An Antidote to Disenchantment

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“If I had influence with the good fairy who is supposed to preside over the christening of all children, I should ask that her gift to each child in the world be a sense of wonder so indestructible that it would last throughout life, as an unfailing antidote against the boredom and disenchantments of later years, the sterile preoccupation with the things that are artificial, the alienation from the sources of our strength.

Rachel Carson, The Sense of Wonder

So far this year has proven to be immensely encouraging as far as writing goes. I’ve had a few early successes (an Honorable Mention in the Writer’s of the Future contest for my first ever short story, a story published in Wyngraf, and some forward momentum with my third story that I hope will end with another acceptance). It’s given me the confidence I needed to call myself a writer.

But with that confidence gained, it’s time to step out and write what I feel my heart is being called to write.

I won’t say too much about this project at this point in time. It is a middle grade fantasy. The idea for it began when I was reading through Landmarks by Robert Macfarlane at the end of last year. The themes in the story have to do with disenchantment and re-enchantment, a loss of true identity and meaning, the need for silence, and awakening ourselves to truth, goodness, and beauty.

I have the plot and the characters down. This summer I’ll be working through all of the planning and elaborating so that when school begins and I’m more able to focus, I can get to work on the writing.

As this is my main focus, and this is what I feel called to do at this moment, I will not be focusing on writing short stories or submitting them to markets. I will not be researching agents or publishing houses. The focus is solely on the writing process and on finding my authentic voice for this story without distraction.

Loss is the tune of our age, hard to miss and hard to bear. Creatures, places and words disappear, day after day, year on year. But there has always been singing in dark times – and wonder is needed now more than ever. ‘To enchant’ means both to make magic and to sing out. So let these spells ring far and wide; speak their words and seek their art, let the wild world into your eyes, your voice, your heart.

Robert Macfarlane, The Lost Spells

It is time to bring back wonder. It is time to re-enchant the world. It is time to bring back the light.

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