Archive for February 21st, 2012

When writing stories for the very young you don’t have to look much further than your own back garden for inspiration for magic because nature is the forgotten magic we take for granted.

As you may have gathered my son who is not yet three has been one of the greatest inspirations in my life because he has given the opportunity to see the joy of life through open eyes again.  Toddlers are marvelous at pointing out things that stay the same and are intrigued when things change.  It is like going back in time to when people invented reasons for natural events like the rain and the sun fading at night.

When we go for a walk on the estuary you and I may see washed up rubbish but my son sees treasure and fascinating objects.  De – frosting the car is also amazing because the frost turns into water and that is amazing.  Rainbows are amazing, especially when they are caused by a glass photo frame in the house.  Spiders are scary but even more fantastic because they shed their skin.  When the sky is blue and the sun is shining that is fantastic.  Snow is amazing because you can make magic snowmen.

If you imagine seeing the world from the eyes of a two-year old you see the beauty and appreciate nature and take an interest in birds, bugs and puddles again.  My son is always muddy and jumps in puddles – he also enjoys the challenge of walking along hay bales and showing how well he can balance.

I day-dream a lot these days and see magic in everything – my gran used to appreciate this magic and would often tell us tales about fairies and show us places that looked like good fairy homes.  I see the magic now and write it into my fairy stories and my gran lives for ever in my mind. I am old enough now to have experienced the real world and all of the positives and negatives relating to it but once in a while it is wonderful to transport yourself to the magic world around us – it doesn’t cost anything and it can make you smile from deep in your heart.

Very young children seem to naturally personify everything so all objects have a personality – my son is intrigued by owls and has a favourite owl soft toy he sleeps with at night – obviously this owl has stopped being nocturnal for the time being.

When my son sees puppets he knows that they aren’t really alive but runs away when he is being chased by one attached to me and he likes chasing back.  We have a pop up book of the Chronicles of Narnia – Alistair has always been fascinated and scared by the big pop up picture of Aslan.  I can’t wait to share the full story with him when he is old enough – at the moment he is too busy living his own life story to sit still for too long.

The real magic is actually inside us and has probably enabled people in awful situations to survive with their mind in tact.  Without imagination there is no hope, dreams, ideas and inventions.  Sometimes imagination invents the object that we have to find the technology to achieve it – an example of this would be the ability to watch videos and see people on your phone – like communication in Star Trek.

Everything we watch, touch, read, use and see has been invented by some body who was probably day dreaming and had a sudden rush of genius resulting in something that changed the world. Of course this leads to the question of who invented nature?  Once in a while try to be a toddler and rejoice in the simple magic around you – jump in puddles, roll down sand dunes or get so muddy that you have to get undressed before you go into the house.  The world is magic and beautiful – enjoy!!!


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February 2012

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