When you’re as successful an author as Maggie Stiefvater is, you can finally start writing the weird stories, the ones that are hard to explain, hard to pitch, hard to label, but are very you. That’s what All the Crooked Saints is. A Stiefvater novel about darkness and love and pain but stripped of conventionality and playing with new genres. Continue reading “Book Review: All the Crooked Saints by Maggie Stiefvater”
The Belles was the talk of book twitter preceding its debut in February, and I must say, it lived up to the hype! Exquisite imagery dances off every page, immersing us in the world of Orléans, where a gifted few have the ability to magically alter the dull, gray appearances of their countrymen into something vivid and beautiful. The Belles control beauty. But who controls the Belles?
Today I thought I would combine the two main topics of my blog to talk about the written works that have informed my practice of witchcraft. In addition to this small sampling, I also read every book on the subject at the local library when I was starting out. The more you read, the more ideas, perspectives, and practices you will have to choose from and the easier it will be to start intuiting your own version of the practice. Continue reading “What’s on a Witch’s Bookshelf?”
When I heard that George R.R. Martin had co-edited an anthology centered on the theme of dangerous women, I thought, the man who gave us Arya Stark, Daenerys Targaryen, Lady Mormont, and Cersei Lannister must certainly have good taste in rounding up stories of complex, powerful, kick-butt women, right? Wrong. Let me save you some time and share which stories are worth reading, and which you should definitely skip. Continue reading “Book Review: Dangerous Women Edited by George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois”
An arranged marriage is the last thing Dimple Shah wants. Like many second-generation Americans, Dimple sometimes has trouble seeing eye to eye with her Indian-born parents and marriage is an issue on which she certainly won’t budge. That’s why her parents don’t tell her that sending her to coding camp is really an excuse to introduce her to the son of a family friend. When Dimple finds out, she’s furious. But she also can’t help being intrigued by handsome, earnest Rishi Patel.
A Book of Shadows is a journal of sorts where witches can keep track of their magical workings and spiritual journey. A grimoire is a similar text but generally less personal and may be passed down or shared within a coven or family. Some people use these words interchangeably and definitions vary. In any case, it is a very handy resource if you ever want to replicate past rituals, check the progress of a spell, or build up habits and traditions. (Or write a blog about all the magic you’ve been practicing for years!) But how do you decide what goes in it and what doesn’t? Continue reading “What to Write in Your Book of Shadows or Grimoire”
The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty is a YA/New Adult fantasy novel that takes place in the Middle East, in a distinctly Muslim setting, depicting with magic and wonder a region too often viewed with suspicion and contempt here in the U.S. I love this book for its epic world-building; Chakraborty takes the concept of djinn (a.k.a. genies), and explodes it into a complex society with its own history, prejudices, and machinations. Let me tell you all about it!
Whenever my cat drops a whisker, I can’t help but to think it is the perfect opportunity for a spell. One thing that works of fiction get right is that whiskers, hair, or other similar vessels of DNA can strengthen the tie between a spell and its object, making the spell more powerful. Since I fret over my kitty’s health and safety like a helicopter mom, I decided a protection spell would be the best way to take advantage of his fallen feeler. Below is the spell I designed, using only ingredients I had on hand. Continue reading “Simple Pet Protection Spell”
To continue my series highlighting diverse authors I’ve seen speak, I would like to introduce the Nigerian feminist writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Known for her novels (Americanah, etc.), essays (Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions), and TEDTalks (We Should All Be Feminists), Adichie brings a necessary international perspective to discussions in race, gender, storytelling, and feminism.