February 10, 2017
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I never thought I'd write so many books. Number 6, "Earth Mama's Spiritual Guide to Weight Loss" will be published in May, by Green Magic Publishing. Blessed Be! This book focuses around my lengthy, unending journey towards wellness and health. It shows how earth rituals, goddess invocations, incantations, affirmations and natural remedies enhance your weight-loss plan. I share my story of how I've employed alternative health to augment my journey and have numerous tips from around the world in the area of earth-based spirituality designed to help you.
I'm having fun with its birth. I've been putting together a series of workshops and book readings. As things develop, I'll share more. So far, I have a definite series starting in June at Life Force Arts Center in Chicago. That is the perfect venue; directed by a prominent shaman, it is filled with ever-changing art exhibits and it is a place where many rituals and ceremonies take place. I will be updating my Events page here, as more events in other venues are confirmed, so check in regularly.
I've been working on my 365 Days of Hoodoo book for Llewellyn, as well. It has gone through many manifestations and changes over the years I've been working on it. It looks like I'm back to the drawing board, as I'd gotten a bit off track.
Writing is sometimes like weeding a garden. You have to prune and weed out things that pop up on their own, if they take the overall growth pattern in too different a direction. This being, for the overall health of the book.
So book number 7;
Let it be blessed;
Let it be lucky;
Let it be helpful, to you, my readers.
As it is above, so it is below.
So mote it be!
I say and think this:
Three times, three times, three.
January 16, 2017
Horse Shoe Facing Upwards for Good Luck!
OM-Goddess! On Martin Luther King's Birthday, I have finally and I do mean finally, finished my 6th book, "Earth Mama's Spiritual Guide to Weight-loss."
This book began about 14 years ago. I received that final clarity and push I needed, from the wisdom and dream of Martin Luther King and all of his prophetic thinking!
The "Earth Mama's Spiritual Guide to Weight-loss" is due for publication in early May. It is being published by Green Magic Publishing in England!
Stay tuned, for upcoming workshops, events, readings, media appearances, and shops carrying the book.
February 16, 2016
Sometimes, we all need a break. Life can rise up and give you a big shove, when and how you least expect. In my case, the shove came with a directive. Rest, gather, nest and then create!
I've taken a break from my writing for a while to tend to other cauldrons. Meanwhile, I've been collecting my thoughts, being quietly observant and creative in different ways like cooking, and making art.
To that end, I also started a new website dedicated to my art. At the moment it just shows a single body of work but more will soon follow, as I see fit.
If you'd like to check it out, take your cup of herbal tea and mosey over for a spell. See how I'm translating my words into visual form.
The new website is called Artist - Stephanie Rose Bird and the link is below the painting above.
November 29, 2014
This is just a tidbit of information, as that's all I can provide at this moment. It would seem as though I will be penning a new Hoodoo book, which will be coming out before you know it--in 2016.
Many of you have requested such a book. I know there is a great (more…)
July 28, 2014
I have a new book deal brewing. Yeah! This one is for what I am calling "Mother Earth's Spiritual Guide to Weight-loss." If it all works out, this will be my 7th published book, which is awesome, as well as something I never thought I'd accomplish.
This book has garnered a lot of interest in the publishing world. I believe it may well be the most significant contribution I've made as a nonfiction author, apart from "Sticks, Stones, Roots and Bones." It has the potential to impact and change lives, just as following its tenets has transformed mine. I will be announcing the publisher and projected publication date here on my website, on twitter, Facebook, and my personal blog. I can't wait to share that news and finally place this meaningful book.
I find myself in juggling mode as an author. I seem to write books in threes and then take months, if not years, resting up in between. "No Barren Life," my debut novel is in the editing stages before final submission to its publisher. If you've written, you know editing and polishing up a manuscript before final submission is all encompassing. "Mother Earth's Spiritual Guide to Weight-loss" is about at the halfway point. I project it will take 6 to 9 months to complete it. My second novel, "Out of the Blue" is 1/3 written but only as a first draft.
When I wake up in the morning, I wonder should I draw with all my beautiful colored pencils that are waiting for me in my studio? Should I blog here or on my other blog called Stephanie's Studio or should I work on one of those three books that are in development? Sometimes I give up and head off for a walk or to garden. Juggling books and other creative projects, which all need undivided attention, is exhausting.
At the same time, the creative process is rewarding. In the end, it's all about balance. A good juggler can keep all the balls up in the air while maintaining a supreme state of balance.
July 5, 2014
African Woman Working Shea Butter
In planning the African American Healer's Medicine Kit, (see events page) I have also revisited the activities that sparked that workshop. First of all, the name is almost directly derived from the title of an "Herb Quarterly" article I wrote back in 2003. In the "African American Winter Medicine Kit," I not only discussed what herbs from the African diaspora are useful for healing winter ills, I also went into the historical backdrop within our culture from which those particular remedies stem.
That was 2003, when I had only published "Sticks,Stones, Roots and Bones." Now with 5 books in publication, exploring various aspects of African American healing practices, I asked myself which of those books most directly influenced the development of that workshop. I wanted to know this, so I could discern which of the books would be most useful to the various concerns of those in attendance.
I had two books on healing published between 2009 and 2010--"The Big Book of Soul," and "A Healing Grove." It is those two books that most inspired the content of the workshop. Since their release is so close together and they both center around African American healing you might be wondering what's the difference? I too have been thinking that over, as I plan the workshop experience.
"The Big Book of Soul," is more of a conceptual exploration of African American healing. It takes American Hoodoo as a point of departure. Then it gets into the ways healing and spirituality are fused in the Motherland. Yes, there are recipes and rituals but at its crux is the philosophy behind our healing practices. Yoruba traditions and the concept of ashe, are of particular interest.
"A Healing Grove," goes into the forest to explore various conceptual spaces regarding holistic approaches to healing in the African diaspora. This book's focus is around trees and the medicines they lend to the mind, body and spirit. "A Healing Grove" is more of a practical book, filled with a ton of botanical information on trees and the herbal knowledge needed to utilize them. It also includes ceremonies, rituals and recipes but then goes further, to include how trees are utilized in the arts and crafts of the diaspora.
As the workshop quickly approaches, I am considering the best ways to meld the information presented in each book. I know from the past that workshop attendees don't like to be overloaded with information dispensed in written form or verbally. In short, we must put theory, history and herbalism into practice.
This should be an interesting experience for the attendees, and for me. Time will tell how we work with theory and practice, regarding African American herbalism and our unique approaches to healing.
June 30, 2014
Transitioning from writing nonfiction to being a novelist is probably one of the hardest things I've ever done. With nonfiction I think so structurally. I use a proposal as a point of departure, a detailed outline for chapter development and then do copious research. Then I integrate personal vignettes and stories into the more objective text. This process goes on for months, sometimes even years but eventually I end up with a book. I have published 5 adult nonfiction books over the past decade.
With fiction, I am in unknown territory. As a child I was drawn to academics, hence my predilection for nonfiction. My creative writing always consisted of poetry and sometimes prose. Making up stories seemed the domain of others.
As I mentioned, my nonfiction books are for adults, so how did I come to be writing Young Adult fiction? I can’t really explain it. They say your characters and story will speak to you, and as strange as it sounds that is exactly what happened for me. Moreover, most of our vivid memories and life-shaping events happen during youth. Numerous story seeds are planted early in life, which has led me to make my main characters teenagers.
If we leave enough quiet space in our lives, characters and stories will come to us-- within all of us there is a deep story. Like many novelists, my first work of fiction, "No Barren Life" (Lodestone Books, 2015) has elements and motifs drawn from my life. When I embarked on this journey towards fiction I pulled directly from my unpublished memoirs. Quickly though, I found that material wasn't enough to create a novel. A novel needs characters, plot, a story arc, and a setting that brings your words to life. While memoir and fiction can have a brief relationship, marriage is not in the offing.
I read novels by others as I write being careful not to read something too directly related to my story. I want my novels to have their own merits and a unique voice. So far, I am able to accomplish that goal by understanding and admiring the story structure, plot, and storytelling of others, while at the same time focusing on my inner story, muse and the voice that speaks to me—that of my protagonist.
With my nonfiction I can pretty much predict the estimated time of delivery. The birth of fiction, at least for me, is completely unpredictable. As hard as it is to believe, "No Barren Life," began back in 2003, when I first started to develop the story. It has had spurts of my attention but not a real intense focus until 2011. By late 2013, I started circulating it, querying agents and publishers. Thinking it might languish in my files forever, I started a new novel in December 2013. It is about a third of the way along. I hope its completion time will be within a year.
The journey towards fiction is a bumpy and unpredictable one for someone that has devoted their writing previously to nonfiction. With its many twists and turns, it is however a ride on the wild side. I am enjoying the journey.
How Earth Rituals, Goddess Invocations, Incantations, Affirmations and Natural Remedies Enhance Any Weight-loss Plan
Mind, Body, Spirit/African American
A Healing Grove
explores the holistic health benefits of trees of the African diaspora.
Paganism/African American Spirituality
Learn how sticks, stones, roots and bones can bring magic into your life.
Fine Art Website
Paintings and Drawings that continue the conversation of the books.
Here is where I blog regularly on inspirational topics, healing, paganism, magick, artistic process and the writer's life.
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Advocates for published authors since 1912