Daily Archives: December 14, 2011

How Do You Know She’s a Witch?

She looks like one!

It's not easy being green. Image via oz.wikia.com

As Kermit so aptly put it, witches have had it rough. I’m sure that was what he referred to with his comment. Always looking out for others, that one.

Witches have always had a bit of a bad rap. If you go searching through the history books, you’ll find whole heaps of instances where a drought or famine or rash of cattle deaths — or a rash in general — prompted the good townspeople to fear a witch in their midst. One might even call them the scapegoats of humanity throughout the centuries. It resulted in not a few bogus trials and torture and death sentences. It also happened to be one of those guilt by association things. You know nice little Esther Pemberley down the street?

You do know her?!!  You must be a witch too!!!! [Insert torches and angry mob with pitchforks here.]

What do you burn apart from witches? MORE WITCHES! Image property of the Monty Python boys, brought to you by rjciurus.com

Needless to say, the witches who were accused and inevitably found guilty met rather ignominious fates. And instead of being witches, they were mostly just…you know. Women. Sometimes old, quirky, or wealthy (magistrates loved to accuse wealthy widows because when they offed them in the “justice” system,  they got to keep the spoils estates), sometimes young and into some kind of mundane trouble.

Makes me rather happy that I not only live in a land where women are mostly equal, but I live here in the 21st century. Four hundred years ago, there is probably a stake with my name on it.

Like this steak. Wait... (Drool courtesy of steamykitchen.com)

Like vampires and horror, witches were one of my childhood staples. I loved magic. I loved magic so much that I begged Santa for a real magic wand and figured he had just forgotten or ran out of time on Christmas Day that year. I subsequently looked under my bed every day for over a year. I contented myself with reading about witches or magic. Books like the Chronicles of Prydain made me yearn to be Eilonwy. Whenever I played Candy Land with friends, we fought over who got to be the magical blue witch (because as children, this is a never-ending and vital argument).

I was never afraid of witches, even the really bad ones like the WWW (Wicked Witch of the West) or Maleficent in Sleeping Beauty. I thought Glinda was a wee bit dumb. I loved the idea of witches who had power within them, wand or no wand.

It didn’t take me long to fall in love with urban fantasy. The Night World witches came first and had me hunting through herb shops wanting to try Thea’s spells. Then I discovered the Secret Circle, and I was hooked like magic was crack. When I got older, it was the sorcerers from the Belgariad and the Aes Sedai of the Wheel of Time (I know, I know, not “witches” and not urban fantasy). Then came Kim Harrison‘s Rachel Morgan. Her witches fall into either the “earth witch” category or the “ley line” witch category. Magic has defined lines, though as Rachel of course finds out, where the line is tends to move. I liked that, but I still loved the idea of magic coming from within the character, like the Will and the Word used by Eddings, or being able to channel the One Power.

Little did I know that all of those ideas and preferences were beginning to culminate in the germination of my own witches, the ones who populate my trilogy. To me, nature is the essence of magic, and witches, if you will, are nothing more than conduits of that essence. They can change things and get nature to do things for them, but it all comes from the same place. Nature, science, that type of power that is bigger than humanity. Magic in this sense is never “good” or “evil” — it is the user that gives it the intent and meaning, for good or ill.

My question for all you fantasy readers out there — and writers — is this: how do you know she’s a witch? What gives witches their powers? Where does magic come from?

You can make it up — that’s what this is all about. But show me your magic.

How do I know she’s a witch? Well, I’ll tell you, gentle viewers.

If she weighs the same as a duck, she is made of wood! And therefore…a witch!


Versatile Blogger Award!

I woke up the other afternoon to the surprising discovery that Ms. Eve Redwater had nominated me for the Versatile Blogger Award! That makes two, which I find quite exciting. And flattering. And humbling. I know my blog is prolific, which can have many connotations. It can be good, like money-in-the-bank-prolific would be good. It can also be odd like a collection-of-old-gum-wrappers-prolific. It could also be sort of prolific like having a gaggle of termite mounds surrounding your house. I’m going to make the executive decision to conclude that this is more of the money in bank sort of happy prolific that has become Versatile.

Badge of Honor!

Join me for a huzzah before we move on:


Here are the rules so you know the drill:

1. In a post on your, blog, nominate 15 fellow bloggers for The Versatile Blogger Award.
2. In the same post, Add the Versatile Blogger Award.
3. In the same post, thank the blogger who nominated you in a post with a link back to their blog.
4. In the same post, share 7 completely random pieces of information about yourself.
5. In the same post, include this set of rules.
6. Inform each nominated blogger of their nomination by posting a comment on each of their blogs.

Here are the bloggers I am nominating!

1. Chris Galford. Not only is Chris a lovely human and an excellent writer, but he has just published his first fantasy novel, The Hollow March, which I have just bought and cannot wait to read.

2. Kellianne Sweeney. The fabulous AG introduced us on Twitter, and her blog is full of fun as well as having some great teasers for her book!

3. Broke and Bookish. This site is full of book-lovers dreams and lollipops. It’s where I got my post from last Tuesday that brought on some serious nostalgia and a few posts by other bloggers doing the same. Check them out for good book recommendations and to interact with fellow bibliophiles.

4. Lara Leigh. Honest, authentic posts from a very earnest and genuine woman. There are some things in writing that can’t be taught, and the kind of resonance that exists in Lara’s blog is among them.

5. Jess Brown. Where do I begin? Not only is Jess a phenomenal writer, but she is a very selfless and giving person. I urge you to go check out her blog and her posted fiction.

6. Anna Meade’s Yearning for Wonderland. I seem to be drawn to others who have an affinity with Lewis Carroll. Anna’s blog is interesting, variable, and versatile — you will be supremely diverted.

7. Marcie Hill . Speaking of selfless and giving, I also met Marcie via AG, and she is quick to share, quick to respond, and always willing to chat with fellow Tweeps. Can’t help but love it!

8. Cathy Dreyer. Want tales of accidentally goosing a father-in-law or tossing a son’s clothes out the window? Go straight to Cathy’s blog. She weaves the hilarity of true life experiences with her growth as a writer. Don’t miss her blog.

9 and 10. Marcy Kennedy and Lisa Hall-Wilson over at Girls with Pens. These ladies know their stuff. Their blogs provide a lot of food for thought for budding writers.

11. Michael Montoure. Funny, informative, and writes horror. Need I say more?

I know, I know, I’m baddie bad bad bad for not having four more people. Pout. Blame the holiday season and my excessive work schedule — and the fact that I stayed up till 5 AM last night to complete my vampire survey. So let us jump to the Emmie factoids, shall we?

1. I like to imitate strange noises whilst driving alone in my car. Think the background of LCD Soundsystem songs and you won’t be too far off.

2. I don’t like the sun much. It burns, Precious. But seriously. It burns. Quick and deep, and my skin doesn’t like it. I’m also paranoid about getting skin cancer, so I take great pains to stay as pasty as possible.

3. I go barefoot as much as humanly possible.

4. My now-husband fulfilled one of my most vivid childhood hopes a few months into our relationship when he tucked a magic wand under my pillow — I used to sleep with that thing in my bed when we still lived apart.

5. A cat’s purr is one of the most comforting sounds in the world to me.

6. I’ve had a lot of bad experiences with practical jokes, and I have very little tolerance for them — regardless of whether they’re on me or someone else.

7. I speak Polish, some German, and some Spanish. I want to learn Gaelic, Welsh, Russian, and Portuguese before I die.


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