{Dear Queens in Exile . . .}

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Dear Queens in Exile,
I’m pretty sure there’s a part of a Katharine Hepburn movie (Bringing Up Baby?) where she and Spencer Tracey are flirting and K. Hep playfully says (something like), “Tell me more about my eyes!”
Picture it. It’s Philly Pagan Pride. I’m enjoying a delightful Mean Girls Gossip sesh with Friend (who can identify themselves or not). A femme-presenting person looks through my first book (Glamour Magic The Witchcraft Revolution to Get What You Want) She said, “Omg, that’s *hilarious*.” I froze and arranged my face into a Heather Chandler-esque smile. Now. That first book of mine has been heralded on GoodReads as having gross girl boss vibes by many readers.
I mean, it was 2017, so we like all had gross girl boss vibes? Which *I* think is at least more honest than the current “we’re all just living more slowly and authentically while having three million views on our cottagecore YouTube channel while working a full time job but it is still SLOW and AUTHENTIC . . .somehow . . . while running a YouChannel which requires lots of editing and work and while claiming to have hobbies and not eat out of a box and have meaningful relationships.”
But as usual, no one asked me.
Anyway. As soon as the new reader left, card in hand, I hissed to Friend, “Why would she say that? Directly to me? That’s so mean!”
Friend contemplated me for a moment while taking a quick drag off their vape. “Why wouldn’t she say that? You *are* hilarious. Especially in the first one.”
I sighed. “I literally had forgotten.”
And I had.
Sometimes I get so caught up in cleaning cat vomit and taking out trash and doing dishes and going to the gym that I literally forget that while *I* see myself as mostly a servant to the cats clad in sweats with frizzy hair and no make up while needing new glasses (bifocals I suspect), a lot of people see me only fully “on” at an event bedecked as your fairy goth mother, my smile bright, a goblet in my hand, with offerings from readers and shop patrons scattered on my back table.
It’s always such a delicate fine line when a new book is out. All I think about is the book but I don’t want to be boring and tiresome so I try to limit talk about it and then my PR person is cautiously floating out, “You could talk more about your book on socials. You know that, right?”
And I do? But also I’m having trouble remember where I’ve been lately – when with who and my verbal words are getting tangled in my brain and I’m just so tired. (You arrrrrrrrrrrrre? My inner circles drawl with faux incredulousness. You mean your condition, fibromyaglia, makes you tired? During times of stress like a book birth? Reallllllllly?)
Everything I do in my waking life right now feeds the book (Magic for Troubled Times), the precious book, that consumes me but that I am to talk about just the right amount about. And no one ever makes as big of a deal about the second anything as they do about the first. That’s just nature, Gunter in the words of the Ice King.
At shows, people will look at the books and look at me and look at the books again and mouth, “You?” And I mouth back, “Me.” And I feel like Mimi from Rent for a moment when Roger figures out she’s positive too but it’s a spark, a connection. She just feels like dazzled from being seen. But’s also really exhausting. Being seen.
Because if GossipGirl has taught us anything, it’s that for everyone who looks you in the eye and demonstrates they’ve seen you, there’s seven more silently reporting your doings and misdeeds to nebulous sources. Maybe it’s flattering, probably it’s not.
“They say for every high high/ there must be a low, low, low . . .”(Bat for Lashes) and that’s been a lot of my life since this book came out. I try in life to be relatively even keel. But that’s hard to do right now. There are a lot of high highs and very low lows. And it is wearing me down so hard. My muse dgaf, she never has. Equal parts Serena VanderWoodsen and Heather Chandler, showing me everything I never wanted to see or know about myself until it’s forced out of me as art.
So fuck it, right? Tell me about my eyes. And by that, I mean my books. What made you laugh, what made you cry, what have you tried? Show me pictures of the book in delicious settings, show me your workings, show me your feels.
Find the glamour.
So we can see ourselves in our best light, here, where it shines the brightest.
It will be dark soon enough.
Love you.



In lieu of book(s) praise, I will also accept Nuit Atelier‘s 10 Year Anniversary Underbust Pannier Corset in Black Linen in size V, thank you.
If you are wondering where I will wear it, I think we both know the answer is everywhere.
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Deborah Castellano
Deborah Castellano's book Glamour Magic: The Witchcraft Revolution to Get What You Want is available for purchase through Amazon, Llewellyn and Barnes and Noble.
Her frequently updated catalogue of published work is available on Author Central.

She writes about Glamour Magic here at Charmed, I'm Sure. Her podcast appearances are available here.

Her craft shop, The Mermaid & The Crow specializes in old-world style workshop from 100% local, sustainable sources featuring tempting small batch ritual oils and hand-spun hand-dyed yarn in luxe fibers and more!

In a previous life, Deborah founded the first Neo-Victorian/Steampunk convention, SalonCon which received rave reviews from con-goers and interviews from the New York Times and MTV.

She resides in New Jersey with her husband, Jow and their cat, Max II. She has a terrible reality television habit she can't shake and likes St. Germain liquor, record players and typewriters.  


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