Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing & Publishing ~

Tag Archives: Magic

Sticking with Magic and Creation …


magic of writing Last Wednesday’s post was called, Our Conversation Moves through Grammar toward Learning and Magic . . .

It got a bit longer than most posts on this blog…

And, it attracted a comment:

“Well, I was enspelled when you introduced a word on this post I had never heard of! And now I wonder if anyone knows of any usage of this word, ‘enspell’, in any literature ancient or modern?

“I also do believe that this statement is crucial in talking about writing: ‘…something Magic, deep inside, moves them to relate creations …’

“For me ‘Magic’ is another word for the creative spark which comes from a place where we originate in Creation.”

I was truly enspelled by the last sentence in that comment. At first, the syntax seemed a bit skewed; but, then, it cleared up…

The magic, the creative spark comes from where we come from—“where we originate in Creation”—where we start our journey…

So…

If we want to keep the magic flowing, we need to be especially clear about why we’re here…

And…

When we’re operating from the space that gives us our purpose, we keep the magic flowing…

O.K….

I did what I could—I’m still battling a wicked cold…

I’ll go find a nice picture for this post then lay back down…

So, is there anyone out there who knows of any usage of ‘enspell’ in any literature, ancient or modern? :-)
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Our Conversation Moves through Grammar toward Learning and Magic . . .


We’ve been having a conversation on this blog for 5 of the last 16 days—every Monday and Wednesday… Blog Conversations

The last go-round went into the shades of meaning of two phrases and how they lend themselves to explaining different approaches to our experience of reading.

I ended up saying:

Reading, with concentration and empathy, will help you escape into books as well as escaping with books—you can live inside the book; and, you can internalize the book’s world to help shield you from
“The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune…

Which lead on to two comments, the first from Australia, the second from England (I’m over here in the U.S.A.…):

“The only grammar I learnt at school came from learning a foreign language. I learnt how to write by reading a lot and then under the care of a wonderful teacher, who, every day of my school life, asked for a paragraph of creative prose from each member of the class. We always wrote it in class and then read out what we had written. One day a student stood up and asked: ‘Why do you make us write such unhappy pieces?’ The teacher smiled and said: ‘I have never given you any topic to write about. You have written what you are feeling.’ It was true: we were confused adolescents. We escaped into our own little worlds and the rest of the class escaped into the small worlds we had created…we had never heard of transitive or intransitive :-)”

“I suppose I knew about transitive and intransitive when I did A level English but those phrases about books can be interpreted just as well without understanding grammar. After a while some readers just seem able to feel how to write, and read, without knowing too much grammar, which is why the new emphasis on grammar rules in Junior School English is a waste of time. By all means teach punctuation and discuss nouns, adjectives and adverbs, but what else do most people need? I agree with reciting tables (and poetry). Children will find that useful when, like me, they have forgotten most of the grammar they learned at school.”

So, before I add to the conversation proper, I’ll explain the title of this post—Our Conversation Moves through Grammar toward Learning, and Magic . . .

I got “learning” and “magic” from the etymology of Grammar:

“late 14c., ‘Latin grammar, rules of Latin’, from Old French gramaire ‘grammar; learning’, especially Latin and philology, also ‘(magic) incantation, spells, mumbo-jumbo'”

So…

Both of those comments (from Australia and England) came from accomplished authors…

The first noting that grammar was only an experience related to learning a foreign language and the second putting grammar in the closet of things not worth a tremendous amount of attention…

I’ve even heard, from an English teacher in college, that the grammar we use in English is taken directly from Latin—weird, eh?

Yet, the first commenter brought up a glowing remembrance of writing creative paragraphs (an implied use of grammar) and the second made reference to understanding the structure of language by Feel, through experiencing it, while forgetting any grammar learned…

I am certain there are folks who spent many hours of their lives studying grammar, and continue to think about it for hours, and use what they learned and pondered—building a written piece from its bare skeleton out—applying the flesh as a mere necessity to hold the bones…

And, there are a flock of folks who are somewhere between that last group and our two accomplished authors…

Then, there are the crowd who one might call language fundamentalists—blowing themselves up in public over rigid ideas of what words are for…

Sure, there are some who write things poorly—concatenations nearly impossible to read—swerving all over the highway of meaning…

And, finally, those who put words down because something Magic, deep inside, moves them to relate creations that can enspell us into other worlds…

So, from confused and sad adolescents, pouring out their hearts, paragraph after paragraph, to those who’ve “forgotten” their “grammar” yet still tell stories—moving through Grammar toward Learning and Magic…

By the way, my favorite definition of Magic, from the Oxford Dictionary of English is:

very effective in producing the desired results

I’m sure I’ll eventually move away from so much etymologizing…

Still, once again, we’ve had some sort of “conversation” here…

And, if you feel like adding your thoughts and/or feelings to it, do, please, leave a comment :-)
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If you don’t see a way to comment (or, “reply”) after this post, try up there at the top right…
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Visit The Story Bazaar
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For Private Comments or Questions, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com

Friday Fantasy ~ Number Twenty-Three


Island Saga

~ There were two men on the island.

One had been sent to make sure conditions were safe for others of his tribe to settle here.

One had been on the island for years and now had to convince the other to leave

~~~

Sona had arrived on the island in his canoe the day before.

He’d slept and eaten some newly-caught fish.

He was ready for exploration.

He seemed to sense another’s presence but couldn’t be sure

~~~

Demna was intimately aware of the other man’s presence.

He stayed distant as he prepared his first stratagem

~~~

Sona began with a tour of the circumference of the island, weaving into and out from the tree-cover to pick up signs of animal tracks that waves would obliterate.

He took his time and finished the tour just before sundown.

He’d taken note of five kinds of small animal and discovered three kinds of fruit tree.

He’d also stopped at noon, eating his fill of fruit.

Halting for the night, he built a platform above a fire—drying fish while discouraging innocent theft.

~~~

Demna drew on his powers

He stayed distant as he projected the sound of a large animal charging through the trees near Sona.

~~~

Sona woke and rolled to a crouch.

He pulled a burning log from the fire and stood.

He listened

The sound stopped then began again, nearer

Strange

Not real?

The sound stopped again

Sona waited

Nothing

He pulled the dried fish from the platform and packed it away.

He built-up the fire, letting it begin to burn the platform.

He walked closer to the water and lay down to rest

~~~

Demna began planning a more complex stratagem

~~~

Sona woke to the water soaking his legs.

He waded further in and caught three fish.

He built-up the fire a bit more to dry off and cooked and ate the fish.

Then, he packed-up and began deeper exploration

~~~

Demna began stirring up the insects and urged them towards the intruder

~~~

Sona was thinking about the sounds he’d heard in the night and had just concluded they were nothing to worry about; though, he was much more alert—hearing a dull roar

Suddenly, he was attacked by the largest swarm of insects he’d ever encountered.

They were in his hair and beard and ears, and up his nose, before he could do anything about it.

He quickly surveyed his surroundings and saw a fallen tree.

It was half dried-out but not hollow.

He went to it, enduring the bites and scratches, retrieved his fire-making tools, and brought the tree to a smoldering heat.

The smoke began to disperse some of the insects.

He stood in the cloudy heat for a few minutes then strode away, knowing the insects wouldn’t follow him due to his smoky smell.

He stopped after a bit and thought—Unnatural—like the sounds last night

He waited till the insects had completely dispersed then returned to the tree and quenched its burning.

~~~

Demna was cursing.

He had to approach the man more closely—use powers that needed proximity—proximity that had the potential to reveal his presence

~~~

Sona was back to exploring and to thinking over the strange sounds and stranger insect swarm

He found a plant that gave a sap that relieved the insect bites—though, some of the swelling would last awhile

A wizard?

Heard of them

Must start tracking

~~~

The two men began a dance across and around the island—each possessed of powers the other lacked—Demna’s other-worldly, Sona’s quite practical

~~~

After three days—days that had worn Demna to a frazzle and had let Sona map-out most of the island—the two men were very near each other

Sona could smell Demna.

Demna was ready for his most powerful magic.

Crashing sounds in the trees

Sona ready with the spear he’d fashioned the day before

A large creature broke through the nearest trees, stood on its hind legs, and roared at Sona.

Sona stood stock-still

The creature maintained its erect posture and began a constant low growling

Sona still stood

The creature, still erect, rushed him.

Sona aimed and hurled the spear at what he knew was the wizard’s heart

~~~

Years later, he told the tale, yet again, to his grandchildren—happy young beings, growing up on a magical island

Copyright, 2014, Alexander M Zoltai
Read More Friday Fantasy

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