Daily Archives: May 27, 2004

Another Daily Book Update

Today’s word count: 2,360
Total word count: 32,742

I ought to have crises regarding my suitability for this job more often. No, I take that back. Really. I don’t want more crises. I’d rather sail through this with full confidence.

By the end of tomorrow, I ought to have half the manuscript officially finished. I have five chapters mostly done, another four partially done, a couple with outlines to be expanded, and two with absolutely nothing in them yet. I probably should start brainstorming on those soon.

The Depths of Despair, Starring Me

Now that I’m just a breath away from being half-done this book, I’m experiencing gross amounts of feeling unworthy and hack-like and wishing I’d never agreed to the whole thing. Mind you, it’s rather difficult when a publisher asks you to write a book; it’s damned flattering. Still, I’m currently in the depths of despair and firmly convinced that I’m just rehashing material that’s already out there, creating superficial text with no substance, not connecting thoughts in any sort of intelligent fashion, and doing a lame, lame job in general.

Things I keep repeating to myself include:

– this is a book for intermediate practitioners, people who maybe have read one or two books on the subject and want to know why and how

– this is your opportunity to myth-bash to your heart’s content

– here you may collect all the little tips and tricks you’ve figured out over the years to help others

– what would I like to see in a new book like this?

I keep slipping into the “what would I like to see” and forgetting that I’ve been reading books like this for almost a decade. My needs are not the needs of my target audience.

I stare at the words I’ve got and wonder how I can expand upon them. I think I’m getting to a point where I need feedback. Ceri helped me yesterday (her aid being worth about a thousand words!) simply by answering a question regarding what she would like to see in a chapter on correspondences, and that material will be further expanded. I have a skeleton. It needs more body mass.

So why is it scaring me so much? Why am I avoiding it? Why am I firmly convinced that this is it, there isn’t any more?

The Secret History of Fanta

Well, this is disturbing:

Coca-Cola GmbH (Ed. note: this is the German division of the multi-national corporation)

All those hippies on a hill teaching the world to sing in perfect harmony always did strike me to be a bit sinister. It turns out Coca-Cola’s swastika connection is not limited to the Robowaru incident. Coca Cola GmbH sponsored the Nazi Olympics of 1936 (and I am looking at you Beijing 2008) and only had its syrup supplies cut off upon the belated American entry into WWII. The company turned around and invented Fanta as the replacement Nazi soft drink. Who knew? An exhibition seeks to recreate Coke ads of the period that are inexplicably difficult to track down.

Coke advertised in the Nazi Army paper shortly after the invasion of Sudetenland, the ad was a picture of a hand holding a bottle of coke over a map of the world, the slogan was “Yes we have got an international reputation.”

(Found over at Ghost of a flea.)

Gives a whole new meaning to the idea of being in a position to teach the whole world anything. Brrr.

Witches Weekly Questions

Witches Weekly
May 27, 2004: Altar/Shrines

1. Do you have an altar/shrine?

Short answer: yes. Long answer: several. One main altar, which is surrounded by four small wall shelf shrines (two for me, two for HRH). We have a shelf shrine over the mantel with our main deity statues. I have a mirror/flame shrine which I use for writing. I created a small St Brigid shrine which hangs on a wall which is devoted to writing and spirituality.

2. If you do, what objects do you have placed on it and are any of them homemade or natural objects (ex: feathers, rocks, crystals)?

The main altar has a variety of stones for various purposes (i.e., the altar stone which is the heart of our altar, various river stones for healing work), plus hand-made candles, boxes, pouches, and so forth, including a lovely handmade statue of Hecate in her maiden form of the torch-bearer created for me by a student; the wall altars have piles of stones, feathers, acorns, etc, as well as statues; the divinity statues have stones in the offering hollows as well as being surrounded by hand-made Brid’s Crosses and a pile of wheat stalks. My St Brigid shrine has small stones piled in the cup designed for holy water.

3. If you don’t, (you can answer this if you do have one as well) do you have an area where you focus on your spirituality?

Anywhere I go, there I am… It’s good to carry sacred space within you. Being limited to a physical place is dangerous, in my opinion. All the same, it’s nice to have a material focal point, too. If I’m travelling, I use any kind of candle; I consider consecrated flame to be a physical manifestation of my internal sacred space.

4. How do you feel when you are settled at your altar/shrine (or area)?

Depends how I come to it, and the answer I require. Sometimes I’m angry, sometimes, I’m frustrated, sometimes I’m serene. What I get out of it is what I need to get out of it: either relaxed, energised, or even more angry (this last usually depends on how much I need to get accomplished in a given period of time).

More Odd Ideas

What do you get when you combine the classic, almost 2,000-year-old Indian treatise on the art of love with the most up-to-date paper-engineering techniques? The Pop-Up Kama Sutra!

This lively distillation of the world’s most famous sex guide features choice excerpts from the original text, translated in 1883 by the renowned explorer Sir Richard Burton, and is illustrated with vintage color plates from India. Best of all, six incredible pop-ups present the Kama Sutra’s most interesting, instructive, and wildly acrobatic positions in three dimensions.

Believe it or not, I tripped across this while researching editions of Pliny’s Natural History. I have no idea what they have in common, or why Amazon told me that if I was interested in Pliny, I’d also be interested in this.

The reviews pan it, by the way.

This is the Selling Point?

‘I Giorni’ is the 2001 release from the world renowned symphonic composer Ludovico Einaudi. The inspiration for Einaudi’s ‘I Giorni’ was a 12th-century folk song from Mali about a hippopotamus who was cherished by the residents of a nearby village but killed by a hunter. ‘The song,’ writes Einaudi in his succinct liner note, ‘is sung as a lament for the death of a king or a great person or for the loss of a loved one.’ The result is a tender & introspective set of 14 piano pieces.

Er, okay. Whatever…