Update – Pestlework

WOO! Back to the grind!

(See what I did there? Ha, witch puns…)

I’m finally back to writing, and I’m spending today working on the manuscript. I’ve got a handful of oil formulae to concoct, several powder descriptions and suggested uses to write, and big swaths of the introduction to finish. It sounds like a lot, but really, it’s very manageable. The manuscript is probably about 85% finished at this point. Plus, my girl Lauren Goodnight ( @thelulusoldier​ ) is writing the foreword, and I’ve already got the cover art finished.

My goal is to have the manuscript completely finished and ready for editing by the end of July, so I can do a few weekends’ worth of editing and hopefully have everything ready to go in short order. The tentative release date right now is August 16th, but don’t hold me to that just yet.

Further updates as events warrant! 🙂

Update – Pestlework

Well, after a week-long break to adjust to my new day job, I’m back to work on the book!

Like I’ve said before, the book will include all of my recipes from The Witches’ Cupboard and from Grovedaughter Witchery. I’ve also created several dozen additional recipes to fill out the mix and make the new book worth purchasing. The total is up over 200, which was my goal, and the manuscript currently sits at a comfortable 150 pages. The price of the published book is tentatively set at $15.95 USD, and I am on track to have it published by the end of August, if all goes well.

At this point, I’ve finished with the creating and testing phases, and I’m working on descriptions and suggested uses for the various powders. I’ve finished a good deal of them, the two most recent ones being Rose Salt and Spirit Salt just today.

I’m hoping to spend this coming weekend just sitting and writing all day, if I can. It’s difficult to retain spoons for writing when my work day requires so much cognitive heavy lifting. Still, it’s a big relief to have the regular income again.

Further updates as events warrant! 🙂

Feedback Gives Me Life

Okay, I just want to take a moment here to thank my latest Amazon reviewer for Grovedaughter Witchery. I’ve gotten some amazing and thorough reviews in my time, but this one just might take the cake.

Verified Purchase Review from Jax:

Great for secular practitioners!

This is my favorite book to recommend to people about modern secular witchcraft. First, it’s the most secular book on witchcraft I’ve read to date. Second, it has a little something for everyone from the secular beginner to the more advanced secular witches. There’s really no dogma or deities to speak of in this book. Some of you might not realize, but there was just a collective cheer from the secular witch community 😜

First, her advice for beginners is practical. She assumes you’ve got no tools and no common sense. This is a good thing. We should be discussing fire safety, consent, curse positivity, and cultural appropriation with every new witch. Add in how to create your own spells, accumulate tools and materials practically, even make some of your own tools, info on color magic, and herbal guides, there’s some solid beginners advice.

Where beginners will come for the intro, others will adore the spells. The collection of oil, powder, potion, and incense recipes, along with witch bottles, charms, poppets, and spells (including curses) had me giddy. I was adding spells and recipes to my Grimoire left and right like a greedy witch. Sorrynotsorry. These spells are the kind you want to see in modern witchcraft. Sure, sometimes we want to feel like a 16th century witch stirring twigs, body parts, and herbs in a cauldron looking dark af, but other times I just want to use common herbs and use my glue gun and freakin microwave. Let’s be real.

Then, there is a great herbal correspondences section at the end of the book a la Cunningham, meaning listed by purpose/correspondence, including a herbal substitution list and notations on poisonous plants. There are even special lists for herbs used in warding/protection and curses. I literally copied the whole thing into my grimoire. I’m not joking, it took hours.

Lastly there’s a section on suggested books and texts, and a few suggestions on where to find herbs and spell materials online. Much appreciated.

Do yourself a favor, especially if you’re a secular witch, and get this book. It’s not very long, but it focuses on quality.

I hope this review was helpful to you. Happy reading!

Jax, I don’t know who you are or if you’ll see this, but I wanted to thank you. Seeing this today gave me SUCH a lift, and I’m so glad to know that my book is having a positive impact.

Thank you to all my reviewers for taking the time to give me feedback! You have no idea how much you help. 🙂

Magical Powders & Why I Love Them

The nice thing about making magical powders is that once you’ve got a jar of something ready, it’s very easy to toss a pinch or two where it’ll do the most good, even on your low-spoon days.

Case in point – House-cleansing needed on a day when you have no energy to spare for gathering jars and blending herbs? No problem! Toss some dried sage or cedar chips into a burning bowl, light it up, and add a few pinches of Clean House Powder along with your intent. Easy peasy.

Granted, there’s some effort involved in making the powder in the first place, but it’ll save you a lot of time and energy later on.

(Incidentally, this recipe along with dozens of others will be available in my forthcoming book, Pestlework. Look for it this August!)

Book Sales

By the by, if anyone has any pagan festivals coming up, I do offer my books to faire vendors at 60% of MSRP with low-rate shipping anywhere in the U.S. or Canada.

If you or someone you know might be interested, please contact me via email at Bree NicGarran@outlook.com. I need to make at least three more direct sales in order to keep the lights on this month.

Thank you for your support!

Making A Writer’s Day

Let me tell you guys something real quick.

The best possible thing you can do for a writer, apart from buying their work (if they’re selling it), is give them feedback.

Whether it’s a posted review or just a note saying, “Hey I read the thing and enjoyed it,” we thrive on that. Constructive criticism is great too – “Hey you missed a typo on page 43. Thought you’d like to know! Really liked A, B, & C. For the next one, do you think you might consider X, Y, or Z?”

Not only does this help spread the word about our projects, it lets us know how we’re doing. Half the time, writing feels a lot like screaming into the void. The fics gets hits, the book sells copies, but nobody says anything. So we cherish those bits of commentary. And believe me, there is no such thing as a review being too long. The longer and more in-depth the better.

I should take a moment to note that the practice of “flaming” still seems to be alive and well, and the only thing writers hate more than the hellscape that is extended editing sessions is a mindless troll cluttering up the review listings. So if you’re going to review, try to be constructive or at least polite. (You’d think this would be common courtesy. It’s not.)

All this being said, trust me when I tell you that seeing the hits and the sales go up makes us smile, but reviews make us cheer.

Thank you, readers, for all your support! 🙂

Sincerely,

A Writer

Updates – May 19, 2017

With The Sisters Grimmoire once more on digital shelves, it’s on to my next big project!

Pestlework, as some of you may have seen, is due out this August to replace The Witches’ Cupboard. (The copyright for that is reverting to co-author Anna effective September 1st.) I’ve already compiled all of my recipes from the Cupboard and from Grovedaughter Witchery, and now I’m in the process of creating a few dozen entirely new recipes to give the book a bit more heft.

The goal right now is 200+ recipes (nearly there) and 150+ pages (sitting around 110 at the moment). I also have to spruce up the instructions for making magical powders and oils, suss out the safety information, and expand the descriptions of some of my older recipes. It’s going fairly well thus far, and I’m on target to meet my expected release date.

My method right now involves flipping through the Heldstab, diGregorio, and Cunningham books on oils and powders and jotting down concept ideas as they come to me, then going back and fleshing out formulas and descriptions later on. This both keeps the creative juices flowing and keeps me from accidentally plagiarizing established works.

As it turns out, a fair amount of pop culture magic is finding its’ way into this piece. To give a prime example, there is a formula that helps the caster achieve their goals by removing the competition. I call it Blue Shell Success Oil. (I can hear you groaning. That’s okay. My husband did too.)

I’ve been at this all afternoon, so I think I’ll take a quick break to grab some food and re-up my drink, then I’ll be back at it until the wee hours.