Mythic Monday: Rune of the Day – Inguz

inguz1Divination is a way to focus on what matters. It allows us to gain insight into the ripe possibilities of the moment and is best used as a type of meditative effort. With their symbolism and kinship with long ago Scandinavian and Germanic cultures, runes are a fascinating method.

From the bag of runes, we close our eyes and draw a single stone as we ask a question: What do I need to know about [such and such situation]? If drawing on behalf of another, visualize that person. We must listen with open mind and heart.

Today we examine Inguz, a rune resembling an X standing atop another X. Part of the traditional Germanic Futhark or runic alphabet, it is one of the eight runes under the auspices of the warrior god Tyr.

Inguz concerns fertility and new beginnings. Its energy is that of the hero god Ing, whose name forms the basis of my hero Ingvar’s name in Wytchfae Runes. Ing and Ingvar remind me of the noble knight Sir Gawain, who strived to always do the right thing in the perilous situations he encountered. The splendid changeable moon is related to this rune, as it involves movement and emotional health. Inguz represents intuition, a desire for harmony, and the adaptability required for successful relationships. Humans have a deep need to share and be desired by another. Inguz signals an emergence from a tense, closed state into a more fertile, creative state. It is a powerful rune signifying a new path and a transition into joy. What may have been stagnant now has the energy to blossom. It is important to actively strive to shake off old habits and outdated thoughts patterns that no longer serve our best interests. Change is at hand.

I hope you enjoyed our look at Inguz, the Rune of the Day. How do you welcome opening up and positive change?

Cheers & Happy Reading!
Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic in Romance

Vintage Friday: Moonwind 1971

moonwindRecently I have been on a mad tear regarding perfumes. It started with a passion to purchase violet fragrances—more on those in a future post–and learning the technicalities of scent–jammy, basenotes, oud, aldehydes and the like. What a fascinating field! I see a lovely career coming up soon for a favored heroine. My passion now has veered into finding favorite vintage perfumes of the past—those I actually loved and used. Most were Avon and drugstore scents, not high end designer. However, one’s first beloved perfumes tend to remain in memory forever, long after they have been discontinued and forgotten by the public.

Today’s feature is my all-time favorite Avon fragrance–Moonwind. I loved it so much and still do. Heaven knows why Avon discontinued such a treasure. Moonwind came in an artistic cobalt blue bottle adorned with a silver flame shooting from the top. The box shone resplendent with the sacred silhouette of Artemis, moon goddess and huntress, depicted with her silver bow. She is a goddess so close to my heart. The aroma of Moonwind lifts me, and I go soaring, upward, straight into radiant moonlight. I wore Moonwind, while Charisma in its striking red bottle sat atop my mother’s vanity.

The “it” perfume site, Frangrantica lists Moonwind’s scent accords as “green, woody, aldehydic, aromatic, and citrus.” Launched in 1971, Moonwind is described as an aromatic green fragrance featuring note of “aldehydes, bergamot, grapefruit, lavender, narcissus, woody notes, green notes, oakmoss and vetiver.” Users assign it 4.42 points out of 5, which is a lot higher score than many designer fragrances achieve.

You can imagine how thrilled I was to find a new, unused bottle of Moonwind, along with its accompanying skin softener, on eBay and for a most reasonable price. Boy, did I scarf up that bargain. Once again, I am enjoying the inimitable fragrance symbolized by the moon goddess Artemis. I sleep well.

What are your favorite perfumes?

Cheers & Happy Reading!
Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic in Romance

Vintage Friday: Walt Whitman

Walt Whitman, steel engraving, July 1854

By Samuel Hollyer (1826-1919) of a daguerreotype by Gabriel Harrison (1818-1902)(original lost). (Morgan Library & Museum) [Public domain] via Wikimedia Commons

Born in Long Island, Walt Whitman (May 31, 1819 – March 26, 1892) was an influential American poet and one of the first poets to write in free verse. His work evoked controversy at the time because of its casual references to the physical body and sexual appetites. Whitman used first person and spoke as a common man. He strongly believed poetry should emanate from and reflect the societal concerns of the day. His poems read with a certain homespun quality, while expressing humanistic philosophy and the broad commonality of humankind.

from SONG OF MYSELF

I and this mystery here we stand.

Clear and sweet is my soul, and clear and sweet is all that is not
my soul.

Lack one lacks both, and the unseen is proved by the seen,
Till that becomes unseen and receives proof in its turn.

Showing the best and dividing it from the worst age vexes age,
Knowing the perfect fitness and equanimity of things, while they
discuss I am silent, and go bathe and admire myself.

Welcome is every organ and attribute of me, and of any man
hearty and clean,
Not an inch nor a particle of an inch is vile, and none shall be
less familiar than the rest.

I am satisfied—I see, dance, laugh, sing.

Cheers & Happy Reading!
Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic in Romance

Mythic Monday: Astraea the Star Maiden

Salvatore Rosa 005

Astraea by Salvator Rosa [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Today is the Feast Day of the Star Maiden, Astraea. The Woman’s Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets by Barbara G. Walker traces the birth of Astraea to Libya. During the Phoenician era of the Libyan region, a cultural hub sprang up in the great city of Carthage. The apex of the energy featured Astraea, a winged goddess who holds the scales of justice in balance. Astraea later went on to influence the Greek and Roman eras. She loved humans and sought to teach them to express the important values of justice, fairness, and purity.

By faire Astræa, with great industrie,
Whilest here on earth she liued mortallie.
For till the world from his perfection fell
Into all filth and foule iniquitie,
Astræa here mongst earthly men did dwell,
And in the rules of iustice them instructed well.
Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene

The ancient Greeks described five ages of man, starting with the Golden Age. Each subsequent age further deteriorated in morals and actions. Disgusted by the growing degeneration and evil of humans, one by one the gods left the earth. Astraea was the last of the immortals to depart, doing so during the Iron Age. She stayed here longer than the other gods because of her compassion and hope for the ultimate goodness of mankind. Finally, even she could no longer withstand the violence, brutality, and greed. With sadness, Astraea fled from earth and reclaimed her place among the stars.

Now when the world with sinne gan to abound,
Astraea loathing lenger here to space
Mongst wicked men, in whom no truth she found,
Return’d to heauen, whence she deriu’d her race;
Where she hath now an euerlasting place.
Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene

As divine virgin she is affiliated with Virgo.

And is the Virgin, sixt in her degree,
And next her selfe her righteous ballance hanging bee.
Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene

It is believed that when Astraea returns once more to earth, setting a golden shod foot onto the beloved verdant mantle of her former home, she shall usher in a new golden age of enlightenment for humankind.

Cheers & Happy Reading!
Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic in Romance

Interview at Jennifer Taylor Writes

I’m over at Jennifer Taylor’s blog answering her dang hard questions such as what was the exact moment when the concept of my Wytchfae world came about. Say what? Pop over and say hello at Jennifer Taylor Writes. 

basket-sleepingAlso, tiptoe around Marigold, would you please? I sneaked out while she was napping.

Thanks, Cheers, & Happy Reading!

Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic in Romance

Writer Wednesday: Twitter Tools You Can’t Do Without

Most of the Twitter tools in the following reblog are tools I also use, and Mae Clair does a great job of explaining their value.

MY FAVORITE TWITTER TOOLS BY MAE CLAIR

Reblogged from Marcia Meara Writes  via Carmen Stefanescu’s Shadows of the Past

Hi, everyone….Mae here again. I hope you don’t mind me popping in to share.
When it comes to social media, I’m a big fan of Twitter. It’s quick, allows me to connect with other Tweeps, catch up on events, follow trending topics, and experience news as it happens. All in one neat little social media platform.
As good as Twitter is, it’s even better paired with other applications. Today, I’d like to share a few I’ve found particularly helpful. I know many of these are commonly used, but hopefully, I’ll hit on something of use to someone out there.

One of the things I like best about Twitter is the ability to create lists. As an example, I have a Twitter list for my writer friends, one for cryptozoology  (a favorite topic of mine), another for family (not too many of them on Twitter) and another for celebrities and best-selling authors (i.e, Lana Parrilla, Jennifer McMahon, Jackson Galaxy, Australia Zoo). These are just a few my lists. I have a dozen of them and with all of those lists, things can get a little cumbersome.
That’s where Hootsuite comes in.

Hootsuite LogoHootsuite is a free platform that complements Twitter and other forms of social media. There are pay plans, but I haven’t needed to go that route, and I’ve been using Hootsuite for three years. I like that I can turn my Twitter lists into “streams” within Hootsuite.

When I open my Hootsuite dashboard, all of my Twitter lists appear in one place. In addition to the lists I mentioned above, I also have streams for anytime someone @mentions me, and a stream for scheduled messages. Whenever I promote another author or guest blogger on my site, I schedule several tweets throughout the day connecting to their post, and Hootsuite sends them at the appropriate time.

I’ve also got Hootsuite set up to stream my Facebook page and my Facebook author page so I can view both FB and Twitter in one place. It also supports Google+ and Instagram.
Pretty cool, huh? There’s even more…
Hootsuite has a built-in URL link shortener called Ow.ly which is extremely handy. So now instead of http://maeclair.net/2016/01/04/cover-reveal-a-thousand-yesteryears-by-mae-clair/ I get http://ow.ly/Xmr4L This directs users to the same post and is a lot handier when sticking to Twitter’s 140 character count.

You can also set up streams within Hootsuite to grab Tweets related to a specific hashtag. I have one set for #Mothman. Any time someone uses that hashtag in a Tweet, Hootsuite grabs it for me. Why would I care about those Tweets? Because I’m writing a series that prominently features Point Pleasant’s notorious cryptid. Whenever Mothy gets a mention, I want to know what’s being discussed. I might also want to follow the Tweeps doing the Tweeting. If they’re interested in the Mothman, they might be potential readers for my series.
I positively LOVE Hootsuite! You can learn more about it and create your own free account at https://hootsuite.com/
Statue of the Mothman in Point Pleasant, West Virginia

ManageFlitter
This is another freebie and it’s great for managing your followers. When you sign in with Twitter it gives you a list of how many people you’re following who are NOT following you back. Phhf! The nerve!

ManageFlitter makes it easy to prune your account and eliminate those followers. I follow a number of people who don’t follow me back, but most of them fall into the celebrity/news/bestselling author/specific interest category.
Generally, when I follow someone, I wait a week, then check ManageFlitter. If they haven’t followed me back, I click the unfollow button. ManageFlitter also lets me see which of my followers aren’t “talkative.” So, if I’m following someone and they haven’t made a single Tweet in say…five months, I unfollow them. This keeps my Twitter account pruned to Tweeps who are active. Finally, ManageFlitter will also tell me if I’ve picked up any spam accounts so I can unfollow them, too.
Get your free ManageFlitter account at https://manageflitter.com/

Crowdfire
I’ve only been using Crowdfire for a short time, but I love it. It’s also free and does everything ManageFlitter does, with some additional bells and whistles. The layout is a bit better, plus it has the added benefit of showing you who RECENTLY unfollowed and followed you, so you’re viewing less Tweeps at a time.

It has a handy “copy followers” feature, which allows you to import another user’s followers and see who you might want to follow (think target auidences for your genre). You can also pop a hashtag or keywords into Crowdfire (i.e, #Mothman, Jennifer McMahon) and it will kick back a list of relevant Tweeps. These are all people you might want to follow.
This link will tell you about Crowdfire and let you set up a free account 
https://www.crowdfireapp.com/about-us 

Read the whole post here: Marcia Meara Writes

Mythic Monday: Dancing Fairies

When my son was little and I drove him to school, we always commented on the “foggy mist” appearing out in the meadow on damp autumn mornings. We knew that’s where fairies had been dancing all night. How wonderful to contemplate the little people and their musical merriment.

August Malmström - Dancing Fairies - Google Art Project

Dancing Fairies by August Malmström [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Evidence of dancing sprites also appears in fairy rings, mushrooms that grow in a circle. Pixies love to use them as shelter and miniature maypoles.

Fairy Ring 0004

Fairy Ring by Aviddoghug at English Wikipedia (Original text: David Gough) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

 An old folk tale from the Isle of Man tells the story of Billy Beg, Tom Beg, and the Fairies. When Tom first sees the little people, they come trooping and dancing into his view:

“The sound grew louder. First, it was like the humming of bees, then like the rushing of Glen Meay waterfall, and last it was like the marching and the murmur of a crowd. It was the fairy host. Of a sudden the glen was full of fine horses and of little people riding on them, with the lights on their red caps shining like the stars above and making the night as bright as day. There was the blowing of horns, the waving of flags, the playing of music, and the barking of many little dogs.” 

Derek and Brandon Fiechter certainly know how to convey the melodies of the magical old ones.

My wish for you: May you always have lilting music, sweet violets in the rain, and all the fairy sightings you can handle.

Cheers & Happy Reading!

Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic in Romance

Vintage Friday: You Can Speak Old English

Pictures of English History Plate IX - The Wicked Queen Elfrida

By Joseph Martin Kronheim (1810–96)[1] [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

One of my favorite college linguistics classes included the study of Old English and Middle English. We all know that many influences went into creating the modern English language we speak in the United States, including Anglo-Saxon, Norman French, Latin, Scandinavian, Native American, etc. Words originating in Old English, though, are just too wonderful to lose. Some are still fairly common, and some seem near to falling off the cliff into nothingness. I beseech you to help me bring these words back into common use! Let’s make these our September WORDS OF THE DAY. Will you play?

WORD – MEANING

1. banhus – body, comes from bone house NOUN
2. bearm – bosom or lap NOUN
3. bedight – decorate VERB
4. besmirch – smear so as to make dirty or stained VERB
5. betroth – become engaged, plan to marry VERB
6. broga – danger NOUN
7. cyse – cheese NOUN
8. ditty – a short simple song (I used this a couple of days ago on a Reddit post. At least one kid knew what I was talking about and responded with the song lyrics.) NOUN
9. dray – a low heavy horse cart without sides; used for haulage (Historical authors and western authors like Loretta C. Rogers use this one.) NOUN
10. dyrne – secret ADJECTIVE
11. erstwhile – belonging to some prior time (love this) ADJECTIVE
12. forsooth – used to mean `in truth’ but now usually expresses disbelief ADVERB
13. forswear – reject or disavow a formerly held belief VERB
14. gast – ghost, spirit NOUN
15. guma – man NOUN
16. hither – to this place, especially toward the speaker (Have you ever given a come hither look?) ADVERB
17. holt – forest NOUN
18. hund – dog NOUN
19. hyge – heart, courage NOUN (Hygelac is an ancient Swedish king and a character in the epic poem Beowulf.)
20. man – crime NOUN
21. mere – lake NOUN
22. soothsayer – fortune teller NOUN
23. stalwart – having rugged physical strength (This was used in a song sung by Giles in the musical Buffy episode.) ADJECTIVE
24. swain – male lover of a young woman NOUN
25. thither – toward that place, away from the speaker ADVERB
26. thwart – hinder VERB
27. whence – from what place, source, or cause ADVERB
28. wight – a human being NOUN
29. wizened – lean and wrinkled ADJECTIVE
30. wyrd – fate NOUN

Here is a fascinating You Tube video taking us back in time through the English language. Near the end The Lord’s Prayer is recited and appears onscreen in Old English.

More: https://www.vocabulary.com/lists/18058
http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/~cr30/vocabulary/

Cheers & Happy Reading and Happy Old English Word of the Day in September!
Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic in Romance

Author on Board: Jennifer Taylor

Excitement is in the air! Fellow Sunshine State Romance Author Jennifer Taylor is visiting today to showcase her second historical romance, Heartbeat of the Moon. Her writing style is lyrical and her characters off the beaten path and compelling. Trust me– you will love her stories. 
JenTaylorHeartbeatoftheMoon1

Heartbeat of the Moon, Book Two of the Rhythm of the Moon Series

Blurb: Superstition sails into King’s Harbour with tales of winged monsters rising from the dead. Midwife Maggie and husband Ian fight for reason and logic when a friend’s nephew disappears from the grave, and the friend’s behavior becomes more animal than man.

As forces and bizarre events around the two lovers threaten their happiness, Maggie faces challenges from her expectant mothers and struggles to understand Ian’s troubling behavior. Ian endeavors to cure his mind’s affliction but fears the slide into insanity may be fatal.

Buy Heartbeat of the Moon:
The Wild Rose Press   
Amazon   
Barnes and Noble   

Excerpt:
Ian glanced her way, finally. “Do you think Josef has lost his wits?”

“I don’t know,” she said. “For we have seen stranger things than this, things I never thought were possible. And it’s as if…”

“What?”

She shook her head. “It is fanciful and silly.”

“Maggie, I have told you before.” He came to her and took her hands. “Nothing you ever say to me will be taken lightly, for every word you utter is like holy writ to me.”

She moved into his embrace, her hands on his bristled cheeks. He was very warm. “The spirit of the holy nun lives in me still.” He nodded. “Something happened today.”

Josef moaned in his sleep. “Let me in. The beast is out there, in the woods, and he comes for us. Where are your weapons? Where is Ana? Has she not arrived? The
beast is coming; do you hear it? No, the floor is sticky with her blood, I slipped in it, I could not help it,” Josef screamed.

“But I just saw her yesterday,” he continued in a voice not his own. “She sold chestnuts in the market. How can this be her, neck laid open? She will not stop
bleeding. Her eyes opened, she snarls.”

And his own voice returned. “No, stop screaming, sister. We must bury her, bury her deep.”

Fear rippled down Maggie’s back.

JenniferTaylorMercyOfTheMoon_w8691_750Mercy of the Moon, Book One of the Rhythm of the Moon Series

Excerpt:

The door swung open, and Mr. Pierce, the singer from the kirkyard, thrust himself into the room. He carried a body in his arms, covered in a cloak. Blue-tinged, slender feet dangled from the tattered, mud-soaked hem.

Samuel stared in slack-jawed shock and backed away. “Why have you brought this body here?”

To Maggie’s astonishment, the body began convulsing in great spasms, and the singer struggled to hold it. The cloak fell off, revealing a shroud-wrapped body, only the face exposed. The eyes, ice blue, stared wide and unblinking and blank with terror.

Sarah’s eyes. Her lips blue, dirt-encrusted eyelashes, cleft chin.

“It cannot be,” Maggie whispered, and shrank back. Coldness enveloped her, as if she had slipped into a frozen lake, cold water surrounding her, and could hear only muffled voices, echoing urgent and sharp. She saw only shapes above the icy water.

“Miss Maggie.” 

A voice, masculine and hoarse, broke through the ice, and she stared into the singer’s eyes. They steadied and warmed, pulled her out of her daze.

“We must move her by the fire and rid her of this shroud,” Ian urged.

She took a deep, shaky breath. Yes. It was Sarah, yet the eyes stared unseeing in a blue-mottled face covered in dirt.

Samuel’s voice escalated in panic. “She was buried, she was dead. I saw her. How can this be?” He turned his head away.

Maggie grabbed him by the shoulders. “Samuel, you must look at her. Somehow it is our Sarah.”

Buy Mercy of the Moon:
The Wild Rose Press

Amazon 

Barnes and Noble

Jen TaylorBio:
Jennifer Taylor spent her childhood running wild on an Idaho mountainside. Although she’s lived across the U.S., she’s still an Idahoan at heart and a notorious potato pusher. She’s been a roofer, a hoofer, a computer data entry operator, and a stay-at-home mom.

She’s dreamt of writing historical romances since reading Wuthering Heights at the tender age of twelve, and is now living her dream of writing love stories set in 18th Century England. She feverishly lobbies for the return of breeches and would love to see her husband of 36 years in a pair.

Jennifer lives in rural Florida with her husband and goofy Great Dane. She is the author of Mercy of the Moon, Book One of the Rhythm of the Moon Series, and the newly released Book Two, Heartbeat of the Moon, published by the Wild Rose Press.

Jennifer’s Hangouts:

Website     Facebook     Twitter

Goodreads     Newsletter    

Cheers & Happy Reading!

Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic in Romance

Writer Wednesday: Reviewers Welcome

Time to focus on reviews! #AugustReviews I am reblogging this from Rosie Amber via my cyber friend Carmen Stefanescu. Point is, authors need and appreciate reviews and love reviewers.

readers-reviewers

Readers from all over the world are being inspired to post reviews for books they’ve read on Amazon.

In a Bold attempt to increase reader awareness of the importance of book reviews to all authors, Terry Tyler is leading the campaign to get more people posting those all important reviews on Amazon.

Read the full post from Rosie Amber.

Cheers & Happy Reading!

Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic in Romance