Everything Can Be Dangerous

“There’s magic in you. Well, really there’s magic everywhere. It’s in the trees swaying in the wind. In the clockwork dance of traffic lights. In the bustle of the streets. In the connections between people. Life creates magic. All kinds of it. It’s wonderful. It’s beautiful.“
“But is it dangerous?” she asked.
“Everything can be dangerous.”

 

Conversations between characters in my head…

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Autumn evenings are wonderful.They have just a hint of magic. That subtle chill that creeps in. Just right with a slight breeze. A mist rolling in. Echoes of October’s mischief right around the bend. Walking these streets I want to pull the Neon from the tubes. Feel it dance along my fingertips. I want to feel the electric angels.
Even in this dead hour, the lights buzz on. The people slumber, but the city’s magic lives on. Traffic lights burn a never-ending rhythm, the flashing red hand a warning. Sodium vapour hums in its ever watchful gaze. Soldiers at the ready. I am the only living soul they see.
Bricks and signs and windows and doors and benches and symbols. Symbols everywhere. All things we pass by with such cursory attention in the day.
But now I just want to watch. To listen. To feel. I’m an observer in this world. But it all means something. There’s an odd sort of magic to it all. It’s all a semblance of life.
It’s funny what we gloss over when we hurry along. What other stories are hidden on these streets?

Magic and Madness

Sometimes I wonder if writers ever get taken by the madness. The magic that they find, all trapped up within the world. In people, places, and things. In scents, smiles, and sin. In ideas, hope, fear, love, and anger. In the magic. Because that’s what it is. People laugh and say there’s no such thing. But I see it every day. I feel it. Sometimes, I can taste it and hear its whispers. Begging to be bled onto the page.

Then again, maybe I’m just taken by the madness.

I am not confined.

 

A brief scene for a story I’m working on. Sometimes they come out of order, but as I see them, sometimes they just demand to be written. This was one such scene.


Luminescent fibers fire between void and darkness.

Pulsing, arcing, racing, searing, and spasming. Each in rhythm to some unknown orchestra – a storm of constant action. Each thread dancing about the skewed vision of these eyes. The vibrant sea of hues and shades stupefy as I realize: the knitting of this living web enshrines me. Each shining, glowing, streaking strand permeates me. Delves within the recesses of thought. Seeks and buries itself into my very essence. Each incorporating itself into my being. Burrowing into my actions. Voluntary. Involuntary. Each movement, each breath, and each beat pervaded by this living web.

I can feel its energy. I can feel it as it lends its song to me. An aria. No…greater still -an opera. As the movements filter through me…I tremble at the wonder. Collapsing on the ground while this surreal aura swells about me. Trying to retain myself as I long to drift away into the lullaby. Dimly aware of myself now, I struggle to remain. Reveling in the cascade of scents and flavours. Basking in the glory of each sight and sound. The storm of feeling raises me beyond my consciousness.

I become aware of myself again. Who am I? What am I? Why am I?…these questions, which were once vague, lose all depth they once contained. Whatever I once knew has been replaced by a new essence. I know not what I am. I know now who I am. How? Why? Any conception of self I once had is gone from me. A dream, bland and dull amidst the vivid essence I find myself a part of. The brilliant fibers converge upon me, each bond tightening. I discover myself linked to the world around me. As the magnificent ocean of sound surrounds me…I realize … I am its conductor. Each thread pulls at the fibers of my being.

In an ataxic fit, any sense of perception, time, or control is lost. The fibers tear at my mind as my body spasms amidst the dancing web. An eternity passes. A void of darkness yet a blaze of light. I find myself heaped upon the ground, still quivering uncontrollably. Finally I return to myself. Picking myself up…I struggle momentarily with the vision before me. The web now lives as a part of me, encompassing all I encounter. Yet still I view the world as it once was, unable to see the strands about me, yet feeling each filament and its bond to the world.

Strewn about me is the wreckage of a violent storm. All manner of junk tumbled about. Windows shattered. Paneling splintered. Upholstery shredded. Shrapnel from the remnants of my possessions coats the room. Miraculously, I stand unscathed.

An Autumn Adventure – Review of “The Herald of Autumn” by JM Guillen

Tommy Maple is the Herald of Autumn. He wakes ahead of schedule, drawn from slumber by Old Man Coyote, a trickster always at odds with Tommy’s kin. Soon he faces a dire enemy that threatens to erase the pages of his very story, drinking in his power and those like him. Tommy will find unlikely allies as he Hunts this festering darkness.

Autumn is my favorite season of the year. To me, it holds a magic unlike any other season. JM Guillen captures it so well. The scents, tastes, sounds, and feel of it all. I sat down with an autumn breeze whispering in through the window. Hot apple cider was at my side. Outside, a thick fog was rolling in. It was a beautiful evening to enjoy this tale.

The description was wonderful. A delight to my senses. I felt like I was right there with Tommy Maple, Heralding Autumn at his side. I could taste the cider, feel the kiss of the September breeze and the chill as it sets in. I could hear the wolves and the distant call of the Hunt.
The characters were interesting and intriguing, though I found myself wanting more time with many of them. I found myself wanting to know more about the world of those characters. An interesting fusion, the main characters pulled their history from the myths of the First People, Native American folklore, as well as European mythology surrounding the Great Hunt and the fey. It was well-rooted in historical folktales, but more than that, these characters felt alive to me. I wondered what tricks Old Man Coyote was up to, just what his Telling could shape. I wanted to hear the tales of Tommy Maple’s adventures. A thousand of them. A thousand thousand. His past seems rich with adventure, and this was but one. The end of the tale leaves you wanting more, and the author suggests that there is more to come. I can’t wait to hear those tales.
Speaking of tales, the Telling of them was a powerful magic. To the folk in this tale, Storytelling holds an interesting sort of power that brought the magic of the story to life. I enjoyed the Tellings and would love to learn more about it. I found myself wanting to study it and find out the nuances of the system. Well done.
I very much enjoyed the story, but it was a bit short for me. Not that it pulled from the tale, but it left me wanting more. I wanted to get to know everyone more, but I think it fits. After all, the Herald is not meant to dally on. Isn’t meant to have a home. But I felt saddened that he was in and out so quickly. I want to see more of Tommy. And more of his friends. We hear about some of the others, but see them so little. I’m intrigued by this world and I’d like to delve in. I want to learn more about the fey and the First Peoples as they relate in Guilllen’s world. I am eagerly anticipating more.

I enjoyed seeing things from Tommy’s perspective. He’s a bit archaic, which might irk some, but I very much enjoyed it, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I enjoyed the archaic terms and thought they served to characterize him well. He’s a man…if you could call him that…bound not by time, but by a season. Fated to repeat that season until a new Herald is called. I look forward to hear more of his tales. To find out what boon he will call on…
Hunt on, Tommy Maple.

A Little Bit of Magic

I sat outside and disconnected. Then reconnected to another world. The world around me. Being outside changes everything. I never realized this before. Like a muscle that has atrophied and then suddenly regains its strength. Like a part of me was dead – a limb hacked away and regrown by the kiss of the sun and the breath of the wind. Something stirs in me.

Too often I feel hollow, living a life I don’t want. Lost in a lie. Glimmers of the truth surface, glinting when the light hits just right, but mostly, a glamer. Beneath it there is something else. Primal, raw, passionate, beautiful, but caged. I find it in incredible, visceral moments. In those moments I feel so alive. I never thought that I felt dead – disconnected, until I feel these moments and realize what I’m missing. Almost like a hypersensitive state, a heightened state where I feel more in tune with the world around me. Such an odd sensation, but I find myself craving it more and more. It’s as if I get drained by the things going on around me, and then when I have these moments of connection I get recharged. As if I am tapping into some incredible reserve of power. Energy. Life.

Sometimes I get so overwhelmed by those sensations. What an incredible feeling. I want to write it all – to jot down every sound, sight, scent, feeling, and sensation. The colors, the textures, the emotions they bring to life. The strings they pull within. I want to be lost within it.

I want to be caught up in the wind, soaring everywhere it goes. To hear the windchime symphonies at every home, the music of the wind in every nation. To feel how it stirs the people, the places, the life across this vast and beautiful place.

I know that I’m feeling it, but I know at some point, you’ve felt it too, or something similar somewhere. It’s like magic for me. I can almost feel it eddying in places, pooling about here or there waiting to be seen. To be felt. To be inhaled. In those moments I want nothing more than to breathe it in. To revel in it. Washing over me and getting lost in that experience.

It’s everywhere. Literally almost everywhere, and to me that’s just mind-boggling. Sometimes I feel like that’s where the magic really comes from. Where stories are born. Where ideas take shape. These little pockets of magic and power dance about us, if we only open our eyes. In the wilderness, in the city, in a car, in a school. It’s always there, it just feels a little different. I think that magic…is life. A gift from God.

The feeling of the wind rushing by, rustling the limbs and leaves on the trees. The haphazard music of the collection of wooden chimes about me, the ringing of the solitary metal chime in their midst. Cars whir by in the distance. The impossibly loud sounds of insects so small, so close, and yet so far away.

The rush of excitement, laughter, and shouting of a playground full of kids at recess. Rubber chips flying, a jumbled mess of arms and legs and bodies weaving through the bars and metal and plastic and grass.

The throng of faces, fashion, gossip, chattering and footsteps wandering about the shopping mall. Watch, you’ll see it. That excitement when the perfect item is found. The slow, relaxed flow of meandering browsers, not on a hunt, content just to look, but with that muted undercurrent of longing. The buzz of the food court, blazing with scents, and sounds, and all manner of folks conglomerating in one place. So many conversations murmuring at once. So many tastes. All tangled up in one massive breath of energy.

A huddle of folks sitting around a campfire. Storytelling engrossing them all. Bursts of laughter fire off in spurts. Eyes caught up in the flickering flames and the glow of the coals. That smoky smell that lingers on your sweatshirt after you leave, triggering those memories once more.

The bustle of the city streets. People intent on finding their destination. They’re all busy. Each has somewhere to go, something to do. Eyes focused, gait determined – they’re on their way. Cars rush by in flashes of color and exhaust and headlights. They weave this way and that across broken yellow lines. Images played in the eyes, mirrors, and windows all around.

Torrents of experience.
A beautiful magic.
Life.