Sunday, April 20

The Real Origins of Easter


Easter: The word is derived from a Saxon goddess of Dawn and Spring known as Oestre or Eastre (Ostara in Germany). She was a fertility goddess and her sacred animal was the hare.

Also Known As: Alban Eiler, Eostre, Lady Day, Easter, and Festival of Trees.

Symbols: Rabbits, chicks, eggs, and equilateral cross.

Traditional Incenses: Violet, jasmine, rose, sage, and strawberry.

Sacred Foods: Fish, sweets, sweet breads, hot cross buns, and eggs.

History: First introduced to the Celtic world by the Saxons around 600 A.D., Easter was celebrated during the Vernal Equinox on March 21. Since then it has been overshadowed by the more popular Christian holiday, which celebrates the resurrection of Christ.

Customs: Collecting and decorating eggs, bird watching, egg hunts, and burying eggs in fields.

Easter Eggs: Eggs were a symbol of fertility in most ancient cultures, and the Celts were no different. During the spring festival to celebrate Ostara, they painted eggs to give as gifts. The chocolate eggs we now associate with Easter were introduced at a much later date.

The Legend of the Goddess Ostara and the Easter Bunny

“Feeling guilty about arriving late one spring, the goddess Ostara saved the life of a poor bird whose wings had been frozen by the snow. Filled with compassion for him since he could no longer fly, Ostara turned him into a snow hare and gave him the gift of being able to run with incredible speed so he could protect himself from hunters. In remembrance of his earlier form as a bird, she also gave him the ability to lay eggs (in all the colors of the rainbow). 

However, the hare later angered the goddess Ostara, and she cast him into the skies where he would remain as the constellation Lepus (the Hare), forever positioned under the feet of the constellation Orion (the Hunter). He was allowed to return to earth once a year, but only to give away his eggs to the children attending the Ostara festivals that were held each spring. Thus, the tradition of the Easter Bunny had begun" (Easter: History and Traditions).

Sources:
--Celtic Folklore Cooking by Joanne Asala
--Easter: History and Traditions:  
http://www.goddessgift.com/Pandora's_Box/Easter-history.htm

--The Pagan Origins of the Easter Bunny:  http://altreligion.net/?page_id=1789

Tuesday, March 25

Going Dark

Okay guys, I have decided to go dark for the next two weeks. The past few days were stressful for numerous reasons (of which I won't go into on here). Suffice it to say, it left me feeling something like this:



And this:


The easiest solution would be to follow Bender's advice and destroy all humans.


But really....

So I've decided to crack down and get to work instead. I'm blocking out the outside world as best I can until this book is done. Henceforth, this shall be known as Operation Go Dark.


Until I return, my friends...


*I will still be available if anyone needs anything, but I won't be posting on here. My activities on Facebook and Twitter will also be limited. You may or may not find me on Skype--I haven't decided yet.*

Wednesday, March 19

Perilous Waters by Diana Paz: Cover Reveal



Timespell: Perilous Waters by Diana Paz
(Timespell #2)
Publication date: May 15th 2014
Genres: Science Fiction, Time-Travel, Young Adult

Synopsis:
After nearly losing their lives defeating the creatures of Mythos in Revolutionary France, Julia and Kaitlyn finally understand what Angie has known all along… being a Daughter of Fate isn’t so fun when one mistake can mean their deaths. Haunted by visions and horror-filled memories, the girls have spent the summer honing their newly discovered magical abilities, determined to grow in power and prepare for the uncertain time when the Fates summon them to their next mission.

But their protector Ethan, still embittered by Julia’s betrayal, refuses to engage in the girls’ magical research or power-enhancing spell practice. That is, until his brother’s loyalty to Julia causes him to unwittingly uncover ancient magic greater and more binding than any force the girls have encountered so far. Before the girls or Ethan grasp the full extent of what his brother has done, the girls are jettisoned through time into the madness of the Caribbean during the golden age of piracy.

Only by working together can the girls harness the full power of their magic and secure the world timeline, but with the lives of those close to Angie and Julia at risk, and Kaitlyn designing a dark agenda of her own, all three girls harbor secrets that threaten to drive their fledgling trinity apart. Small treacheries, mounting fear, and the use of dark magic have not gone unnoticed by those trapped within the Nether… those who would stop at nothing to unleash their destruction upon the world once more.

Add the book on Goodreads

----

AUTHOR BIO

Diana Paz writes books about magic, adventure, and romance. She was born in Costa Rica, grew up on Miami Beach, moved to Los Angeles in high school, and went to college in San Diego. Basically, she’s a beach bum. Diana graduated from California State University, San Marcos with a Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Arts. She loves old movies, epic fantasy, all kinds of music, and heading to the beach with a good book. Preferably sipping a highly sweetened iced coffee. Find her at her blog: dianapazwrites.blogspot.com or on Twitter @dianapazwrites

Author links:

Tuesday, March 18

A Writing Update

Well, instead of an accountability post, I'm just going to say that Herbert had some difficulties this week...


Check back in later to see if we've made any progress.


So far...it isn't looking good.

Tuesday, March 11

Accountability: Part Three

Recap: My goal was 9859 in 7 days, which comes to 1266 a day. 

If you don't know what's going on, or if you want a reminder of what I've done so far, here are the links to my first  and second posts.


So after assigning the above goal last week, I felt a bit like I'd lost my mind. How the hell was I going to write nearly 10, 000 words in one week? It was impossible! There was no way I was going to finish!


And then I smartened up and got to work.


So without further adieu, here are my numbers for last week...

Last Week's Numbers

From March 4th to March 10th (7 days) I wrote: 10, 609 words
Average Daily Word Count: 1516 words


Thoughts:

I did it! I did it! I did it! Ahhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!! 


Not only did I meet my goal, but I surpassed it! I'm so proud of myself right now. After going months without writing anything worthwhile, I am finally making progress on this story again. I can't even explain how good this feels. At this point I don't even care if I meet my April 1st goal--I'm just happy I'm writing again.

Story Details:

I had to stay up late a few nights to meet my goal, but I did it. I finished two chapters this week, and got a good start on several others (I jumped around a lot depending on my mood).  I was hoping to have another chapter or two done before this post, but I got a bit fickle near the end of the week. I didn't want to stick with one scene, so I let my Muse go where she wanted.

My Alpha also had a chance to read three chapters for me, which was very handy. I'm constantly worried about pacing, but she assured me there wasn't a problem. We will have to wait and see once I'm finished this draft. For now, I am inclined to take her word on it.

This Week's Goals


Daily Goal: 1373 words
Weekly Goal:  9609 words
Days Remaining:  21

Unfortunately, this week will be busy again. We have a few family obligations we're hoping to fulfill and my hubby has several Scout meetings.  On the plus side, I normally go to Starbucks during his meetings, so hopefully I'll get a lot of work done there. Either way, I need to learn to write around a busy schedule. If we're this active now I can't imagine how insane it'll be once we have children.

So how has your week been? Meet any goals?

Thursday, March 6

Exercise Update

Since I'm trying to hold myself more accountable for my writing, I figure I should do the same with my exercise regimen. For the same reasons I stopped writing, I also stopped counting points and exercising.

It was mainly due to the holiday season (it seemed my Christmas motto was EAT ALL THE COOKIES!!!)


Ahem.

Luckily, I didn't really gain any weight (up three one week, down again the next), but I didn't lose any either.

In any case, it is time to get back to it. I started last week (just like with my writing) and I did pretty darn well! Here are my numbers:

From February 25th to March 5th (9 days): I exercised 7 of those days
Miles: 12.65 miles
Fastest Pace: 6:18
Weight Loss: On Monday I was down 2.7 pounds.

Thoughts

Days I missed: Friday, Saturday, and partially Tuesday

--I do my weekly house cleaning on Fridays, which tire out my arms. For that reason, I don't exercise on those days, so I don't actually count that as a missed day.

--I do, however, count Saturday as a miss. I wrote most of the day and lost track of time, so I had to rush to get ready to go to my in-laws' house for dinner. It was my own fault, but I can't be too upset since I was writing.

--And finally, on Tuesday I didn't do a full workout due to arm pain, but I did do my stretches and I did crunches. Not a full workout, but I did enough to get my heart rate up.

I've never made this exercise schedule about weight loss. Although I do keep track, and I do want to lose weight, I'm trying to focus on being healthier overall. It just so happens that losing weight is an easy way to analyze my progress.

So there you have it. I hope I have excellent numbers next week as well =)

Goals For Next Week

--I'm hoping to work out for longer, which will also increase my mile count.

--I also hope to exercise every day (except for my usual Fridays, obviously).

Tuesday, March 4

Accountability: Part Two

Recap: My goal was 8862 words in 7 days, which comes to 1266 a day. You can find the original post here.

I also must make an amendment to my last post. I really should have posted a picture or video from the movie, Galaxy Quest. The entire time I wrote the post I had their "Weeee need your help," stuck in my head, but for some reason I never considered adding that to the post. Oh well, here it is now.




Last Week's Numbers

From February 25th to March 3rd (7 days) I wrote: 4862 words
Average Daily Word Count: 695 words


Thoughts:

Okay, so as you can see from my numbers above, I did not make my weekly goal. I'm a bit bummed about that, but I am proud of myself for writing every single day. I knew this first week was going to be very difficult for me (and my family!), mainly because I needed to get back into the mindset of writing every day. I had distanced myself from the story, which made it more difficult to dive back in. Now, however, I am pleased to say that I'm right in there. When I have any amount of downtime, my story is up and I'm working on it. I was doing okay the first few days, then I had some sort of stomach flu and slept the majority of Thursday. Unfortunately, that threw me off mentally and I wasn't able to recover. Now that I know where my weaknesses are, hopefully I will be more prepared next time.

Story Details:

Regardless of my word count, I did finish an entire chapter and get a very healthy start on a second. I am quite pleased with that! I am hoping to finish that chapter today and start on the next one.

I also reworked my plot and fiddled with a few future scenes to make sure the overall arc worked well. I feel more confident with where I'm going. I've also come to the conclusion that I'm going to go over 100, 000 words, but I'm not sure how much over. It is driving me a bit insane to not go back and start cutting some of the scenes/words I already know I'm going to cut, but I promised myself I would finish this draft before I start editing more.


This Week's Goals

Well, since I didn't meet last week's goals, that ups the numbers for this week. It is a vicious, vicious cycle. Luckily, I'm insane enough to keep at it!


Daily Goal: 1408 words
Weekly Goal: 9859 words

Still completely doable. I don't have as many family obligations this week as I did last week, so I should be able to stay on track a bit more. As well, I already have two trips to Starbucks set aside, so that will help encourage me to write more.

We have also hopefully (*crossing all fingers and toes*) found our beach house for our Outer Banks trip in August, which will remove a HUGE distraction from my list. We should know tonight whether or not we can go ahead and book it.

So there you have it. I have 28 days left to finish this sucker. I hope I can do it!

*Also, I am totally trying out GIFs in this blog post. So many of my friends are using them now, and they always make me snicker. What do you think?*
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