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The Wordsmith's Forge

The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette

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Elizabeth Barrette
This Journal is, like much of my life, a blend of the personal and the professional. (My definition of success is getting paid to do what one loves.) So it includes matters serious and whimsical, useful and enlightening … and colorful pieces of mind lint. It’s also intended to be public, rather than private, so most of the content is visible to everyone. I customarily post at least once a day, sometimes more, occasionally missing a day. Reader feedback is encouraged; I make some comments in other people’s blogs too, but alas, I don’t have time to read a lot of blogs regularly.

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I'm a freelance wordsmith for both writing and editing. If you value the content of this blog -- if I've answered a question you had in mind, if I've explained something confusing so it makes sense to you, if I've provided information that you could put to use -- and you want to express your appreciation, here's a donation button. Projects that make money get more of my time, so donations help keep this blog running. Here is a PayPal button (which goes to our household account under my partner's name) for you to use. If you don't use PayPal, just let me know and we can work out something else. I have a Post Office Box for checks and stuff. You can reach me with a LiveJournal message or comment.

I live in central Illinois with my lifepartner, in a large Victorian farmhouse with a yard frequented by wildlife. There is a thriving magical community in the area, including several covens and social groups, and I’m active in community networking. I enjoy suspension-of-disbelief bungee-jumping and spelunking in other people’s reality tunnels.

I am vast; I contain multitudes. Here are some of the aspects of me that you’re likely to meet in this space:

I am a writer. I write articles, essays, short stories, reviews, interviews, poetry, and more. My main fields include speculative fiction, gender studies, and alternative religions. I am particularly inclined to promote favorite types of writing such as poetry and Pagan fiction. I may talk about my projects currently in development, sales, or upcoming publications; point you towards examples of my writing that you can read; and post tidbits such as poems or conversations with my fictional characters. I may use this Journal for research deliberately, and I’ll tell you if I’m doing that – but I’m also guaranteed to use it for inspiration, and I’m telling you that now. If you say something I think is brilliant, I may ask you if I can use it in something I’m writing.

My books: From Nature's Patient Hands: A Collection of Poetry and Prismatica (Diminuendo Press, 2010) present a wide selection of my poems, including some from the Poetry Fishbowls I do here on LJ. Composing Magic (New Page Books, 2007) covers writing theory and technique; how to compose magical poetry, spells, chants, blessings, prayers, and rituals; performance, publication, and discussion of magical/spiritual writings; and recommended resources.

My transformative works statement is here.

I am an editor. I run a freelance editing business. I'm also on the canon board for Torn World. I served as Managing Editor of PanGaia for 8 years and Dean of Studies at the Grey School of Wizardry for 4 years. I’m a rather old-fashioned editor, believing that part of my job is to coach writers to develop their talents over time, so editorial insights about writing will appear in this Journal periodically. I may talk about my current editing projects, how editing works, my thoughts on the publishing world, etc. I may also post calls for submissions, either for my own projects or someone else’s.

I am a teacher. I often present panels and workshops at conventions and festivals. I served as a Professor at the Grey School of Wizardry, teaching classes across all the Departments. I also help teach a set of Year-and-a-Day Classes locally. I may talk about classes I’m teaching (online or in person) and my philosophy of education in general. I am likely to grab questions out of the comment section and spin the discussion back into an informative post, and possibly into an article or an entry in some other thing I’m writing.

I am a Pagan priestess. I’m part of a coven, which is part of a much larger magical and spiritual community in central Illinois, loosely woven from several overlapping groups. I design and lead rituals, take part in other people’s rituals, encourage spiritual seekers to find a path that works for them, and so forth. When talking about rituals and spiritual experiences, I may leave out, alter, or generalize identifying details for the sake of discretion.

I am a hobby-linguist. That is to say, I have a great passion for words, languages, communication, and how they work. I have some formal education in languages and linguistics, and a whole lot of experience from personal exploration. I am especially interested in rare and obscure languages, the value of speaking multiple languages, lost words, weird grammar, and language preservation. I’m also enamored of xenolinguistics: the study and creation of alien and invented languages. I may share snippets of vocabulary and grammar from constructed languages, news about natural languages, tidbits from panel discussions on xenolinguistics, etc. If you say something in a foreign language, don’t be surprised if I ask what it means or if I echo it. I am linguistic SillyPutty.

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On Friends:

1) If you want to Friend me, go right ahead. Thank you for your attention. If you’d like to share how you found my Journal or what you think of it, I’m interested in that information.

2) I have decided to start using the "Friend" function more liberally. If you Friend me, I will probably Friend you back and drop by your LJ at least once to see what you have to say.

3) If you are a community, public figure, feed, or fictional character; if you have already Friended me; or if you say somewhere that anyone may Friend you; and I want to Friend you, I’ll probably just go ahead and do that.

4) If you’re a private individual, I may ask before Friending you.

5) If I Friend you, and you don’t Friend me back, I will not take offense.

On Civility:

1) Please remember that you are dealing with real live people on this blog, not cyber-ghosts. Speak the truth gently if possible, firmly if necessary. Treat other folks with respect, and otherwise conduct yourself as a mature, responsible, civilized person.
* Showing Respect

2) Free speech is a right. That doesn’t mean it can’t be abused. It also does not entitle anyone to a captive audience. Thus, comments detrimental to the positive exchange of ideas may be removed.
* Verbal Self-Defense

3) You don’t necessarily have to agree with me, or other folks in my audience. I recommend avoiding logical fallacies in your counter-arguments. Congenial discussion or rational debate is preferred to name-calling, vulgarity, or other verbal litter.
* Logical Fallacies

Warning: The content of this blog may cause permanent damage to narrow minds.

The literature you are about to see was created by and for highly trained stunt readers. Consider your own skill level before attempting any of these stunts yourself. Remember that stretching out before any vigorous workout reduces the chance of injury.

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