Magical Spots

When my kids were born, people said things like “enjoy the magic” or “these are rare precious moments”. Sure, looking back I remember my daughter sitting in awe watching her new brother. As if he might actually do something magical. It was hard to tear her away from him, and I was sure she could be doing better things than staring at an infant.

And then?

He’d smile and make her whole day. She’d found a spot where magic blossomed. And it changed her life in a way no one else will ever understand and I doubt she even gets the true depth of.

Surprisingly, those magical moments don’t vanish as your children grow, they just sometimes take you off guard because you’re not sitting there in awe anymore, waiting for one action to sweep you away.

Of course, given that the holidays just passed, I did have all these magical moments creep up on me, but this post is about magical spots and so I thought I’d share with you the spot in our house that holds the most magic.

It’s a spot that only exists for a brief moment and will knock us into a deep peaceful sleep.

It’s created unexpectedly when Superman gets a call in the middle of the night. His alarm goes off making the rest of us jump up like we’re on fire. He’s out the door with his super speed and we are left with one pulsating guilty thought; “He just left a warm spot that smells all safe like him.” Umhum, that’s what you’d be thinking too, admit it.

I won’t roll into it until I’m sure one of the kids won’t brave the cold floor to enjoy the magic of it. Either way I win.

If the little guy falls into the magical spot, I’ll listen to it sweep him away. His breaths grow quick and shallow, tinted by happy dreams. The magic from the spot pours out to me, reminding me of how innocent a child is.

If the older one wins the spot the smile never leaves her lips. Like she won the lottery. Her breathes will fill me with this weird pride that I never expect. She doesn’t sound like a child sleeping anymore. Each breath is deeper, taking her away to a magical place only she knows. And that reminds me of how fun it is to grow up. How intriguing and appealing the world was to discover.

Nothing is scary when we lay in Superman’s warm spot. It’s just perfect and happy; magical.

Of course, when I win the spot, I fall off into some deep coma that I wake up from feeling all guilty, cause while Superman is off saving people, shouldn’t I be doing something beside sleeping in his spot? Something, I don’t know, all heroic and magical? I suppose I could, but somehow, I think he purposely leaves this spot to lure us in. It’s a comfort for him to know we’re safe at home and when he finds one of us enjoying the magic of his spot, it somehow gives him that push he needs. That’s his moment and I wouldn’t want to take that away from him.

What magical place have you discovered?


I was watching what was probably the best hockey game I ever watched, last night. When I got thinking about how they looked like artists out there. Let me set the scene:

These 15-17 year olds are among the best in their province. It was clear they had all the knowledge they needed to play this game and they were applying what they learnt--daily. You could see them thinking out there. They would try something and watch how it was stopped, study how the defense brought it back into their favour. The same mistake was never made twice. Every shot was planned and appreciated. It was so cool to watch. When they scored, it was earned and it showed. Very little luck was involved, it was skill and brains at work. They weren't just taking penalties by accident, well... maybe a few, happens while we learn.

Since I am a writing addict, while I sat there on the edge of my seat it dawned on me that I used to write like this. Well not on skates, but I mean I used to Apply what I had Acquired in just this way: testing out the competition, watching my peers, trying things, pulling back and trying something else.

What surprised me was the words USED TO. I used to write like that. What happened? What was I doing differently?

Watcher says it best so I'll let him explain:

“I can do anything. I acquire knowledge, apply what I learn, and eventually it’s automatic. I don’t want a copy of your cell. I want... the real deal. I want my magic when I demand it. This is what makes me powerful... ” --Surviving the Storm
There is a certain power when we work in the automatic stage because it gives us freedom to break rules in a new way. I was reading Grammar Girl-- gosh I love her, she's so fun-- and I was hoping she could teach me something but somehow I have this knowledge, and so I watched how she applied it because somehow I don't always do this. Still, I smiled when she wrote something that implied that dead is dead-- don't qualify it. And the old me, the one applying this knowledge would have agreed. Because let's face it, dead is dead, she's right. However, the new powerful me who works in the automatic stage knew that it was possible to qualify dead. In fact, in The Hunt for Julia, Steve looks at the poor sap he just killed and... well here is the scene:

Steve laid Bobby by the shed but already it was too late. And by the looks of him, Steve was pretty sure this wasn’t the type of body Julia could bring back. Zombie came to mind. Yeah, leave these guys dead, Julia. --The Hunt for Julia
You see that is very dead as opposed to Julia's brother who is a soul hanging around his body trying to figure out how to get it breathing again. That is kinda dead. Of course I would never tell you they were kinda dead or really dead, I wouldn't break the rules to that extreme.

These are not the type of writing decisions I would have made while I was applying the rules. These are made because I applied them.

Don't get me wrong, you never stop learning, you always need to apply what you learn, but certain things become automatic. Like how to use a red herring, or describe a character, or where to put a question mark. Not long ago I had an editor show me how to use knowledge I already had in a new way and I was speechless. All I could do was apply it, over and over again, and marvel at the new power I had Acquired.

Take a look at your life. What skills did you Acquire that you Applied endlessly and now find that the Automatic stage gives it new magic?


I was walking to work. It's November in Southern Saskatchewan. It's most definitely winter, brrrr... but we have sun today, which makes everything feel perfect. I know it's going to be un-sunny and cold beyond my worst nightmares soon, probably tomorrow, I mean let's face it... but feeling the sun on my face today makes me happy in this moment and I like that. It's like a weird hope that grips you when you know it's hopeless.

This is what I saw today, and I think this little plant agrees with me:

Life pushing through the snow. Really, I don't have to say more.

Ever see something that pushes you to try harder? What inspires you to live? Now that is determination and  hope when really, there shouldn't be, but of course, hope is a bugger like that isn't it? Ever have hope grip you when deep down, you knew it was hopeless?

Looking Through the Archives For Inspiration

Time Jumping to 1917
Ok, so I don't get far from home (who does with fuel prices nuts like this, eh?)
But! I do travel through time and wanted to take you all with me.
Here is a 1917 photo from the public archives at work.
I love it, but what are these poor souls doing?
Anyone got any ideas that might kick off a really great story?

Well, it inspired me. Here's my little story to go with it.

How to Fight a Lightning God
We were all lined up, arms out, as if we might break out in a game of Red Rover at any moment. Truth was, we didn't play games anymore, not since the war anyway. Not that the war was a problem for us out here in Saskatchewan, no, it was the bugs and the damn gods that made our lives hell.

We stood our ground, like the priest taught us, waiting for the lightning god to stop threatening us. I did my best to ignore the skeeters, but when one got up my nose, I slapped it. Freddy panicked and grabbed my sleeve as if I might abandon him.

If one us was hit, we were all goners anyway. Jimmy looked fearless, even little Michael kept his jaw firm. Annabelle didn't give away her emotions either way. I glanced at the convent. The priest was palming his rosary. Lot of good that did me, I was the idiot in the middle. If one of these guys let go, I was going to get the full jolt. Maybe this was my punishment for that sip of fire whiskey I stole last week. I told Jimmy that shit was gonna end with us in hell.

"Hold tight." Jimmy hollered as the skies darkened and I suddenly understood what my brother meant in his last letter. There are some things we just don't ever need to see. Was he caught in a war between gods, too?

When The God of Lightning showed himself-- all dark and stormy-- Jimmy swore. Can't say I blamed him. I would have too, but to be honest, I had no more use of my tongue. Only thoughts in my little pea brain were that if this god wants his land back, we should hit the fields.

But then something magical happened. The winds picked up. The priest, he took a step forward. "The wind goddess has arrived. Stand strong." Did we have a choice?

Whatever the priest saw made his eyes bulge and he dropped the rosary that never left his hands. Damn, I was tempted to look, too, but the sting of her icy wind forced my face forward. We were gonna die.

I have to give those guys credit, not one of them let go. Not even after the lightning god retreated. 

Huh. The priest was right, our strange formation summoned The Goddess of Wind and she got rid of the jerk storming our lands. 

Nine in a line. Who would have thought something so simple could be so powerful? Until that moment, I thought the priest was nuts. How much did he know about these gods?

The wind blew and blew across the prairies, and still, we held on.

LOL. Poor souls. By the amount of wind we have around here lately, they're still holding strong! But it works- no lightning at all!

Do you have any idea what they were doing?

Where do you look for inspiration?

The Next Big Thing Blog Hop

Wanna play? Add in the title of your current WIP in the comments! You know you wanna.

I was tagged by Erin Kane Spock !!! Thank you so much. Check out how much fun this is- I answer questions, you read the answers. See how easy that is?

The Next Big Thing Blog Hop:
 Interview Questions:
What is your working title of your book?

Ghosts on the Prairies

Where did the idea come from for the book?
Oh a few ghostly places like a conversation with a friend, an image I couldn't shake that's been haunting me for twelve years, a picture that gave me nightmares, and some things inside me that snap when someone puts a keyboard under my fingers.

What genre does your book fall under? Historical Romantic Suspense. Heck yeah.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition? Well, um... I'd rather ask them first, those hot boys and girls are rather busy these days.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Antoine refuses to leave a woman he loves to a life of slavery, but after fighting Clement for her freedom, will her and her son fit into his world? 
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency? I'd let my agent handle things. I would if I had one.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript? I didn't count the minutes, hours or even days, but I'd say a few weeks. It was a writing binge, so everything is just a blur.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre? notaone comes to mind. Go figure. 
Who or what inspired you to write this book? My ancestors. They haunt me. Maybe a past life too, hard to say, I was binging at the time.
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest? Running through tunnels, burning crosses, ghosts in every possible form, churches exploding, bootlegging, drugs, and a romance that haunts my sleep.

Tag 5  writers to celebrate with!!! Go check out their worlds.
Victoria Lindstorm
Vicki Tremper 
Elizabeth Varadan 
Richard Hughes
Valentina Hepburn

Include the link of who tagged you and this explanation for the people you have tagged.

Rules for The Next Big Thing Blog Hop:

***Use this format for your post
***Answer the ten questions about your current WIP (work in progress)
***Tag five other writers/bloggers and add their links so we can hop over and meet them.

Ten Interview Questions for the Next Big Thing:
What is your working title of your book?
Where did the idea come from for the book?
What genre does your book fall under?
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
Include the link of who tagged you and this explanation for the people you have tagged.

HEY! Share the title of your WIP. For fun!!!! And! don't be shy to give us a one line synopsis.You know you wanna.