Saturday, March 26, 2011

Nature of Magic

Most of my writing has an element of magic. My brain won’t let me write about the real world without a paranormal twist. Here’s an excerpt from my nearly completed WIP, Naked Eye:

I don’t know how long I’ve been sleeping. Maybe I am still sleeping. There’s a buzzing in my ear, and I swat at the sound, sure it’s a fly that’s survived the chill. “Go away,” I mutter. That’s when things get weird. The buzzing becomes an old woman’s words, I am sure of it, even if I can’t understand the words. Then I can.

“Lucienne, when you wake tomorrow and begin to see people, they will seem different to you. Do not be alarmed. And do not tell anyone what you see. I’ll contact you to explain everything soon.”

I sit up, swatting the ear that had been exposed while I’d slept on my side. Whipping my head around, I’m sure I see a fly or even a person in the room with me in the dark. Nothing and no one. I’ve had dreams where I’ve heard a voice before so I’m not freaked out, but I’ve never remembered the words until now. Yawning, I burrow under my covers.

I dream about losing my eye as if it were really happening again. Then my dream changes to when I first received my fake eye, that strange tugging on my lid and inserting the foreign object I still hate.


In the morning, I empty a bowl of cereal and slump into my seat, cursing my alarm clock, wishing it were Saturday. My mother; all dressed in her real estate best chirps, “Morning, Lucienne. I have a meeting with a business associate tonight. Don’t wait up for me. And don’t forget the real estate conference is next weekend,” as she pecks me on cheek and then turns to the coffeemaker.

While she pours coffee into her cup, I gasp and drop my spoon, which clanks in the bowl. I heard her words but my eye, my fake eye, lets me know she’s lying. I know because I have x-ray vision like Superman. My mother speaks but I look past her face straight into her mind, and her true words swirl inside my fake eye. The one that isn’t supposed to see.

I don’t have a meeting with a business associate. I have a date. I’ve been seeing him for months, and I’ve been hiding it from you. And there is no real estate conference. We’re going to Cape Cod for the weekend.

Why is she hiding this from me?

Wait, why do I know she’s hiding this from me?

Whoosh, my head feels like a balloon and my heart stutters.

“Are you okay?”

I must look funny staring into space. “I just realized I forgot to do something. I’ll be right back.”

Before she can ask what the something is, if she even cares, I run out of the room and up the stairs, two at a time. So I can see better, I twist my blinds open. The morning sun illuminates my cluttered room. Slowly, I walk to the white table mirror and sit on the white bench. I’d thought the setup was glamorous as a child, but now the white bed and furniture with its pink accents looks like a little girls room. I see it for the first time.

I spot my reflection before I have a chance to sit down, and it makes me sink into the bench. My mouth is agape. My two eyes stare back at me.

And I can see through those two eyes.

“It’s not possible,” I whisper.

The doorbell rings, but it doesn’t occur to me Morgan is here. Or that I should be downstairs, opening the door to let Morgan in and squealing. I remember the dream from last night, and shiver.

“Lucienne, when you wake tomorrow and begin to see people, they will seem different to you. Do not be alarmed. And do not tell anyone what you see. I’ll contact you to explain everything soon.”

I lean so forward my nose nearly taps the mirror.

My door swings open, slamming the wall behind it. “Lucienne, why are you up here?” Then she really sees me. “What are you doing?”

Check out the other Nature of Magic participants, hosted by Tessa Conte:

1. Laura B Diamond (host)

2. Tessa Conte (host)

3. Dawn Embers


5. J. W. Parente

6. . : The Red Angel: .

7. Amalia T.

8. Donna Hole

9. Michael @ In Time . . .

10. ?HOLLY?@ On. . . Love, Life and Everything in Between

11. Artemis Grey

12. Trisha @ W O R D + S T U F F

13. Akoss@ A Search For The Writer In Me

14. Substitute Teachers Saga

15. Stephanie @ Scribbler to Scribe

16. Tizzy @ Impossible Dreams

17. Margo @ Writing at High Altitude

18. Karen Hooper@ Eternal Moonshine

19. Magenta Monster a flash fiction monster

20. A Possessed WIP

21. Natasha Hanova

22. J. C. Martin, Fighter Writer

23. Lindz

24. its KRISTAL kLEEr

25. RosalindAdam

26. Finding Bliss

27. N. R. Williams

28. Scheherazades Journal

29. Raquel Byrnes, Edge Of Your Seat Romance

30. Brooke R. Busse

31. Teralyn Rose Pilgrim

32. Rosie @ East for Green Eyes

33. Tanya Reimer- Lifes Like That

34. Sticky Note Stories

35. Anne-Mhairi Simpson

36. The Aspiring Sub-creator

37. Nature of Love, A blogfest

38. Daily Dodo

39. Blake

40. Attack of the Muses!! Monica Marier

41. MorningAJ at Jobbing Writer

42. The Wit and Wisdom of Another Sarah

43. Magick, Alchemy and Love. . .

44. Gladiators Pen

45. Mary W.

46. Stuart Sharp

47. Michelle@ beautiful chaos

I’m sorry, but putting names in Randomizer to choose winners is too much to do on my birthday. I’ll announce the winners next week, I promise! (Psssst, it's Shannon O'Donnell's birthday today too. Send her some love! )

Writers, does magic have

a role in your writing?


  1. Great use of magic. I've started to play with magic in my writing, some full-on fantasy and some subtle, secret gifts that the protagonists owns. My next project 'My Zombie Dog' will also have some supernatural going on :-)

  2. Great entry! Magic strikes in the most unexpected way... how freaky to suddenly see people's thoughts! I'm not sure I'd want to be able to do that.. I mean, nice in theory, but I know the kind of random things that go through your mind and to have someone else see that?


    Thank you for taking part in our blogfest, don't forget to tune in on the 30th March to see the list of finalists!


  3. Great entry, there are so many directions you can take! My children's book does have an element of magic/fantasy in it. Not as direct as yours with a special power, but there is something supernatural going on. I find it almost impossible to think kids books without magic. Good luck!

  4. Is it your birthday - happy birthday!
    I love a bit of magic, but a lot of reality too. Your piece works really really well, I can tell by the fact that I've finished it and am still thinking about all the possibilities, what could happen next, how this happened, who the old woman is...(I love old women in stories, esp if they are wise and challanging.) I love the flow the clean neat paragraphs. I like that it is about a little girl with one fake eye and not some stereotypical beauty.
    It make me want to explore magic more in my next...soon, I hope...piece of writing.

  5. Birthday?!?! Of course you're an Aries and this next four weeks but is your special day today?!?!?! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    And what a lovely way to celebrate!!! I do like the fake eye being the truth see-er!!! I like the build up to the awful revelation of Luciene's mother's deception. But I have this niggling thought that the person whispering in her ear is perhaps not so benign? Maybe this is this person's doing - cos for some reason I am on Lucienne's mother's side!!!! Innocent until proven guilty!!!

    More please!! Thank you! Take care

  6. A fake eye that can see what people really are thinking- what a great concept. Loved the excerpt. Good luck with the rest!

  7. that gave me goosebumps. great entry. nice to meet another fantasy writer. i can't seem to keep magic out of my stories either.

  8. Yes! I love magic. Straight contemp is the hardest thing for me to write.

  9. A truly magic eye - now that's a good idea!

  10. I'm like you. Every time I try to write something 'real' paranormal sneaks in. I enjoyed this excerpt, what a unique twist. I can visualize the words hovering in mid-air, each letter almost translucent. Sounds like a fun story. I wanna know what happens next. :-)

    Happy bday! Thanks for sharing.

  11. great excerpt here! You're certainly writing in a perfect genre!
    I love reading about paranormal, but I simply do NOT write about magic. Unless you count the magic of being outdoors.
    Thanks for sharing.

  12. I am standing in line for the completed manuscript - I loved it!

    When I started writing I didn't intend magic to come into it, but I've discovered a paranormal side...or did it discover me?

    Great excerpt!

  13. Oh, creepy! I'm not sure if I'd like to hear what people are thinking. Opens up a whole new arena for conflict in a story. Great job.
    Edge of Your Seat Romance

  14. What an awesome concept! I love the image of the true words swirling around in her new eye.

  15. Hi TE .. hope I don't have other thoughts tonight .. well soon as our clocks go forward an hour .. then it's really 'summer' ...

    Have a wonderful birthday - and I hope you're being treated to a few goodies and hugs et al .. cheers Hilary

  16. @ Charmaine, thank you. Your title sounds like you've combined my son's love of zombies with my daughter's love of dogs. You've already got customers!

    @ Tessa, I don't think I'd want a lie-seeing eye either.

    Thanks for thinking up such a fun blogfest!

    @ Sheila, maybe you write magical realism like Ann Hoffman.

    "I find it almost impossible to think kids books without magic."

    @ Words A Day, thank you for the birthday wishes. And thank you for the feedback. You should be a critique partner since you're tuned into where I'm going with it!

    @ Old Kitty, thank you! Yes, today is the big day. I'm gong to say the same thing to you as I did to "Words A Day". You would be a critique partner since you're tuned into where I'm going with the story. Thanks for the feedback.

  17. I want to know what she saw in the mirror!!! Pretty cool magic stuff, btw. Would certainly make life more....interesting. Totally hooked me.

    Happy Birthday!

  18. @ Mary, thank you. I'm glad you like the concept.

    @ Michelle, I'm happy to hear the story gave you goosebumps. I like meeting other fantasy writers too.

    @ Beth, me too. My short story that's going to be published is the closest to straight writing I've done, but even that has a twist.

    @ Morning, AJ. Thank you! And thanks for the comment.

    @ Natasha, I picture the words like calligraphy. I like thinking of "translucent", so I may add that word.

    Thanks for the comment and birthday wishes.

    @TerryLynnJohnson, while I write paranormal/fantasy, I appreciate contemporary books like yours.

    Thanks for the comment!

  19. @ Margo, thank you. Now I just have to finish the last 8k words (give or take) and go through all the next steps to get it ready to query. Piece of cake, right?

    Do we gravitate towards paranormal or does it find us? Great question!

    @ Raquel, thanks. I wouldn't want to know what people are thinking either.

    @ Meredith, thank you. I appreciate it!

    @ Hilary, it took me days to get over when the clocks changed here.

    Thank you for the birthday wishes!

    @ The Words Crafter, I think Lucienne seeing her fake eye being able to see was vision enough! Thanks for the nice words and the birthday wishes.

  20. Awesome and magical entry, Theresa - I love it!! Happy birthday, friend! And thanks for the b-day wishes both here and on FB. You're the best! :-)

  21. I'm curious to know if others see the real eye or is it still fake to them. Good job.
    N. R. Williams, The Treasures of Carmelidrium.

  22. An interesting introduction to a new ability. I was slightly confused by the reference to x ray vision, but a nice effort.

  23. cute cute cute. I taught a boy last year who had a fake eye. He was quite brilliant about it. It even had his name etched into it (but he had to pull down his bottom lid (just a teeny bit) to see it the "jack" on it.

    Love this story so far. ☺

  24. Intriguing. The dreams were a good start and well played. How the dreams played out in real life was even better. My interest is caught and I'd like to know more.

  25. Every time I write a sentence that works I feel I'm wielding magic :)

    This was a great entry. Wow, is this girl in for some shocks.


  26. I liked this -- it was really different. A heroine with a glass eye is different to start with, and if she has a glass eye the eye just has to do something magical, and this seems like the kind of magic that will get her into a lot of trouble -- I would definitely keep on reading this book!

  27. What an interesting premise! It would be sooo hard not to confront people about their lies.

  28. @ Mr. O (er, Shannon), thanks and you're welcome!

    @ N.R. Williams, I hope you get a chance to read the book to find out!

    @ Stu, sorry the x-ray vision confused you. It was more an analogy about being able to see beyond something. Guess it fell flat for you.

    @ Ellembee, how cool the boy could get his name etched in his eye. My protagonist is not nearly as comfortable with hers.

    @ Dawn, thank you. I'm glad you were intrigued.

    @ Donna, what a great way to put it. That's how I feel too.

    Yes, this girl is in for some shocks.

    @ Pat, I'm glad to hear you'd want to read more.

    @ Vicki, thanks. This protagonist has one person in particular she'd like to confront.

  29. Happy Birthday
    I was drawn to what was going to happen next. I really liked the plot.

  30. I. Loved. This. It completely hooked me - I'm usually pretty bad reading all the way through a longer post, but this was absolutely fab

  31. Okay, now I'm intrigued! I want to read the whole stry and see why she has been given that gift t see the truth and how it all ends!

    Well done.

  32. @ Choices, thank you for the birthday wishes and the comment on the excerpt.

    @ Laura, I'm happy to hear you were hooked. I tried to space out the text to make it more reader friendly.

    And thanks for wishing me a happy birthday!

    @ Nas, I'm glad you're intrigued. Let's hope it's published someday so you get the opportunity.

  33. Great use of the magic, here. I haven't read first person in a while. It's nice to see it again. :)

  34. Happy Birthday! Loved your excerpt. Your use of magic is unique and I always love stories with magic.

  35. Happy Birthday! I'm liking your magic. :) I'm liking your book. I want to read the rest!

  36. Wow, I love the premise of this. Can't wait to keep reading and see what happens next!

  37. @ Rachel, I'm glad you like the 1st person POV. I used to write 3rd, but it's been a nice change with 1st. And this is my 1st attempt at present tense.

    @ Natalie, thank you for the birthday wishes. I'm glad you find my excerpt unique.

    @ Janet, thanks for the birthday wish and compliment on my entry.

    @ Deniz, thank you very much!

  38. This was very cool. I like how the "buzzing" becomes the old woman's words.

    And hope you had a nice birthday. :)

  39. Oh I loved this - it was gripping from the very beginning. Hope you had a wonderful birthday - sorry I missed your fabulous contest but I hope you have lots of fun choosing the lucky winner. :)

  40. Awesome!!! This should catch publishers' attention!

    I love magic in books. My forthcoming novel is what someone called "magical realism." Totally fun!

  41. This is so intriguing and well-executed! I really liked this little detail: "the doorbell rings, but it doesn’t occur to me Morgan is here. Or that I should be downstairs, opening the door to let Morgan in and squealing." it highlights how blown away she is and also I'm intrigued and want to know more about Morgan.

  42. Hi Theresa, Thanks for the mention (I'm #43 on the list). I love the irony of a false eye seeing the truth! That's great. I think I'm getting old because I wasn't expecting the 1st person narrative. (I hear it's strong in YA but I don't have kids and it's not my genre) thanks for showing me how well it works! :)

  43. @ LR, thank you. I'm glad you liked it!

    I had a nice birthday weekend.

    @ Jayne, how cool you found it gripping.

    Sorry you missed the contest.

    @ Katherine, I hope you're right since the other one isn't going the distance so far.

    I love reading magical realism. Good luck!

    @ Margo, thank you for the feedback. I appreciate it.

    @ Autumn, I used to write third person, but my recent pieces are first person. This is my first attempt at present tense though.

  44. Wow, so chilling! Thanks for participating!

  45. I love the flow of your writing. Thank you for sharing it with us, I really enjoyed it!

  46. Happy Birthday....Well, I hope you had a Happy Birthday. It's now Tuesday.

    I LOVED LOVED LOVED the excerpt from Naked Eye! WTG!

  47. @ lbdiamond, I'm glad the excerpt had the intended effect. Thanks for hosting this blogfest!

    @ Lydia, I'm glad my writing had a good flow. It's something I've been working on improving. Thank you.

    @ Sharon, I did enjoy my birthday.

    I really appreciate your positive feedback. It's making me excited to finish the draft. I'm so close!

  48. I'm glad you had a happy birthday, Theresa. I wish you all the best, also.

    Your excerpt works. I'm definitely hooked. Being able to read someone else's mind is a powerful gift. But is it indeed a gift. I guess that's what Lucienne will find out in your story.

  49. Theresa, I LOVE this except. This is amazing. I wish you the best of luck with this WIP. I think it should take you places. It's great.

    Thanks for sharing!

  50. What a cool premise! I'm fascinated by the combination of magic and, it seems like, science fiction, with the eye replacements? Neat idea!

  51. @ Victoria Marie, thank you for the wishes!

    You're right, the gift is going to be fraught with issues she doesn't want. I'm glad you got hooked!

    @ RosieC, thanks for the compliments. It keeps me going.

    @ Amalia T, I'm glad you liked it. The eye replacement is initially ordinary. Magic makes it extraordinary.

  52. ooo... creepie creepie! And I was convinced at first you were trying to kill me--first the ear thing, then the eye thing.

    I don't really write magical stories, but they're fun to read! Best~ :o) <3

  53. I'm like you. I can't seem to write a story without some element of magic in it hehe :)

  54. I love stories with magic, so bravo!
    Happy birthday (though I am late to the party- no pun intended:D)

  55. I don't always write magic in my stories, although I do like the occasional paranormal twist.

    Really, I like the magic to be in the characters and their relationships with each other.


  56. That was great, Theresa - very intriguing! Now I want to know what she sees in other people when she goes on about her day. Nice job!

  57. @ LTM, it's a good thing you're not reading the part when she loses her eye. I cringe when I go over it!

    I love reading stories with magic in them too.

    @ Lynda, nice to know you're a magical writer too.

    @ Kulsuma, thank you for the comment on the excerpt. And thanks for the birthday wishes. I don't mind 'em late.

    @ Jai, lovely way to put it:

    "Really, I like the magic to be in the characters and their relationships with each other."

    You should be a writer. ; )

    @ Susan, I'm glad you're intrigued. Thanks!

  58. Oh wow, how awesome! While that would be absolutely terrifying and ultimately a complete horror, it would certainly come in useful in certain situations ;) And I love that it was the loss of her eye that allowed her to "see".

  59. Oh, I missed your birthday. Happy belated. I hope it was wonderful.

    Your excerpt is great, lots of fun. I love that element of magic.

  60. @ Stickynotestories, thank you! Her eye definitely becomes useful, but may also be seen as a crutch. I like how you put it, "... the loss of her eye that allowed her to see." Deep.

    @ Missed Periods, thanks! I had a great birthday weekend.

    I'm glad you liked the excerpt.

  61. WOW!Theresa that was great. I lover mind readers!