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Karma Zain
23 July 2014 @ 12:02 pm
  • Wed, 03:08: Desktop is finally back online as of Tues; needed workaround for some dying hardware. Catching up on reports/replies as of Wed.
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Karma Zain
19 July 2014 @ 12:05 pm
  • Sat, 04:08: desktop computer still offline; hardware problem. It has all photos and most files, so still behind on reports and consults - sorry!
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Karma Zain
17 July 2014 @ 12:05 pm
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Karma Zain
Use code julycandles to take 20% of all items in the Candles category, including hand-poured candles (used to be just votives; now available as tealights, votives, and glass container candles), custom-fixed 3-day and 7-day candles (some commercially prepared and custom fixed, some custom made from scratch), and spell/prayer kits that feature candles (not all of those are updated yet, but if you know there's something you want, feel free to write and I'll move that one to the top of the queue for updating). Expires 31 July.

This sale has nothing in particular to do with Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, especially, but it's starting on her holy day so I'm naming it in her honor!

votives 2014 crop


Using Discount Codes:

"For direct payment gateways [this means if you use a credit card to pay through shopify payments], the discount code can be entered on page 2 of the checkout process when the customer has the opportunity to select a shipping method and enter in credit card information." [That's where you enter julycandles.]

"PayPal Express, being an offsite payment gateway, works a bit differently. This is the PayPal Express Checkout's workflow: when checking out, your customer goes to paypal.com right away, where PayPal collects his shipping and billing addresses. After that, the customer returns to Shopify where he picks a shipping rate, types in a discount code (if you have discount codes that are 'active'), the price is updated accordingly and, on that same page, your customer gets to finalize his transaction." [That's where you enter julycandles.]

           - from the Shopify user guide

Don't forget to sign up for the newsletter - once we get the kinks ironed out, there'll be newsletter-only specials, coupons, updates, and then regular tips, tricks, and conjure advice.
 
 
Karma Zain
Current Gmail/Website Contact Form/Communication Status/Issues:

  • See the previous status queue post if you want the boring mundane sordid and fascinating history of why and how things have been so topsy turvy around here (including photos of the insanity that started it all!) for the past 6-8 weeks and where I'm at in the catching-up.

  • As of 17 June, I had made a decent dent in backlogged consultations and gotten most of the orders placed on June 1st or earlier out, but in doing that I got behind again on the inbox for non-consultation stuff. In addition, I got behind on emails sent through the store contact form because I gave my assistant bad instructions and we didn't look in the right place for them, so I wasn't even aware of the backlog.

  • As of 23 June, over the last weekend we made a dent in the inbox and in in-house orders, with my assistant prioritizing contact form messages and new inquiries sent directly to the gmail account, and labeling anything that needed my personal response for me to get to. I got a ton of backed up orders involving candles, soaps, and other time-consuming things finished up and shipped out, and I'm working on inbox stuff that needs my personal response now.

  • Hallelujah! As of 1 July, I can now see the bottom of my inbox, thanks in large part to my assistant Mary who pulled a dual-computer, two-person email marathon with me over this last weekend. That doesn't mean every single message has been completely resolved or dealt with, but everything IS now labeled and put in somebody's to-do queue, and we will be getting to in due order. Next, I am going to try to sprint with consultations to get caught up and to tie up any loose ends, recommendations, additional work, or further questions that came up after the divination portion was completed in earlier consultations.

Please note that if you wrote to ask a question that is answered in the FAQ, item listing, booking or payment acknowledgment email, etc, and you have been provided with the information you asked about, then your query has been marked as "responded" or "resolved." So if you wrote to say "when will you ship my order," you will get the same response every time you ask that question, and you won't get a different response by asking the same question again. Once you get the info letter that reiterates how notification works, your message is marked "answered" and filed.

Please also note that if you send a new message in a thread that has a currently unread or unanswered message, your message moves down the inbox queue and is reordered according to the date of latest message. So by all means send more info if it's a burning issue, but if it is not a burning issue, just wait until I get back to you on the last thing for quickest response. My tagging/notification/flagging system ends up rewarding those who wait their turn -- the patient rather than the persistent -- and it is set up to notify me right away if you write on a case or issue that is pending because of info I'm waiting on from you. If you send a response in a different thread and do not follow the directions for contact about your case, your response will not turn up flagged as needing my immediate attention, and your message will go into the very large pool of random or new inquiries that I will respond to only after I have responded to the current things that need my immediate attention. Bottom line: read and follow the directions! I don't want to run a huge business with a customer service department. I want to make my customer's items myself and I want to respond to my clients' queries myself. But I can only do this if people read and follow the directions. So if you want my personal attention, you have to follow the procedures :-)

Light Settings Booked or In Progress:

SA (GA) - tapers - 6811, 040813 - refunded/canceled
YSY (Sgp) - 081R, 021714 - waiting on petition/photos


Some special/contracted light settings and runs of lights are tracked on the client calendar instead; basically, if I wrote up a contract for your work, it's not tracked as a light setting but as altar work, so see below for the Altar Work section.

Lights Done - Reports or Summaries Owed:

RJ (CA) - 710A, 011314
KK (CA) - 972P, 011014
MM (VA) - 270P, 012914
LM (CA) - 022X, 010614 - run of lights
HK (run of lights)
AT (KY) - 222P, 020814
CE (CA) - 6949, 022214
AB (Phl) - 2050, 022114
AB (Phl) - 190F, 022114
AB (Phl) - 643X, 022214
AB (Phl) - 310T, 022114

DB (NC) - 705J, 030114
SH (Sng) - 571A, 032214
MA (Sgp) - 1054-5623-060214
HK - pro bono
GH (FL) - 1041-7604-052114
VN - pro bono
CC (Bel) - 1057-700W-060614
[**I have been  having DSL problems and I have a workaround so I can print and get online from my laptop, but I can't yet get the photographs from my desktop to the laptop so I can embed the photos that are part of the reports - that's why the delay on these. We are actively working on fixing this issue.]

If your report appears here and is not crossed out, I'm working on it. My reports are detailed and take time to type up. You'll get your report when it's ready (review your booking acknowledgment email for details about service turnaround times). I don't ever forget, because I don't rely on memory - I have a system. If you see your initials here and they are crossed out but you have NOT gotten your report, though, and it's not in your spam folder, THEN you should ask me about it; if it's crossed off, that means I sent it, so we need to find out where it went if you don't have it.

Consultation Queue:

CN (Swe) - 274S, 111513
KP (FL) - 892L, 111913
BL (MN) - 921D, 112313 - visa
BL (MN) - 842M, 112313 - app
TA (NC) - 125N, 121713
DP (IL) - 652D, 022714 - rush
GS (WY) - 910N, 031814 - refunded/canceled
EW (NY) - 3214, 040114 - refunded/canceled; blocked and reported (filed paypal dispute three days after booking w/ no cancellation request first - pro workers and readers feel free to contact me for client name and address if you'd like to avoid this financial risk)
GK (BC) - 603K, 020714
VN (LA) - 033U, 122913
BL - 460U, 051114 - rush
BG (OH) - 1042sh, 052114 - refunded/canceled at buyer request, no reason given; blocked
DO (TX) - 822F, 030414 - working
CN (Swd) - 3317, 031114
CN (Swe) - 0319, 033014

AB (Ita) - 212A, 022614
JM (CA) - 1016-sh 041214
SB (IN) - 472S, 112013 - pending; waiting on response to intake questions
DA (NY) - 1843, 012414 -- pending; waiting on response
MW (MD) - 8158, 030814pending; waiting on response to intake questions
ME (CO) - 072N, 033114
- pending; waiting on response to intake questions

TPS (TX) - 345C, 040114 - pending; waiting on response to intake questions
AC (ME) - 1018sh-041614 - refund requested; processing
JM (CA) - 481J, 060814 - working
JM (CA) - 882T-071214A - working
M B-G (CT) - 214Y, 022114 - working
AH/AJ (CA) - 5405, 022114 - working
SG (FL) - 8602, 030814 - working
AV (CA) - 8315, 041414 - working
BS - 210D, 041714 - working
KJ (VA) - 141E, 042014 - working
DB (NC) - 1032-sh, 050414
TN (Can) - 8944, 052514
GH (FL) - 1047sh, 052714
SS (Can) - 3349, 052914
SS (Can) - 3549, 052914
BL (MA) - 1063-641S-061014
WT (NC) - 584Dbl-062014 - pending; waiting on response to intake questions
VM (Can) - 1072-5215-062414
BS (GA) - 971L-062614
SL (Ind) - 1080-025R-062914
ML (NY) - 1083-734A-070114
KL (MA) - 1104-570C-071914


Readings:

ES (OH) - canceled, refunded
SG (KY)
JL (CA) - waiting on response
BC (CA) - canceled, refunded
JJ (CA) - working
KY (WA) - 0424 090913


Altar Work Booked or In Progress:

Altar workings booked or in progress, including special light settings or series that are arranged via contract, are not tracked here; I don't want to publicly post full altar work with enough detail for you to identify your work because it might be enough detail for somebody who knows you to piece it together. But you should have access to the client calendar through Google Calendars (see next par. for more info), and you can see the status of your altar work there.


Altar Work Reports, Updates, and/or Photos Owed:

MC - 7 day push (040614A)
MC - honey jar  [6541, 050114]

NB: If you have an ongoing contract for runs of lights or honey jars, and you have NOT gotten access to the online client calendar I made so you can check the status of your work (on gmail/google calendars), then write me and I'll investigate why you didn't get one. If you already have a Google Calendar account, you will not get an invitation - it doesn't let me send one. You only get an invitation if you do not have a Google Calendar account. Once you have an account and/or the invitation, you should be able to log into your Google Calendars account with the email address you used to pay your invoice, and it should be available for viewing as "Karma Zain's Calendar" or something like that. If you have questions, please inquire in the current thread dedicated to your altar work instead of sending a new message. (The booking acknowledgment email now explains how this works in more detail, so see your booking email first.)
 
 
Karma Zain
12 July 2014 @ 12:02 pm
  • Fri, 12:45: still have connectivity probs - does not appear to be ISP's fault this time. waiting on local hardware fix - still behind on email
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Karma Zain
09 July 2014 @ 12:02 pm
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Karma Zain
My able assistant Mary has been helping me get caught up, and she's also tidying up the mess I've made of my various social networking stuff, much of which has just been languishing and gathering dust. I'll post about upcoming changes and such as they happen, but I want to go ahead and get the ball rolling on a new feature I'll be rolling out soon.

I will (finally) be putting out a regular newsletter, hopefully within a month or so. Mary is going to educate me on it and on how to put up signup links in various places, but in the meantime there is currently one working at the website; just go there and scroll down to the footer area and you'll see the signup box.

Here's what I have in mind, copied/pasted from the last post on July coupon codes:

Don't forget to sign up for the newsletter - once we get the kinks ironed out, there'll be newsletter-only specials, coupons, updates, and then regular tips, tricks, and conjure advice.

NEW FEATURE: GET YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED, WIN FREE STUFF!

I'm going to get the ball rolling with the newsletter with a new feature - much like the irregular "questions readers have asked" posts here at the blog, only more regular, I'm going to invite questions from y'all readers and subscribers. If your question is picked for the month's newsletter, I will give you an in-depth response, publish it with any identifying info removed of course, and then send you some goodies.

So write with your questions - I will publish and answer the really good ones as a regular "column." You can ask anything, from hoodoo theory to recommendations to troubleshooting a spell you've done recently. If you have a case or situation that you want advice or guidance on, you can write with that too; I won't be able to do as many of those since they will basically be consultations and will thus take a good chunk of time, but I will certainly do some. I am going to pick those questions/cases that are likely to involve something educational or informative for my readership, perhaps showcasing a rite I think everybody ought to know how to do, or maybe showing off one of my favorite altar rites or working with a favorite saint, or maybe even just showing typical pitfalls that I see that often make my clients' cases more complicated than they might otherwise be. I doubt I can answer them all, but I will sure answer some, so it's worth a shot for a free consultation! [*]

Just shoot an email to karmazain at gmail.com and put "question for column" or "case for newsletter" or something like that in the subject line. If I choose your question, you'll not only get a personalized, in-depth answer, you'll get free goodies in the mail (my choice, but I will try to take preferences for formula families or product types into account - if you write with a love problem, I'll send you stuff to help your love problem, etc.). [**]

These will all go into a file until I write up the first newsletter, at which point I will select the questions for that month's column. So you can write at any time - you don't have to wait until the newsletter is arriving in your inbox.
-------------------------------------------------

[*] Note: if you send a question or case for the column, you are acknowledging that your question and the reply may be published and you are consenting to publication (with any identifying info removed).

[**] Let me tell you something about free stuff. If you shop with me, you know I have a handling time that can sometimes be significant, because I handcraft and personally mix/blend *every single thing I send you, myself.* When you order a bottle of oil, for instance, I take the 2 dram bottle, add the herbs and curios, then add the base oil that I keep in a four-ounce "mother" bottle (which would contain whatever additional curios or ingredients were necessary that might not make it into the smaller bottle you get - for instance, Black Cat Bone oil's mother bottle contains a whole black cat leg bone from my personal first set of cat bones I got in 1991; your bottle will contain a chip of black cat bone, but the mother bottle contains a whole one). Then, after I've blended your bottle of oil or custom-finished whatever other item you've ordered, I pray over it and personally wrap it up and package it, writing out any instructions you need on a card and packaging it up. NOTHING comes off a shelf already made except soaps and candles, as that I make in very small batches of 4-6 at a time).

So when you order, it takes time to make your stuff up right. When you win free stuff, it takes time to make that stuff up right too, of course, and I"m sure you can understand that when there's a queue of stuff to go out, the paid orders that have already come in are going to go ahead of freebies and prizes and such.

During events involving prizes, readers sometimes irritate the crap out of me, and I"m sure it's unintentional, but I want to explain to avoid this kind of thing. So imagine a prize winner (who had never been a customer before, so apparently wasn't really aware of how this works) who wins a custom art item. We discuss the details and I record them. I start the first stages of the work on the item (one with many, many stages that I would never, ever agree to give a turnaround date on if this had been ordered from my shop, because I just can't say how custom stuff like this is going to go as it goes or what it's going to need, and I am only at the "gathering materials" stage). But this person keeps sending me emails asking if I've gotten this message or that message, if I have X or Y, when am I going to answer the last message. etc.

Now I use form letters and auto-acknowledgments for a lot of stuff because otherwise I would never have time to make stuff and fill orders and do consultations, so if I or my assistant send out an email saying "your message has been received" in response to an email that doesn't contain anything I need to personally respond to at that time, then that acknowledgment of receipt is my answer and I file the email as "answered." Prize winners, especially those who were just here for the prizes and don't actually shop with me outside of that prize situation, don't always realize how I work and often don't like that every single message isn't given a personal answer right away. And yes, this happens.

So after I send a message saying "received" and I say that I'll be back in touch when I have a question; otherwise you'll get it when it's done, that means I'm working on it. And so folks will get it when it's done. When winners send further messages asking "when are you going to write back," it just demonstrates to me that they didn't read the previous messages I sent explaining how this works, that there's a turnaround time, that "your message has been received" *is a response* in many cases, etc. It demonstrates that they don't know how I work or care that much to read a bit to find out - not even if that bit is sent to their inbox. It demonstrates that they aren't actually customers or clients anyway (which is ok - my contests and such are open to readers whether they are customers too or not, but when that is one in a big stack of issues causing problems, I usually notice, and I usually find myself wishing the prize had gone to an actual customer or client instead),

And so when I get about 4 or 5 of those emails over a couple of months, the custom piece that was already going to take significant time is probably going to take even more time now, because I have a bad taste in my mouth about the entire damned custom piece now and I *always* have many other things demanding my attention - those things I have a bad taste in my mouth about tend to not be on top of the stack when I have time to tend to such things. Meanwhile, the prize winner is irritated and is going around bad-mouthing me to people about how I don't send prizes and I don't keep my word. (All over *a free thing they won for doing nothing more than sending an email that I didn't have to give them in the first damned place.*)

Needless to say, this makes me wonder why the hell i even do this and I spend time grumbling that I can't even give shit away without catching attitude about it. Then I get over it and do another drawing or raffle or giveaway :-)

I'd like to avoid any more of those grumbly bits though. So I'm explaining how it works here, and I'll edit this for succinctness and clarity later and publish it a bit more formally. But the bottom line is that it's fun to win things, and it's nice to get free advice from a professional, and I actually do love my customers and clients even though every once in a while, one or two out of a hundred give me a pain in my neck :-) My readers and customers are, by and large, seriously awesome and always interesting, and I've gotten to know some of you so well over the years that we're at the "come by when you get to town" or "here's my cell phone number, text me when you get to the farmer's market and I'll help you pick out your herbs" stage. I have met some incredible people doing this work. So I want y'all to find nice surprises in your inboxes and mailboxes, and I want to get back to writing more and answering readers' questions more, and I want to get caught up on consultations and readings so I can go back to doing some pro bono ones (privately and for the column). Hell, I'd like to actually start offering phone consultations again (which I haven't done in about 7 years), but a few things would need to happen before I would be able to do that. I'm working on it though.

So you guys can help me do some of this by sending me your questions; along the way, you help me remember why I want to do this in the first place, so we just might both win :-)

 
 
Karma Zain
I was going to have a July sale on mastery/commanding items, but DSL is still too spotty and I'm afraid I won't have time to both set it up and post it before 3 am. So I just updated codes that expired last month so you can use them in July, since that was the quickest way to get the July specials out.

From now until July 15, use these codes when you check out through the new storefront for percentages off your entire order:


use code july10 for 10% off orders over 15.00
use code july15 for 15% off orders over 50.00
use code july20 for 20% off orders above 99.00

Here are the instructions:

Using Discount Codes:

"For direct payment gateways [this means if you use a credit card to pay through shopify payments], the discount code can be entered on page 2 of the checkout process when the customer has the opportunity to select a shipping method and enter in credit card information.

"PayPal Express, being an offsite payment gateway, works a bit differently. This is the PayPal Express Checkout's workflow: when checking out, your customer goes to paypal.com right away, where PayPal collects his shipping and billing addresses. After that, the customer returns to Shopify where he picks a shipping rate, types in a discount code (if you have discount codes that are 'active'), the price is updated accordingly and, on that same page, your customer gets to finalize his transaction."

- from the Shopify user guide

Don't forget to sign up for the newsletter - once we get the kinks ironed out, there'll be newsletter-only specials, coupons, updates, and then regular tips, tricks, and conjure advice.

Write with your questions - I will publish and answer the really good ones as a regular "column" - you can ask anything, from hoodoo theory to recommendations to troubleshooting a spell you've done recently. Just shoot an email to karmazain at gmail.com and put "question for column" or something like that in the subject line. If I choose your question, you'll not only get a perseonalized answer, you'll get free goodies in the mail (my choice, but I will try to take preferences for formula families or product types into account).
 
 
Karma Zain
07 July 2014 @ 12:02 pm
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