All About The Magic, Or the Gosling of the Golden Creek Vs. The Unicorn Pooper-Scoopers

The beautiful and talented wife appears today at the fantasy writing website: Magical Words

rachel-griffin-coverThis article is on the magic of wonder (that child-like quality that makes some of us love Doctor Who.)


Beside the road leading to my street, there is a small pond. This pond is the favorite nesting place of a flock of Canadian geese who like to walk out in the street. The other day, I found myself sitting and waiting for the geese to depart, so I could drive home without running over them. As I watched the birds waddle by, I thought of people I knew who had expressed hatred for these creatures that stop traffic and leave goose droppings all over the sidewalk and golf courses. Their hatred added to my impatience.

After all, I wanted to get home. I had things to do, man! But then I remembered something. As a child, I had loved these birds. Why? Because at the gateway to the local county park was a river. Canadian geese used to nest on the river bank. If one was lucky, if one came at just the right time, one might catch a glimpse the tiny goslings paddling behind their august parents. These adorable creatures were the only baby wild animals visible to us as children. Seeing these little beige and yellow bundles of fluff lit our hearts. It was as wondrous as magic!

When had I lost the magic?


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  1. Comment by bear545:

    When I first saw that cover I thought: “Weeping Angel! Don’t blink!”

    • Comment by John C Wright:

      Dr Who’s writers have the talent to make any perfectly ordinary object, from snowmen to black cubes to pretty statues, seem frightening. They also never mention Christ on any of their Christmas Specials, but do take the time to make snowmen, angels, evergreen trees, and the Bethlehem star in to horrific villains.

      • Comment by bear545:

        I have often thought similiar things of the writing staff. The writers are brilliant at putting names and forms to those small nagging fears, those things you just glimpse out of the corner of your eye, but are gone when you turn and face them, that thing you are sure moved when you weren’t quite looking at it, but is still when you turn to face it. I attribute the simplicty of their villains to the show writers making an asset out of what should be a handicap- their low budget. The British film and television show makers are on the whole the masters of the low budget, and Dr. Who is among their finest examples. Among my favourite villains were the Family of Blood, and those actors didn’t even have any makeup on. The oddness of their appearance, particularly that of Son of Mine, was just the actors acting.

        As for them not mentioning Christ, I think I prefer it that way. If they did a show where the Doctor travelled back and witnessed, say, the Nativity, or the Crucifixion, or the Resurrection, the show would have to say if it was real, or if it was not, or demonstrate how it was all about aliens anyway. Leaving it alone doesn’t seem so bad to me in that context.

  2. Comment by ChevalierdeJohnstone:

    1) Your wife’s conception of “urban fantasy” is refreshingly dissimilar from the common representation of urban fantasy as pseudo-feminist wish-fulfillment in a world of wimpy men.

    2) Her descriptions of finding the magic in ordinary things reminds me of Chesterton. (In “Orthodoxy”, I think.) Very cogent and insightful commentary by your Mrs.

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