A New Project

If you follow me on Patreon, you know that I’ve gotten back into the habit of reading tarot. It’s a tradition of the women in my family that I let die for some years because of my own insecurities.

I always thought, to read tarot, you needed to be able to just look at the cards without any help or references and know exactly what they’re saying. Having dyslexia and dyscalculia means that asking me to memorize the meanings of a whole deck of cards is too much. It’s overwhelming and anxiety inducing. But that’s what I thought a good tarot reader did, so I obviously could never become a good tarot reader.

But I always wanted to be one. So last year I got my own deck and a new book and started doing some readings for myself. I decided, since I was doing it for myself, it didn’t matter if I needed to make notes and look up some references to understand the overall message or story the cards were telling me. I actually decided to do the same reading with two different decks just to check how I did the first time and the reading, amazingly, was the same.

I felt good about how I’d done. I liked the process I’d come up with for myself. So I thought, maybe I could read for others. I practiced more until I got the feel for my new deck and got my process down, then I offered a new reward on my Patreon tiers. Anyone pledging $15 or more got a monthly reading.

Now, after over a year, I feel really good about my tarot abilities. The process of interpreting the cards, reading the story they’re telling, has become more natural for me.

And then today, when I drew my weekly card for my Patrons, I drew a very particular card:

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I’d been thinking about extending my tarot reading online, but had been hesitant to do so. Then this card turned up. The Ace of Wands is all about taking a chance on the new project, path, or class you’ve been thinking about. It doesn’t promise anything will work out, but it does say that you should try. So I’m gonna try.

If you’d like a tarot card reading, I’m offering offering online (through email) tarot card readings. There will be two types of readings:

  1. A One Card Draw for $5. This type of reading is good for some direction or inspiration for simple issues or day-to-day life. I offer this type of reading to all my patrons as a guide for the week ahead–you could use it for that too!
  2. A Spread for $20–general or focused on a question/issue (if you sign up as a Patron at the $15 level you’ll get a monthly reading, the discount is because you’d be a re-occurring client/patron). Depending on your question, it may be a simple three card spread, or it may be something more complicated, but I promise, it’ll be the same amount of effort no matter what.

I accept Venmo (preferred), PayPal (least preferred), and bank-to-bank supported by Zelle (preferred). If there is interest in me getting Kofi, I will look into it.

Venmo: https://venmo.com/Shauna-Granger

Paypal: paypal.me/thegrangers

Bank-to-bank supported by Zelle: shaunagranger82@gmail.com

Patreon: patron.com/shaunagranger

So, hit me up! You can email me at shaunagranger82@gmail.com with your requests and questions. Let’s see what the Fates have in store for you!

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Not an April Fool’s: Discount for Critiques/Beta Reads

If you follow me on the Twitters then you know my poor puppy, Brody, has not had a good couple of months.

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At the beginning of February he had a gland infection that was pretty bad, but thankfully with antibiotics, cleared up quickly.

Shortly thereafter, literally 48 hours, he scratched his eye. Something, like a mote of dust, got in his eye, made him sneeze and we watched him, as if in slow motion, reach up with his paw to scratch his face. We stopped him, but that one swipe was all it took. When we woke up in the morning he wouldn’t–or couldn’t–open his left eye.

Our vet office is great and got in him that morning. Yes, he’d scratched his cornea. So they did all the things they do and gave me some antibiotic drops to keep it from getting infected. Sadly, every single time I put a drop in his eye, you’d think I’d re-injured it. He’d be doing okay, his eye open and personality good, then it was time for drops and bam, eye closed and laying on his bed for hours. When it was finally doing better, it would be time for the drops again and the cycle started anew. The doc agreed that was weird and gave me some new drops made from his own blood cells.

Same damn thing. He’d seem fine, then time for drops, pain.

So we tried a healing gel with hylauranic adic.

SAME DAMN THING.

So I trusted my gut after 3 weeks of this nonsense and quite a bit of money, and on that Monday I said, “No more drops. Only the pain meds.” He had an appointment that Thursday. So three days with no drops. And the change was amazing. His eye looked better every day, almost perfect when I took him back. And the doc admitted he was finally healing, it was in fact 80% healed then.

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But we were out of pain meds so I asked for more to get us through that last 20% but the doc didn’t want him on them long term so she said no. I was uncomfortable with that.

And, lo and behold, the healing slowed dramatically. So a different doc at the office agreed to another week of meds, but said if it didn’t heal, I’d have to take him to an ophthalmologist to have an grid keratotomy done. And, if like me, you have no idea what that is, it’s where they take this teeny tiny drill with a diamond head and scratch a hashtag-like mark over the injury and this will cause the white blood cells to attack and make it heal. Supposedly.

Saturday was the pup’s 11th birthday. And I looked at him and saw that his eye looked damn near perfect. So much so that I tempted the Fates and said so out loud.

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And then last night, around dinner time, I looked at him and saw that his third eyelid was up and he was trying to keep the eye closed.

Reader, my heart sank.

This morning, it looked just as bad. So I’ve obviously called the Ophthalmologist. But they can’t see him until Thursday and the consultation alone is going to be $163.

And last week a large part of our car’s engine failed and it’s going into the shop tomorrow. So, as you can imagine, things are very tight right now. And that’s where you come in, maybe.

To help offset these unexpected costs I am offering a 10% discount on all my manuscript critique services and professional beta reading services. All you have to do to get the discount is email me (shaunagranger82@gmail.com) with the information of your project and mention Brody’s name or this blog post by the end of April. That’s it! Check out the info here.

And, if you want to snag this deal but don’t have an MS ready yet, you can still get the deal by reserving your future spot and paying a 10% deposit. If you’re ready now, I do have a couple of openings this month!

Now, if you’d like to help out but don’t have a book to be critiqued or beta’d, you can become a Patreon, so you’ll still get some benefit from your monies. Or, if you’re just some eccentric person who likes to send money to people, I am also on Venmo and Paypal and my bank is with Zelle!

Venmo: https://venmo.com/Shauna-Granger

Paypal: paypal.me/thegrangers

Bank-to-bank supported by Zelle: shaunagranger82@gmail.com

Look at this face! How can you resist helping this face! And, if you’re a fan of my Ash & Ruin Series, you know Brody was the inspiration for Blue!

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The Difficulties of Prolific Writing

Been awhile since I posted here, but I have a long post over on The Spellbound Scribes’ blog so you can see why I haven’t been very talkative lately.

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I wasn’t really sure where to start with this post. I knew I wanted to talk about the struggle of writing prolifically and living up to reader expectations and how unreasonable this has gotten. But I wanted to be careful not to sound angry or ungrateful. I figured the first thing I should do is figure out how many words I’ve written since I started writing seriously.

And that’s what sort of stopped me for a second. Once I got the numbers it kind of… killed something inside of me. Because it’s a lot. Especially when I tell you the time frame in which I wrote these words.

If you’ve been following along, a couple of us have mentioned the plagiarism scandal that plagued the Romance community this past month. An “author” claimed to have used a ghost writer to help her churn out books at the expected rate her…

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Amber & Dusk First Line + Giveaway

I had to share this on my blog as well. I was very lucky to beta this book and if you haven’t pre-ordered your copy yet, you should. But here’s your chance to win a signed hardback and some swag! Get to clicking!

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I can hardly believe it, but we’re only one month out from the release of my debut novel, Amber & Dusk! I’m so incredibly thrilled to be sharing this book with the world and I can’t wait for you all to read it.

(If you’re only here for the giveaway, scroll down to the bottom of the page. I promise I won’t be too mad.)

I’ve talked a lot about my publishing journey both here at Spellbound Scribes and elsewhere. I’ve talked a little about the inspiration for writing Amber & Dusk, and likely will write up a nice long post about all the research and media that inspired the book next month. But today, I want to talk about that one magical sentence on the first page of the first chapter. You got it–The First Line!

I think first lines are magical. I have a running list on my…

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Family Myths and Facts–The Value of Research

If you’re not following my sister blog, Spellbound Scribes, I didn’t want you to miss this post.

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When I was growing up and I’d ask my mom where we were from, what were we, she’d always answer, “We’re Heinz 57; a little bit of everything.” I love my mom and I know she was trying to be funny, but I always hated that answer. All I took away from it was that our history was lost and we didn’t know where we were from. Mostly, she assumed, we were some combo of Great Britain and Western European. So, you know, very specific and unique.

But she did know two ingredients for sure. She knew my birth father was Irish, and thought he was probably wholly Irish, so that would make me half, and she knew she had a Cherokee grandmother or possibly great grandmother.

Here’s the thing about Cherokee grandmothers: everyone in the South has one. That’s not something I knew growing up but it is a…

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My Loss is Your Gain

Ever since the Thomas Fire in December we’ve been clawing our way out of the hole that it caused us for shutting down my husband’s business for a month, and then having clients catch colds and flus and vacations.

Every month we’ve clawed a little closer to normalcy but it seems like each  month brings with it a new small catastrophe that we could have easily dealt with had it been a normal winter for us.

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Last month we had to repair equipment for the business and then, yesterday, our refrigerator died. I mean. You can live without a washer or dryer. We do live without a dishwasher. But you can’t live without a fridge. Maybe if you live in the tundra and can keep food in the snow? But not in So Cal and not in these rolling heatwaves.

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So my loss is your gain. How so? I’m offering a deal on my Manuscript Critique and Content Editing services. If you email me at shaunagranger82@gmail.com with the subject line “Manuscript Critique Refrigerator” or “Content Edit Refrigerator” I will give you a 25% discount on your project. Just don’t forget that key phrase.

And if you’re just in the giving mood you can support me on Patreon. I post unpublished fiction, tarot card readings, and give rewards based on your level of pledge. I will be sharing a brand new book, serialize, in the coming weeks.

If a monthly pledge isn’t your bag but you still like to send money to strangers, you can hit me up on my Paypal here: paypal.me/JSGrangers

So if you have a book you’ve been dying to get work done on, now is the time to hit me up!

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Anxiety Does Not Age Like Wine

When I was a kid, I was pretty fearless when it came to things that could actually kill me. I wasn’t afraid to climb things or jump off things or slide down things. If it looked like fun, I did it.

I was that monkey child that climbed up doorjambs to the top. I’d get on top of the monkey bars and just hang out. I flipped over and over on the flip bars–tho I guess they were pull-up bars? But what seven-year-old is doing pull-ups on a playground? I climbed rocks and boulders in Red Rock Canyon when my dad took me hiking. I road roller-coasters with abandon–the more upside-down loops the better! I leaned over the railing on top of the Eiffel Tower to look at the river below at age sixteen. These things didn’t scare me.

Then I got older.

I was never afraid of heights but I was always a little bit afraid of falling. But that didn’t stop me from doing things where, had I fallen, dire consequences awaited me at the bottom. When I was fifteen my boyfriend and I went to Magic Mountain and he super wanted to go on the flyer thing. It wasn’t a roller coaster. It was this sort of potato sack thing that was attached to a crane that hauled you up and up and up maybe a hundred feet in the air? Maybe more? Much, much more? Then, at the top, you hit a button that released a catch and you just… Dropped.

You’d fly over the crowd and swoop up and then back, a human pendulum.

I totally did it. But I fucking hated it. My boyfriend loved it. He laughed and pointed out how high we were getting and still going somehow. How tiny people were getting the higher we went. How high are we? Must be three hundred feet?! At twenty feet up I knew I’d made a terrible mistake. I was nearly in tears at the top. When they called out for Bravo Tower to go my boyfriend hit that button with so much glee and I just screamed.

Yes, I was fine and once we were swinging and not dead on the ground, I enjoyed it. But I knew then I’d never bungee jump, like, ever. That boyfriend went on to skydive for his eighteenth birthday.

But I was fine and I could still go on roller coasters and the top of the Eiffel Tower for years to come.

But with each year my fear of falling got a little worse and a little more worse. Until in the last six to eight years it’s really grabbed a hold of me.

That feeling when you fall? That drop in your gut. That weird tingling, horrible sensation at the small of your back? That. That’s what I get now. Not to mention the shortness of breath, the heart palpitations, the need to just close my eyes and wait until it’s over.

If we drive over a very high bridge that arcs, you know what I mean? I have to close my eyes. I feel that sensation in my back and I can see the car just sliiiding off the bridge. I went to the top of the Stratosphere in Vegas once and at the top they’ve designed the floors and windows so you kind of lean to look down. Couldn’t do it. I legit felt like someone was pushing me and I would just go through the window to the sidewalk far, far below. Those videos of people doing stupid shit on the edges of cliffs? Fuck no. Can’t watch. When we hang lights for the holidays and my husband leans over the edge of the roof to reach for something I have to hold on to him and lean back because otherwise I start screaming at him not to fall.

What’s weird though is I can be high up in a building, just don’t angle the windows so it looks like you’ll fall. I can fly in a plane and look out the window and marvel and not have even a tingle. I can stand on the top of our roof, just don’t lean over the edge. Phobias have no logic.

And I never know what’s going to set it off or not until I’m in the middle of something.

This past week our county fair was in town. I’m not a huge fan of it. I mean, I always think I want to go and then I do and I remember how insanely crowded it is and crazy expensive everything is and I hate it. But we got free tickets this year and I kinda wanted to go.

I wanted to see the fireworks and eat some bad food and I wanted to ride the Ferris wheel with my husband and look out at the ocean and hold hands.

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So we went. And we ate some incredible Mexican-style corn and the sun started to set and I said we should go to the Ferris wheel before it got dark so we bought tickets and got in line. I took pictures and bounced on the balls of my feet, so excited. I hadn’t been on the Ferris Wheel since I was a teenager.

I hadn’t been on the Ferris Wheel since I was a teenager.

As we got closer to the front of the line I was even more excited because I wasn’t freaking out. No anxiety attacks, no drop in my gut, no tingling in my back, no heart palpitations. I was fine! This was gong to be so much fun! I was going to see the fair from the tippy-top and look out over the ocean and hold hands with my husband and it was all going to be so romantic!

Then it was our turn. The mom and dad and their two children obviously under the age of ten got out of the carriage and we climbed in after them and I sat down next to my hubs and the thing swayed, as it’s wont to do. My back started to tingle. My breath caught.

Oh no.

The wheel started to turn and because they were letting people on we stopped. And went. And stopped again.

Oh no.

I had to close my eyes. I wasn’t holding my husband’s hand, I was gripping his arm with both of my hands, clutching him as the sensation in my back became overwhelming and I felt like I was falling.

“I hope they don’t stop us at the top.”

“Are you going to be okay?”

“I don’t know. I thought I was. I’m sorry.”

When someone has an anxiety or panic attack, they often apologize because we know, we know we’re ruining this for other people, not just us. This was my idea and now I was freaking the fuck out.

They were done loading people and we just started turning. Up and down. Then I realized we were cresting over the top a lot faster and smoother than I thought we would and I was able to loosen my grip on his arm.

“I think I’m okay. I think it might actually be passing.”

After the second smooth revolution, my gut unclenched and I wasn’t panting to catch my breath. On the third revolution, my back relaxed and that anticipation that I was about to fall slowly passed until I could actually, really relax and just enjoy the second half of the ride.

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I couldn’t believe it. The anxiety attack passed before the ride was over. I laughed. I almost cried. I’ve learned to just ride out these attacks and get through the activity but this was the first time that I got through it in time to enjoy the activity that brought on the attack.

It was amazing.

When we got off the ride I actually jumped up and down and said, “I did it! I got through it!” Even my husband, who has no idea what anxiety like this feels like, knew this was a big deal and he was so happy for me.

Now, I’m not sharing this to tell you to face your fears and you’ll get over them. Like I said, phobias know no logic. I’m just sharing this because it was awesome and such a big deal for me that I wanted to share.

Of course I don’t know when I’ll try something like that again and even if I do, I have no way of knowing if it’ll pass again. But it passed this time and that was fucking amazing.

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