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in Minnesota these flowers come outside in planters in June!

in Minnesota these flowers come outside in planters in June!

So here I’ve been in sunny San Jose.  The weather has been delightful all weekend.  Today there is a slight chill in the air.  It’s 45 this morning.  The natives are reaching for their winter coats.  I’ve put on a sweater and am happy to be outside.  It’s all relative.  I understand back home the high is predicted at 32 with snow and winds gusting to 40 mph.  How could I complain?

I’ve been attending Pantheacon.  This is a large convention (2300 ish) of Pagans (definition still to be determined) from mostly the  Bay area, but actually from all over the country.  I’ve visited with people from New Hampshire, DC, New Orleans, Portland and Wisconsin.  Even those coming from California come all the way up and down the coast.  It’s quite the event.

The thing about Pantheacon is that it really is a convention.  Sure there are vendors and hospitality suites but it is really go – go – go to attend the workshops and other events.   There are at least 10 choices in any given session and inevitably more than one of them is appealing.  There isn’t a lot of time to just hang out and talk and get to know folks.  Even the post session schmooze is limited as the crew doesn’t have much time to clean up and set up between events.

On the publishers panel talking about what it's like to be an author with them

On the publishers panel talking about what it’s like to be an author with them

This makes things a little hard for my midwestern sensibilities.  Anyone who’s heard of the “Minnesota goodbye” understands that it takes us awhile to move from one thing to the next.  When you add my physical challenges to the mix I’m probably skipping as many sessions as I’m attending.  Oh Well.  I’ve been doing this long enough to understand that I have to take care of myself first.

I have managed to do quite a bit.  I’m talking about my book Manifest Divinity.  I even got to finally meet my publisher face to face!

Writers, editors and contributors to PNC the Pagan News Collective

Writers, editors and contributors to PNC the Pagan News Collective

I’ve been talking to the Pagan News Collective about journalism and contributing to their work.  I’ve talked with a lot of other authors both those working with publishers and those who are self published.

There is a great deal of diversity at this convention.  I think they work hard to achieve it.  There was a panel on privilege.  There was a session called Women of Color Caucus.  Some of the women who contributed to the anthology Shades of Faith conspired to put on a ritual that included elements from each of their diverse practices.

Shades of Faith contributors.  Aren't these women beautiful!

Shades of Faith contributors. Aren’t these women beautiful!

It was beautiful and affirming, and you can see these are amazing and powerful women!

I’m always eager to learn new things and meet new people.  This has been a great trip to recharge and inspire me.  I promised my publisher I’d get him a proposal for my next book SOON.  I have a list of several books I want to get from the authors I’ve meet.  (I just didn’t want to try and pack them home on the plane!)  My next reviews on LisaSpiral Reads will probably include a few of those author’s works.

In the meantime I’ll enjoy the sunshine and try to figure out how I can get on the plane in sandals and off in a winter coat.  Especially since I didn’t pack one!

Packing again already!?!

Packing again already!?!

Sunshine and swollen ankles

Yes, those are palm trees in that photo.  I am ensconced in a lovely hotel in San Jose California enjoying the sunshine in spite of my swollen ankles.  The high temperatures back home are not as high as the low temperatures here.  I’m happy to stick my nose out the door in the morning without a jacket or shoes.  Especially in the sun in the afternoon this is barefoot weather.

I’m here for Paganicon an annual festival/conference/convention with representation from a wide and diverse variety of Pagan practices.  It’s my first time at this convention and I am impressed with the level of thought and care that goes into the presentations I have seen.  Of course the local planners have been at this for 20 years so most of the logistical kinks are worked out.  It also helps that there is a strong focus on authors and publishing.

San Jose Hills from our hotel room

I’m enjoying shopping and eating and running into old friends.  I am technically here on business.  I’ve written a book and I came out to schmooz with other authors and publishers.  It’s useful for me to talk to authors about their experiences with various publishers and to get recommendations and introductions to publishing houses that specialize in spiritually oriented material.

That’s all kind of foggy isn’t it.  Blame it on the excess of water in my system.  The place I am in the process is a little tricky.  Since I don’t yet have a contract with a publisher I am reluctant to talk too much about the book.  What if someone else stole my idea and ran with it.  On the other hand I’m really proud of myself and would like to start promoting my work.

Some of the writers of the anthology, "Shades of Faith" edited by Crystal Blanton (center).

It is encouraging to see a number of workshops that specifically relate to the core topic of Invocation and Evocation.  Although this community uses those terms in a very specific sense, the bulk of my experiences in the more esoteric application of those terms is exactly what many of these people do.  There are a variety of practitioners of the African Diaspora Religions here as well as practitioners of the Norse Seith and the more classically expressed “Drawing Down the Moon.”  There is also oracular work being done, tarot readings and trance dance.

My own work is not specific to these Pagan practices but addresses the issues of relationship to manifest Divine in all aspects of life.  I hope my work blossoms like the cherry tree outside our hotel room.  You all must please be patient with me and wait for updates, which I’m sure will come in good time.

For now though I think I’ll let the writing go (both blog and book).  I think it’s time for a break by the pool.

Doubletree San Jose airport pool from the 10th floor

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