Insecure Writers Support Group, magic, the writer's journey

#IWSG: Magic Most Wild…

Insecure Writers Support Group BadgeFunny thing. I never stopped believing in magic. That desire to taste mystery never left me. It lived inside me when, as a young child, I reenacted Little Red Riding Hood over and over in front of the fireplace in our living room, before a captive audience of parents who must’ve been very tired of the tale. It lived inside of me when, as a tween, I wandered the forests of home, dreaming up stories and sowing soul-seeds that would one day grow into the stories I write today. And when, as a teenager, most throw such things away, I found myself beginning the pages of novels I would never finish, tales that blended fantasy and happily-ever-afters.

In college, I wrote poetry, because genre fiction was forbidden, and I couldn’t stop penning lines about magic. But as a poet, they let me write about magic, because in poetry everything is imagery and metaphor and so I could once again taste the way those sweet words burst again my tongue—like wild strawberries fresh from the vine, those words.

And then came decision time. I chose graduate school. And not just any graduate school. I chose the children’s literature M.F.A. program at Hollins University. And there, I spread my wings and wrote the fantasy stories I’d longed to write.

After graduate school, I found myself strongly drawn to adult and new-adult paranormal and fantasy romance and have since shifted toward those genres, combining my two great loves:  fantasy and romance. I fell hard for the magic and the swoony kisses. I’m fascinated by faeries and beings who are larger than life—dark elves, fierce warriors, witches who worship the wild earth.

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I write what I love, and what I love is a blend of fantasy and romance. Sometimes I lean more into the romance. Sometimes I lean into the fantasy side of things, and the romance is a golden thread woven into that tapestry of magic. I explore the magic of the earth, of gemstones, of plants, of the moon, of the forests, of the cottage garden, but most of all, I explore the magic that sleeps inside each of us, waiting to be reawakened.

Many of us have forgotten that magic. But I have clung to mine. Through the ups and downs of my life, it has sustained me. It has called me out of the darkness, a candle burning in the window of an inn on a long and winding road on a night when the rain falls in sheets and the wind howls like a banshee.

Magic is the heart of each of my stories because magic is my heart.

What about you? What genre do you write in, and why?

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16 thoughts on “#IWSG: Magic Most Wild…”

  1. Such a beautiful post! Magic is something I’ve always been drawn to in my own life, too. (Was obsessed with witches, mythology, and the paranormal at a very young age. Those obsessions are probably still evident in the comics I create, LOL.) Honestly can’t imagine going through life without something fantastical intriguing me. Fantasy and romance are always really fun genres, so I think it’s awesome how you blend them together the way you do!

    1. I, too, became intrigued by witches and magic at a young age, and I’ve always loved nature, so it’s probably not surprising that I’m walking a Pagan path and penning fantasy-romance inspired by nature and magic. Thanks, Heather! 🙂

  2. My genre is mystery/horror. Always with a little bit of magic. Because that’s what stirs those suppressed possibilites in the recesses of our minds!

  3. Awesome post. I love magic and fantasy too. I have a day job so can’t write regularly for myself, but have continued to read and write fantasy over the years. It’s great that you were able to write in college and follow your dreams so much as you have. I had to be more practical but hold onto my dreams too.

    1. Natalie, even just a few words penned here and there helps keep the magic alive. I worked three jobs for a while, have done the nine-to-five thing, too, and I know how hard it is to find time and energy for creative pursuits. I’d love to hear more about your work and who some of your favorite authors are! I’m glad you’re holding onto your dreams!

    1. Thanks, Morgan. Where are some of your favorite places to travel? I was just in Germany’s Black Forest, and it was definitely inspiring! I hope to go to Ireland soon, but not sure when it will be in the budget.

  4. I’m writing fantasy with lots of magic right now, though my genre of choice so far was erotica.
    But I like lots of genres and I wish I can explore them all someday.

    1. It’s great that you’re interested in so many different genres. You can explore them as you evolve as a writer over time. Fantasy with lots of magic is my favorite, so you’ve definitely piqued my interest!

    1. Aw, thanks, Eden. It feels great to be so deeply engaged in my characters, my worlds, the magic of my stories. And to get to explore magic, the god/goddess, nature, mythology, plant/herb/gemstone symbolism, etc., in my work. 🙂

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