I Smashed the Meatgrinder

I spent most of yesterday (17th)  formatting the new and improved ‘Prelude’ in accordance with Smashwords Style Guide.

It wasn’t as bad as I feared. I think a great deal of the ‘shock and horror’ about ‘the meatgrinder’ is based on fear of a steep learning curve, and a certain amount of preciousness about one’s own formatting.

The steep learning curve is indeed steep if you’ve never formatted using ‘styles’, (in Microsoft Word) which I never have, but now that I know about ’em, they’re my new best friends!

And the formatting – well, us writerly types do tend to cling to what we’re familiar with and like to use, with a grip of Adamantium. (think Wolverine’s claws) Smashwords formatting is basically my-way-or-the-highway, and the good news is, I was able to duplicate all the formatting quirks I’d evolved as I wrote, using Scrivener, on the Word Doc, which is the software Smashwords requires.

In fact it was the ‘compile’ function on Scrivener, that gave me the greatest headache. (but only because I had no idea, and still don’t, about how it worked)

So, I am very pleased to announce that Prelude is now available as an eBook. Click on the cover, over there on the right and have a peek at the first bunch of pages. (I haven’t got to Amazon yet, but it is available in mobi format so you can side-load it onto a Kindle reader)

For those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about, here’s a bit of a blurb …

… Shamans come in all shapes and sizes, from all walks of life, from all the continents of the Earth. We’ve been around since the human race realized there was more to existence than just the physical, and we’ll be around long after the last star has died, when the Wheel turns to renew All.

Becoming a Shaman is not for the faint-of-heart, or the timid-of Spirit. It is not an easy Path, nor should it be. The responsibilities are great and require harsh testing before one is judged capable of shouldering them.

There are many Pathways to becoming a Shaman, and I came to understand mine through my Earth-based, Goddess Spirituality, She who is the First Mother of Us All, in all Her forms.

‘Prelude’  is the story of my very first steps along that Path. It is part memoir, part Shamanic adventure, and part guidebook, with a dash of dire warning on the side.

From the moment I came across a giant statue of Bast, I knew my life would never be the same. There were times I froze, bled, burned, raged, and cried.  My life, my past, the shadows, and the shining moments, all the things I believed defined me, were challenged, until nothing but a truth, my Truth, remained.

Join me as I confront my monsters, discover my true Name, and come to understand that the Physical world I grew up with was just a tiny corner of a much vaster Cosmos.


Bon Voyage Mary Oliver

You may not know her, but she was one of the good ‘uns. She will be missed.


Bon Voyage, Carol Channing

The woman with one of the most distinctive voices on Broadway, television, and film.

97 is a damn fine innings.

Wherever she is now, I suspect she’s getting a standing ovation. Break a leg, Carol.

NO SNOW!!! … and Other Things

This is what the Winter Tree looked like on Christmas Day 2016



This is what my friend looked like this Christmas Day just gone.

That bit of blue sky was the last to be seen

That bit of blue sky was the last to be seen

To quote Voldemort, “I consider myself, disappointed”.

Just a few kilometers away, (and a few hundred meters of elevation) there’s snow everywhere. It’s several meters high, blocking highways, doing avalanches, and everything. Down here on the river valley floor all we’ve had is rain …lots of rain … floods of rain …way, way too much … rain.

To make matters worse, I’ve been nastily ill since my last post, which resulted in all sorts of bodily functions going haywire, along with a migraine cluster that still sends shivers down my spine when I think about it.

So, all-in-all, not the most auspicious Festive Season.

However … remember ‘Prelude’, the true tales of my Shamaning? Mrs Widds and I are putting it through its very final line edit this weekend, then off to Smashwords and the Zon it goes to become an ebook. Soon followed thereafter by a print version.

It’s been quite a journey, spending most of 2018 reliving a time in my life thirty years past.

I’ll keep you updated as to how it’s all going.

There’s still time for some snow to fall before winter’s over … isn’t there?

The Return of, ‘Mrs Widds Bakes’!

Every year at around this time Mrs Widds goes into a bit of a flour-induced frenzy. For those of you who don’t know what I’m referring to, it’s probably worth checking out these mouthwatering posts:

Mrs Widds bakes bread … and … Mrs Widds bakes tarts and cookies.

This year she’s baking up a few favourites, and a few twists, that I can’t go into because I know that the recipients of our ‘goodie’ baskets occasionally read this blog.

However, all is not lost. My friend Ally, of Ally’s Notebook posted this wonderful 3-ingredient cake recipe that Mrs Widds had to try. All it is, is dried fruit, ginger ale, and self-raising flour.

We had all sorts of dried fruit left over from various snack-a-lots, so in went some dried papaya, (pawpaw) prunes, dried apricots, craisins, (sweetened dried cranberries) raisins and all the other usual suspects, and some roasted pecans for crunchyness.

Once everything was assembled it went into the oven and came out looking like this …

Crisp and crunchy on top ...

Crisp and crunchy on top …

... and perfectly baked everywhere else

… and perfectly baked everywhere else

We (the Baker, and the quality control expert, which would be moi) decided that next time we’d like it to have a tad more cake and a smidge less fruit, but other than that, it was truly scrumptious. Thank you, Ally!


The very next day … this happened …

Look at that. Some leftover pastry and a bit of roast chicken. Whatever shall I do with it?

Look at that. Some leftover pastry and a bit of roast chicken. Whatever shall I do with it?

Throw some veggies and gravy on top ...

Throw some veggies and gravy on top …

... cover with a bit of pastry and into the oven they go

… cover with a bit of pastry and into the oven they go

And this is what comes out the other end. Perfect one-person chicken-pot-pies

And this is what comes out the other end. Perfect one-person chicken-pot-pies

We grabbed one each and retreated to our separate corners where a tastefully controlled amount of snarfing occurred.

Ready for your close-up before I devour you?

Ready for your close-up before I devour you?

Bon Voyage, Penny Marshall

Happy Days, the TV show, was a catalyst for so many great careers. Penny’s was one of them.

She will be missed.

My One And Only: Endgame

It’s almost here … the finale of the journey begun with Tony Stark way back in 2008. On the 26th of April next year, we will know …

From this moment forth, ’til then, mine eyes shall be closed to all things Endgame-y.

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