Defeated. Baptised

My surrender is desperate. Not to choose,
but to pause in tiredness. Face against the pale trunk
of fresh peeled river gum. Its leaves whispering,

“Let go. Let the hurts fall away.
Let life trace new patterns.
Draw courage from the earth,
from gentle rain and brilliant sun,
from the river ever running.”

Accept my abandonment, O God.
Stripped of all, I rest in you.


If you’re looking at the photo of me, I’m not actually a golden retriever. The clown laughing back at you is Toby, my dog, who shames me on a regular basis by not running away from cameras as his cowardly owner does.


There are a few things that are going to happen in this blog. Opinions, whinges, musings, stuff that maybe shouldn’t be inflicted on the world, but kept safely in my head. I’ll review books I love, think through ideas I’ve read and which resonate with me, write about writing and generally howl at the silence.

The idea with calling this blog “Acquiring Magic” is threefold.

One, as someone beginning a writing career (well, I intend to be a writer, now all I have to do is convince agents/publishers and, most importantly, readers that they want me to write, too) I’m learning a craft, and that’s rather like acquiring magic. Once you have the skills, once you’ve learnt to hide the effort involved, to the observer it looks like magic.

Two, the book I’m working on is urban fantasy, a sub-genre I’ve chosen because of how much I enjoy Diana Wynne Jones’ work, Patricia Briggs, Ilona Andrews, Tanya Huff (don’t you love her Hell in “Summon the Keeper”?) and so many other great authors, and urban fantasy means I have to create a world with magic in. My heroine, Lyn Cortez, is learning about her magic, and so am I. I wish the damn stuff would stop changing. Can magic be a character in it’s own right?

Three, the other reason I chose to write urban fantasy is for the chance to explore the concept of the numinous. I’m still coming to terms with what “numinous” means to me. I think it’s a shorthand for “the other” touching our lives–whether it’s love, God, fate, karma, a moment of enlightenment, I don’t know. Expect a few confused posts as this idea weaves through my thoughts and works.

And one final confession, I will be posting poems. They are a great way to scrape the ideas from the inside of my brain. I turn them out and think, wow, is that what I think? Strange, but true.