Nature of Magic Blogfest


Woot! Today is the day! The Nature of Magic Blogfest has arrived. Get your eyes ready and your brain prepared to feast on the marvels of magic.

Gotta say, Tessa and I have been anxiously awaiting everyone’s entries!

As a reminder, here’s the task:

Write or share something you’ve already written that, to you, shows the nature of magic. It can be an excerpt from your WIP, something you’ve written especially, poetry, whatever strikes your fancy. It just needs to show the nature of magic as it exists for you or for those you write about.

EDIT: Unless you’re writing poetry, try to keep the entries somewhere between 250-1000 words.

The rules:

  • Sign up on the linky list (it’s at Tessa’s blog). 
  • Choose or write a piece about the Nature of Magic and post it on your blog on March 26th. That’s a Saturday – we’ll go easy on you and say it has to be up by Sunday night (so last chance midnight on the 27th – that’s when the linky list closes, too)(mind you, that’s midnight Central European Time). Just be aware that if you’re very late your entry might be missed, so please do let us know via comments once you’ve posted
  • Check out what others think of magic and give them some comment love
  • Come back on Wednesday March 30th to see the five “finalists” (chosen by us) and vote on your favourite. Votes will be open till April 2nd, winner(s) announced April 3rd
  • The prizes:

    … 1st choice: Chapter critique from both of us + $ 10 Amazon Voucher
    … 2nd choice: Chapter critique from one of us + $ 10 Amazon Voucher
    … 3rd choice: Chapter critique from one of us
    Mind you, we’re not professional editors… think of us as thorough proof readers, lol. 

    Good luck everyone!

    Here’s my entry:

    “All we need is a spell.” I whirl to the bookshelf and select my favorite spell book bound in leather and well worn from multiple readings. The pages are sticky—that’s what I get for reading it while eating a candy apple that one time—and they crinkle beneath my fingers.

    “Don’t be silly, Anne. That stuff isn’t real.”

    I ignore her comment and flip through the pages, searching for a pact spell. It allows the members to dodge questions and keeps intruders from getting suspicious. What we’re planning must stay secret. No. Matter. What.

    The oily scent of ink mingles with the pungent leather and wafts toward my nose. I take in a deep breath of it and smile.

    “Hey, I was looking for this.” Mary finds the scarf I borrowed and checks to see if it’s still intact. Geez, I’m not that careless.

    “Yeah, sorry. I meant to give that back.”  I bat my eyelashes.

    “Uh-huh. In what century?”

    I barely hear her. The spell I want is staring me right in the face. “Here it is. Look.” I hold the book up so she can see.

    She frowns at the page. “Great. Now what?”

    “Now we chant it.” I set the book on the floor and gather my collection of pillar candles. Within seconds, I have them arranged on the rug, one for each direction on the compass and one for each element. “North, south, east, west. Earth, fire, wind, and water.”

    “It just looks like a circle. Does it really matter where you put them?” She joins me on the floor, folding her legs under her.

    “Yes. It really matters.” I glare at her and strike a long stick match. The bitter scent of sulfur tickles my throat. I light each wick, calling out each name as I go. “North, south, east, west. Earth, fire, wind, water.”

    Our puggle puppies, Polly and Cass, stare at us from their beds. They don’t like fire, even if it’s from a small candle flame.

    “You already said that.” Her tone sounds flat, like she’s already bored.

    “Shhh. It helps organize the chant.”

    Mary folds her arms. “Like you know about organizing.”

    “Don’t block yourself off. It won’t work if you don’t believe.”  I blow out the match. Smoke streams from the tip in a serpentine dance.

    “But I don’t,” she complains.

    I lean back on my heels. “You promised.”

    “Ugh, all right.” She slaps her hands on her thighs.

    “Good.” I shift directly opposite her and read from the book. “Take my hands and close your eyes.”

    We hold hands and I chant.

    “Four elements of life, I beseech you. Hear our plea.

    Let our thirteenth birthday be a great assembly.”

    “Is that really in the book?”

    I open an eye to see Mary peering at me. “Shhh. I’m personalizing it.”

    She sighs.

    “Close your eyes.” I continue.

    “Four elements of life, it is our wish, it is our plea,

    That our birthday planning stays under lock and key.

    Four elements of life, it is our wish, it is our plea,

    That our birthday is filled with magic and revelry!”

    “Now, say it with me.” I squeeze Mary’s hands.

    “I don’t remember what you said.”

    “You’re kidding.”

    She shrugs. “What?”

    I let go of her hands, snatch a notepad and pen from the desk drawer, and scribble the chant. I pass the paper to her. It smells like bubble gum.

    “Gee, thanks.” She holds it by the corner. Her eyes scan the page. “Your handwriting is terrible.”

    I frown. “We can’t be fighting while we do this. Something might go wrong.”

    She throws up her hands. “Oh, great. Now you’re telling me something bad will happen. You shouldn’t mess with this stuff anyway. It’s dangerous.” Her mouth puckers.

    “How can you be afraid of it if you don’t think it’s real?” I resist the urge to fold my own arms.

    She flicks her hair over her shoulder. “Just get on with it, okay?”

    “Say the spell with me. Repeat it three times, that’s all.” I hold out my hands and give an encouraging smile.

    Her hands are cold and clammy, though the room is warm.

    We close our eyes and chant the spell. At the end of the third round, I open my eyes and let out a long breath. “Wasn’t so bad, right?”

    “Yeah.” Mary nods. She rubs her hands together. “So, is that it?”

    “I—”

    The room goes ice cold. The beds, desk, chair, light fixtures, everything starts shaking. Our cell phones ring and the alarm clock buzzes. A gust of wind whips our hair into knots and sends a stack of loose papers swirling in circles. The candles blow out, darkening the room. Cass and Polly howl and dash under Mary’s bed.

    “Oh, crap, we did something wrong.” Mary’s voice tremors with fear. She dives for the floor.

    “Ack!” A paperback novel swoops for my head. I duck. It ricochets off my mattress and slides toward Cass. She leaps in the air, smashing into the box spring above him. Polly barks at her, then the book.

    “Stop it, Anne!” Mary swats an airborne sweater before it wraps around her face to smother her.

    “I don’t know how.” I grab her arm and drag her toward the door. “Let’s get out of here.”

    We huddle by the door and Mary keeps watch for random projectiles while I jiggle the handle.

    “It’s locked.” I twist and twist, but the thing won’t turn.

    By now, the swirling wind, wonky electronics, and yelping dogs have fried my brain. I can’t think beyond, please stop, please stop, please stop.

    “Anne? Mary? Knock off that racket. I need to concentrate.” Mom’s bellowing voice is louder than the commotion in our room. “I mean it. Don’t make me come up there.”

    What’s worse, a poltergeist or Mom?

    I stand and put my hands up. “Four elements of life, hear our plea. Stop destroying our room, I beseech thee!”

    The chaos intensifies. The dogs go crazy. Mary cries.

    “Stop it, stop it, stop it!” I slam my fists against my thighs.

    The wind stops. Everything falls to the floor as gravity once again takes over. Our phones stop ringing. The alarm clock dies.

    I smooth my tangled hair—like it’s possible—and try to catch my breath. Mary is still whimpering by the door. I kneel next to her. “It’s okay. It’s over.”

    She gulps. “We’re never doing anything like that again.”

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    35 comments on “Nature of Magic Blogfest

    1. Margo says:

      Oh I love it! All sorts of great details in this, from the scarf to the dogs to the smell of the striking match and the note that smells like bubble gum. The characters are very distinctive and likable and the magic gives me chills!

    2. Trisha says:

      I will totally be posting this tomorrow!! 😀 I don’t know why this blogfest kept falling off my “to-blogfest” list, but it did! I’m glad I got reminded of it 🙂

    3. MorningAJ says:

      Oh I love that. And it’s left me really wanting to know what happens at the party as a result. Great tale.

      Mine’s up here.

    4. So excited to read more of your work! Wish there was more. I love how you incorporated all the senses (smell, taste, touch, sight, and sound). It transported me right to the moment with Anne and Debbie.

      The line, “What’s worse, poltergeist or Mom?” made me chuckle. These girls, especially Anne, were fun and likable. Hope to see more from them in the future.

      I can’t wait to read posts from other participants and look forward to seeing what people think of mine.

      Thanks for sharing and hosting this blogfest.

    5. lexcade says:

      YAY! ❤ that story 🙂

    6. Tessa Conte says:

      YAY! Can’t believe it’s time for our ‘fest already, can you believe we have almost 50 entries??!!??

      Love your magic piece! Just goes to show you’d better not underestimate magic… “The spirits that I called…” and all that… (I’ve always loved the Sorcerer’s Apprentice – Goethe had a way with words, he really did).

      I’m slowly working my way through the entries and they’re absolutely fantastic. We’re going to have quite the job choosing the finalists.

      T.x

    7. Mary W. says:

      I really like your entry. I felt as though I were there in the room with the girls experiencing everything! Thanks for posting, and thanks for co-creating this blogfest!

    8. great entry. i was worried along with them.

    9. I love this! I totally want to read more! I especially loved that the wind and commotion picked up when she tried to beseech the elements to stop 🙂 Go elements – teach that silly girl who is boss 🙂

    10. Vicki Tremper says:

      Yeah, I look forward to more of this story, too. Is this the one you’ve been editing this week?

    11. Hehe, this is adorable. It definately made the pagan in me smile. Good luck.

      ❤ Gina Blechman

    12. Akoss says:

      Oh my! Laura! You totally went Wicca!
      Love it!!!!

    13. Funny entry…those girls are going to regret this, I think. I loved the line, “I blow out the match. Smoke streams from the tip in a serpentine dance.” Nicely written.
      Nancy
      N. R. Williams, The Treasures of Carmelidrium.

    14. Hi, Laura,

      I so enjoyed this. The characters are fun and believable and the dialogue was snappy. Well done.

    15. Lindz says:

      Totally intense.
      I love the girls’ innocence, and the debate whether mom or a poltergeist is more threatening. Totally a child’s thought.

    16. stu says:

      There’s a wonderfully chaotic edge lent to this by the bickering, as well as catching the sort of sub-Wicca feel that girls that age might actually experiment with really well.

    17. Donna Hole says:

      Fabulous 🙂

      These girls, and their experimental use of wicca, were totally believeable. I loved the vivid details. I was so caught up in the story, I could see myself as poor Mary, in a panic and wondering how to make it all stop.

      And that line “whats worse, a poltergeist or mom” was so 13 year old. I see Anne instigating so mcuh trouble, and I can see the reader riveted to the page, wondering how she get out of THIS scrape every time.

      Thanks for co-hosting this blogfest. Its so much fun.

      ……….dhole

    18. Awesome! And what a great blogfest idea! Thanks for hosting…

    19. Dawn Embers says:

      Good to see a spell entry, even if it causes chaos. Well done. I like the character and the small, childish details like reading a spell book while eating a caramel apple. You have a good use of the senses as well, with scent of bubble gum on paper and what not. Overall, loved this entry.

    20. pat bowne says:

      Very fun! The setting details made me feel I was there and the fact that something goes wrong makes me want to know what’s going to happen in the rest of the story. It sounded spot-on for thirteen-year-olds.

      Are these the comments in which we’re supposed to let you know we’ve posted? Because I have, at http://raosyth.com/blog/?p=140 .

    21. lbdiamond says:

      Lots of great magic happening!!!!! Great job, everyone! 😀

    22. Yay! Oh this is too much fun, you should do it again. My post is up and I’m so proud of myself for being clever enough to figure out how to embed the link! (I know, it’s the little stuff that keeps me going!) 🙂
      Anyway, looking moving on to read others!
      Thanks for Blogfest!

    23. Yay! Too much fun, plus I learned how to embed a link (yay me–it’s the little stuff, really!)
      Anyway, thanks for hosting such a fun blogfest, I’m off to read other posts!

    24. Ciara Knight says:

      Wow, Laura. This is fantastic! I mean, really! Love it!

    25. What a great excerpt. I love this phrase, “By now, the swirling wind, wonky electronics, and yelping dogs have fried my brain. I can’t think beyond, please stop, please stop, please stop.”

      Completely resonates with me! Thanks for hosting such a rocking blogfest.

    26. Kerri Cuevas says:

      Great job! That story sounds fantastic. The characters sound fun and I like their little chant. Good luck with the blogfest 🙂

    27. Indigo says:

      That was a pure delight! Thank you for sharing. (Hugs)Indigo

    28. Blake says:

      Thank you for co-hosting this blogfest. It’s the first one I’ve participated in, and what an experience! The theme has brought out a most fascinating range of stories.

      The magic you describe in your own entry reminds me of the stories I used to read when I was little, about teen witches and warlocks and what they got up to – and, of course, the lesson that such things should not be trifled with.

      Blake

    29. What fun! I found myself smiling at first at their banter, then fearful for them when the spell created so much havoc.

      Great magic! that rebel, Olivia
      P.S. Thanks for hosting!

    30. Great back and forth between them. And how cool when they both took is seriously. Loved it! This is my kind of magic.

    31. fictionrulz says:

      What a great story 🙂 I could just see it happening. Please stop by and visit to see my entry http://gladiatorspen.blogspot.com

    32. Laura says:

      What a fantastic read. Can’t wait to read more of your stuff – I got completely hooked into this story from the get-go 🙂
      Lx

    33. RosieC says:

      Poor kids, playing with magic! I hate it when things go wrong. I wonder what the trouble was. And, honestly, even though it stopped, my guess is that the trouble’s not over, huh? I would definitely read more of this 🙂

      Thanks for hosting. It’s been fun!

    34. Amalia T. says:

      I love all the details in this excerpt– the smells, the sticky pages, the atmosphere. You can see the room and what’s happening in it perfectly. Really well illustrated!

    35. Hahaha! how cute! And I love that she “personalized” it. 🙂

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