I found a phenomenal article written by Nicholas Rossis, where he writes about witches, in a very unique and still sensitive way, combining myth and history, as he usually does. Thank you for a fascinating post, Nicholas.
I kick off the new year with a matter close to anyone who’s ever flirted with fantasy writing: witches. I mean, what’s fantasy without witchcraft? Probably a rather boring Medieval existence, that’s what.
Of course, there’s a big difference between fantasy and reality. Witchcraft has been a topic for discussion since forever and witches have been surrounded by countless myths through the centuries.
This guest post by John Dickinson, a writer from SuperiorPapers, discusses the myth and reality of witches.
The Real Witches
Witches were traditionally pictured as ugly hags with warts on their faces, a pointy hat with a wide brim, stirring a huge cauldron with a green liquid or cackling through the sky. However, modern pop culture has portrayed them as a kind, nose-twitching suburban housewife; an awkward teenager learning to control her powers, and a trio of charmed sisters battling the forces of evil.
A similar confusion seems to surround their punishment. We believe that witches were burnt for their sin of practicing witchcraft. But this, along with other myths, was an unusual punishment that probably became popular because of Jean d’Arc.
Here are some more interesting facts about witches I hope you will find at least as interesting as I did!
It’s an extraordinary day for me today. I’m facing the fact that I just got one year older. This means my anniversary to turn 29 recurs; I forgot the number of times this year.
Well, I figure, age is just a number and considering my age and everything I went through, I’m blessed I’m still as functional as I am now. I’m not going to complain today… after all, it’s my birthday, and I don’t want to come online whining like a baby.
Don’t get me wrong, my Birthday will be the most wonderful day of the year. Due to the pandemic, the lockdown, and social distancing, I’m going to spend it all by myself, locked into my apartment, just with the cats. And knowing my luck, as usual, people are going to forget about it – and even if not, I’m getting short messages, texts, messenger-‘HBD’s and the one or other voice message… but nowadays nobody seems to have time to talk anymore – on the phone and sacrifice a few minutes to make things personal and show the other one that a few minutes isn’t too much to ask.
However, I have thought about what I would wish for if I had a few free wishes (Like twenty or so – on a list), But then I decided to do it differently.
And what do I pray for at this time?
Of course, if you know me, you’re well aware that the last point on that list was written with a smirk and a wink…
Yes, I do wish all that… but then, after all, it’s MY birthday – MY special day, where I’m going out and will buy a piece of cake, just for me… and then return to my writing…
What do I wish for myself? I mean, besides a few things that I don’t want to spread out here… that are deep in my heart… I won’t tell you.
I wish more people would watch the wonderful book trailers for ‘The Council Of Twelve’ series and take the time to read the books. Many say they’re wonderful, and I’d love to hear more people diving into the series. Then, don’t forget: This isn’t a trilogy – it’s a series. Book 4 is getting ready…
Thank you all, authors, readers, followers, visitors, and friends, for making blogging and writing to me an exciting and thrilling adventure, for being a part of my life, and for supporting and encouraging me!
Let me wish you and your loved ones now
A successful, exciting, thrilling, enjoyable, positive, and amazing NewYear!
Apparently not even traditionally published authors are safe from crooks. Victoria Strauss on her ‘Writer’s Beware’ blog describes one particular case on her blog. Please read it and be careful. Thank you.
Earlier this month, the book industry website Publishers Marketplace announced that Little, Brown would be publishing “Re-Entry,” a novel by James Hannaham about a transgender woman paroled from a men’s prison. The book would be edited by Ben George.
Two days later, Mr. Hannaham got an email from Mr. George, asking him to send the latest draft of his manuscript. The email came to an address on Mr. Hannaham’s website that he rarely uses, so he opened up his usual account, attached the document, typed in Mr. George’s email address and a little note, and hit send.
“Then Ben called me,” Mr. Hannaham said, “to say, ‘That wasn’t me.’”
Mr. Hannaham was just one of countless targets in a mysterious international phishing scam that has been tricking writers, editors, agents and anyone in their orbit into sharing unpublished book manuscripts. It isn’t clear who the thief or thieves are, or even how they might profit from the scheme. High-profile authors like Margaret Atwood and Ian McEwan have been targeted, along with celebrities like Ethan Hawke. But short story collections and works by little-known debut writers have been attacked as well, even though they would have no obvious value on the black market.
2020 was an eventful and extremely challenging year for me. However, I decided to use December, the last month of the year, to calm my soul, concentrate on what’s important, on what’s in my heart, and on one emotion in particular:
Writer’s Treasure Chest grew again and I have to thank you all, my Followers, Friends, and Readers!
Thank you so much for making my writing adventure a pleasant one!
When I read this quote, I felt a little sting inside of me. So far, writing, to me, was something I love doing, but still, it is hard work. Therefore, I considered myself a ‘hard worker’, with some natural creativity, and, hopefully, some God-given talent.
I did not, whatsoever, combine my writing and the world ‘artist’ in the same sentence. And to me, a painter is clearly defined as an artist.
The moment I read that, I tried to find out who said it, and when I read ‘Voltaire’, I was surprised, and a tiny bit proud, too.
Voltaire is considered one of the best writers ever, busy as a bee, and in many ways controversial for the past times. His entire thinking was far ahead of his time. The fact that it was Voltaire, telling me that what I do is ‘painting’, just with words, instead of brushes, made me, for the first time, feel like being an artist.
Yes, I write, yes, I paint, I just paint with words… I paint wonderful pictures for the ones who take the time to stand still and ‘look’ at these pictures; take them in, enjoy them… read them, and imagine them… take my tools and use them to show your own picture in your head, in your dreams, in your imagination.
At this moment I consider this a wonderful Christmas present.
Thank you, Voltaire.
Author of the satirical novella ‘Candide,’ Voltaire is widely considered one of France’s greatest Enlightenment writers.
Who Was Voltaire?
Voltaire established himself as one of the leading writers of the Enlightenment. His famed works include the tragic play Zaïre, the historical study The Age of Louis XIV, and the satirical novella Candide. Often at odds with French authorities over his politically and religiously charged works, he was twice imprisoned and spent many years in exile. He died shortly after returning to Paris in 1778.
Voltaire was born François-Marie Arouet to a prosperous family on November 21, 1694, in Paris, France. He was the youngest of five children born to François Arouet and Marie Marguerite d’Aumart. When Voltaire was just seven years old, his mother passed away. Following her death, he grew closer to his free-thinking godfather.
In 1704, Voltaire was enrolled at the Collége Louis-le-Grand, a Jesuit secondary school in Paris, where he received a classical education and began showing promise as a writer.
Beliefs and Philosophy
Embracing Enlightenment philosophers such as Isaac Newton, John Locke and Francis Bacon, Voltaire found inspiration in their ideals of a free and liberal society, along with freedom of religion and free commerce.
As a vegetarian and an advocate of animal rights, however, Voltaire praised Hinduism, stating Hindus were “[a] peaceful and innocent people, equally incapable of hurting others or of defending themselves.”
Voltaire wrote poetry and plays, as well as historical and philosophical works. His most well-known poetry includes The Henriade (1723) and The Maid of Orleans, which he started writing in 1730 but never fully completed.
Among the earliest of Voltaire’s best-known plays is his adaptation of Sophocles’ tragedy Oedipus, which was first performed in 1718. Voltaire followed with a string of dramatic tragedies, including Mariamne (1724). His Zaïre (1732), written in verse, was something of a departure from previous works: Until that point, Voltaire’s tragedies had centered on a fatal flaw in the protagonist’s character; however, the tragedy in Zaïre was the result of circumstance. Following Zaïre, Voltaire continued to write tragic plays, including Mahomet (1736) and Nanine (1749).
Lately, while reading, I noticed my thoughts often wandered away, even though the story is thrilling and I love the characters. I considered myself a bit tired and prepared a ‘brain-boost’ in form of a cup of coffee.
Then I started thinking: I think I read somewhere, that the impact of caffeine on our organism is more illusional than physical. Finally, I started to do some research. After all, we writers are mostly working with our brains! And I consider that our ‘most important’ tool for our work – besides the fingers, computers, pen and paper, and a few other things, of course.
I’m not someone who likes to feed myself lab-produced over-the-counter vitamins and supplements. I try to eat balanced and healthy. But I tried to find out, what other nutrients my brain needs to keep focused. That’s what I found:
Coffee indeed has a positive impact on our brain. Caffeine and antioxidants help our brain in several ways:
Caffeine blocks adenosine, a chemical messenger that makes us sleepy and improves our mood. Also, it boosts our concentration, whether drank in the morning or several cups during the day.
I read about a suspicion that drinking coffee over the long term could reduce the risk of neurological diseases, for example, Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s.
It seems science has proven blueberries help protect the brain from oxidative stress and can reduce the effects of age-related conditions, such as Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. Also, the study showed that a diet rich in blueberries significantly improved learning capacity and motor skills. Blueberries should be eaten daily.
Broccoli contains strong plant compounds, including antioxidants, and is also high in vitamin K. That vitamin is essential for forming sphingolipids, which can be found in our brain cells.
It was proven that an extra vitamin K intake leads to better memory.
4. Wild salmon.
It seems deep-water fish, such as salmon, are rich in Omega3 essential fatty acids, which are essential for brain function. Other Omega3 rich fish are sardines and herring. It is recommended to include fish in your diet two to three times a week.
5. Nuts and seeds
Nuts and seeds are great vitamin E sources. It’s recommended to eat them daily, at least an ounce of a mix of walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds, cashews peanuts, sunflower, and sesame seeds. If you’re on a sodium-restricted diet, buy them unsalted. – Also very helpful are pumpkin seeds who contain a high value of Magnesium, Zinc, Copper, and Iron.
Apparently, avocados are almost as good as blueberries when it comes to improving the health of our brains. Of course, avocado is a fatty fruit, but it contains a particular fat that helps to improve a healthy blood flow. A healthy blood flow means, a healthy brain, and it can contribute to lower blood pressure.
7. Dark chocolate
Dark chocolate has strong antioxidant properties and contains several natural stimulants, including caffeine, which improves focus and concentration. Also, chocolate stimulates the production of endorphins, which helps to lift our mood. Still, as good as it sounds, this one has to be enjoyed in moderation. Less is more when it comes to dark chocolate. It does come with a few side effects.
After long years in the line of duty as a ‘Soul Taker’, Kate is worn out.
When she gets a new job offer from the ‘Powers Above’, she accepts her new job as a Guardian gratefully without knowing that her teacher is one of the most powerful beings in existence, the Archangel Raphael.
Along with Raphael, she takes on her new task and the connection between them grows.
Raphael helps, protects and supports Kate, but suddenly, she becomes a target for the Demons of Hell.
Raphael realizes that Kate means more to him than he expected, which causes him to fight furiously against danger. If he fails, Kate’s future will contain eternal darkness, evil, and torture.
Sundance is a promising young Warrior Angel, the first in centuries to join the Divine Army. With the help of one of the most powerful Archangels, her skill and talent develop, allowing her to master some of the most difficult tasks that face her kind.
Sundance, under the supervision of the ‘Council of Twelve’ seeks to prove that she deserves her unusual gifts in the eternal fight between good and evil. Follow her adventures as she discovers love, fights the good fight, and finds herself in the heat of battle trying to keep her wings from being singed.
Zepheira is the best Demon Tracker working for the Good side. With her unusual looks, her phenomenal sense of smell, and her bravery, she quickly draws ‘The Big 7’s attention to her talent. They hire her to find one of them. Leaving her familiar surroundings and regular work environment unsettles Zepheira at first. But the challenge to prove herself and to increase the reputation of her infallibility tempts her.She is convinced she will be a great asset to ‘The Big 7’. Little does she know she will be a much greater asset in Heaven’s fight against Evil. Zepheira suddenly becomes more than a hired tracker. She finds herself an important pawn in the game of love, heat, and fire. Will her courage and sacrifice be sufficient to dance with the flames?