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  • J Victoria Michael

Of Magic and Creativity

Updated: Oct 5, 2021

As a child I was fascinated by the idea of astral travelling. To a youngster living in a small town in New Zealand, and without the wisdom of Google, it was evidence that humankind possessed all manner of unknown talents. The subject so thoroughly caught my imagination that it entered my childhood narrative and stayed.

Since finishing GriffinSong Trilogy, I have paused to reflect on what inspired me to create the ‘magic’ that is in the series. I believed that I had tapped into universal themes like time travel, sorcery, other dimensions and the possibility of unexpected talents, to name a few. Recently I Googled astral travel and to my surprise discovered that my childhood narrative played a far greater part than I had realised. The magic in GriffinSong Trilogy is an echo from my imagination, and from my still unshakeable dream that we possess unexplored talents.

The astral realm is an emotional one, a blaze of energy where the qualities of light and sound are heightened, and where, in these higher realms, the physical body is not needed; the person is simply conscious energy. In this heightened state the traveller may actually work, though not in the physical sense as the person’s body remains earthbound. The experiences of the central character in my trilogy, Irenya O’Neil, who felt unconsciously compelled to explore her potential in another dimension, are surprisingly similar to the descriptions of what happens to people who lay claim to astral travel.

Irenya uses emotion, sound and light to access her natural gift, and – this is where writing speculative fiction gets exciting – her physical body is very much part of the experience. In order to fleetwalk she learns that inside the blaze of light, and allowing the connection of emotion and sound, she is free of earthly restraints. Though I should mention at this point that what Irenya does is not something anyone is likely to have achieved yet, except in books and cinema. So much for what I had thought was ‘magic’.

I could have written a domestic novel that grappled with similar, though more recognisable issues, but that would not have satisfied my need to imagine other realms. The fantasy world I created is in fact much closer to home than I had realised. I am not an astral traveller, but mining my imagination and allowing it to fly free is vital.

At some point in our lives most of us will face a dramatic, possibly tragic, change that forces us to re-evaluate who we are. Irenya O’Neil is a woman who finds herself in another dimension with little more than the clothes on her back and her innate humanity. The journey separates her from her intended husband and their fifteen month old son. Her beliefs are unravelling. It is a story of one woman’s compelling need to redefine who she is, what she believes, and achieve her full potential.

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