Saturday, January 24, 2009

Paranormal Romance Authors Elissa Wilds and Debra Glass Workshop at Florida Romance Writers Cruise With Your Muse Conference

** I had the wonderful opportunity to present a workshop with fellow paranormal romance author, Elissa Wilds, on a Royal Caribbean cruise to the Bahamas. Although I suffered severe cell phone, email, and cat deprival, I enjoyed the cruise and meeting the fabulous members of Florida Romance Writers! In addition to a fun cruise to the islands, they offered book signings, cocktail parties, workshops, agent and editor appointments, networking opportunities, and manuscript critiques for the unpubbed and pubbed as well.

Dorchester author, Elissa Wilds, and Ellora's Cave, Lotus Circle author, Debra Glass had the opportunity to present a workshop on writing "real" paranormal characters in fiction. Unlike vampires and werewolves, mediums, psychics, witches, and ghosts are real and can be fantastic characters. People can't seem get enough of Ghost Whisperer and Medium and because television has made viewers savvy, readers, especially those who have experienced paranormal phenomenon first hand, expect the authors of the books they read to be well researched.

Psychic (Intuitive) Ability

Types of psychic ability:

Clairvoyance: (clear-seeing) seeing “in your minds eye” symbols, shapes, people, places actual scenes or situations. Can also be literally seeing with your physical eyes (for example, seeing a spirit or entity)

Clairaudience: (clear-hearing) hearing (either internally or externally) sounds, voices, words, etc.

Clairsentience: (clear-feeling) the most common – getting gut feelings or hunches, experiencing sensations literally in your gut (your solar plexus) when in certain situations, around certain people, or when thinking about certain things. When sensing in this manner you’ll here people say “I feel” a lot.

Claircognizance: (clear-knowing) the hardest for an intuitive to trust – getting a thought or idea which just “pops into your mind.” Of people will say “I’ve no idea how I know this.”

Clairalience: (clear-smelling) the ability to smell (for example, a spirit’s pipe tobacco or perfume).

Clairgustance: (clear-tasting) the ability to receive taste impressions from a spirit.

Do you know what your sense ability is? (Most have 2 which are strongest.)


Mediumship is a term used to denote the ability of a person (a Medium) to produce psychic phenomena of a mental or physical nature. The term is usually used to describe a person who is able to facilitate communication with spirits of the deceased or other non-corporeal entities either by allowing the spirit to use their body through trance or by using extrasensory perception to receive and relay messages from the spirits.

Types of Mediumistic ability:

Mental Mediumship: Mental Mediumship involves communication between the sprits and the Medium. The Medium mentally hears, sees, and feels messages from the spirit, which he may or may not relay to the sitter (person who is receiving a reading).
Trance Mediumship: Trance Mediumship is where a Medium allows a spirit to use her body to communicate. There are two types of trance Mediumship. Partial trance Mediums are aware during the period of communication while full trance Mediums allow their bodies (speech, mannerisms) to be completely controlled by the spirit communicator.
Physical Mediumship: In physical Mediumship, the Medium’s body and energy is used by the spirit to manifest loud raps, levitation, items such as flowers or jewelry, ectoplasm (a substance of spiritual energy – often visible in photographs), or manifestations of the spirit itself (a visible entity).

Tools of the Medium:

Ouija Board: Sometimes called spirit boards. These boards have an undeserved bad reputation. They can be valuable tools especially for a beginning Medium.

Crystals: Quartz crystals can be used by Mediums to enhance spirit vibrations and facilitate communication.

Automatic Writing: This is where a Medium puts a pen to paper or fingers to the keyboard and allows the spirit to write through her hand.

Pendulum: This can be something as simple as a locket or pendant. The Medium holds a pendant suspended from a chain or ribbon and invites spirits to spin it one direction for yes answers and another for no answers.

Table Tipping: This is an old spiritualist technique used by some Mediums where spirits are invited to levitate the table – usually onto three legs – and tap out answers with one tap meaning yes and two meaning no.

Crystal Ball: Can be any object a Medium uses (bowl of water, mirror, etc.) as a focus in which she see spirits or events being played out as in a movie.

Smudge Stick: Some Mediums employ the use of sage smudge sticks to clear a place of negative energy. These pungent smelling bundles are lit and waved in the corners and doorways of rooms with the intent of clearing them. Some Mediums use intent alone to clear a room but most all Mediums surround themselves with white light and ask for the protection of higher level guides and entities before giving a reading or employing any of the tools of communication previously listed.


Wiccan beliefs: most Wiccans believe that a creative force exists in the universe which is sometimes called “The One” or “The All.” They regard the Goddess and the God as representing the female and male aspects of The All.

Wicca is a nature religion, grounded in the earth. All living things (including stars, planets, animals, plants, rocks) are regarded as having a spirit. Wiccans celebrate the sexual polarity of nature: the fertilizing rain is the one manifestation of the male principle; the nurturing earth symbolizes the female. Females are respected as equal (and sometimes at a slightly higher rank) to males. They aim for a female-male balance in most of their covens (local groups), although men are still typically in the minority. There are some covens which are all female, often referred to as Dianic, where only the Goddess is worshipped.

Sexuality is valued and regarded as a gift of the Goddess and God, to be engaged in with joy and responsibility and without manipulation.

Three fold law: “All good that a person does to another returns three fold in this life; harm is also returned three fold.”
The Wiccan Rede: “An’ it harm none, do what thou wilt.”

What is Wicca NOT:

Satanism: Satan is a Christian construct. Wiccans do not worship or believe in Satan.

A hobby: It is a legally recognized religion that is the 8th largest in the U.S. Some believe there are more members even than we know as many hide their faith for fear of persecution.

All Wiccans are Witches, but not all Witches are Wiccan. Wicca is a religion as well as a way of life. Wiccans abide by certain morale codes and follow a particular set of beliefs and principles. Someone who is a Witch but not Wiccan may not necessarily follow those same codes, though they may follow similar codes of conduct.


Using the force of your will, a strong visualization, the timing of the moon cycles (where possible), and the assistance of deity to bring about positive change in your life. Wiccans believe strongly that you are co-creator of your own life. You alone are responsible for it. You can’t put the blame on everyone else if it isn’t going as you’d like it to. If you want it to change, you have the power to do it. This doesn’t just mean, however, you cast a spell and sit back waiting for money to fall from the sky. You actually have to go BUY the lotto ticket, apply for the job, etc. so to speak. You have to put some movement behind the intention. (I.E. Finish the book and send it out…don’t expect an editor to come up to you at a conference and say “wow, you just LOOK like someone who writes great books – here’s a contract.)

Witches/Wiccans tend to view deity as a force that works with us versus over us.

*** It is entirely unethical to perform spells to MAKE PEOPLE do your bidding. This will come back to bite you. Classic example: asking for a specific person in a love spell to love you. Better: ask for the perfect person for you to come into your life and list their qualities.

Always ask that your spell be done for the highest and best good of all persons involved and for the most appropriate and positive outcome. You don’t want to do a spell for a particular publisher to buy your book…what if that line is going to go under and you get what you wanted only to be a one-book wonder??? Better to ask for the “right” publisher for you and the appropriate time for your long-term career success.

Tools of the Witch:

Athame – directs energy – associated with the East, air, yellow (male energy) – never used for real cutting – ever -
Pentacle – (described above) a powerful/protective symbol, North, green
Wand – directs energy – fire, red (male energy)
Cauldron/chalice – represents female energy, water, blue

The Altar: most Wiccans have one in their home. Some are elaborate. Some as small as what you can put in a shoebox. It is a place to worship deity and/or perform magickal work. It is not necessary, however, to have a particular altar to do either. It is most likely to be found in the East section of the home or facing the East. (Or North, depending upon the branch of Wicca.)

Other items you may see on an altar: representations of Goddess and God, sacred items such as specially charged crystals, totem (animal) representations, candles (usually the color of the elements and/or one for the Goddess/God (silver/gold)), incense (air element), salt (earth element), a dish of water (water element), a libation dish (to place offerings to deity of food/water).

Book of Shadows: journal where a Witch keeps copies of spells, experiences, and wisdom passed on from other Witches, shamans, or wise people, recipes, etc.

Check out Elissa and Debra’s blog: Writing Magick

Elissa Wilds debut paranormal romance, Between Light and Dark, is available through Dorchester Publishing. Darkness Rising is September 2009 release from Dorchester Publishing. Elissa Wilds

Debra Glass is a psychic Medium and certified hypnotherapist with the New England Institute of Hypnotherapy. She enjoys writing articles for Fate Magazine as well as historical articles for various Civil War Magazines. During regional festivals, she conducts the Haunted History of the Shoals and the Civil War History of Florence Walking Tours. She writes both historical and paranormal romances which are available through Ellora’s Cave. Her non-fiction book, Mediumship To Go will be a spring 2009 release from The Lotus Circle.

To buy Debra's books from Ellora's Cave:

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