I Moved!

This post is long overdue, but here it is finally.

I’m no longer updating this blog. I moved over to The Life Of A Raven a few months ago and have been very happy there. I had been feeling…weighed down? Trapped? By this blog. Like I had to post about certain things and certain things only and that was feeling very confining. I am a multifaceted person (as are we all) with a wide variety of interests. One of those interests I’ve started exploring more by creating a Youtube channel with my friends and so I wanted to be able to post about it. I didn’t feel like I could here, so I created a new space in which I had the freedom to post whatever I wanted and it’s been very freeing.

I also still maintain Odin Devoted, though LoaR is updated much more frequently.

If you enjoyed reading my posts here, and want to keep up with me and what I’m doing, please join me on my new site!

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A Day In Manhattan

Last Wednesday I woke up in the mood to explore. I’ve lived in New Jersey (just across the Hudson from New York City!) for almost two years now and not gone into Manhattan very much. There are many reasons for this, but one thing I realized last week as I did some self exploration is that I want to go there more. NYC has so much to offer, so much to see and do and experience and I don’t want to miss any of it. My original plan was to go to Central Park to walk the trails and take a bunch of pictures, all while scouting out the perfect writing spot. Before catching a train I wrote down directions in my paper journal as I knew once underground I’d have no cell service. Once on the train though, I knew I’d never make it all the way to Central Park.

I was right. The train pulled into the 9th St station and I got off, just as my directions told me to. But once I was above ground I knew that was where I’d be the rest of the day. I walked down the street and wandered into a Staples (I’m a writer. I can never resist going into an office supply store XD) for a moment. I walked out with a new set of pens and a small “I Love New York” keychain. I don’t care if it makes me a tourist–it’s the truth. New York City…I love it. Moving here, though it was scary when I did it, was one of the best decisions I ever made in my life. The energy in the city is unbelievable. I feel like I can do and be whatever I want to be, just as my mom promised me when I was a kid. In the weeks leading up to this trip I felt like I had been losing sight of what was important to me, of my dreams and goals. But being there was just the thing I needed to remind me of everything that was in my heart. It refreshed and rejuvenated me in a very welcome and unexpected way.

Everywhere I went there was signs of creativity and inspiration to be found. That’s part of why I love New York so much. People express themselves however they want and the city itself seems to celebrate Art.

A Writer's Tools

A Writer’s Tools

And in the city there is always a nugget or two of wisdom to be found. ❤

(All photos are credit to Raven Rose. If you share, please do so with credit to the artist~)

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Blessed Midsummer!

By Raven

By Raven

Blessed Midsummer! I hope your Summer Solstice is a happy and joyous one. ❤

Normally, I don’t get to see the sunrise on the Summer Solstice. Today that was different. My boyfriend, Angelo, got back yesterday from a week long trip to LA for E3 and his sleep schedule was pretty messed up. My body decided to immediately sync up to his, which meant whacky sleep pattern for me last night. We went to bed around 8pm, which is incredibly early for us, then got up at 2:30am wide awake. Neither of us could go back to sleep, so we played games, talked, and I looked around Instagram and Facebook a little. Eventually we decided to take super early showers since we were sticky from all the humidity and then went back to bed. I don’t recall what time I fell back asleep, though it was around 6am when I laid down. But I remember seeing the sky lightening as I laid there. It was no longer dark out and I could see more than the silhouette of trees. Instead I could see the brilliant green of their leaves, the tall grass that is covereing my backyard (and desperately needs to be cut). It was the perfect vision to fall back asleep to.

I got up for the day about a half an hour ago. Months ago I had planned to go to the beach today. I smiled when I saw the sun shining brightly, casting it’s golden light on everything below. To look out my living room window, it looks like the perfect beach day. It’s even supposed to be 90 degrees out! But a quick double check of the forecast tells me that, more likely than not, it’s supposed to rain. Rain at the beach just isn’t fun. So instead I’ll have to find a way to celebrate away from the ocean. My improvised plans include wearing a crown of flowers, my favorite pair of fairy wing earrings made by Sihaya Designs, and indulging in delicious strawberries and other favorite Summer foods. All of this will lead up to a most beautiful ritual in a celebration of the brilliant verdancy that is Midsummer.

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Photo Essay: Random Park Adventure!

Earlier today I unexpectedly got a client meeting for a new petsitting gig. Meeting these people required me to travel to a section of town that I’m not normally in, but am always happy to go to. It’s a nice, quaint little town that always seems so friendly and home-y. In truth, I wouldn’t mind living there someday. (It has some perfect views of New York City, too!) While I was driving there, my GPS took me a route through a beautiful, serene little park. Okay, it wasn’t really little. But it was perfect. On my way home I had to stop and take some pictures. Birds were singing merrily, people were walking hand in hand, there was even a guy fishing–a thing I never see here.

Photo by Raven

Photo by Raven

Parks and wooded areas like this are refuges to me, sanctuaries where I can go to forget my worries for a little while and let my mind be still. Spending time in these places refills my creative well and centers me like nothing else can or does. I was absolutely delighted to find this sanctuary only 20 minutes away from me. There are even hiking trails there! I will most definitely be going back for a visit soon. ❤

I posted some of these on my Instagram, one of them as the Capture Your 365 Challenge. Feel free to follow me there to see more photos and the rest of my 365!

Photo by Raven

Photo by Raven

The Path To Fairyland Photo by Raven

The Path To Fairyland
Photo by Raven

I'd never seen a sign like this before. In Indiana Poison Ivy grew everywhere. It was just expected. Photo by Raven

I’d never seen a sign like this before. In Indiana Poison Ivy grew everywhere. It was just expected.
Photo by Raven

Photo by Raven

Photo by Raven

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The Useful 9

As all smartphone addicts do, the first thing I did when I woke up this morning was check mine. I ran through my list of texts and emails, then checked my Instagram and Facebook. My normal morning routine.

On Facebook I came across a link to a blog post about 9 Fundamental Fears That Motivate Characters and the use of the Enneagram. Now, I know nothing about the Enneagram, and the article didn’t explain it or it’s relevancy at all (I’m really wondering why they even mentioned it). But the 9 Fundamental Fears they talked about proved useful to me.

Like physical beings, characters are driven by their wants and desires, but their fears–realized or not–inform every move they make. The 9 Character Types the article outlined explained 9 fears that people generally have, then went on to give their best and worst traits, what professions those people will typically be found in, etc. Overall, as a writer, I found it very informative and I quickly jotted down some notes.

I haven’t been able to use this model quite yet, but I’m early enough in my WIP (working title: Mountains of Love, which I’m not too fond of) that I can easily still apply it. Especially as I’m still fleshing out characters and what not. When I go back and do my edits on Rosebud I’ll be applying it, too. Because these fears will work in any type of book–even a YA Fantasy one!

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Desire Mapping To Good Habits (and Happiness!)

I’ve been using Danielle LaPorte’s Desire Map Journal for about three weeks now and in that short time it’s become central and vital to my life and well being.

Photo by Raven

Photo by Raven

There is so much in life that I want to do, experience, see, accomplish, and be. Trying to keep track of everything and work towards all my goals at once can sometimes seem a little overwhelming. Especially when your secret superhero power is Procrastination 😛 That doesn’t necessarily make them overwhelming, but it sure doesn’t help get them done~ Several months ago I discovered how much daily “To Do Lists” help me. If I get up and make one then I’m more likely to get things done as I have a clear map of my day, and checking things off as I do them ramps up my momentum and carries me forward. For awhile I was making these every single day and in that time I was getting a lot done. Somewhere along the way though I stopped doing that and my productivity immediately dropped.

Then a friend (the same friend that made a guest post on Odin Devoted the other day!) sent me the Desire Map Journal. My life exploded in a million sparkling pieces of glitter and suddenly I had a clear map again.

It’s only been three weeks (maybe not even that. I started using it on Beltane~) and already there’s been a major change. What’s great about this journal is it asks you what your Core Desired Feelings are and has to write affirmations that will help you work towards those feelings. There’s also a space on each page for me to write my To Do Lists! Having them all in one journal has proved wholly beneficial as i can look back over the past few days or week(s) and see what I have or haven’t done. If there was a goal that didn’t get done the day before, I simply transfer it to today. Most of the time my tasks get completed though.

Aside from helping me keep track of the “mundane” stuff in my days (like if I have any client meetings, or a doctor appointment), it’s boosted my writing productivity a lot. In the three weeks since starting to use this journal I’ve started two new projects and written down ideas for a few more. Everyday one of the tasks I put on my List is “write”. I’ll say things like “continue Mountains” which is one of my new projects (though that’s an abbreviation of the working title). Doing this has helped me start to develop a daily writing habit (something that I’ve wanted to have for a long time, but thought impossible for me to develop due to time constraints, etc). And it’s because of that that I’ve been able to get so much written. I’m not very far into Mountains of Love, but that’s okay. I’m making progress even if it is slow. And writing a little bit each day is better than writing than nothing at all.

The other project I am not very far into yet, and it may turn out to be a project that I just write because it’s a thing I enjoy. Sometimes those are the kinds of projects though, and the kind you need to do to help refill the Creativity Well. We’ll see. I haven’t decided anything on either of these projects yet, but I’m delighted to be working on them and to be developing a habit I’ve wanted to have for a long time now.

I can’t thank Talia enough for sending me this journal. It’s really changed my life for the better.

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Monday Motivations (And Link Sharing!)

I’ve been trying to wake up and go straight to work every day for the past few weeks. This morning I got a little bogged down in other things though. I woke up feeling well rested, but my brain just did not want to focus on anything important. I have Important Things opened in other tabs, but I’m finding it hard to focus. I think it’s because it’s so beautiful outside that all I really want to do is work out there. I wonder if our Wifi would reach out to the front steps…

Anyway, one thing that’s been distracting me this beautiful morning is blog posts. I try to save blog reading for the evening/weekends, but since my brain didn’t want to work properly today I decided to give it a bit to properly awaken and dove into some blog reading~ There are so many excelllent posts out there today!

Robin Talley made one on the GayYA.org about why she writes queer characters. Her reasons are basically the same as mine–those are the characters that come to her. In addition to that, those are the kinds of stories she wants to read! I relate to both of those immensely. As a teenager I wanted nothing more than to read about Pagans and Queer girls and those stories were so hard to find. Still are. I go to the YA section of any bookstore and it’s nigh impossible to find those stories. I write those stories not only because I want to read them but because I know other people want them, too.

Thorn Mooney (arguably one of my favorite Pagan bloggers) made a great post on Patheos about forcing belief and how to better connect with the deities we have interest in. It hit home for me because I went through the exact same things she (and her friend Corvus) went through in trying to forge a relationship with my Gods.

Tammy Strobel‘s post about how she uses her Desire Map Day Planner was made a few months ago, but since I recently received one as a gift I wanted to read her post about it. Tammy is very inspiring to me–she is both a writer and photographer and an avid journaler (plus cat mom) just like me. I like reading about her experiences and the way she navigates life. (She is the person that inspired my Photography Challenge, the Traveling Pentacle, at the beginning of the year~) Anyway, she mentioned that in her Desire Map Planner she writes the three most important things she needs to accomplish that day–aka a mini “To Do ” list. I’ve been a fan of daily To Do lists for awhile, and for a bit was making them regularly. Something (not sure what) made me stop, but I’ve been wanting to start doing them again. Until I read Tammy’s post it never occurred to me to just make them directly in my day planner! It’s such an awesome idea too as it preserves them and allows me to look back at the things I accomplished the previous day, week, month, etc. 😀 This is definitely an idea I’m going to “borrow” from her!

Lots of inspiring and thought provoking things out there today.

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