Meadowsweet & Myrrh is now Holy Wild

I am one of the more sluggish people I know when it comes to big changes, and in the digital age that can mean I’m lagging years behind the latest trends. If you’d asked me a few years ago if I’d ever retire my blog Meadowsweet & Myrrh, I would have said Hell no! And yet, here we are…

Welcome to Holy Wild.

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So maybe a name change isn’t that big a deal. But after a decade of living with that lovingly pesky ampersand dividing/uniting the old and the new, the past and the future, the lingering scent of church incense and the beckoning perfume of the fields… I came to realize that I was no longer living quite so at odds with myself as before. I needed some new name for this sacred little space of mine on the vast interwebz — a name that spoke more wholeheartedly of wholeness. And preferably included a pun.

Ch-ch-ch-changes…

Besides a new name, there are some other cool changes at the blog, the most obvious being a whole new look. (And my thanks to Peter Dybing for encouraging me to find a font big enough to actually read!)

I’ve finally caught up with those trendy types who have “Related Posts” links at the bottom of each new post, and I have to admit part of the fun of writing now is seeing what old blasts-from-the-pasts turn up unexpectedly.

There’s also a handy way to share posts to your favorite social networks using the nifty AddThis bar floating to the right — if you click the orange [+] sign for “More Options,” the list of sites they support is so extensive, you can even still share to MySpace! (Although… why?)

Feed For ALL!

As I mentioned a couple months ago, I began weaning readers off of Feedburner before it, too, goes the way of GReader and the dinosaurs. Now you can subscribe directly to my RSS feed with your favorite feed reader service (I highly recommend giving Feedly* a try — it has lots of options for organizing and displaying your feeds, and the mobile app is as beautiful as it is functional).

If you are subscribed to the old Feedburner feed please take a few seconds right now to update your feed reader to the new RSS feed: http://alisonleighlilly.com/feed.

The old Feedburner feed should continue to update with new posts, at least for now, but Google has ceased providing support for the service and might decide to discontinue it altogether at any time. Who knows? If you subscribe to the new RSS feed then you’ll be sure to keep getting updates no matter what.

Im In Ur Inbox Bringing U Goodies

If you were signed up for the email newsletter through Feedburner, you may have already noticed a change! The new-and-improved Holy Wild newsletter, now supported by MailChimp, will continue to bring you posts delivered right to your inbox. But with the greater flexibility that MailChimp provides, I’ll also be able to include things like early registration deals for online and in-person classes (like my Keystones of the Sacred Land e-Course, back again this spring), as well as coupons and contests for books, like my forthcoming memoir collection, Meadowsweet.

(See how casually I mentioned that my first book will be published soon? I’m totally playing it cool…)

If you’re not already signed up for the Holy Wild newsletter, it’s not too late to get in on the action — it’s as easy as entering your email address below (or you can click here):

If you’re not ready to take the plunge just yet, no worries. There’s a sign-up form in the blog’s sidebar if you change your mind.

Social Media for Introverts

Before I jump into social media stuff, let me say again that if you want to be sure of never missing an update, the RSS feed and/or the newsletter are the way to go. Subscribing to either of these gives you direct control over what, when and how you get your content — and not just for this blog, but for any writer, blogger, artist, musician or content creator you want to support online. (The experts agree, Facebook kinda sucks when it comes to following blogs.)

Think of it this way: hanging out on Facebook is sort of the virtual equivalent of hanging out at the mall, and relying on Facebook’s news feed for blog updates is like relying on the mall’s radio station to hear your favorite songs. You might hear songs by your favorite artist every once in a while, but you’ll also hear a lot of stuff just because it’s popular, interspersed with plenty of ads. If you really want to hear your very own weirdly eclectic favorites, and support your favorite indie artists, you probably buy the albums you like and make your own playlists. That’s what RSS feed readers and email newsletters let you do.

That said, sometimes it’s wonderful to spend time with friends being social, and it’s pretty cool when your favorite song comes up on the radio and maybe sparks some conversation. So, yep, I’m on Facebook, as well as Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, LinkedIn and even Tumblr. In fact, I’ve somehow managed to attract thousands of followers on G+ and Pinterest, which is both crazy and crazy awesome!

So if you want to hang out (and you’re up for some uncensored, shoot-from-the-hip opinions that don’t ever make it onto the blog), look me up! If you’re on G+, you can even sign up to get a notification whenever I share a new blog post, which is practically as good as an RSS feed. Just +1 or leave a comment on this post to join.

Oh, and if you’re looking for a community of thoughtful and enthusiastic Druids and other Celtic-inspired Pagans, check out the G+ Druidry Community that I moderate — we’ve topped 500 members and we’re still growing!

Casualties of Progress

If you’re wondering, so what about the Meadowsweet Commons?, then you’re one of three people who actually used the forums… and I have some sad news for you.

For the rest of you: good news, everyone!

The Meadowsweet Commons was an integrated forum that was originally part of this website when I migrated the blog over from its original home on Blogger. It was meant to be an experiment in community engagement that allowed people to leave comments on blog posts in a shared social space as well as adding posts of their own. The Commons was part of my solution to a troll infestation I was struggling with at the time… and on that front it was wildly successful and basically reduced trolling on my site to practically zero. (Huzzah!)

Otherwise, though, the experiment failed. The integration was always somewhat clumsy and counterintuitive, and updates to the forum plugin soon made it almost impossible to use at all. When the designers decided to make the plugin and support for paying-members only, I decided it was time for the Meadowsweet Commons experiment to end. Unfortunately, there was no way to preserve the old forum without compromising my site’s security, and in the process of updating my software, all of the previous blog comments and forum posts were lost. Such is life sometimes on the ephemeral interwebz…

But now the good news: with the troll infestation fairly well in hand, I’ve returned to the more traditional kind of commenting. You can now leave comments on Holy Wild just as you would on any other blog. (Double-Huzzah!) If you want to know what kind of reader feedback and comments I just adore, check out the comment policy for tips and suggestions.

Thanks for reading!

Wow, this little update ended up being a lot longer than I anticipated. I guess there are some pretty big changes afoot!

As always, thank you so much for reading, and I hope that Holy Wild continues to be a place that provokes contemplation and welcomes conversation for anyone whose life is rooted in the soft soil and sturdy bedrock of an earth-centered spiritual tradition.

Blessings of the holy wild be yours, friends.


*For those of you using Feedly to subscribe to RSS feeds, updating to a new feed can be tricky. Check out this follow-up post for a step-by-step guide on how to find the right feed using your browser address bar: How To Find the Correct RSS URL in Feedly

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Alison Leigh Lilly
Alison Leigh Lilly nurtures the earth-rooted, sea-soaked, mist-and-mystic spiritual heritage of her Celtic ancestors, exploring themes of peace, poesis and wilderness through essays, articles, poetry and podcasting. You can learn more about her work here.

7 Comments

  1. Raven
    Oct 25, 2013

    My blog (and pen name!) actually underwent some changes lately as well. Must be something about Autumn. I always found it to be a time of changes and inspiration~ :)

    That said, I love the new blog title and look! It’s beautiful and suits this space nicely.

    • Alison Leigh Lilly
      Oct 25, 2013

      Thank you, Raven! :) Yep, autumn is a great time for change — especially for webpages, since it means I can spend the winter playing with features and tweaking code. ;)

      • Raven
        Oct 25, 2013

        Haha totally understand that! You want things to work perfect and to your satisfaction.

  2. Heather
    Oct 25, 2013

    I know I’ve said this before, but I really love your blog’s new look… and now I’m can’t wait to check out your book! I’ve also been contemplating making some changes to my blog (mainly moving to a custom domain and customizing my blog’s design, even though the idea of doing this still scares me a bit :), so seeing the changes you’ve been bringing in here gives me an added impetus to stop procrastinating and finally get it done.

    • Alison Leigh Lilly
      Oct 25, 2013

      Oh, I know procrastination! The first version of this site was so clunky and brittle, it was always breaking in weird ways… which is what made me put off updating for so long. It’s taken about three weeks to get stuff transferred over, and things like my Events/Calendar page are still in the re-working process. But it’s so nice to have a clean, simple theme now — and updating will be way easier in the future. AND I think it looks pretty nice — I’m so glad you like it, too! :)

      If you do decide to set up your own domain and custom theme, I’m always around to help.

  3. Aurelianaphile
    Oct 25, 2013

    Your changes look lovely. Well done!

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