What I Was Thinking When I Wrote The Ghost Daughter

A few years ago I stood in the check out line at the grocery story, Casey Anthony staring at me from the cover of the People magazine. I don’t follow crime stories usually, but this one followed me. I couldn’t help it. I was fascinated.  A young woman claimed her little kid went missing a full month after anyone had seen her. The authorities found the thoroughly decomposed body of the child months later in a pile of duct tape. The prosecution was inadequate to the task of conviction and the judge let her go. Everyone thinks she did it. But…

5 Random Thoughts I Had When I Wrote THE ARROW (The Children of Brigid Trilogy, Book One)

I am surrounded by goddesses. I hand wrote the first chapter while on a retreat with a group of twelfth grade girls from one of the schools where I used to work. These students were powerfully intelligent, capable, kind, and just so cool. The retreat center was on the banks of Lake Tahoe, a really gorgeous location. As the sun was setting the first night, I watched the water and snow-covered mountains turn pink then purple. I was surrounded by young women who were set to take over the world and make it a place that made more sense, despite…

6 Smart How-To-Write Books

I don’t give writing advice very often, but I know good writing advice when I hear it. The following six titles are a sample of some of the best. On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King When I was in college in the eighties, a classmate announced that some day Stephen King would be considered a genius. Everybody scoffed but I knew she was right.  The author of Salem’s Lot, The Stand, and The Shining has forgotten more than most of us will ever know about weaving great stories. In On Writing, the master  is generous with advice,…

Fun with Archetypes: Guidance Cards

As a writer of fantasy, I love twisting my knowledge of mythology, folklore and ancient archetypes around to make something new. Fiction isn’t the only thing you can make using mythology as material. I invented a craft idea that every now and then I put together for a friend or group of friends using very personal mythologies and archetypes. It doesn’t cost very much, and it creates a fun guidance card game that’s sort of like your own private Tarot deck. Here is a picture of a pack of goddess archetype cards I made for a group of my friends. Ready…

Goddess University: Athena in the Workplace

Makeover stories are the best, especially during the Back-to-School season. Back-to-School has always been a high holy season for me. Seventeen magazine’s August issue was a kind of bible to me in the eighties. The message was that you could reinvent yourself from the inside out for the new school year. Everything was possible. Clean slates were a real and figurative thing. The movies Working Girl with Melanie Griffith and Sigourney Weaver and Legally Blonde with Reese Witherspoon and Selma Blair embody the rigorous hope that we can change reality through force of will. In both movies, intelligent women step…

Goddess University: Gemma Teller

If you have not yet watched the F/X series Sons of Anarchy all the way through to the last, then stop reading this post. SPOILER ALERT. The entire thing is on Netflix right now. Watch it. Return in a week. Gemma Teller is the matriarch of the Sons of Anarchy motorcycle “club”, the mother of the main character Jax. She resembles the Hindu goddess Kali in her destructive power. Also like Kali, she means to destroy only harmful people, yet ends up destroying much more. Katey Sagal, real-life wife of the series creator and writer Kurt Sutter, plays Gemma Teller….

Goddess University: Brigid

St. Brigid of Kildare is my homegirl.  I love her so much that I chose her name for my Confirmation name a few years ago.  That’s right, my name is Maureen Teresa Brigid O’Leary Wanket. Better recognize. I based a whole series of books on Brigid, who is in fact an ancient Celtic fertility goddess, as well as one of the three patron saints of Ireland.  Her lore is vast and complex, way more than can be handled in a single blog post, or even a single blog site. My laptop would explode if I tried. I had to write three…

8 Urban Fantasy Archetypes You Deal With Every Day

Urban Fantasy is a great escape from reality. Yet if you think about it, you face the following Urban Fantasy archetypes every day. Challenge Okay, so maybe you aren’t a soldier in an ancient vampire war, or facing an impending demon horde.  But everyone faces challenge. A challenge can be anything from fighting an illness to finishing a project. Maybe your challenge isn’t as life-threatening as a literal demon trying to physically kill you, but we all have our own figurative demons to wrestle. City Settings are as   in normal life as in Urban Fantasy. The City may be…