at this time. That doesn´t mean, however, that I lived happily ever after or rode into the sunset. My physical and mental ailments take their toll on me whatever season. But it is not so annoying and tiring when the weather is fair and warm.

Oh, those long, sweet Summer nights, gathered around a bonfire in the garden with the chosen family and the best friends to ever wish for. Sitting in silence, listening to the crisp, crackling sounds of the flames rising and lowering in their own natural rhythm, or talking about life´s diversity, laughing together at funny quotes and ourselves, I wish those days were here now.

The season of Summer I relate to my most private areas of life. I reload, so to speak. I gather my needed strengths to live a simple, yet complicated life with bipolar disorder and degenerative disc disorder in my lower back, And I have now learned to live with it controlled and still plenty of space to be just me, the way I am.

I try to take the light hours with me into the darker seasons. I need that to keep advocating for a positive outlook and to practice it myself as well. There is no need to recommend something, if you do not try it out yourself. So what I speak, I do. It can be as simple as that, and as difficult as that.

But life is not meant to be easy and laid back. If you want anything to happen, you need to do the work necessary. And there is also work to be done in the Summer season. The hardest work for me is to be more extroverted and to come out when the weather is too fair to let go of.

Being an introvert by nature, I´m inclined to withdraw from social activities, if there is too much going on with too many people. But in these months I´m more often outside, because we love to barbecue and play with the children of our sweet neighbors in the garden.

In conclusion

… I relate all the seasons to other areas in my life than witchcraft and writing. I respond fast to changes in the weather, and I adapt myself to the corresponding changes in life, as the Wheel of the Year turns once again.

Today, things are beginning to fit together, once and for all. I´m at my best age. I have the necessary resources for being a writer and a witch, and I´m being kind to myself for the first time in my life. It´s about time, yes, and once you have stepped into the stage of Crone, there is no turning back.

I prefer the road not taken like Robert Frost.

It may be slippery at times, it may be challenging to walk that path, and it may be a path to transform along the way. But it is my path, and I´m proud of it.

Next time we meet on a Friday, dear reader, I´ll be writing about shadow work on the birthday of my grandfather on my mother´s side. Born in 1913, it is truly an ancestor I like to work with. I have a porcelain bear that he got after twenty-five years as a typographer/typesetter.

It resides in my permanent decorative altar, and every year at Samhain the bear is let loose on one of my altars that day and night. It is a mighty reminder of my inheritance of knowledge and an almost sixth sense for making words dance in the wind with a sound of music attached.

Whenever I do shadow work I make sure to be in a suitable mood. I never do it on days where I feel like shit, only when I feel fit for it. Shadow work is not to be taken lightly. It goes deep, because our shadow prefers darkness to light.

But when the basics are settled, then shadow work is a true delight. It is a way of getting to know myself better, so that I may present myself as positive as possible. Knowing that I´m not flawless. And thank the Universe for that.

Have a comfortable, pleasant and memorable weekend, dear reader.

My grandfather´s porcelain bear
Roses in October

A look into my writer´s notebook

I have always kept writing notes and yellow post-it notes. but it has not been as organized as now. Since I began writing on this blog about both writing and witchcraft, I have felt the advantage of having a basic structure to work with.

It is also called discipline and dedication. I write between 4-6 hours every day, not always behind the keyboard, for I love to write in hand. However, my health does not allow me that so often, so I restrict the handwriting to the most important notes about e.g. character traits.

It is only recently that I have begun using a writer´s notebook on a daily basis, and there is no way back after that. It is already an indispensable tool for me to care as much for as I care for my Book of Shadows in witchcraft.

A writer´s notebook to me is not like a daily journal where you write about the ways of life. It is for practical writing uses, and therefore I believe there need to be some structure in it. That I attain by indexing my many notebooks and ring binders and put page numbers on them.

I have picked the sections according to my current knowledge about writing and my practice with my novel. I have deliberately included grammar rules, since I write in English and not my native Danish. It is something that probably will evolve over time, so I keep track of it all in a document on my laptop.

A closer look into my writer´s notebook is like this at the moment :

Index

  • In every notebook and ring binder
  • Always numbered pages

Character development

  • Positive and negative character traits
  • A-Z character flaws

Common writing mistakes

  • Characters
  • Description
  • Psychology

Descriptive words

  • Concepts and idioms
  • Emotions (positive and negative)
  • Physical descriptions (body language)
  • Senses (taste, smell, touch, hearing, sight)
  • Sounds
  • Weather

Dialog

  • Ideas and inspirational quotes from novels, stage plays and motion pictures
  • Punctuation rules

Editing and publishing

  • Checklists

Genres

  • Definitions
  • Examples

Grammar rules

  • Parts of speech (word categories and elements)
  • Inflection (tenses and words changing)
  • Syntax (sentence structure)

Online writing and reading resources

  • Relevant links

Overused words

  • E.g. very

Point of view

  • First person
  • Second person
  • Third person

Worldbuilding/setting

  • Locations
  • Society types

Writing challenges

  • Ideas
  • Word count practice

Writing habits

  • Daily writing routines
  • Playlists of inspiring music to write to

Writing prompts for writer´s block

  • One for each day of the year
  • Genre prompts

Writing quotes

  • From other authors
  • Words of wisdom and inspirational words and sentences
  • Lyrics and poems

Writing techniques

  • E.g. stream of consciousness
  • E.g. foreshadowing

Personal notes

  • Brainstorming
  • New ideas to research
  • Notes for writing theory (how to´s )
  • Other relevant material to sort

Of course, I´ll never finish my writer´s notebook. It´s an ongoing project, and it changes every time I use it, which is on a daily basis. I have a section called personal notes where I keep material that does not fit into the other sections.

I have not worked my way through all the sections either. That is my creative writing project for this fall season.

I work with my writer´s notebook in two different ways. Firstly, I keep material with lots of information in ring binders, where there is space to write longer notes, descriptions, and character sketches etc. Secondly, lists with synonyms, overused words and descriptive words etc. are in smaller note books that are easy to carry.

I often change my working space, depending on where it feels right to write that day. I have a mobile work station and three permanent working places. I have a well-developed inclination to procrastinate and be somewhat unorganized, so it is necessary for me to have a strong discipline when it comes to tidiness around my work station.

Today, I organize my notes and relevant material for my writer´s notebook. This has to do with my work with word counting. It has disciplined me to write every day and to be more careful with my material.

There is a long path yet to walk, before both my writer´s notebook and my novel to be are structured and filled the way I plan to. At current moment, I´m working on the sections Character development and Point of view so that I can begin character sketching and outlining my novel.

Right now I have an idea to my novel, some of the characters, and something about setting, too. It is mostly brainstorming and note-taking. I have bought a cork board to use as my story board later on. And I´m preparing myself for the next couple of months, where I will be working with dialog.

It looks and feels so easy to do. But on the contrary, it can be tricky as hell to work with. Writing is never easy. It is easy to love to write, because of the kick of the spark of inspiration that last long after a creative writing session.

But easy, it is not.

If it were, I probably would not love it so much. With practice comes inspiration from out of nowhere, and all of a sudden it is easier, still not easy, to write and learn something new every day.

And so I hope it will be too for dialog. My characters depend on it, and my mood and tone should be mirrored in it.

With character development, I have come to the point where you take a piece of paper/open a document and write down the first sketch of characters for my novel. I can vaguely feel them, I can almost touch them in my dreams, and I can no longer wait to describe them, so that I one day can present them to my readers.

I have been studying character traits all my life, because I have always found it interesting to learn about other people´s ways of behavior and to try to understand myself better. And I have had an enriching and at times tougher than necessary life, where I have met many different kinds of people.

I also work with point of view concepts and am contemplating alternating perspectives, because it would be intriguing to try to work out a story, where all or some of the characters somehow were connected before the story takes place without letting my reader know it, before long into the story.

I want the basics to be balanced with my desire to write a novel. Therefore, I spend the next 4-5 months preparing myself to write the first draft.

I have set aside a year to accomplish my goal. The first half year I will be reading a lot about writing techniques and American English grammar, and I will be writing on the synopsis and the outline of my novel. The last part is also the scariest part, but I believe I can do the actual writing, when time comes for that.

And I believe, too, that my writer´s notebook will be full and longing for replacements soon.

Right now, as I´m writing this, I´m studying some of the methods used by famous stage masters, like Konstantin Stanislavskij and Lee Strasberg, to get some good ideas and to work with the many aspects of writing a novel.

I like to try to make my writing feel as if following a motion picture camera. So I study techniques from the theater and the movies to write more vivid and flexible. I also like to do more than one thing at the same time.

So as usual, the TV is on – my husband watches The Walking Dead, I have ear plugs in with heavy bass riffs and forceful drums on full volume, there is a cup of warm chai tea next to me, and it is October chilly.

Today, I´m rewriting some of my old notes, and I can conclude that they are in dire need for attention. So today I have dedicated myself to the difficult task to sort out irrelevant material and the rewrite the rest into something useful for my current projects.

This is another way of working with writing. It is much more disciplined than I expected, but in return is it both easier and funnier to work.

It is a creative process, no matter what subject is on the menu for today. It almost has a life of its own, this writing journey that I have embarked on. And it feels as the most natural thing in the world to do.

To sit here behind the screen and do my finger dance across the keyboard, listening to great music and feeling happy. To play with those words, these ups and downs in a controlled roller coaster, in control with deadlines and the balance with the mundane world and my second love, witchcraft.

My first and only love sits happily next to me with a smile on his lips, because he can see, feel, that I´m happy doing something I love. He is also my second worst critic, only second to me as my own worst enemy. When he says something, I listen. And try it out. He is usually right.

It is also inspiring in itself to work with a writer´s notebook. There are always new perspectives, new ideas, and new notes, when I have been working with it. It sometimes becomes the work of the day, where the writing then mostly consists of notes and references.

I have already many plans going on, so the structure in my writer´s notebook is for now permanent. There are countless hours yet to travel through this thought flight of mine. But I will recommend any aspiring writer to get familiar with the idea of a writer´s notebook.

I am also pleased to learn that my number of followers have gone up from myself to now several followers. Thank you for following and for reading.

Next Monday I´ll be back with something about a novel to write during a year. I´ll let you follow my journey from small idea to written novel like I let you follow my journey as a witch on Fridays.

This structure is also more or less permanent for the remains of 2019. What happens on January 1st is yet to be seen. I am used to write on a blog twice a week, and it is just my pace, just my rhythm. Slow, but steady, to grow my blog is also to write about it from time to time.

Right now, I´m intrigued by the many different aspects of the writing process that need to be put together like a game of puzzles. I am a puzzle person.

I like to collect materials and from those make something original, useful and beautiful.

For that reason I created a writer´s notebook from scratch, except for some old notes and life experiences, and I will use it for my novel and for this blog.

The blog process, however, has to wait a little longer, because I´m in absolutely no hurry with this blog. It is a direct and brutally honest view into my life, as it is. No more, no less.

But less is always more, so I´ll cut the crap and speak my mind :

I´m evolving my writing voice, I´m not in this world to play copycat or ghost writer.

This is me, as those who know me offline, will be able to confirm.

As above, so below, as it is said in witchcraft.

So I take all the advice I can get, but I still have my own distinct writing voice, and that is the way forward for me.

It is everywhere in my life right now, this voice. I have truly found a passion for the rest of my life. To write something worth reading is a goal to strive for. And the only way to achieve that is hard work and discipline.

That is possible without a writer´s notebook. But it keeps me organized, and therefore it is a big blessing in my everyday as a writer.

The changing seasons

Following the changing seasons is natural to me, I have done it al my life, but it is only in my later years that I have come to fully appreciate both the differences and the similarities between the seasons. They are different, but yet, they have the same condition with them, change.

Change is to me the only thing to accept and work with in life. The past is a constant that we cannot change, and nobody promises that there will be a future tomorrow.

Therefore, it is natural to me to follow the seasons of Nature. It is much more accommodating than modern stress and performance anxiety that only leaves you unsatisfied with life in general, if not tamed and changed into something better, something mindful, and something worthwhile doing.

I change with the seasons as a witch and as a human being. From the darkness in fall to the fantastic light of life in spring and from the joys of summer to the toughness of winter I follow Nature´s old ways and attune myself to the ever changing conditions of life and its many challenges. Since I became a witch, this has felt right.

Fall

September, October and November, beautiful, colorful and dark is the actual season here in the Northern Hemisphere where I live as a witch. I feel the turning of the Wheel of the Year most in fall. Here I contemplate the big issues in my life, here I show gratitude and respect, and here I attune myself to the harvest aspect of this time of year.

The celebrations are Mabon in September and Samhain in October, whereas November to me is a time for reflection and introspection.

Just a few days into October, it is getting cold quickly, and the rain seems to never stop. I´m preparing for Samhain, my New Year. I plan to work with my ancestors, the Nordic runes, and my dedication as a witch.

September has been unusually wet and cold. Fall came early this year. Perhaps a chilling reminder of the climate changes that we cannot control, but only try our best to change by letting go of e.g. bad plastic habits in time.

October is cold and wet too, we put the district heating on two days ago, and I sit and write with s plaid around me and warm slippers on my feet. I´m dressed comfortably, and there is a fresh cup of coffee right next to me.

September is a beautiful month with the harvest coming in and the thinning of the air as a soft whisper of the Wheel turning once more. October is colorful Nature at its most beautiful display of gold, red and orange on the falling leaves in the garden and on the street.

November is grey and dark, now it is time for meditation and long hours reading and writing about what matters in life. Here I often do shadow work and contemplate about life in general and my life experiences. I also cleanse my house with incense, because the New Year has begun, and as we do spring cleaning, so do I also cleanse for any stale energy left over from the past year´s many rituals and magickal workings.

Winter

December, January and February, bright, long and cold is the coming winter season here in some of the old Viking dominions. The cold needs to be icy, otherwise my 50-year-old bones and muscles ache at this time of year. I long for the promise of spring that comes with the Sabbat Imbolc in February, where the amount of candles used equal the lack of light in Nature.

The celebrations are Yule in December and Imbolc in February, whereas January is a time for inner reflections, recuperation and planning of the year.

December, the bright month, where the balance shifts once again, so that there will be more light from now on, because Yule/Winter Solstice is a lost battle for the dark time of year, as the light gains momentum and strength during the coming months.

January is a long and expensive month with mundane bills and and new routines to build up, where the days seem to be dark and cold forever. Here I work with healing and meditation, and I try to be as creative as possible to help overcome my ailments that are worst during the winter season.

I long for spring and the possibility of days with coffee in the garden with my loved ones and my friends for life. I´m restless, impatient and want to go ahead with my plans for the year as soon as possible.

February is the month of light becaue of Imbolc, where the first seeds of this year´s garden production are blessed and planted, and the celebration of the coming of the light.

Now it is time to prepare for spring and to make jars with salt and bay leaves to call for the spring to come quickly and nourishing, so that it is possible to be outside and sit and talk about life´s ups and downs around an early bonfire. Just remember to remove the jars from the window sills before it is summer, which begins at June 1st.

The winter season is a waiting time, a time to relax and enjoy the good things about solitude and the work with the inner child, and a time to be creative with little beautiful projects that both pleases the eye and the mind. I study a lot in this season, and it is also a suitable time to go through what I´ve already learned about witchcraft since last winter.

Spring

March, April and May, cloudy, changing and sunny is the future spring season that has been mesmerizing to me as long as I can remember. I love the little signs of spring, budding sprouts, beautiful spring flowers, and the trees awaiting to fully blossom everywhere in Nature. And I can´t wait for the sunshine pouring into my home and my heart and soul.

The celebrations are Ostara/Spring Equinox in March and Beltane in May, whereas April is a time for blessing of garden projects, to do the spring cleaning, and to clear up clutter in the Book of Shadows.

March is typically cloudy most of the time, alternating with rain and sunny mornings, where the fight between the dark an light seasons is most contrasting. Again it is time for balance work, which I concentrate at the Ostara Sabbat/the Spring Equinox. And to banish what no longer serves me.

April is often mild, but also subject to sudden changes in weather conditions, where Jack Frost at times show up later than expected. It is time for growth spells and abundance prayers. I sometimes make a love or friendship ritual at this time to strengthen the energy between us.

May, the sunny spring month, it mostly warm and beautiful with the Beltane Sabbat as the turning point in the beginning of the month. It is a month filled with love and laughter, and I´m usually busy planning the Summer Solstice/Litha that introduces the fact that time is short, and that summer last only a few moments before the Wheel of the Year turns towards the darker months.

It is a time of expectations and moments of utter joy of life. The birds are singing their best, and the animals are getting ready for parenting their little new ones. There is room to grow new ideas and to further work with attracting abundance and blessings for a simple, yet mindful life.

The spring season is an action time, where many of the plans from winter now are to be fully implemented. It is time for spring cleaning and banishing work as well as tending to my witchy garden projects together with my husband, who does the tough work which I no longer can do due to chronic pain and osteoarthritis.

Summer

June, July and August, warm, hot and capricious is the summer season here in the southern part of Denmark, where I spend my life. We have just passed a long and beautiful summer, not as wild as the one last year, where we five months in a row had a gigantic heat wave that came in series of extended summer days and evenings from early spring to long into late fall. And I feel sad every time that summer has passed, for time is really short when enjoying it.

The celebrations are Litha/Summer Solstice in June and Lammas in August, whereas July is a time for rest and relaxation.

I long already for the next summer to show up. In June, it is already time to say goodbye to the Sun, however, because as the Wheel of the Year turns, so do the seasons. Here the battle between light and dark is symbolized with the Summer Solstice, where the balance from now on is in favor of the dark time of year.

In July, my birth month, I work only little with witchcraft except from the beginning gathering of herbs from Mother Earth. Typically, my work is focused on New Moon intentions and Drawing Down the Moon at Full Moon. But I go through my Book of Shadows regularly to supply and expand my current knowledge of witchcraft, and I work with creating creative projects for witchcraft purposes.

August is back to school, back to work after a good and long vacation. My studies of witchcraft is intense, but not as deep as in the fall and winter season. I usually try to learn about witchcraft corresponding with the changing seasons and the turns of the Wheel of the Year. Here I often study how to create rituals and spells, which I write during the fall and winter seasons.

The summer season is both an action and relaxing time, where the preparations for harvest are in full swing, and the last of the warming and beautiful summer evenings are enjoyed around a bonfire in the garden as often as possible. As a witch I work with my intentions for the dark season and to fill my outlook on life´with positiveness and lots of light and enriching moments as playing with the neighbor´s children in the garden or laughing with each other at the bonfire in the evening.

In conclusion …

… I can only recommend others to begin following Nature and the ways of Mother Earth. Time is too short for modern stress and the eternal dance around the golden calf in the hunt for success, money, and personal gain.

It has had a major positive impact on my attitude towards many things in life, and I often relate my work with the changing seasons to other areas of life than witchcraft. That is my point of view for my next blog post about witchcraft next Friday.

The more I work with witchcraft and changes, the more I feel attuned to Nature throughout the year. The more I contemplate life´s many twists and turns through the lenses of witchcraft, the more I feel alive and free from overrated mundane issues like money-related success and happiness from the shop-till-you-drop plastic culture that we are imposed to strive for.

No, I definitely prefer the words of an – to me- unknown author :

“Happiness is the new rich.

Inner peace is the new success.

Health is the new wealth.

Kindness is the new cool.”

Those were the words for today. Have a blessed, life-enriching weekend, dear reader.