Category Archives: Guest Posts

Kitchen Witchin’- Guest Post


Nar has been a dear friend of mine for years. She writes about her life and beliefs at Nar’s Witchy Kitchen. However, I realized as a few weeks ago that I hadn’t asked her about religious beliefs and her food meet. How does it work? What does it mean to be a kitchen witch? I assured her that my readers are a respectful group who would be interested in learning more as well. Grab a cuppa and settle back as Nar gives us a peak into her world as a kitchen witch.



I am a Pagan blogger. I am a food/recipe blogger. I guess that makes me a Pagan food blogger or something. Let’s not worry about labels right now, though. How do those two things go together? Do they go together at all? Sure, I guess. Why not?

Let me start over. I am Nar. I’m what some people might call a kitchen witch; I call myself an Agnostic Pagan who chooses to concentrate more on nature than on deity. I do it through seasonal cooking. I blog some of the recipes, along with food superstitions, magical information, and whatever else seems to fit at the time.
Basically, my life is an attempt to find the Divine, get in touch with nature, and eat well while doing those things. Then I blog about it. When I remember.

This is kind of a small niche. There are tons of food blogs out there, as well as tons of Pagan blogs. There are quite a few kitchen witches out there who blog, too. We have a few things in common, such as special meal for the sabbats and the whole Pagan thing in general, but there are also things that set us apart.

I’m a writer and a cook, but I’m not much of a photographer. Food is hard to photograph well. Styling? Hell, no. Plus, there’s that whole ‘remembering to do it’ shit. My blog is different because I don’t feature a lot of photos. I paint a word picture instead. I like to give my readers freedom to use their imaginations.

Being an avid reader, I still prefer to use my own imagination to another’s interpretation of what someone or something should look like. I want to give my readers the same opportunity. Occasionally I will take a photograph or two, but my skills are nothing to write home about, believe me. Besides, the kitchen is always messy as hell, what with my recipe experimentations and all.

So, how does this make me a writer? Recipes often come with stories such as how the recipe was created, for what event, etc. I don’t simply list ingredients and instructions; instead, I try to include the back story as well. Sometimes I do this through fiction. Sometimes it is a poem or prayer.

How do I set myself apart? If I had to answer honestly, I’d say by being kind of boring at times, what with the lack of photographs, but do you really need to see every single step in a recipe? You have to see a photograph of buttered bread to understand what’s happening? Really? Nah. I try to set myself apart by my writing style, inventive recipes, and lack of frills and nonsense. I also cite my sources when something comes from another place. APA format FTW.

Hopefully the combination of original and tried-and-true recipes, spiritual thoughts, and the combination of fact and fiction help set me apart. It has been a while since I’ve offered any fiction on my blog, but with Ostara coming, that may change. Sometimes it’s the best way to express the true feelings of the sabbat.

I strive to feed your mind, body, soul, and imagination. I want to share my passions with those who are interested, and I want to give my readers a different way of approaching celebrations and everyday cooking. As with everything else, it is a work in progress, and there is always room for improvement. One day, maybe I’ll get it just right.


http://penpaperpad.comA practicing Pagan for over a decade, Nar is a kitchen witch, a priestess of the goddesses of the hearth (particularly Hestia), blogger, and a teacher. She believes that ritual can be incorporated into the everyday through mealtimes. Nar’s eclectic path is reflected in her cooking, which has been influenced by the places she’s lived and visited and the people she has met. She believes spirituality and food go hand in hand, and she strives to strengthen her connections to the turning of the wheel and her personal deities through her cooking. When she is not in the kitchen, she is crafting clay Kitchen Krones and other witchy objects. She currently resides in the mountains of Appalachia with her Aussie and four spoiled pets. You can read her blog at


Filed under Guest Posts

Seniors Don’t Sit Well (Guest Post)

Belinda Hughes, writer at Cafe Belinda was one of the first people to welcome me on that lovable juggernaut Google+. Whether she’s been teaching me about the history of New Orleans, sharing helpful blogging tips or inspirational quotes, she’s been a joy to connect with. Imagine how excited I was when she agreed (with just a minimum of thumb wrestling) to teach us that age really is just a number.


Carolyn Howard-Johnson says, “60 is the new 20!” The most populous generation in history is breaking stereotypes for longevity, independence and quality of life. Rock stars in their 60s show no signs of slowing down. Septuagenarians are skydiving. Writing for TV, films and literature must illustrate Baby Boomers’ message that age is just a number, not an indicator of ability or disability.


Scriptwriting (TV and Film)

The Golden Girls was one of the first TV shows to address negative aging stereotypes. The show covered real http://penpaperpad.comsituations of active seniors: working past retirement age; nontraditional families under the same roof; sexuality, dating and remarriage; and writing memoirs. Even Sofia remarried, opened a new business after 80 and dated Burt Reynolds, a sex symbol from her daughter’s generation.

The Fockers movie series trilogy shows that one’s lifestyle at any age is made of choices unique to the individual. You can buy an RV or a Florida island, teach Senior Sexuality classes in the gazebo, host a sexuality talk show, study flamenco in Spain and have all the sex you want.

What situations can you throw characters into to illustrate their nontraditional behaviors as they age?


Ageist consumers can impact your career. Singer-songwriter Steven Tyler, musical soul mate Joe Perry and their band Aerosmith solved that problem, starting with rappers Run DMC and the reissue of “Walk This Way.” Today, collaboration and genre-crossing, while remaining true to the band’s sound, keeps Aerosmith’s works fresh and appealing to a broad spectrum of tastes and age groups.

What writers from other genres would you consider collaborating with? Is your readership concentrated or diversified among age groups?

Literature (Novels, Short Stories, Flash Fiction, Poetry)

In the Devil’s Food Cake Murder, author Joanne Fluke attacks ageism for many groups in her series, simply by looking at how each character interacts with technology. The middle-aged main character, Hannah Swensen, is literally the only tech holdout in town, yet she’s the one who always solves the crimes. Her well-preserved mother writes Regency romance novels on a computer. Grandma Knudson, the church matriarch, has her own email on the church site and surfs Bible reference sites.

What are your senior characters doing with technology?

Turning the Lens on Myself

Food Blog: My readership is concentrated in my own middle-age demographic. I’ve begun collaborating by welcoming guest bloggers of different age groups and varieties, including registered dietitians from various countries, a cystic fibrosis teen activist and an award-winning romance author.

Cookbook: My cookbook addresses multiple age groups: Fruity Patooty Burrito for kids; Aloha Sweet Potatoes for menopause; and One Bowl Frittata for busy working middle agers and seniors.

Poetry: I recently tried my hand at scifi poetry for a change. In a positive ageism turn, one of my beta readers turned out to be a consumer of that genre for over 40 years.

Fiction: I plan to address ageism through May-December romantic pairings and the issues these characters face individually and together. Stay tuned to my G+ profile for updates.

By Timmy Denike

By Timmy Denike

So tell me, how is your writing currently addressing ageism?


http://penpaperpad.comBelinda Y. Hughes is the author of Confessions of a Red Hot Veggie Lover 2, and Living Proof. Cafe Belinda, her food blog, offers dairy free, gluten free, sugar free, Kosher, vegan and vegetarian recipes, reviews and giveaways. She recently completed her first sci-fi flash fiction and micopoetry collection. In 2014 she hopes to nurture her lifelong fascination with Asian culture. You can connect with her on Facebook at her writing page, LinkedIn, Twitter and Tumblr.


Filed under Guest Posts

Penning an etheree poem (Guest Post)

Hey y’all! Today’s guest is Michelle Liew from Getting Literal. She has been a wonderful bloggy buddy, offering me advice and the wisdom from her experience. She also is the powerhouse behind our blog hop: The Creative Buzz Hop. She loves animals, especially dogs, even writing helpful posts for dog owners. Michelle has a true gift for teaching people. And today, she’s going to exercise that gift and teach us about the poetic beauty in brevity and simplifying.


Penning an etheree poem

Since I was introduced to the contemporary form of the etheree, the short poetic form has had me hooked.

Of course, when I was asked by Tamara to share the dynamics of a poetic form, my first instinct was to select this one.

For the Etheree poem, short as it is, is concise poetry that is sure to capture the heart.

Hardly archaic, the etheree is a contemporary poetic form. It was created some 20 years ago by American poet Etheree Taylor Armstrong, who passed away in 1994, just before leaving the form behind for us to grasp and enjoy.

Little is known about the poetess except this contribution, which many poets of this time have fallen in love with.

The etheree is a 10 line poem that begins with 1 syllable and increases by one in each line.

Therefore, the structure of an etheree poem should be as follows:

Line 1 : 1 syllable
Line 2 : 2 syllables
Line 3: 3 syllables
Line 4: 4 syllables
Line 5 : 5 syllables

And so on until the tenth line, with 10 syllables, is reached.

You know that the form of your etheree is correct when you have written 55 syllables in your poem.

An etheree poem should always be unrhymed.

An example of an etheree is one I have written on the Wolf Cub and finding joy in the simple pleasures of life.

The Wolf Cub

Juicy bones
Tears off the meat
Chewing each morsel
Eyes fixed on his small prize
That titillates his senses
And excites his little being
He partakes in the simple gourmet
With a lively tail that swishes and ever moves.

The etheree can also be written in reverse. For those who may be familiar, the etheree is very much like a Nonet poem. The Nonet poem begins with 9 syllables and decreases by one in each line till the last line, with only one syllable, is reached.

In a similar way, the reverse etheree begins with 10 syllables in the first line, then 9 in the second line and so on until the last line, with only a single word and syllable.

I have written a reverse etheree about our journey to find peace.

Dove, be still

It flies with no branch on which to land
It’s feathers furl in a frantic search
Small, white bird continues its flight
Through dark clouds of turbulence
And storms which know not end
It looks for the branch
Of soothing olives
Flying forth
Till it

The short length of the etheree makes this succinct poetic form truly attractive. Poets fall in love with it because short as it is, it’s a challenge to summarize emotions for its conciseness.

It’s short enough to act as a caption on or underneath photographs.

Its structure makes it a fun form to explore. As I write and look at it now, it either peaks or descends, expanding or contracting, mirroring the pattern of our thoughts.

It’s a form that is easily written because the expression of thoughts is relatively straight forward.

On that note, an etheree is most effective when simple concepts are embraced. As seen in the examples above, if the poem discusses joy, it should be about just that, with one, simple, fluid image to illustrate the point.

Don’t be convoluted with an etheree poem. Trying to marry too many concepts in 10 lines leaves you with poetic stress and a very confusing etheree.

I share a little etheree about the growth of faith.

The Yellow Seed

Finds small space
In arid soil
And water so scarce
Yet slowly takes root
Nucleus spreads with fervor
Taking hold with clear firmness
They slowly reach above the soil
Sure bark begins to stand so upright
Green leaves unfurl with more ripe fruit to spread.

Try writing an etheree. It promises concise but thought-provoking fun.


http://penpaperpad.comMichelle, blogger at Getting Literal, is a freelance writer with a huge taste for fiction and poetry, one she acquired while pursuing a degree in Literature and English.

In her free time, you’ll find her thumping on the piano, catching a good movie, reading a good book or simply relaxing with her two rambunctious hounds, Misty and Cloudy.

Follow her on Twitter!



Feel free to give the ethree a try in the comments below. We’d love to see what you come up with.

Aloha y’all!


Filed under Guest Posts