Archive for the ‘magic’ Category

The Road Less Travelled

I was all set to talk about the road less travelled and so on this week, but it was a bit unclear exactly where I was going with it and it was all a bit philosophical!  So instead I thought I’d talk about walkways…

I love it when the trees get their green on and winter’s bleak grey sticks become the scaffolding for emerald-tinted tunnels. There is something romantic about them, to me; walking through them you are in another world.

This sense of walking into another world is something we discussed in my second writing course: tunnels, gates, passages, doorways and so on are a common literary tool to get the reader from one mindset, one world, to another.

Some examples literally take you into a different reality, such as the wardrobe in The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe opening a portal into Narnia, or the brick wall that opens into Diagon Alley in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.  It is a device used in more realist books too – the mountain pass into Kukuanaland in King Solomon’s Mines for example.

The idea that there’s something ‘Out There’, something hazily shimmering just beyond the horizon, is engaging for me as a reader, and is enjoyable to explore as a writer.  The idea of otherness is enticing and having a physical change between here and there summarises every difference through a simple technique.

But even before I thought of the world as a palette with which to paint another reality, I loved these tunnels of trees.  The possibilities they seemed to offer me, the chance to see the vibrancy of nature, feel the muted sunlight through the leaves, and wonder what I would find at the end all fed into my sense of wonder.

Looking at the world as a writer and trying to find the literary possibilities in things is all very well, but sometimes we all just need to admire and enjoy the beauty around us for what it is, not what we could write about it.

Even writers deserve a break now and then!

Have a great few days, I’ll be back on Sunday,






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I am currently trying to hold onto the positive vibe from the Olympics, and the gorgeous weather that accompanied most of it; from the sparkling sunshine on the water at Eton Dorney to the men’s marathon on the last day, when the streets of London were bathed in light.  I know it wasn’t all like that, but it really did feel that something quite unexpected happened in the UK for those sport-filled days, and the weather behaved about as well as we could possibly have asked considering the summer we’ve had!

So this week I’m sharing a photograph which my partner took (and very kindly let me use for this blog), and cheers me up no end.  I don’t know why but it makes me smile whenever I see it, and makes me want to write about summer days, birds singing and flowers blooming.

So that is my subject for this week.  It’s a bit of a cheat really, as I’ve written a poem about ruins on a summer’s day before as part of my coursework – so the key here is to find a new way of exploring the subject.  With this in mind, I am using it as the setting for a short story.  I haven’t completed the piece yet, as I have been tied up with other work (for submissions!) this week, but hopefully will get it done over this weekend – if I do, I’ll share some in Sunday’s post…

What I can say at this point is that I am hoping to try something completely new and write a tale incorporating magic.  I can’t remember writing any supernaturally-inclined short stories and it may be a bit rubbish, but it’ll be a challenge anyway.  Luckily for me, I’m spending much of the weekend in places with gorgeous views which can only enhance my inspirational pleasure!

Keep your fingers crossed that it works out, otherwise Sunday’s post might be a bit short!

Happy writing,



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