Posts Tagged ‘magic’

One of my favorite reads is the terrific* Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews.  

Here’s the first book:

Magic Bites (Kate Daniels, #1) by Ilona Andrews

This husband and wife team also have a number of other great books, all starring kick-ass women willing to go to any lengths to save what needs saving.

The writing is excellent, the plots fresh and unpredictable in the best ways, and the characters, even the bad ones, are complex and well-drawn. (The authors are particularly adept at helping readers understand, and at times forgive, even the darkest characters.)

What’s not to love?

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So when I decided it was time to learn how to make a vintage-style travel postcard, I thought of Atlanta. Not the vibrant city it is now, but as Kate sees it after magic returns to the world, complete with mysterious denizens, vampire Casinos, witch jungles, shapeshifter Keeps, ruins and one lone high rise. 

Welcome to Atlanta.

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Original photos by Shashidhar SMorica PhamHidayat AbisenaMichael DenningCory GazailleToa HeftibaAustrian National Library & Christopher Alvarenga on Unsplash

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* Feel free to disagree with me, I don’t mind. Just know that I am right;)

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I’m not that great. Not really.

I mean, I’m mostly nice (with just the right amount of geeky snark), I make a pretty terrific brownie, and try to be a good partner, daughter, friend, neighbor, and co-worker, but I haven’t started a food distribution center to feed first responders this past year, or learned a new language or solved the medical problem that’s stumping a family member’s doctors or crossed off everything on my to-do list or single-handedly saved Ontario’s bees. At some level, I feel I should have done all of those things and more, but no.

I’m not Melinda Gates, Mother Theresa, Jane Goodall, José Andrés, Greta Thunberg, Jonas Salk, David Suzuki, world-changingly great. 

Sorry, supportive parental units. You tried.

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And please don’t take offense, but you probably aren’t either. I bet you are kind and thoughtful and a good hugger with excellent taste in music and a winning smile who looks out for pets and children, but you aren’t, say, Malala. By definition, most people aren’t. 

So I’m not extra special super amazing. You’re probably not extra special super amazing. And that’s ok.

Because together, we are magic.

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What makes a society great?

I submit to you that we regular folks have far more impact on society than we’re given credit for. The median is the best indicator of a curve’s central anchor, not the outliers.

Yes, innovation like the automobile, vaccines, or the personal computer can upend the ways we live and work, but those events happen within a context. 

That context is the one we build every day, with every action, big or small. Have I sent out Mothers’ Day cards, let myself off the hook for not sending those cards sooner,* waved at the neighbor, picked up that annoying plastic bag stuck in the cedar, fed the birds, voted, donated to a nonprofit doing good work, planted for pollinators, baked for our mechanic, followed traffic laws, ignored rabid commentary designed to monetize my attention at the expense of democracy, and generally done my best to help steer the ship to a better place?

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What we do matters. Maybe I’m not extra special super amazing, but that’s ok. I don’t have to be. I can still be part of something great.

We all can.

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Photo by Johannes Plenio on Unsplash

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* Sorry, Moms!

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Book Magic

Does this happen to you? Sometimes I read a book and it’s bad. Maybe I learn a few things about what not to do, but the characters are too stupid to live or the author wants me to root for an ass, the story ends too early or too late, or some essential plot point is broken. This drives me a little bit nuts.

I finish the book and am left not with the happy satisfying end of story feeling, but with bad book juju. Is that a thing? It should be.

I’m left a little cranky, and nothing is as it should be.

My drink is too hot or too cold. Lunch tastes weird. My clothes fit funny. Even cookies don’t have their usual delicious snap.

Until I find a new book, a good book, and all is right again:)

Just me?*

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Photo by Keenan Constance on Unsplash

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* Of course it’s not just me:) This is why authors work so hard to provide a satisfying reader experience. This is also why I reread books I know I love.

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Somehow this day has completely gotten away from me. I’m still cranking away on day job stuff, so I will leave you with this magic wand. Which I will need to finish off all the items still on my list:)

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One wand, maple. The magic is up to you.

Have fun getting things done!

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I always wanted to be able to draw. In high school, I had a friend who was a wizard with a pen. It was a form of magic, really, the translation of life to page. I could just about manage a creditable human eye and that’s it. It’s match was beyond me; the second one was never quite the same. I spent a good bit of my time in French class trying to improve (apologies to my French teacher) but eventually gave up and turned my hand to personalized on-demand poetry for my classmates. (It’s amazing what you can do with a hard deadline.)

I was better at the poetry. But I still wanted to draw, at least a little.

Thank you, computer graphics!

I’m not a wizard, but I was able to fill at least some of that gap with Illustrator, Photoshop and the like. And of course I write, another way to translate life to the page.

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In art and life, find a way to do the things that call to you. The path may not be the one you expected, but it can take you to your destination just the same.

My personalized monogram in the style of Tolkien’s glyph.

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Some photos beg to be story prompts, don’t you think?

Between every two pine trees there is a door leading to a new way of life.

― John Muir


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Google Maps Street View now features an up close and personal tour through the Warner Brothers version of Harry Potter’s Diagon Alley. If that’s not fun for a Sunday morning, I don’t know what is. Thanks go out to the magical imagination of  J.K. Rowling, and enjoy!

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Oh, this is wonderful. I’ve just gone to an underground lot in China, a restaurant in India, and an Arctic outpost. Wherever the Secret Door takes you, I doubt you will be disappointed.

Thank you, magic internet!

The Secret Door

The Secret Door is presented by Safestyle UK

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