Just Magic

The other day I visited the Magic Faraway Tree. It was deserted, which seemed strange for a portal to another world. But then perhaps that’s because it’s only a portal for my daughter and I.

She decided the tree was magic several years ago, when she was still young enough to need walking to school, to hold my hand on the way and count cats and pretend to be dragons, puffing out smoke in the frosty air.

The tree stands at the top of a hill, looking out across the valley and beyond, across rooftops that wouldn’t have been there when it was a sapling. Now it’s tall and stately, branches spreading to shade us during summer and create sky patterns during winter. It’s one of several trees we used to pass on our morning walk, yet the only one that became a Faraway Tree, home to fairies and dryads and dancing sprites, my daughter so enchanted by Enid Blyton’s stories that to this day she hasn’t finished the final book in the series.

We would often bring things to leave for the fairies, tucking them into the bark or among the roots. A patterned leaf or delicate flower, an interesting stone or shiny coin picked up on our journey. Once, an elderly gentleman offered us a piece of sea glass from his pocket, green and rubbed smooth by the waves. He’d carried it for a long time, he said with a smile, but thought that the fairies might like it. My daughter, thrilled and grateful, agreed, placing it in a special spot at the base of the trunk, cushioned by moss.

The moss is still there, velvet soft and deep green, but our gifts are gone. I hope the fairies liked them. There is magic still there, too. The magic of memory. The magic of joy.

Just magic.

Enjoyed this post? Want to read more? Find me on Twitter @AuthorHelenJFacebook, Instagram and Pinterest. Plus my latest book release, Under Stone (Ambeth Chronicles #4), is now available on Amazon. Visit my Amazon Author Page to see more.

#writephoto – The Glade


I do love Sue’s photo prompts – her photos are so evocative, and she gets such a wide range of responses in different styles and genres. My response this week is… well, I guess it’s sort of a poem. I don’t fancy myself as any sort of poet, though, so perhaps it’s more, these are the words that came to me when I saw this image.

I walk,

Crack and snap

Of leaves underfoot,

Moss cool on my tattered skin.

The journey has been long,

And I a traveller

Through stars and time and shattered woodland

To this place where branches twist,

And stones tumble.

Sunlight golden

As I kneel, humbled.

At journey’s end.

To add an entry of your own, simply visit Sue’s blog for more details, then set a pingback to your post (making sure to post by May 25th). And don’t forget to use the #writephoto hashtag in your title!

A Productive Day


Yesterday was a fairly productive day, as these things go.


I had an appointment in a nearby village and afterwards the woods seemed to be calling me. The sun was shining and it was one of those cold clear days, so I followed the call through bare trees and evergreens, photographing velvety moss clothing trees in winter splendour, sun shining pale gold above.


Refreshed, I went home and managed to finish A Thousand Rooms, the book I posted about on Monday. I ended up having to add about four thousand words to complete it, the final scenes already mapped out and expanding onto the page. And when it was done I had that feeling again, the one you get when the story is finished, the tale told. Your comments and feedback really helped as well, giving me the impetus I needed to get things done, so thank you 🙂 The next step is sending it out to beta readers.


And, to end my productive day, I received a call from a contact. I’d done some speculative work for him last year, for a project he was trying to get backing for. The character is unlike anyone else I’ve ever written, yet she came to me quite clear not long after our first meeting, waking me with a head full of words that I had to write down. So the phone call was to tell me that things were moving along, and ended with us arranging to meet and discuss the next stages. If it takes off, it will be quite exciting. But that’s all I can say about it for now.

Wishing you all a lovely weekend xx