Llewellyn’s 2016 Herbal Almanac (Pickling for Beginners)
Llewellyn’s 2017 Witches’ Companion (You Need Your Muse)
Llewellyn’s 2017 Magical Almanac (Sweet on You: Sweetening Magic)
Llewellyn’s 2017 Herbal Almanac (Naturally Beautiful: DIY Beauty Products)
Best Women’s Erotica of the Year 2017 (The Wolf at His Door)
. . .and the actual big reveal: The Glamour Guide, late fall 2016, published by Llewellyn. I’ve been writing a lot about glamour for years now. This is going to be a handbook about how to wage feminine warfare for all genders so that you leave your personal battlefields bloodied, battered and bruised, but victorious. I’m teaching to play to win, not to be nice and using glamour to do so.
Just typing that makes me barf a little in my mouth. I have literally dreamt of this day (having a full book published by a publisher) since I was seven years old. Now, nearly thirty years later, it’s actually happening.
And it’s nothing like I expected.
I thought I would be all victory laps and expensive champagne and fois gras, but the truth is, I’ve been having trouble keeping food down. 2015 has been very Into the Woods for me (But how can you know what you want/ Til you get what you want/ And you see if you like it?/ Opportunity is not a lengthy visitor/ You may know what you need/ But to get what you want/ Better see that you keep what you have/ One midnight gone!). As a twentysomething, I was very Cinderella. As a thirtysomething, I was very much The Baker’s Wife. This year has seen the merging of the two for me.
Most of my occult author friends were offered a contract based on their blogs. That didn’t happen for me. I’ve had bits of much needed luck (Om Shreem Maha Lakshmi Namaha) and my published friends have always been incredibly gracious in helping me claw up the ladder (especially Jason Miller, Josh Gadbois/Rufus Opus, Chris Bradford/AIT and Gordon White).
But mostly? I worked my ass off. Every contact I made, I hoarded, every occult event I could do, I did, every small offer I could secure myself through blogging elsewhere and here as well as writing for anthologies, I took. I wrote proposals, I did lots of research, I wrote lots of sample chapters, I wrote drafts and tossed them and started over, I worked until I could find my voice for this book.
I am not an overnight success. I’ve been working as hard as I can at this for almost ten years before I got this opportunity. I write all the time, at the expense of my social life, at the expense of my loved ones, at the expense of clean hair, at the expense of yoga and I write and I wait and I write and I wait and mostly, I burn. I wrote on baby naps, twenty minutes snagged right after work, at lunch while shoveling salad into my mouth. Nothing about this was easy. I was often asked why I kept doing this, I was often asked to stop by people who love me because it has taken a toll on me and will take an even bigger toll in the year to come. I have not had a partner who could financially support me while doing this, Jow is busting his ass to become a nurse and work as well. So I’ve worked full time jobs and then some during this time.
I’ve pictured this moment for so long, while at the same time resigning myself to the fact that it may never happen for me, no matter how hard I work, I’ve spent the past few days in a state of shock. It doesn’t feel real. I didn’t know what I wanted to do to celebrate because I didn’t think it would actually happen, not really. I know how to work, how to burn, how to push myself, I don’t know how to accept success. I am constantly vomity and anxious feeling because . . .now what? It’s that moment I’ve talked about before, that transition from I wish to go to the festival to I wish to sponsor a festival. I know my life will change, it had already started to this year in a lot of ways. But I don’t know what it will mean and how I will handle it.
April very sternly said to me last night, But we are proud of ourselves, yes?
And I said, I . . .don’t know. Because it’s not real yet. I thought I would want something fancy to mark this. But I didn’t. The first night, my friends took me out for pizza, soft pretzels and french martinis. The second night, Jow got me Indian take away and some Lillet for our vodka tonics and we sat in our pajamas and ate. My 23 year self old would be flat out disgusted by this. All of this work and finally you got what you wanted and you want pizza and take out? What the fuck is wrong with you? Bitch, go dance on some tables and have Patron directly poured down your throat and then eat oysters until you throw up, stupid.
I have a bottle of White Star Moet that Ms. K gifted me with, the first time we met. I promised myself I would save it for this moment. I am having a Haunted Dinner Party with my nearest and dearest and we will open it and they will make a fuss for me and I will try to look happy and not afraid and try not to cry.
Under the layers of vomit, self doubt, fear and insecurity there is the fierceness of my spirit animal, Elle Woods, when she finds out she got the coveted law internship and when someone asks who got the last spot, she turns and screams, “Me!”
I did it. I got it. I couldn’t have done it without you, Charmers. When I feel the most like I am howling into the abyss, when I feel like nothing I say matters or changes anyone or anything, when I feel like no one cares about my struggles, when I feel like nothing I have said has taught anyone anything about anything let alone magic, when I feel full of despair, anxiety and failure, you have always been here to tell me that I mean something to you. And the kindness and appreciation that you (yes, you) have shown me through the years, sometimes feels so big and great, that I am so overwhelmed and I don’t know what to say. You have always said what I needed to hear when I have needed to hear it and you have always listened and supported me and loved me.
Gratitude isn’t a word that would suffice to circumnavigate how I feel for all of you and how much you’ve held me up through the years.
I love you. Truly, madly, deeply. And I will always love you. And I will keep blogging and loving you and you can see what happens when someone gets what they want because it’s going to be as unfiltered as it ever was.
Thank you, always.