Monday, May 16, 2016

Presenting: The Witch's Mirror Book Trailer

About a week ago my talented kiddo Tristan, who just got an award for directing and acting in high school, got out the video camera, I dressed in my witchy black, we loaded up every mirror we could get our hands on, and traipsed into the woods near a local park to shoot scenes for a book trailer for my upcoming book The Witch's Mirror, The Craft, Lore, & Magick of the Looking Glass. We had a blast, the woods were lovely, green, and full of magic!
This kid is so creative! We also filmed some scenes right in my studio and even included a cameo appearance of the previous books in Llewellyn's The Witch's Tools series. I never stop being amazed at Tristan's talent, it's no surprise that my kid has aspirations to be a film editor and director, after working so hard to hone these mad skills so far, I have no doubt that their work will be entertaining us all in the not too distant future.

Without further adieu, I present The Witch's Mirror trailer by the amazingly talented Tristan Prefect! Be sure to "like" and "subscribe" on Tristan's YouTube Channel.  Enjoy!

You can own some of the mirrors in this video! The scrying mirror and the hexenspiegel sun catchers that you see hanging from the trees in this video will be for sale in my Etsy shop this week,  ALSO...I'm having a giveaway that ends on May 20 2016 and the prize is the actual book, bookmark, cover flat and compact mirror that appears in this video trailer! Click here to enter!

You can also get a copy of The Witch's Mirror from Llewellyn, Barnes & Noble, and Amazon

Behind the scenes director and editor Tristan Prefect on the job. This young director has a great eye, spied a spider web dusted with pollen and stopped to get a quick shot while we were on location in the woods.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

The Man Who Made Mirrors

To celebrate National Astronomy Day today, I wanted to share the story of the man who you’ll see in the dedication of my upcoming book “The Witch’s Mirror, The Craft, Lore, & Magick of the Looking Glass," my grandpa and mirror-maker William M. Vaughan, but if you're his friend, just call him Bill. If you wonder why I dedicated the book to my grandpa, read on...
Grandpa with one of his magic mirrors that he painstakingly ground to the perfect shape and curve himself...what's so magic about it? You can use it to see the stars!

On January 4 1970 The Columbia Missourian Sunday Magazine published an article about my grandpa, and I thought sharing it here on National Astronomy Day would be a cool glimpse into a few of the mirrors that inspired me in my childhood and the master craftsman who made them, my grandpa. While I have posted the article here, I’ve also transcribed it as well as it was written to make it easier to read from my blog. I did take the license of spelling his last name Vaughan instead of Vaughn as it is spelled in the article, I just didn’t have the heart…LOL 

This is the original article as it appeared in The Columbia Missourian, Jan 4, 1970, Either my grandma or grandpa wrote in the name of the paper and the date there at the bottom.  The copy my family still has doesn't include the name of the writer of this article and I haven't been able to find in online. If  I can ever find it,  I will add the attribution.

Giant Eyes

January 4, 1970 Five years ago, Attorney W. M. Vaughan retired from his job as a claims director for an insurance company and hung-up a new shingle in the basement of his home on Route 2 east of Columbia. The shingle reads: “The Meridian Company; Bill Vaughan, President.”

Not only is Bill Vaughan president but vice president, master craftsman, and janitor as well. The Meridian Company makes telescopes, or more accurately, the concave mirrors which are the hearts of reflecting-type telescopes.

Bill Vaughan has been interested in telescopes and astronomy most of his life. Over the years he has read most of the books on telescope-making and optics. Eight years ago he built his first telescope. Since then he has built many. He became so good that he decided to make a business of it.

With the aid of unique contraptions fashioned from washing machine motors, he grinds and polishes mirrors ranging in size from 4 1/4 to 12 1/2 inches in diameter, which are corrected to within one-millionth of an inch. If you ask him how long it takes to complete an mirror, he will say, "It takes as long as it takes," explaining that each glass mirror blank has a personality of it's own, much like a diamond.

Bill Vaughan is proud of his optics. He guarantees them unconditionally. In the past five years he has sold at least one of his mirrors in each of the 50 states and Canada. He has yet to have a mirror returned. 

In pictures, Bill Vaughan works on a six-inch mirror, which eventually becomes part of a Cassegrain telescope (lower center).

Can you believe how thick this mirror is?! I can remember his workshop off the house, there was a little door off the back yard, it was a magical place to be, on the occasions when I went in to see it, I remember being amazed by all the wild looking equipment, and I was always careful not to touch anything!
We still have one of his telescopes in the family. I remember getting it out to see the Hale-Bopp comet when it came past our planet. Everyone in the neighborhood wheeled out their telescopes to get a closer look...can you imagine their faces when a big ole monstrosity like this came trucking out of that garage?!  Everyone's jaws just dropped! Those are shower caps on the ends to keep the inside dust-free!
So that's my grandpa, the master mirror maker. I knew him as that, but also many other aspects of the man. Grandpa, my sister Robin and and I went fishing and ate fresh tomatoes from the garden with salt and pepper. He played the ukulele he kept from his years working and living in Hawaii. He also had one of those electric organs which always made grandma roll her eyes when he played it.
Grandma and Grandpa on their wedding day!
There were several big quartz crystal clusters around their house which I often regarded with great awe. Grandpa was also a 33 degree Freemason which I always found quite mysterious and interesting, all the sacred secrets! I once did a calligraphy page of a poem that he wrote. He performed feats of closeup magic with playing cards, a few of the tricks he taught me, which I have long since forgotten after having practiced them so often in my childhood. He took in a funny little stray dog that he named Boo. Boo earned his name because it took so long for Grandpa to befriend the little foundling. That dog ended up being loyal to Grandpa even through his last days. There are family stories about him being an honest and true man, even in the face of difficulty doing what was right even when it was hard. He was a dreamer, a thinker, and a doer. He was respected by everyone who knew him.
Bill Vaughan as a young man, love that smile!
He was a really cool man, and even though he crossed over to the Next Big Adventure before I even graduated from high school, I made sure my kids all knew him through stories and memories. I imagine he looks down from the stars he loved so much and maybe he has even read the dedication nestled within the pages in my humble little book about magical mirrors.

If you've had the good fortune to see the stars through a telescope made in the late 60's through the 70's there is a small chance that the light from stars millions of miles away was reflected into your vision by a mirror lovingly ground and polished by the hands of my grandfather.

Blessed Be!

Friday, May 13, 2016

Giveaway Time! The Witch's Mirror Prize Bundle Might be Yours!

Great News! 

I just got a package in the mail with a few advance copies of my new book The Witch's Mirror!!! The book will officially be out June 8, but I have four copies in my hot little hands! I also have a stack of book flats (covers before they are put on the book.) Soooooo, should I celebrate with a giveaway, of course I should!
The Witch's Mirror Prize Bundle! You might recognize all this from the video book trailer for The Witch's Mirror! Yep, I'll be sending the winner the actual book, bookmark, cover flat and compact mirror that appeared in the trailer...if you haven't seen it, check it out here...

A signed copy of "The Witch's Mirror, The Craft, Lore, and Magick of the Looking Glass," an autographed collectible book cover flat of The Witch's Mirror, our corresponding bookmark, made right in our studio, and I'm also including a lovely compact mirror with my Swirling Leaves Pentacle design that will be featured in my upcoming book trailer!  This can alllll be yours, just enter below on the Rafflecopter form, the winner will be chosen at random and announced next Friday, May 20th. No purchase is necessary to enter, only the blog post comment is mandatory for entry, I also have a few more options for you to get additional entries, you can tweet it once a day to boost your entries even more! Good luck! 
Big giveaway, be one of the first to get a copy of "The Witch's Mirror, The Craft, Lore, and Magick of the Looking Glass" plus a couple of really cool extras in your hot little hands!
ATTENTION: You must leave a comment on my blog below or you will be disqualified from winning. After you comment, click the button on the blue and white rafflecopter form below.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

In addition to commenting on my blog, you also need to click on the Rafflecopter form above to register and let rafflecopter know that you commented. After you register on Rafflecopter, you'll find more ways to add  your name to the drawing! Good luck to all who entered!

Be sure to leave me a comment on my blog,
Tell me, do you own any magic mirrors or are you looking forward to learning more about them?
Click below to add your comment, after you leave a comment be sure to comment on the blog below and then click the button on the blue and white rafflecopter form above, that way your entry will count. Also, feel free to unlock the bonus entries for extra chances to win!