Last week I spent three days working 10-12 hours a day finishing up the illustrations for my book, The Witching Herbs, which is supposed to come out from Weiser this year. I was pleased with the way these line drawings turned out, although as is often the case for me, I felt I had to do some of them over (and over) to get them looking more or less the way I wanted them to. This meant I ended up with a very bad case of eye strain that affected me for about a week.
One thing I learned from this (again): I do not have anywhere near the stamina I did when I was younger. I just can’t work as fast or as long as I once took for granted. At 62, I do not feel old exactly, but I am more and more often faced with limitations on my energy. It always surprises me. And yet, as is characteristic of me, I am always coming up with new projects so that the list of what I need to get done becomes longer and longer and more unmanageable.
One of those new projects is expanding herbalwitchcraft.com, which is where you’re at right now. I’ve had this on my list of things to do for years now, but last weekend I began to work on it by moving the site to a new webhost. Just like I have always grown things from seed instead of buying transplants–until last year–I always kept my sites on a very dependable but user-unfriendly webhost. That unfriendliness was sort of a problem with Alchemy Works, but it was a huge problem with herbalwitchcraft. In the end, I knew that if I did not shift this site to a server that’s a bit more friendly to those of us who are not sysadmins, I would probably never end up adding to it. So I shifted it to a webhost that specializes in just WordPress sites. And it has been much easier for me to handle issues that this site has had all along (although it still took me two hours to add a “follow me on FB” button to it, lol!).
Thanks to the new webhost, I was able to add a plugin that allows me to create a structure for additional, non-blog pages, which is what I want to add. These new pages will contain formulas for everything under the witch’s sun–powders, waters, scents, oils, incense, ointments, etc. I have so many formulas that I will never have the time to make or that are simply not practical as retail products but would be great as personal one-offs (especially more edgy stuff). I’ve also learned a LOT of “secrets of the apothecary’s art” for making things in the 16 years I’ve been running a witchcraft shop, and I want to share that with people. I would hate for this information to just get lost after I spent so much time collecting and sorting and refining and writing it.
I envision each group of formulas as a separate “book” on the site. Doing it this way instead of publishing it as physical books or even ebooks means I can continuously add to and modify the formulas and hyperlink between different pages for additional info and related items.
It also means that ads will supporting the site (and me) instead of charging for a book. This way no one will have to pay to get access to the information. I’d like to deal with ads by linking to good sources for the various raw materials and packaging involved in making witch stuff. There are so many great resources out there, whether for individuals who want to make things for their own use or who want to create products to sell. And new ones are coming into being all the time. Such a project also gives me a great excuse to play with creating more stuff and researching more formulas from old books, which I very much enjoy. I also see this as the sort of work I should be able to do far into my old age. And I do have to keep ageing in mind. My Social Security benefits will in no way be enough to support me.
But there’s yet another project that will be added to the list at the end of this month: Azoetia is finally supposed to be mailed out beginning January 29th. From what I heard, it was actually printed at one point, but something was wrong, and it had to be redone. I enjoy working on all my projects, but Azoetia is one I’ve been looking forward to for a long time.