Thursday, 1 December 2016

How to write a press release

A press release informs the media of news that you would like to be published, such as an interview, a feature story, book launch, a radio broadcast, a new service, workshop or course.

Keep the headline brief and informative.
Write the information factually and with minimum embellishments. Avoid hyperbole and tautology. Keep sentences short and punchy.
Write the press release in a way where the editor can copy and paste into their publication without the need to edit.

Answer the 6 questions: Who? What? Where? How? When? Why?

Add your contact details for more information.

How to write a book review

A book reviewer's agenda has one aim - to help a purchaser to choose the best book for their requirements.

Every publication has standard presentation information which includes:

Author’s name
Published by:
Paperback price: Kindle price: 

The number of pages:
Author’s website:

How to Write a Card Deck Review

Whether a tarot or divination deck, a review is intended to enable a prospective purchaser to choose the best deck for their requirements. 

Some information is standard in all card reviews: 
the number of cards
whether they are alone or have textual information (and what is that information? If a book is included with the deck, a book review is required also)
the names of those who designed/created the deck - artwork and textual information and some background about them
whether it is a standard tarot deck or has anomalies, such as an unusual size or the cards placed in an unusual sequence or whether extra cards have been added?
a description of the card backs, whether they are reversible or irreversible
the publisher or author website
ISBN number

Sunday, 31 July 2016


Belief in possession by evil spirits is a very ancient one. The earliest documents were found in a palace belonging to an Assyrian ruler of Assurbanipal in Nineveh. Written on a clay tablet dating from 650BC is an inscription of a desperate appeal of a man who is possessed by a tyrannical ghost. The ancient Hindu scriptures, 'Atharva Veda', details demonic possession. Some ancient Buddhist sects also describe deliverance of evil spirits. We are familiar with the cases described in the New Testament where Jesus meets a possessed man on the shores of the Sea of Galilee and directly addresses the spirit by asking “What is your name?” and is told, “My name is Legion” (that is an entire Roman army). The Roman army was in occupation in Israel at that time. The man pleads with Jesus not to command the spirits to depart but Jesus saw a large herd of cows nearby and directed the demons out of the man and into the swine herd (who charged to the cliff edge, threw themselves into the sea and were drowned).  

Sunday, 1 May 2016

Naming Ceremony for a Baby or Small Child

Outdoors: Items to bring: flowers, clooties, banners, table for glasses and drinks, cake, knife, serviettes, plates. Possible musician or music of choice.

Godparenting is an ancient tradition where adults (other than the child's parents) pledge, in the absence of the parents, to care for the child. 

All parties congregate for the naming ceremony.

To the parents: What name do you wish for your son/daughter to be called?
Reply: I name this child .... (find our if there is any history for the name)

To the Godparents: Do you pledge to care and love this child? Reply.

Call the name of the child: 

May your mind be clear and bright:
May your emotions be balanced and contented;
May your tongue speak truth and kindness:
May your arms and shoulders be strong - May your back and legs be strong:
May your hands be steady and patient:
May your feet carry you in freedom along the path of wisdom.

Photos: Child opens gifts while seated.

Photos: Toast: glasses (champaign, berry cordial, water, etc) and cake cutting.
  Songs or pieces of music chosen by parents. Suggestions - instrumental, such as Ludovico Einaudi; if outdoors - bird songs; and something for the children, such as Wailee Wailee by Dorothy Carter)

Ceremony created by Wendy Stokes (c)

Monday, 21 March 2016

Why Did You Write a Book?

Interview with Wendy Stokes by Paul Salmon: 
Hi Wendy, Why did you write a book? Wendy explains:

I have been a writer for many years, writing for pleasure, to inform, entertain or transmit a message. In 1999, I undertook a two year, full time course in counselling and psychology for which I wrote a hefty 10,000 word dissertation. It was during my college years that I was perplexed because the terminology of psychology and spirituality were so different. Psychology emphasised self-awareness as a vital part of our personal development, but what do we do when we know who we are and have developed skills to get us to where we want to be? Spirituality offered an understanding that our life in the physical world is only temporary and that we need to prepare for a permanent, eternal life in a more real and truer home.