“The artist, if he is not to forget how to listen, must retain the vision which includes angels and dragons and unicorns, and all the lovely creatures which our world would put in a box marked, Children Only.”Madeleine L’Engle “Walking on Water“
I had a recent conversation with an older friend, who had heard I was a writer on top of my full time job. She knew I wrote history articles and blogs, but didn’t know I was also an author. When I told her I wrote fantasy works, she got a surprised look on her face and then firmly stated that she ONLY read mystery novels.
I led this blog post with a quote from Madeleine L’Engle’s collection of essays because I am currently reading it. I happened to read that quote the same day I was told by the older friend that she wouldn’t dare read a fantasy book. I got the impression that she hadn’t even thought of fantasy as something acceptable for an adult to read.
I don’t get the mindset that once we grow up, we can’t love fairy tales and magical things. Why is it that society frowns upon adults who love these things? Why is it that some believe only children should have this belief and when we become adults we need to stop imagining things such as these?
I have an unashamed love for unicorns, I always have. But I have hidden that love in the past, afraid of what the world might think.
In the past year or so, I have embraced my adoration for the mythological creature. As a result I now have a bunch of unicorn stuff, including a backpack, a journal, a number of pens, a light for my computer and some shirts with unicorns on them and tons of stickers stuck to personal belongings. But yet, I still get called childish for the love by some. Others (thankfully none in my personal circle) have told me to grow up.
While I ignore them, it makes me wonder…. Why is it that mythology and its creatures must only be for children? Why can’t adults have flights of fancy? After all, if we lived purely in the mundane and didn’t see the world for its beauty and its fantastical, we’d be boring. And I don’t know about you, but I don’t like to be boring. I’m not crazily obsessed, but I let my love shine through nevertheless.
I will say this: I have had other older friends and family members who have read parts of my Portals Series simply because they knew I wrote it. A number of them stated that while they don’t usually read fantasy, my stories are good and a couple of them even said that my works have made them rethink reading fantasy. So I hold on to that, even when I have my doubts about my writing ability.
I often end most of my Instagram posts with the phrase #StayMagical. It’s a reminder to find the magic in everything. It’s also a reminder to keep believing in whatever you find magical. Whether that’s a marvel at how things grow, the beauty of a changing season and the work that had to have gone in to it from an unseen creator, keep that magic going. If you have a belief in or just the love of the fantasy works of Tolkien, Rowling, L’Engle, Lewis, McCaffery or a plethora of other writers who believed in the fantastical, keep believing, keep reading, and keep on loving that belief. If you have a love for superheroes and comic books, or football leagues made up entirely in one’s head, keep on keeping on with it. Whatever makes your life magical, keep holding on to it. Stay with the magic, as long as you can. And don’t let others rain on your parade!
Keep writing your own stories.
Even though I know some won’t ever see my story, I continue to write it. Just as I will continue to write my fantasy works, despite some not even giving it a chance. After all, I believe in the magic myself.
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And as always, #writeyourownstory
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