When I was a child, I believed in magic. I lived in a universe peopled with fairies, witches, ghosts and devils. I knew all of the protective rituals that had to be done, all of the prayers, and even some witches spells. It was a colorful and rich world.
A large tree grew in our yard, and under it a lovely carpet of soft green moss. I knew in my heart that this emerald carpet was the meeting place of fairies. It had to be; magic seemed to emanate from the spot. I imagined these beautiful, sparkling creatures danced upon this moss under the moon and stars in the velvety darkness. On summer nights, I would open my window and look for them; I strained to hear their fairy voices. I yearned with my whole being to talk with a fairy, to touch their soft, airy wings.
But these fairies were shy folk, and seemed afraid of humans. They stayed out of my sight. How could I convince them I was different and only wanted to be their friend? I puzzled over this for weeks, and then an idea came to me. A fairy trap! An old shoebox, lined with moss and glittery fabric became the lure. I put this on my window sill, and then, to attract the unsuspecting fairy, I placed cookies in a trail leading to the cutout door (with a button glued on for a doorknob).
Every morning when I woke, the first thing I looked for was whether I had a fairy in my box. Sadly, I never caught a fairy, but sometimes the cookies were gone, so I KNEW the fairies had visited. In retrospect, I suspect my younger brother of cookie theft. But then, these things were as real to me as the clothes I wore.
I still believe in magic, and love writing about it. We are told as writers to write what you know. How could I know anything about worlds that don’t exist, about magic and magical creatures? Perhaps because of my vivid imagination as a child I am easily drawn into those fantasy worlds, but I believe they DO exist and as writers we know them intimately. We walk in that “other” world in our waking and sleeping hours, creating our characters, mapping our worlds, plotting our plots.
These worlds, these creatures, these people are created from snippets of experiences we have had, of intuition and archetypes, from people we have known or met, from our own deep dark subconscious. And then they pour out on to the page, walking, talking, living and breathing and their story, their world, becomes real for the reader, too. And that, my friends, is true magic!