The Magic Lives On! My reflections on the latest Harry Potter book.

At first, I wasn’t that excited about The Cursed Child. Maybe that’s because I thought it was a random spin-off (much like Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them), but when I picked it up in the bookstore, I was instantly transported back in time and felt the same feverish excitement that I felt as a kid!

There was no mistake about it: this was the latest Harry Potter book! Yes, it might well be a screenplay, but it is still a continuation of the original saga. When I held it in my hands and saw “The Eighth Story. Nineteen Years Later” written on the back cover, it gave me goosebumps! I don’t even  care if this was a marketing ploy because it bloody well worked! Shut up and take my money =P

Something reawakened within me on that day. I have not felt such frenzied excitement about a franchise for a long time and The Cursed Child seemed to open up that portal to my younger self. Where did the magic go, I wonder? Why do I no longer spend hours trawling fan sites or daydreaming about Hogwarts and hobbits? 

Granted, I am in the middle of writing a fantasy novel, so I do still use my imagination quite a lot. But I cannot help but notice that my soul lacks nourishment from other sources. And it is important, I think, for a writer to fuel themselves with inspiration, otherwise they go stale and lose their mojo. 

So what’s changed? Why is it that Pokemon Go only excited me for a week? Why is it that I didn’t get excited whatsoever with the build-up to The Cursed Child‘s release? Could it be that I no longer remember the way to Platform 9 3/4?

The sad truth is that life has got in the way, as it does with so many people. I also put too much pressure on myself to be productive, forgetting to play and nourish my soul with magic. Alas, for may people let their creative flame go out entirely, but I do everything in my power to keep it burning brightly. 

Every time I return to the likes of Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings, my soul is instantly nourished. Too often I have been distracted by mundane trifles, but I still believe in magic. My soul still soars when I hear the LOTR soundtrack or re-read Harry Potter, so revisiting the wizarding world and seeing what the characters were doing nineteen years later was absolutely marvellous! 

Some have said The Cursed Child feels a bit fan-fictiony, but the original magic was undeniably present  (and JK put her official stamp on it, which is good enough for me). I was surprised by the intense emotion it evoked, particularly in the scene where Harry has a heart-to-heart with Dumbledore’s painting. And that scene with the trolley lady.. kudos to the writers!

From now on, I will make a conscious effort to do more of what I love. The magic lives on within me and I refuse to let it lie dormant. Whether creating my own material or soaking up the goodness of others, I give myself to that which excites me.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go and meet Minerva McGonagall in Hogsmeade. There was a dispute between our owls and she wants to patch things up. Fingers crossed we can because I’m applying to be the new Professor of Astronomy, so hopefully my silly owl hasn’t messed things up!


The Realm of the Tooth Fairies

tooth fairy kingdom

Megan was scared of getting her wisdom tooth removed. A childhood incident had left her very wary of the tooth-tinkering profession, so she wanted to avoid dentists if she could help it.

But the wisdom tooth was causing great pain. It did not make Megan feel very wise and kept on burrowing through her gum without any regard for her feelings. Enough was enough. The wisdom tooth had to go.

So Megan went to the dentist, her heart pounding in her chest as she approached the dreaded place. The very thought of entering this torture chamber made her feel nauseous, but she mustered all of her courage and ventured forth into the unknown.

The tooth-tinkerer was much more helpful than Megan’s tooth-tinkerer of yesteryear. He removed the wisdom tooth in a jiffy and put it into a little jar for Megan to keep as a memento.

Megan left the dentist feeling very proud of herself. She had a numb cheek and could barely talk, but she had faced her biggest fear.

When she went to bed that night, she placed the wisdom tooth beneath her pillow and drifted off into the land of nod. She was greeted by a shimmering little creature in the heart of an ancient woodland.

‘Where am I?’ Megan asked. ‘What’s going on?’

The little creature fluttered its wings and landed upon Megan’s shoulder. ‘I am a tooth fairy, Megan. You were very brave today.’

‘Oh – thanks.’

‘Follow me,’ the tooth fairy said, floating off through the trees. ‘We have been waiting for you.’

Hesitating slightly, Megan followed the tooth fairy through the forest. She could hear angelic singing and the fluttering of many wings. Before long, she gazed upon a giant pearly white tooth, which hundreds of fairies gathered around like fireflies.

‘Megan, we wish to reward your bravery,’ said her fairy escort. ‘You have shown extraordinary courage and we are very pleased with this.’

Suddenly, there was a fanfare of melodic trumpets. A regal-looking fairy emerged from a balcony on the upper echelons of the giant tooth.

‘Greetings Megan – I am Queen of the Tooth Fairies,’ announced the fairy, wearing a sparkly crown. ‘In recognition of your bravery, I grant you one wish. Within the confines of my kingdom, by the power invested in me as divine ruler and custodian of all teeth, great and small, I declare that anything you wish will be possible.’

Megan was blown away by this proposition. She pondered over it for some time, wondering what to wish for. The fairies floated around her in anticipation.

‘I wish –’ Megan hesitated. ‘I wish to fly!’

‘Very well,’ said the Fairy Queen. ‘Then fly you shall, oh brave one.’

In that moment, Megan was transformed into a beautiful fairy. She revelled in flying around the giant tooth castle, stopping off for some luncheon with the Fairy Queen before venturing off deep into the woods. Dozens of fairies travelled with her, singing and laughing with pure childlike innocence. Megan forgot all about her pain and woes, for no evil existed in this realm. Only joy and love existed in the Tooth Fairy Kingdom.

The following morning, Megan woke up in a daze. She felt as though she had been flying and singing all night, but she couldn’t remember where or why. All she knew was that she had been a brave girl.

The Magic of Inspiration

As a writer, inspiration is very important to me. Without it, I do not get any ideas and I can’t proceed with any new projects.

What I’ve found is that I receive much more inspiration when I stop chasing ideas and just let them develop naturally. When I open myself up, ideas just flow through me as if I’m tuned into some sort of cosmic radio station, tapping into a wealth of inspiration. When I’m connected like this – when I’m in “the zone” as some people call it – stories grow and mature all by themselves!

Some ideas develop more quickly than others. Some form overnight while others take a while to ferment before they grow legs and spring to life. What’s important is that you don’t push an idea until it is ready to enter the world.

The wonderful thing is that all of us have an imagination. All of us can receive creative ideas and get inspired. So I would urge you all to have fun with this mighty gift and push the boundaries of what what you can create! Keep your creative juices fueled by reading books, watching films or whatever else gets you inspired!