A Summer Book List

Hello again! Now that summer is in full swing, with unexpectedly good weather here in Edinburgh, I thought a change of theme to something more jolly would be fitting – hence the new theme! When there is a nice day – which for me tends to be a fresh, gentle breeze, partly cloudy sky and temperature around 14 degrees – I am drawn out to the bookshops (Waterstones and Blackwells are the two nearest to me; both are useful for different things). I always go to Blackwells first, since it is the closest to where I stay. For a few years now I’ve been obsessed by Japanese culture and the Japanese language, following my travels there a few years back. I have failed miserably at finding a teacher, despite having tried to do 50/50 language tuition over the internet with someone who has disappeared in a manner of speaking (I am too repulsive, even over the internet?!), so my Japanese is basic at best. The thing I feel quite good at though is, despite having no teacher, I’ve learnt all of the hiragana and katakana characters,  and am also building up a good knowledge of the kanji characters, of which there are considerably more.

Being a major anime and manga fan, I am naturally drawn to Japanese names. They catch my eye. I realised this as I was in Blackwells, and the works of Haruki Murakami, a previously unknown writer to me, stared at me from their throne on the third shelf down from the sign ‘Fiction’. Amongst his most known works are The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, 1Q84, and Norwegian Woods. I haven’t bought these books yet, however I’m slowly building up my Summer Book List:

  • The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, Haruki Murakami (£8.99)
  • Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, Haruki Murakami (£8.99)
  • A new Japanese textbook which is much friendlier and easier to follow (£63.99)
  • The Kodansha Japanese Kanji Dictionary (£55)

Unfortunately I haven’t got £137 to spare on books. Life is tragic, especially the part about literature. Literature is tragic, especially the part about life. Dum tee-dum…

 

Daily Prompt: BYOB(ookworm)

Write the blurb for the book jacket of the book you’d write, if only you had the time and inclination.

Photographers, artists, poets: show us BOOKS.

 A short one today. Sorry about another late post also – I couldn’t get on one any sooner!

I have often envisaged a very peculiar scenario whereby I pick up a book, open it and find a screen of the movie on the first page. This happens when I’m choosing a new book to read in my head when I’m in bed, just about to go to sleep. I remember the first time when this happened – it was prior to me reading ‘Carrie’s War’, because I had seen the film just before. I remember going, in my imagination, to the bookshop and picking up the book, opening it up and seeing the movie on the screen.

I have often thought that writing an autobiography would take you so long, and therefore you would need to start it early(ish). However this would deprive you of living your life in itself! That being said I have often thought my life and my friends lives would, collectively, make an excellent sitcom. This is where my imaginary movie screen-book comes in.

The blurb would read as so:

Deep in the shadows of 21st Century Edinburgh, the Spraffer (the gaffer, the faffer) is stressing out. As Christmas draws nigh like a vulture circling in on a carcass, he finds himself to be broke (the poor sod), despite his ‘revolutionary’ ideas on self-sufficiency, and must resort to working over Christmas. With the struggling battle against democracy, insensitivity and Copyright breach over the Christmas holiday, this Spraffer has to overcome his fear of real-life and become one with his inner intellectual property agent.

I’ve been reading far too much ‘A Confederacy of Dunces’…

Other books:

  1. Daily Prompt: BYOB(ookworm) | A Room of One’s Own
  2. Sharp Pencil | The Jittery Goat
  3. Malala’s books | Daily Prompt: BYOB(ookworm) | Ireland, Multiple Sclerosis & Me
  4. Daily Prompt « My journey to qualify for the Boston Marathon…and everything in between…
  5. Girl In The Blue Scarf | Sanjuro Tokage Experiments in Writing
  6. DP Daily Prompt: BYOB(ookworm) | Sabethville
  7. The Best Book I Never Read | AS I PLEASE
  8. The Waterman’s Bible | Exploratorius | Photo Hack & Curious Wanderer
  9. Daily Prompt: BYOB(ookworm) | The Wandering Poet
  10. BYOB(ookworm) or Drink From My Cup | Finale to an Entrance
  11. Daily Prompt: BYOB(ookworm) | tnkerr-Writing Prompts and Practice
  12. Essence | My Little Avalon
  13. What are you reading? | Raspberry’s Daydreams
  14. setting | yi-ching lin photography
  15. Daily Prompt: Books | 18 million pixels
  16. Judge it by the cover! | Sue’s Trifles
  17. Daydreaming | Butterfly Mind
  18. Orion 83 – A Path to Enlightenment | L5GN
  19. Beauty of Books | Mishe en Place
  20. Musy the Sputterfly | marjanitalarosa
  21. Dance with the Rain
  22. Time Determines the Heart | The Photo Faith Challenge
  23. Daily Prompt: BYOB(ookworm) | Awl and Scribe
  24. Lisa’s Kansa Muse
  25. Blurb for my novel | A mom’s blog
  26. An Amateur Writer | Life In Pakistan
  27. Daily Prompt: BYOB(ookworm) | Chronicles of an Anglo Swiss
  28. Daily Prompt: BYOB(ookworm) | Basically Beyond Basic
  29. Daily Prompt: BYOB(ookworm) | Deelusions Photography
  30. In Search for a Bride | Flowers and Breezes
  31. The Old Testament for the Rest of Us! | meanderedwanderings
  32. A Pup’s Rescue Book… | Haiku By Ku
  33. For my books, a sanctuary in waiting | 365 days of defiance
  34. ‘Bed of Roses’ Synopsis | jigokucho
  35. Hoping | The Land Slide Photography
  36. The Almost Finished, Yet Unpublished, Ever Upward | Ever Upward
  37. Succulent Bookworm | Travel with Intent
  38. Number Seven Written in White. | Hope* the happy hugger
  39. Daily Prompt: BYOB(ookworm) | Sarah’s Typos
  40. S.L.A.P. Therapy…..(wp daily prompt) | Daily Observations
  41. Long-Leggety Blurbing: Daily Prompt | alienorajt
  42. “BYOB(ookworm)” | Relax
  43. Daily Prompt: BYOB(ookworm) | Not The Sword But The Pen
  44. Novel? What Novel? | The Silver Leaf Journal
  45. If I Had the Time to Write a Book « One Crazy Mom
  46. The Blurb Of Public Opinion | The Political and Social Chaos Blog
  47. The True Photo Life Story – Passionately Bored
  48. Rudolf’s Book Jacket/ Daily Post | I’m a Writer, Yes I Am
  49. Hispanics as the Sleeping Giant | Institute for Hispanic Health Equity
  50. Getting Nymph-ed | Wanderlein
  51. Daily Prompt: BYOB(ookworm) | A Mixed Bag
  52. Book Jacket Blurb: Jinxed Magics | Musings of a Soul Eclectic
  53. The Editing Blahs…. | Kimberly M. Ringer
  54. Daily Prompt: Books | A Taste of Morning
  55. BYOB(ookworm) | Amoeba Kat Musings
  56. BYOB(ookworm) | The Nameless One
  57. I just had to… | Casually Short
  58. Blurb for book I want to write. | Angela McCauley
  59. No foolin’ this outdoor junkie! [Sheri #2] | Rob’s Surf Report
  60. Daily Prompt: Book Cover “Why Can’t I Be Happy?” | Being HIS Light in a Dark World
  61. Off to the presses! | Master Of Disaster
  62. Well! Done!!! | Words ‘n Pics…
  63. WordPress Daily Prompt: BYOB(ookworm) | Deviated Perception
  64. The Book I’ll Write About The Peduto Administration
  65. Take Back Home – Daily Prompt: BYOB(ookworm) | Deviated Perception
  66. Daily Prompt: BYOB(ookworm) – Subtext | I shot the messenger
  67. Writers Anonymous | A.C. Melody
  68. Daily Prompt: Strange, But True | One Starving Activist
  69. New to the City – The Daily Post Writing Prompt | Wordgasm
  70. The Book I’d Write…If I Could Be Bothered | That Girl Who Wears Pink
  71. One Wahine’s Library | Wahine Wednesdays
  72. Fantasy Has A Name | lulubellaloveslife

Envisaging your World

Recently I wrote a post for a Daily Prompt exercise named ‘Roy G. Biv’. It dug up old memories of a story I wrote at primary school – a desert island story which, as I remember, I held very dear and worked on for months. Before I continue, I will be recapping on the story however if you wish to read what I wrote before click here.

I have some news for you. I will be taking up my original idea in this story and rewriting it in a more mature way (in other words, not in childish ramblings!), introducing more adult concepts and making it more interesting. So I began writing today, just with a pen and blank A4 paper. My main principle in this project is to carefully recreate what I had written before in my primary years. It’s a great shame that I don’t have the original copy of the story, and that I’m totally relying on what I remember from back when I wrote it. However it’s giving me huge amounts of enjoyment and that, I suppose, is a good enough reason to continue rewriting it!

So to remind you what my story is about:

It’s about a man who is on an island in the middle of nowhere, striving to survive in the jungle and trying to search for a mythical beast. During his exploration of the island he finds the beast, a giant jungle lion man type affair (more details if you click herewho changes form between night and day. The beast tries to hunt him down and a large amount of the story is about him trying to evade this beast. That’s the basis of it.

Three pages into rewriting the story today and I had a problem – I couldn’t envisage the place the character was in. It’s a scene on a beach after he’s come out of the forest, and he’s looking at the sunrise. Recently I found a set of really nice, good quality watercolour pencils that I didn’t know I had. Watercolour pencils are my favourite way to create a colour picture by a long shot, so I took up my sketchbook and with my amateur “skills” I began to paint what I thought this particular scene would look like.

What you need to do is gather your thoughts into one place, and if you can’t do that in your head do it another way. Here is my head before I started painting:

(Psst! Sorry about the poor lighting - phone cameras are the worst!)
(Psst! Sorry about the poor lighting – phone cameras are the worst!)

And here’s what it looked like after I had gathered my thoughts (it does look a whole lot more vibrant in real life):

Gathered Head

That managed to let me carry on writing! It’s fantastic, and now I have something to look at and think ‘Wow! Did I managed even that?!’.

I am notorious for writing as I go along. That is to say I don’t plan what I write in great detail – I know where I start and where I finish, how I get there is up to me at the time. That means I’m also pretty bad at gathering my thoughts when I’m not really trying. It takes just that little bit more effort for me to gather my thoughts than perhaps you do. Literally painting a certain scene is just one of the ways I gather my thoughts, even if it does take half an hour to an hour to do so.

As I think about this, I realise how important it is to envisage the world you’re writing about, whether that’s in your head or as I’ve done and made it a physical object. Usually I find it no problem to envisage a scene in my head, however today I’m feeling particularly unwell and I think that has a lot to do with it. That’s interesting too, learning about what affects how you think and perform. If you have any experiences relating to this, be my guest to share in the comments too! It’s interesting how this works, and would be interesting to see how others do the same.

I will also be posting up the rewritten story in sections of around a thousand words at a time, hopefully reaching around twenty posts in total so I have a good 20,000-word story, so stick around!

Daily Prompt: Singular Sensation

If you could have a guarantee that one, specific person was reading your blog, who would you want that person to be? Why? What do you want to say to them?

Photographers, artists, poets: show us ONE.

 There are so many people who I would love to read my blog. I have so many influences, and for different things too. For example, when I have written stories my biggest influences have been the fantasy giants – Tolkien, Le Guin, Gaiman and Pratchett are just some of these. Since I write on this blog, I suppose I would have to choose one of these people, however I think some mentions of my other influences in art and music composition would also be appropriate – you never know, I might choose one of them!

I have been composing music since I was eight years old, usually on a piano. The kinds of pieces I would write would often last no longer than three minutes, and would never be written down – all of it would be kept in my head. Growing up, I started to listen to some of the composer who today make up my favourites  – Debussy, Ravel, Mahler, Bach, Schubert and Prokofiev are a select few of these. All these people I would love to read my blog for sure, but for their sakes I’m not going to say I want one of these to be the one person who reads this blog – it wouldn’t be very interesting for them I don’t think.

Art-wise, René Lalique, Gaudi, Shaun Leane and Picasso are some of the artists whose work I adore. All of them are Art Nouveau-period onwards. Shaun Leane and René Lalique are/were both jewellery designers influenced by natural forms, even though their work differs greatly. Gaudi of course was the famous architect – Sagrada Familia is perhaps one of my favourite architectural designs in the world. I find Picasso’s Cubist work extremely interesting – the ‘broken mirror’ effect is one of my favourite ideas in art, and I’ve painted a lot using Cubist techniques. However, all of these people would also not be interested in my blog I don’t think.

earthsea 2
Cover art from the Earthsea books

Now, in true Spraffing style, who out of my extremely wacky and imaginative head would I have read this blog?

Five year old me? One of the characters in one of my stories or tales? I genuinely can’t decide – my blog seems so inferior to all the famous people, and it’s impossible for something that no longer exists or that has never existed to read it! Come on, think!

I’m going to have to say Sparrowhawk.

Archmage Ged, or Sparrowhawk as he is called most of the time, is more of a philosopher than a wizard – all he talks about throughout the books he belongs to (‘Tales from Earthsea’ by Le Guin) is ‘when it is right to use magic’, and ‘maintaining the balance of the world’. For me, out of the three wizards, he is the most wise. Indeed a wizard is a figure of power, but power

Ged
A picture of Sparrowhawk from the movie

through intellect, through wisdom. Perhaps then Archmage Ged is also the most powerful. He is a character who has experienced more than the average person – death, fear, pain, redemption, companionship, power, imprisonment, exile, and he becomes all the wiser for it. He, like me, strives to experience as much as possible throughout his life, by travelling further than any man has done, travelling back from the world of Death, even facing and levelling with dragons (who in the books are pretty much omnipotent).

Sparrowhawk is one of the three wizards, all of which are very different and conjure different types of magic. These three wizards are Gandalf, Sparrowhawk, and Dumbledore. These three wizards are so different, yet so wonderful in all their own rights. All of them are wise, all of them would make me feel safe if I was to encounter them. Yet, I think Sparrowhawk would have to be the one to read my blog.

This is art from the movie of the last Earthsea book
This is art from the movie of the last Earthsea book

Other singular sensations:

  1. Soviet Pupil | Vintage Photography
  2. Daily Prompt: Singular Sensation « cognitive reflection
  3. DP Daily Prompt: Singular Sensation | Sabethville
  4. One | Active Army Wife
  5. Daily Prompt: Singular Sensation | Under the Monkey Tree
  6. Pain in the Back? Exercise May help you not to feel it. | The Jittery Goat
  7. The One | Momma Said There’d Be Days Like This
  8. AS I PLEASE
  9. Why bother | AS I PLEASE
  10. Daily Prompt: Singular Sensation | Thoughts of an INFP
  11. Sir Terry Pratchett: Daily prompt | alienorajt
  12. The Interview: My Favorite Fictional Character | A Teacher’s Blog
  13. Singular Sensation – Terry Pratchett | L5GN
  14. Shoulder Space Available: Inquire Here | THE OVERCOMING
  15. Craving Appreciation | A mom’s blog
  16. Weekly Photo Challenge: One | LenzExperiments
  17. For her | not4faintheartsblog
  18. Daily Prompt: Singular Sensation | Your Daily Dose
  19. Behind the Curtain « Mon Cache
  20. A Mother’s Grief | Broken Light: A Photography Collective
  21. The ONE & only… | LenzExperiments
  22. One | Lisa’s Kansa Muse
  23. If I Could Guarantee These People Read My Blog
  24. Singular Sensation | Geek Ergo Sum
  25. “A fool such as I” | Hope* the happy hugger
  26. One | Purple Rosemary
  27. WHO IS FOLLOWING ME NOW? | SERENDIPITY
  28. 251. That One Reader | Barely Right of Center
  29. That One Person | Raspberry’s Daydreams
  30. Daily Prompt : Singular Sensation | Nicole Sloan’s Writing
  31. Waking | johnny ojanpera
  32. Daily Prompt: One | Life With Mike and Lindy
  33. To the Puppy Mill Man… | Haiku By Ku
  34. One surfer’s soliloquy | Rob’s Surf Report
  35. Daily Prompt: One | Lux
  36. Singular Sensation | Living Through My Music
  37. Singular Sensation | Saying Everything
  38. Choosing One | Flowers and Breezes
  39. of disloyal stalkers « Anawnimiss
  40. The perfect blog reader | Blog of Marvelous Things
  41. Daily Prompt: Singular Sensation | Basically Beyond Basic
  42. Daily Prompt: Singular Sensation | Ellie’s Random Blog (<3)
  43. Daily Prompt: Singular Sensation | ThisCornerOfTheWoods
  44. Singular Sensation: Tom Cruise,Will you be my Cousin? | Miss Spicy
  45. Hat N’ Sugar Socks
  46. Thoughts of a wandering drunk
  47. Singular Sensation | The Nameless One
  48. Daily Prompt: A Bathing Beauty | Daily Prompt & Blogging Progress
  49. Are You Being Stalked by a Celebrity? | An Upturned Soul
  50. Open letter | Life is great
  51. Take Me To Your Leader | Just Visiting This Planet
  52. daily prompt: singular sensatiom | aimanss…
  53. Daily Prompt: Singular Sensation | Chronicles of an Anglo Swiss
  54. Daily Prompt: Singular Sensation | medicinalmeadows
  55. Thank you for pissing off my teenage daughter… | Vampire Maman
  56. I’m a Writer, Yes I Am
  57. Singular Sensation: The Chosen One | Khana’s Web
  58. The One Reader/Daily Prompt | I’m a Writer, Yes I Am
  59. Found out that I was sought out | heathervoid
  60. Daily Prompt: Singular Sensation | Finding Life
  61. Daily Prompt: Singular Sensation | life n me!
  62. Who would you want to read your blog? « Dancing with Fireflies
  63. A Bird in the sky | Processing the life
  64. Reaching Out – Connecting | Shrine of Hecate – Ramblings of a New Age Witch
  65. A Stitch in Time | The Silver Leaf Journal
  66. Not quite a flashy show tunes tambourine kind of evening, but could be worse… | thoughtsofrkh
  67. Daily Prompt: Singular Sensation | What a beautiful mess I’m in
  68. Insomnia equals 134 | field of thorns
  69. Daily post prompt – Singular sensation | The Wandering Poet
  70. After all you are the one…and only you | Emovere
  71. Daily Prompt: Singular Sensation | Occasional Stuff
  72. Just One | A Sober Head Full Of Confusion
  73. Daily Promp: Singular Sensation – Humble Hitchhiker | Mishe en Place
  74. S. Thomas Summers | A Novel: Sentence One
  75. Daily Prompt: Being Sensational! | All Things Cute and Beautiful
  76. Diane Young. The World’s Greatest Grandmother | Gradual Thought
  77. One | Exploratorius | Photo Hack & Curious Wanderer
  78. I love Franco Fontana’s abstract colour landscapes | Laura’s Little Things
  79. Daily Prompt: Singular Sensation | niennie
  80. Público deste blogue | Sonhos desencontrados
  81. Day 14…Daily Prompt: Singular Sensation | Dear Blog ’14
  82. One plus One | Wicked Words
  83. Torn Between Titles | My Author-itis
  84. “Every Beginning Is Only a Sequel…” | Kosher Adobo
  85. Just One- You! | Short Story Sally
  86. Daily Prompt: Singular Sensation | welcome to my blog
  87. Daily Prompt: One | Chronicles of a Public Transit User
  88. Welcome to the Curtails of the North | Kimberly M. Ringer
  89. Joan Didion and I could totally be pals… | VernetteOutLoud
  90. Daily Prompt: Singular Sensation |
  91. Let me be a Lantern of Love | Wiley’s Wisdom
  92. One GOD | The Christian Gazette
  93. Dear Fellow WordPresser | Chunky Brain
  94. Mind Over Matter | Wiley’s Wisdom
  95. Daily Prompt: Singular | Polyprotic Amory
  96. The Wonder. | Forlorn Hope: A Diary Of A Broken Heart
  97. Daily Prompt: Singular Sensation | Petite Powerhouse
  98. Singular Sensation: A Reader for my Blog | At the Pianist’s Bench
  99. Read On . . . One and All | meanderedwanderings
  100. One Raven | Overcoming Bloglessness

Daily Prompt: Roy G. Biv

Robinson CrusoeWrite about anything you’d like, but make sure that all seven colors of the rainbow — red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet — make an appearance in the post, either through word of image.

Photographers, artists, poets: show us COLORS.

 When I read Roy G. Biv and then the colours of the rainbow, I immediately thought of one of the books set on an island in the middle of nowhere – Robinson Crusoe, etc. I think that the abbreviation, Roy G. Biv, sounds a bit like a name of a stranded Englishman in the middle of the sea.

The book I’m reading at the moment, after finishing two others this week of a very different genre, is the classic ‘Lord of the Flies’ by William Golding, which tells the tale of a group of young boys stranded on an island after their plane crashes. Over time the boys turn from the children they once were, and realise just how childish they actually are, to “murderous savages”. Although this is the first time I’ve ever read this book (I know, some of you may gasp), and I’m only a handful of chapters into the book, I’m no stranger of this kind of story.

At primary school we would often be asked, as a creative writing exercise, to use the desert island scenario to practice describing things as best we could and as over-the-top as we could. This gave birth to some very funny passages with the overuse of words like ‘iridescent’ and phrases such as ‘a splendid array of fantastical colours’, or something like that. It’s quite funny that I should read the Daily Prompt in such a way that I associated Roy G. Biv with the desert island scenario, because you will almost certainly find plants, fruits and animals that are red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet.

After writing these funny descriptive passages, our teacher would ask us to then write a desert island story in the two hours of the next creative writing lesson. Naturally, these two-hour sessions were the highlights of my primary school experience. I was often that person who wrote twenty to thirty pages in my jotter, as opposed to others who would manage no more than ten. It was also the centre focus for bullies to pick away at funnily enough – nowadays I can see how the children (without sounding any more than protective of myself) lacking in the faith of their own abilities, which were often very fine indeed, tended to find comfort in then making sure everyone else also lacked faith in their own abilities to compensate.

My favourite story that I wrote, I seem to remember, was one about a hero (‘hero’ was my general term for the ‘protagonist’) who was striving to survive in a desert island jungle whilst searching for a mythical beast. I remember the drawings of this beast – this story was a passion of mine for months! It was a giant lion-man with big, emerald-green, exoskeletal wings like a dragonfly’s, and whose mane was made out of healthy, green and, strangely, blue or blue-green leaves. It had the same orange-yellow skin of a normal lion, however the areas around the shoulder blades, where the wings came out, were covered with the same colour of leaves. This lion-man also had dark purple-blue eyes (so for the sake of this post, let’s call that indigo), with a silver slit so that it looked feline.

However the most wonderful thing was about this story was that at night the giant lionman would look up at the moon and, as the moonlight struck his body, would metamorphose into a far more evil-looking creature of the night. This version of the lion man had more of a look of a panther, with black fur and silver eyes, and silver dragonfly wings, however there was no flesh on these wings – only the beautiful framework of the bones. The creature would stalk the forest and “protect it”, as I put it. The same transformation would recur in the daytime, so that the cycle could restart  – it would look towards the sunrise and, as the sunlight hit the skin this time, it would burn in a mystic flame of red, orange and yellow (I think this idea arose from the idea that to create, sometimes you must destroy, something I had read about around that time) and turn back into the slightly fonder if not strange-looking form of the day.

The creature eventually hunted down the hero in the ‘night form’, although several days later when the hero had investigated further, however the hero made peace with it by giving it a hug(!) – a very childish thing to write in I think!

It’s strange to be thinking about that story – I had almost forgotten it! In my head now it actually seems both colourful in terms of imagery, but also in terms of ideas. Something that was so close to my heart is also, perhaps, something I shouldn’t have forgotten about.

Daily Prompt: Do you Believe in Magic?

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/01/01/daily-prompt-do-you-believe-in-magic/

You have been transformed into a mystical being who has the ability to do magic. Describe your new abilities in detail. How will you use your new skills?

Photographers, artists, poets: show us ENCHANTMENT.

It seems such a childish thing doesn’t it? To be “a mystical being who has the ability to do magic”. I used to often play with my childhood friends at being strange, fantastic creatures in our home village. It was a very quiet village indeed, and we could get away with wearing all sorts of silly clothing we could find. My favourite thing to be would often be a “warrior wizard” – someone who can conjure magic as well as being, for example, an expert swordsman. NERD ALERT!

Our village was serene and peaceful. I remember being told that it would be a hamlet if not for the church, because it basically consisted of two streets, a park, a church and graveyard, a village hall, a small wood workshop and houses, usually containing old people and their dogs. However, this village provided the perfect escape for five, extremely imaginative young children, and we used to walk far out of the village, along the river and into the wilderness. It was here, in the grass fields and deciduous trees that shed their leaves in autumn to create splendours of gold and copper, with the sound of the river water gently churning against the pebbles on the bank, that we created fantasy worlds that only we maintained.

This was the proper meaning of the word, ‘enchanting‘. It was roasting hot in the Summer, viciously cold in Winter. I remember the light shining down through the leaves of the tree on the bank where our favourite part of the river was. We used to have barbecues on the riverside, and swim in the cool, but not cold, waters of the river, along with the fish and various birds. The animals were very tame and calm, and often would let us walk right past them (or swim right past them)!

I have, in fact, always felt a deeper connection with water, however not a superstitious one. It originated and took its full effect in the mind of small me, and I used to pretend (I cringe to remember!) at being some kind of superman who could shape water. I thought this was a beautiful idea – I still do! I wanted to create sculptures out of water that would be maintained through some kind of magical force, I seem to remember, and fight off the evil creatures that lurked in the woods with the same power over water. I think this connection with water originated with the love of the river itself – I was heartbroken to leave the village to continue my schooling at another school. My friends didn’t want my little brother and I to leave the village either: I remember fondly of “protests” to try to persuade our mother to let us stay in the village.

Alas, this magic, Tolkien-esque world that we lived in could not live forever, no matter how many of my childhood stories it influenced. But I wish it had…

If I had superpowers (being very selfish here!), I would firstly be able to time-travel back to god-knows-when to when the five of us were playing at our riverside paradise. Secondly, I would have the ability to manipulate water, as I wanted back then, and I would show them what I could do, as I would have wanted back then.

That would be Enchantment.