Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Snowbound -- With Zombies Book Release

The official book release for Snowbound — with Zombies, is this Saturday September 26 at the Whittier Birthplace in Haverhill, MA.  The book release is in conjunction with Haverhill’s 375th Anniversary and Essex National Heritage Area’s Trails and Sails.

Though Whittier is more remembered for his abolitionist views and his crusading journalism, his first book was a collection of local superstitions. According to Dave Goudsward, who edited Snowbound — with Zombies, "By the time The Supernaturalism of New England, his second book of folklore, was released in 1847, he was an accomplished folklorist, even if the word ‘folklore’ had not come into common usage.” This little-remembered side of Whittier is what prompted Goudsward to create this anthology tales of the supernatural inspired by Whittier's works.

I took my inspiration for  my short story "The Fortune Teller" from the poem Moll Pitcher, a 900-line poem Whittier wrote about a clairvoyant and fortune-teller from Lynn, Massachusetts. Born Mary Diamond around 1736, she was known for her accurate predictions, especially those concerning voyages by ship. A quote from Whittier's poem now adorns her gravestone in the West Lynn Burial Ground.

Join us Saturday, September 26, 2015, from 1-3 pm at the Whittier Birthplace, 305 Whittier Road, Haverhill, MA 01830-1738.

Other participants in the event include Judi Ann Calhoun, Tim Coco, Karen Dent, Roxanne Dent, David Goudsward, Scott Goudsward, John M. McIlveen, Gregory Norris, Faye Ringel, and Kristi Petersen Schoonover.

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Witches' Almanac #35: New Articles

The Spring 2016-2017 edition (issue 35) of The Witches Almanac has just been released. This issue's theme is Air: The Breath of Life, and features an article "Herbs of Air" (by Lilith Hearthstone), "The Nine Elements" (by well-known Druid Ian Corrigan), a compilation of quotes related to air, and "Breathe Easy" (by Tammi Wilson).

In addition to its usual features — Moon Gardening, the Moon Calendar, Moon Cycles, and Presage, where astrologer Dikki-Jo Mullen gives us the astrological outlook for the upcoming year — it also contains numerous articles not related to air, including the following that I contributed:

“The Magic of Kohl”
“Nyctophilia, or the Love of Night”
“The Cursed Amethyst and Other Cursed Gems”
“Breaking Glass”
“Sidonia von Bork, Sorceress”

Not just for beautification, kohl has magical properties. Read “The Magic of Kohl” to find out more.  “Nyctophilia, or the Love of Night” gives insight into why many of us love the night. “The Cursed Amethyst and Other Cursed Gems” explores some of the legends associate with cursed gems. We all know the superstitions associated with breaking mirrors, but what about those associated with breaking glass? "Breaking Glass" has some good news. Who was Sidonia von Bork? Read “Sidonia von Bork, Sorceress” and find out.

The Witches Almanac is widely distributed. You can find it your local bookstore, chain bookstores, Amazon, and, of course, www.thewitchesalmanac.com/, where you can also buy back issues.