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Hi everyone, sorry I haven’t posted in a while. Sadly October is coming to a close *cry* but as some really wise person once said (maybe it was Elvis? Yoda?) “When closes door, open another does”.

November is coming up and you know what that means..NaNoWriMo! NaNoWriMo stands for ‘National Novel Writing Month’, it’s such a big thing that it even has its own organization and website at www.nanowrimo.org

The goal of the month is to write a full novel in thirty days. I’m not talking about a one of those dinky 10 k short stories. I’m talking about 50,000 words in 30 days. You might be thinking…WTF!

But don’t worry, It’s about quantity not quality (though you should spell check along the way. It’s just more classy). This is a test for writers of all kinds all over the world whether your genre is YA, erotica, romance, horror, suspense, etc. to see how disciplined you can be, how far can you go, and see if you can finish.

Why would someone actually put themselves through that amount of stress and self-torture in one month? Simple: It’s fun!

The NaNoWriMo organization is so supportive of its writers with forums from inspirational writing music to places having “Write Ins” in your local area where you can meet up with other participants going through the exact same thing your going through.

I’m going to update the blog on my progress all through the month so get ready! Two more days and the madness will begin! And everyone is invited to write or read about writing. It doesn’t cost any money and it’s a great way to network with other writers 🙂

Here’s a music video by the band ALL CAPS that tells the true spirit of NaNoWritMo. (Great song! Great band!) the Albums at iTunes or Amazom.com if you like it!

Blessed Be 🙂

This is a video of one of the people (besides my amazing mom) who has inspired me the most in my Craft; Charming Pixie Flora.

Flora is such an amazing person that I actually found by accident. Last year I was looking for some recipes for some stuff to make for Mabon (Witches Thanksgiving, will talk about that in another post) and one of her videos came up on YouTube.

She has been  a Natural Witch for almost six years and has a wealth of knowledge. This is Charming Pixie Flora’s recipe for ‘Witches Brew’ a drink that is great for the fall holidays and as an ale substitute for the ale portion of Sabbat and esbat celebrations. Sabbat and esbats are the times that Wiccans and pagans set aside to celebrate the Wheel of Life, the lunar calendar, and the changing seasons.

And since Samhain (Halloween) is coming up I thought this would be a great way to start off. If you want to throw a spooking party, this is a great way to add some witcheyness to the festivities. Or you can make it anytime and enjoy. Everyone should check out Flora’s YouTube channel at Flora\’s Family Footsteps

*I have no rights to this video, all credit goes to Flora*

ingredients needed:

1 Gallon Apple Cider
1 Apple
1 Orange
3 Cinnamon Sticks
3 Slices Ginger
1 Handful Dried Rose Petals
1 TBS Spice (your choice)

-First pour the gallon of apple cider into a very large cooking pot (one that can hold a gallon of liquid or more.)

-Add in a hand full of dried rose petals (you can buy these at any health food store by the bag . Or at a New Age shop, but they will be more expensive. )I have a wonderfully giant rose-bush outside my bedroom window. (It’s wonderful waking up every morning to the sweet scent of tea rose wafting through your bedroom, placing a cocoon of sweetness around you..sorry) I collect the blooms and petals from every summer, dry and use them (AFTER washing them of any germs! I just spray them with water and pat them dry. Gives me peace of mind)

-Next slice a whole apple horizontally, it shows the star or pentacle of seeds that’s in every apple.  Apples have been used in sacred rites and fortune-telling for centuries because of its association with the harvest and many Goddesses. It is really amazing to see (or I’m just that easily amazed)

-Add in the slices of oranges, cinnamon sticks, and slices of ginger to the mix. In the video, Flora uses nutmeg for her spice of choice but for me personally and my family prefer to add coriander. When freshly ground it gives off a pungent citrus and floral small that reminds me of oranges and lilac.

-Stir the amber liquid (don’t get too excited, brisk stirring + scalding hot liquid= @#$!) about every twenty minutes and let it simmer on the stove for about 2 hours. During this time the apples with cook down and start to crumble and become something close to the consistency of apple sauce. That’s okay it only adds the texture of the drink.

WARNING! Cooking this will make your house small so AMAZING! Every year I make this (since I am designated kitchen witch for many of the sabbats) the sugary sweetness tantalizes everyone out of their rooms and into the kitchen wondering what’s going on.  We have very small ranch-style house so it makes EVERYTHING take on that old-country sweet apple farm smell.

-After man-handling all family members out of the kitchen, now it the hardest part, the waiting. I usually sit in the kitchen with one of my many romance novels (yes, I read romance. Don’t just me.) and play the waiting game.

After your two hours are up, serve to your guests or rowdy family members. You can strain it if you want but I like having bits of flavors burst in your mouth while drinking.

Blessed Be!

I know I haven’t been posting anything really pertaining to writing or Wicca lately but right now that is going to change as for now. Today I want to put something to rest that a lot of pagan newbies worry a lot about.

 As me and my mom are eclectic Wiccans we do many rituals for different things. We do rituals for luck, celebration the sabbats, esbats, all sorts of stuff. And as many know we have a little child  as well. So there is a higher chance that whatever we are doing at that moment in time will come to a stand still with these few little words “Ooh, what are you doing?” “Ooh, what’s this thing?” “Ooh, can I play with the stick?” (it’s a wand but he thinks it’s a stick)

For Example:

Last night we (me and Mom) decided to go outside (it was gorgeous outside!) and do a nighttime ritual with our new bonfire pit ( the caldron we call it be cause it really looks like a caldron) for good fortune for the family and us. This is a parody of what happened…

Mom (standing to the north, I in the south invoking our circle): “Oh Goddess we ask of you…

Little Bro:”What are you doing”

Me: “We’re doing our ritual, shhh”.

Mom: Again we ask the God and Goddess…

Little Bro; “Can I play with the stick?”

Me (glaring): “No, shut up. And it’s a wand, not a stick”.

Little Bro: “But I wanna play with it!”

Mom: “Don’t tell your brother to ‘shut up’. Do you want to be a part of our ritual, sweetie?”

Little Bro: *nods*

(We finally get the circle cast and say  our blessings and say thanks to the God and Goddess when in the middle…)

Little Bro: “Are we done yet?”

Me and Mom :”No.”

Little Bro (after about two-minute of silence) :”I’m bored!”

(Little brother runs out of the circle , which he isn’t suppose to, to instead roll around in the mosquito infested grass and get his clothes dirty and sing at the top of his lungs)

Rituals aren’t ment to be perfect. If they were they wouldn’t half as interesting and just because you get interrupted or a magick malfunction, as I like to call it, happens it doesn’t make the spell any less potent. It’s the energy and you acknowledgement of the energies and divine forces you invoke that matter. Every you do is between the Goddess and the God, and they don’t care if you look like a fool or screw something up. Laughter is one of the things that they hold dear and they know how much work you put into everything you do.  I felt the energy yesterday and I know, yet it was comical, but the Gods and Goddesses need to laugh too…

Things for me have been overly stressful lately. Homework is building up, people I want to interview aren’t getting back to me, everything has been head-ache-causing. My mom and i are very intuned with each other ( I vent to her, she vents to me, and nobody goes postal) so to help me relax she decided to take me and little brother on a mini-roadtrip to the pumpkin farm.

It was at  some garden center that they set up with games and stuff every year. The main thing my brother wanted to do was go on the hayride. Mom got us tickets and we went to wait in line. The total ride is about 45 minutes long but you go on the haunted hayride that drops you off in the corn maze and when you find your way out you’re at the pumpkin patch to pick out your pumpkins. We wait fifteen minutes in line under in long sleeve shirts (thinking “Hey, it’s Wisconsin, it’s going to be cold out.”) But instead it was in the high seventies with full sun (thank you Global Warming! *not*) The tractor finally arrives and we are one of the first people in line so we had a guaranteed seat. My brother with his great enthusiasm and small bladder gets so excited that he reaches up to pull on my mom’s sleeve and says on a little voice “Bathroom?”

We missed the ride of course and had to wait another 45 minutes for the next one. We spent most the time with brother trying to convince him to use the Port-o-Potty. 

We finally get on the hayride and is was nice! Not too scary for little brother and relaxing for me and Ma. The corn maze was another story…I didn’t remember the corn being so tall and confusing 🙂 It took us twenty minutes and three dead ends to find the exist.  Little brother picks a good size orange pumpkin (with the conditions that he couldn’t pick one bigger than himself 😉 ) And I chose a really cool white one that looks like a head 🙂

After picking out pumpkins he asked Mom for some tickets to play some of the kiddie games, first was a fishing game where he wins a plastic necklace . He kept asking me “Sam, you go play too?”  He’s so cute. I told him that the games where only for little kids not adults *sadly, the fishing game looked fun!*

Then he won a toy frog with a parachute from a catapult game where you hit it as hard as you can to make the plastic rubber frog go into the pond.  We still and more tickets so he wanted to go inside this blow-up caterpillar bouncy things. He runs in and the first thing you hear is *thump* then Brother saying “I’m okay!”

He still has one more ticket left so he ran to the fishing game again. He caught another fish and wins another necklace. He comes back out with his prize and my mom says, “Are you going to where that too?”

He shook his head and reached up to me and said “No, I won this for my sister!” I couldn’t stop smiling the whole way home…

Here is the adobe file for the paper so everyone can see it!    Arches October 2010 edition

Hi everyone, it’s me…and I have something for everyone!!! As everybody knows I’m a college student getting my bachelor’s in English Professional Writing, to help improve my writing style I have been a reporter for my school’s newspaper called ‘Arches’ for the past two semesters. And I want to share with you my recent published work 🙂

Angel Brings Joplin to New Audience : I got the chance to interview Ms. Ann Angel, author and professor at my school about her new YA book titled Janis Joplin: Rise up Singing. She is a fabulous person and there is even video for her singing karaoke at her book signing!

Vampires Go Home!!! This is for a section we have called ‘Lite Life’ where we prove that life is funny. I did a spoof article on the mega vampire franchise going on now. Wait…I love vampires as much as the next teenage girl so I’m not bashing anyone, this is written with love 🙂

Also, Arches is starting a section where we introduce the press and my friend and editor Mandy chose to write an article about me! (Thank you Mandy!) I’ve shown it to you but it’s not on the website yet but picture this…Little picture of me and Mandy going over story ideas and below is her story about me volunteering last semester for Arches and taking Arches for credit this semester, and how I’ve changed and everything. (Cool!)

You can see my past articles at www.archesnews.com, just type in Samantha Stanford into the search engine and you can see my other Lite Life and profile articles I’ve done. Have a great day and Blessed Be.

My parental units came home with gifts from Wally World for me and Middle Brother (he’s techically my little brother but what can you say to a seven year old with a Napolean complex?) I had to share because they are so cute! Let the fashion show begin!!!

I need to get one for Mom so we can match when we go out 🙂

To the right (at least my right) is an orange t-shirt with a coven of witches out and about causing the Goddess only knows what mischief with the words “Girls Night Out”. I love it!

Look! My new school uniform! 😉

To the left (my left people) is a lovely purple t-shirt that bears the words “Witch in Training”. My mom’s idea of a joke 🙂

Sadly, I couldn’t find an image of my most favorite of the lot my “Werewolf” t-shirt but picture this with me…picture a brownish grey backdrop with a larger than life black outline of a werewolf’s head right ou front, ready to rip the throat out of anything or any one. At the bottom hem we have smaller black outlines of a eery forest with a werewolf howling to the full bright moon…Dracula eat your heart out!

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