Thanks to Pen-L Publishing for this lovely cover of my soon-to-be released novel Freefall: A Divine Comedy. 

“These fascinating characters will fill your imagination, defying expectations about aging, art, and what truly matters in life.”

—Laurie Ann Doyle, author of World Gone Missing.

“This is an enchanting story about old friends reuniting as they struggle with thoughts on aging, religion, motherhood, men, art, and death. A delightful trip in every respect, with plenty of surprises and laughs along the way. A Divine Comedy, indeed!”

—Mark Willen, author of the novels Hawke’s Point and Hawke’s Return.

Freefall will appear this summer. 

Do visit the rest of my blog!

 

 

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Writing’s Magic

The word magic gets thrown around loosely and can have many different meanings, depending on the context. For a child, the world must seem forever magical as s/he explores and constantly makes new discoveries. Even for adults who have retained their childlike enthusiasm for life this state still exists. Seeing sunrises or sunsets that astound viewers with color variations is just one example, but so, too, is the miracle of tiny, dried-out seeds eventually producing plants that can nourish us. Those who have done a little gardening know how magical this process can be.

But even as I describe a few ways in which magic makes its appearance on a daily basis, I’m doing something quite extraordinary. Through arranging letters on the page, I create words that then call up associations and images in a reader’s mind. Everyone has seen a sunrise or sunset and has visual memories of them. Yet not only do I make such things appear for readers, but I also can weave these words together in a way that they make a statement. They make sense! And it isn’t just writers who have this special power. We all do.

There is a difference, though, between words that make statements, that relay information, and those that conjure up other worlds. Again, one needn’t be a writer to do this. The oral tradition has a very long history, and storytellers/bards had an important role in entertaining and instructing their listeners. While many singer-artists still carry on this tradition, it’s also broadened to include those of us who, metaphorically but some actually, take pen in hand and write a wide variety of poems and stories.

Writing, then, in itself is magical. It opens us to possibilities we may never have considered if someone hadn’t taken the risk and dipped into his/her memory bank, unleashing settings, situations, and characters, both familiar and unfamiliar, depending on how much the person’s imagination was activated. I’ll never write another sentence without being aware that these letters I’m plunking onto the computer screen are amazing in their power to tantalize, a great response to those who may think what we’re doing as writers is not magical. It’s true that anyone can write sentences. But not everyone can create new worlds!

 

by lilyionamackenzie

Lily Iona MacKenzie sprouted on the Canadian prairies under cumulous clouds that bloomed everywhere in Alberta's big sky. They were her first creative writing instructors, scudding across the heavenly blue, constantly changing shape: one minute an elephant, bruised and brooding. The next morphing into a rabbit or a castle. As an adult, Lily continues to seek instruction about fiction from clouds. Just as they provide the earth with much-needed water, she believes that stories have a similar function, preparing the mind to receive new ideas. Magical realism pulses at the heart of her narratives, her work celebrating the imagination.

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