Sometimes pure magic escapes from the mouths of children and lucky is the writer who gets to hear it. As a writer, you need people around you who surprise you with their unique and special outlook on the world, and none is more unique than a child. For fantasy writers, children are a great source of inspiration. If you aren't lucky enough to be surrounded by such magic, then a child in an adult's body is sometimes just as good.
And that's where I'm the lucky one. My wife...
|Wifelette, in search of Faeries, Galicia, 2010|
I was in the back garden of our new house the other day, filling in holes and flattening high-points on the lawn. Our garden is about as big as a telephone box and always reminds me of the surface of the moon, only covered in grass. My eye was drawn to a slight rise in the far corner. Atop of this rise was a large stone I recognized. This was no ordinary stone, this was the stone I had found on a Galician beach and lovingly carried home to my wife. This stone was as big as my out-stretched hand. This stone had spent centuries being caressed into a beautiful, flat round gem and it had, until this moment, been acting as a doorstop inside the house. I had even glued rubber to its bottom so as not to scratch the floor.
So what is it doing in the corner of this green moonscape? Enter wife.
'Wifelette? What's that stone doing on yonder hill?' I nodded in its direction.
The reply was instantaneous, with no time to think of a clever answer or even recall a well-rehearsed one.
'It's so the Faeries have somewhere to shelter,' she said, so matter-of-factly.
'Oh,' I said, and carried on filling the holes in, occasionally stealing glances at the stone in the corner.
If I'm lucky, I get a glimpse of the child inside of my wife's head every couple of weeks. The last one was when she opened the window to allow a butterfly to escape.
'Good bye little butterfly!' she called after it, 'Thank you for coming to visit us!'
Now why would a butterfly feel the need to visit people?
Ah, inspiration. Here it comes again...
Where does your inspiration come from? Are you as lucky as I am?