Blog housekeeping isn’t any more fun than house housekeeping

I get bored with cover pictures and themes on my web site, Facebook page, and blogs. Tinkering with those is fun. Less fun is keeping the blogroll and other links in the margins up to date. And then there are the old posts.

blogclipartWhen I sign on, I notice old posts that are getting a lot of hits. Sometimes I wonder why. Occasionally, I even go out and look at them and find (horrors) that my signature line has an out-of-date link in it, or worse yet that the post has a cover photo of an earlier edition of one of my novels.

If the posts are getting a lot of hits, then that’s where housekeeping is important. Writers who blog hope some of their readers will visit their websites and buy their books. This won’t happen if posts have links to web sites and books that no longer exist.

When blogs focus on events that are ongoing, you can also add updated material or fresh links. I did this a lot with my posts about the White House Boys (notorious school in Florida) and the fate of the aircraft carrier USS Ranger. Both of these were for a while developing stories. You can rewrite the posts, of course, or you can add to them. When you add substantial new information, you can add the word UPDATED to the title.

I don’t delete a lot of old posts, but sometimes it’s good to take a look at them and see if you still feel the way you did when you wrote them. For a writer, this is often like finding old short stories in a file drawer and being a little embarrassed you haven’t thrown them away.

There’s more to do with a blog than meets the eye–just like the attic or the garage in your house.

–Malcolm

Myth and Magic Resources and Links

While working on Conjure Woman’s Cat, Sarabande and other novels, I compiled a list of resources for others interested in writing about magic or learning more about spiritual/new age resource materials.

mythclipartThe following resources, collected from this blog’s posts, may be helpful to others studying or following the heroine’s journey, folk tales and magical pursuits. These are books and sites I found helpful as I researched my novels and short stories.

Dark Moon

Black Moon and the Black Madonna on Sophia’s Children

Goddess Meditations by Barbara Ardinger

Dragontime Magic and Mystery of Menstruation by Luisa Francia

Moon Phases Calendar

Planting by the Moon

The Moon Watcher’s Companion by Donna Henes.

Moon Watching by Dana Gerhardt

Moon Tides, Soul Passages by Maria Kay Simms

Moon Mother, Moon Daughter by Janet Lucy

Witchcraft vs. Wicca – See one view here on Hecate’s Cauldron

Death and Rebirth

Descent to the Goddess by Sylvia Brinton Perea

The Myth of the Goddess: Evolution of an Image by Anne Baring and Jules Cashford

The Pattern of Initiation in the Evolution of Human Consciousness by Peter Dawkins & Sir George Trevelyan

Inanna, queen of heaven and earth: Her stories and hymns from Sumer by Diane Wolkstein and Samuel Noah Kramer – This book, first published in 1983, presented a long-awaited translation of the original Inanna material from the 2000 BCE cuneiform clay tablets.

Folk Magic

HOODOO IN THEORY AND PRACTICE –  An Introduction to African-American Rootwork by Catherine Yronwode – An introduction to hoodoo, including basics, spells, herbs, and related blues songs.

The Black Folder, edited by Catherine Yronwode, 2013.

Drums and Shadows, folk magic practices in the state of Georgia assembled by the WPA in the 1930s. The online overview describes the book this way: This collection of oral folklore from coastal Georgia was assembled during the 1930s as part of a WPA writers’ program, under the supervision of Mary Granger. The accounts in this book, framed by colorful descriptions of the rural locales where they were collected, were principally from elderly African-Americans, some of them centarians. Most had been slaves. In some cases they had known first generation slaves who had been born in Africa.

Hoodoo Herb and Root Magic, by Catherine Yronwode, 2002.

“Remembering Hoyt’s Cologne,” Malcolm’s Round Table

The Sanctified Church, by Zora Neale Hurston, 1981.

SOUTHERN SPIRITS: Ghostly Voices from Dixie Land – Web site features reference materials from the South during the slavery years about conjure and hoodoo.

Mojo Workin’: The Old African American Hoodoo System by Katrina Hazzard-Donald, University of Illinois Press; 1st Edition edition (December 17, 2012)

Conjured Cardea: Full-Service Botanica and Rootwork Services – supplies, services, blog

Heroine’s Journey

The Heroine’s Journey by Maureen Murdock

From Girl to Goddess: The Heroine’s Journey through Myth and Legend by Valerie Estelle Frankel (See the July 2011 “Mythprint” review of this book here.) Frankel’s website includes a lengthy heroine’s journey reading list.

Sarabande contemporary fantasy by Malcolm R. Campbell released by Thomas-Jacob Publishing in a new second edition November 20151.

“The Way of Woman: Awakening the Perennial Feminine” by Helen M. Luke

Apple Farm Community – The Writings of Helen M. Luke

Real Women, Real Wisdom: A Journey into the Feminine Soul by Maureen Hovenkotter  (See a review here.)

The Heroine’s Coach, the website for Susanna Liller’s journey-oriented coaching services. The site includes an e-mail newsletter for women following their own paths called “Journey News.”

The Heroine’s Journey appears on author Leslie Zehr’s Universal Dancer website and includes a discussion of Sylvia Brinton Perera’s Descent to the Goddess, a book I found essential for my understanding of the journey. Zehr is the author of The Alchemy of Dance: Sacred Dance as a Path to the Universal Dancer.

Light of Nature

Light of Nature Website, exploring the science and the philosophy of the concept.

“The Female Brain” by Louann Brizendine

“The Spell of the Sensuous” by David Abram

Messages from Mother – Author Mare Cromwell’s website.

Heroine Literature

The Heroine’s Bookshelf: Life Lessons, from Jane Austen to Laura Ingalls Wilder by Erin Blakemore

Fearless Girls, Wise Women & Beloved Sisters: Heroines in Folktales from Around the World by Kathleen Ragan

The Heroine in Western Literature: The Archetype and Her Reemergence in Modern Prose by Meredith A. Powers

The Art of Fiction: Illustrated from Classic and Modern Texts by David Lodge

Mythic Archetypes

Goddesses in Everywoman: Powerful Archetypes for Women by Jean Shinoda Bolen

Patriarchy

The Dance of the Dissident Daughter by Sue Monk Kidd

Unplugging the Patriarchy – A Mystical Journey into the Heart of a New Age by Lucia René

Reviving Ophelia by Mary Pipher

Ophelia Speaks: Adolescent Girls Write about Their Search for Self by Sara Shandler

Surviving Ophelia: Mothers Share Their Wisdom in Navigating the Tumultuous Teenage Years by Cheryl Dellasega

Story Within

And Now The Story Lives Inside You, poems by Elizabeth Reninger

The Spell of the Sensuous by David Abram

Alchemical Studies by C. G. Jung

Harry Potter – A New World Mythology? By Lynne Milum

“Dark Wood to White Rose: Journey and Transformation in Dante’s ‘Divine Comedy’” by Helen M. Luke

“The Soul’s Code: In Search of Character and Calling” by James Hillman

Tarot

LaVielle’s Book Jacket Blog

Raven’s Tarot Site

Writer’s Muse

The Sister from Below: When the Muse Gets Her Way by Naomi Ruth Lowinsky

Marry Your Muse: Making a Lasting Commitment to Your Creativity by Jan Phillips

The Voice of the Muse: Answering the Call to Write by Mark David Gerson.

20 Master Plots: an How to Build Them, by Ronald Tobias

The Hero’s Journey: A Guide to Literature and Life by Reg Harris and Susan Thompson (This is a series of lesson plans for teaching the hero’s journey in a classroom setting.)

Fairy Tales, Folk Tales, and Related Stories

Myth & Moor – Terri Windling’s blog

Marina Warner Website – Writer of fiction, criticism and history with a strong focus on fairy tales.

The Endicott Studio – “The Endicott Studio, founded in 1987, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to literary, visual, and performance arts inspired by myth, folklore, fairy tales, and the oral storytelling tradition.”

“The Irresistible Fairy Tale: The Cultural and Social History of a Genre,” by Jack Zipes. A wonderful study of the genre available in paperback and Kindle.

Fairy tales and Literature – An online bibliography from author and professor Theodora Goss. Great introduction of resource material.

–Malcolm

Malcolm R. Campbell is the author of magical realism, contemporary fantasy, and paranormal stories and novels.

A few writing resources.

VHP Author Blog: In this new blog, the authors from Vanilla Heart Publishing focus on writing tips, techniques and ideas.

Interesting Links: I finally got around to adding a links page to my website. If you’re a writer, you might find a few things to check out here.

Promo Day: This network and learning event is aimed at writers and publishers who want to promote their books while learning more about the promotion process. This year’s event is May 15. There’s also a Promo Day Blog with additional information.

C. Hope Clark’s Blog: Clark, who maintains the popular Funds for Writers site, offers tons of advice in her blog for writers and editors. See Funds for Writers for information about writing grants, contests and markets; while there, check out the newsletters.

Pub Rants Blog: Writing and publishing from an agent’s perspective.

Writer Beware: What to watch out for in the world of publishing, agents, and writing.

Open Directory Project: More writers’ resources than you can shake a stick at.

Around the Links

On this slow, lazy southern Saturday, I’m taking the easy way out by posting a few links to recent posts in my other blogs.

“The Apartment” to the rescue on Sun Singer’s Travels discusses my use of a reference to this old Billy Wilder movie to show how my protagonist Jock Stewart feels about himself on a down evening. I think the reference works even for readers who’ve never seen the film. Check out my “FriendFeed” while you’re here.

In Movie and Book References Help Define your Characters on Writer’s Notebook I suggest that while current popular culture references can date a book, mentioning older movies and books can add atmosphere and show what your characters are all about.

Eye Blink Fiction features a short excerpt from my novel “Garden of Heaven” about liberty in a 1960s sailor town.

Readers Looking for ‘The Lust Symbol’ Ravish Bookstore on Morning Satirical News is another off-the-wall satire about what happens when a bookstore owner gets the name of Dan Brown’s new novel wrong in his advertising.

When our water heater went out earlier this week, I wrote about it in The Water Heater on my MythRider weblog.

If you read book reviews on your quest for new books, I invite you to read take a look at Janice Harayda’s One-Minute Book Reviews and The Rose City Reader (out of Portland, Oregon). See also, Ms. Bookish – My life among books.

As always, I hope you’ll stop by my publisher, Vanilla Heart Publishing and take a look at their wonderful selection of books including “Jock Stewart and the Missing Sea of Fire.” If you’re a writer of poetry, essays/articles and short stories with a focus on the out doors, you might be interested in submitting a piece for the upcoming “Earth’s Gifts” anthology which will celebrate Earth Day 2010. The deadline is December 31, 2009.

Have an enjoyable weekend.

Malcolm