Fantasy vs. Magical Realism

In the quest to define the genre of my novel, The Heart Stone Chronicles – The Swamp Fairy, I stumbled across a definition of a genre I had not previously explored. It is called magical realism.

Although I have categorized my novel into the fantasy realm, after further reflection, I do believe it falls more into the magical realism category.

“Fantasy is defined as a work of fiction where magic is the main plot element, theme, or setting. Many fantasy novels take place in imaginary worlds where magic and magical creatures are common.” Wikipedia.

EMWelsh.com in her post, “Magical Realism, What is it?” defines magical realism with the following traits:

“Real World Setting:
Magical realism is almost always rooted in a real place, though like in Wizard of the Crow or One Hundred Years of Solitude, it can often be a made-up city or town within the real world that is treated as if it had always been there. For me, this is what distinguishes the genre more than anything from fantasy, where the entire world is usually completely made-up.

Myth and Folktale:
This can be used in various ways, whether it is by referring to myths and folktales that already exist, or by writing in such a way that folktales might be told. This is one of my favorite aspects of the genre because it gets to the core of storytelling – when it used to be told by word of mouth! I often keep this attribute in mind when writing my magical realist novel to play with narration.

Fantastical Attributes:
The most extensive aspect of the genre, magical realism incorporates what might be deemed superstitious or mythological and makes it real, though oftentimes consumers of the story are left wondering whether things actually exist, they are just metaphors, or if it’s all psychological. However, whatever it appears to be, it is treated as an everyday occurrence. Various examples include Toru, in The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, sitting at the bottom of a well for days on end or Riggan flying around Manhattan as Birdman in Birdman. It is this aspect of the genre that I believe makes it hard for it to translate to other modes of storytelling. In literature, there is lots of wordplay at hand and nearly everything exists in the reader’s mind. Because of this, there is more room for mysticism. In the other mediums, however, this mysticism becomes more difficult because the story is being presented to someone visually so that anything mystical is either taken to be fact or fiction on the spot. Despite this, films like Birdman and Pan’s Labyrinth achieve this well by honing in on one character psychologically and therefore so can you!

Mystery:
The mystery in magical realism, though central to the conflict, often is not highlighted to such a degree as it might be in a mystery novel. Additionally, at times many mysteries may not have an answer at all, like insomnia in One Hundred Years of Solitude. Whatever the mystery is, however, it often is what sets the character on their journey and hints at something missing in the character’s life. However, compared to the Hero’s Journey, their journey is far more passive and given to waiting and wandering. Haruki Murakami does this very well in all of his books, with many of his characters roaming about for pages on end in search of answers they just happen upon in a dream or in a strange woman at a bar. Their mysteries often hint at the void in their life – it’s usually a female connection for Murakami – and by the end of the book the mystery is resolved, oftentimes filling the void they have felt for the story, though this is not necessary, just like resolving the mystery is not necessary so long as there is one.

Color:
When you look up magical realism traits, you will not find this trait listed and it is by no means a scholarly or literary assessment, but it is a trait I see in every piece all the same. Now, of course, I don’t mean literally, as there are stories like Beloved that are dark and tragic but still fit the magical realism genre. What I mean is that when I am engaged with a magical realist story, everything is vivid. Things may be upsetting, yet they remain bright in their realizations until the very end, be it via description, dialogue, or the colors of the piece itself in the case of film. It is not to say everyone is constrained to one way of telling this aspect of the story in magical realism, but that there is always lots of life in the piece. Even when characters are doing absolutely nothing, the world around them should be fully realized, and that is because when writing magical realism, you work with the real-world as a backdrop, and all the abnormalities are able to really flourish. Try to keep this in mind when telling your own magical realism stories – every new detail that makes your world magical should bring it life and color.”

The difference between the two genres is that magical realism uses elements of fantasy which are rooted in our sense of reality, while fantasy creates a new reality.

When using magical realism you tell stories from the viewpoint of people who live in the natural world and experience a different kind of reality. If there is a fairy in a magical realism story, as there is in my story, the fairy is not really a fantasy element because the fairy is an indicator of this person’s reality and belief in fairies. Magical realism gives us a glimpse into a reality that is unlike our own reality, viewed through the eyes of someone else.

The real difference between fantasy and magical realism is that the reader is left with the understanding that this reality is true and that people really do live in a world where fairy nymphs protect certain areas of the earth. It also leaves the reader with the feeling that this viewpoint is true and correct. Whereas a fantasy novel is distinguished by the knowledge that the fantasy reality is a figment of the author’s imagination.

There are three ways to define magical realism as a specific viewpoint. In a magical realism reality, time is not linear, everything that happens must have a cause and are linked by more than just chance, and it must convey the idea that the magical and the commonplace exist at the same time and are in reality the same thing. This causes a blending of time and space where the past and future exist on the same plane.

This is what I hope I have achieved in The Heart Stone Chronicles. I wish for my readers to become enmeshed in a reality that they too can experience if they believe. I have no idea how I wrote a novel using a genre I had never heard of. Maybe magical realism has become my reality.

Thanks for stopping by,

The Swamp Fairy – My First Book is Under Construction NOW!

My excitement continues to grow as my book is beginning to take form. This will be my first novel, and as many of you know, my inspiration came from my blog posts called, “The Swamp Fairy.”

Here then, is a blurb for my book jacket, as was suggested by The Daily Post:



“One autumn day, on her way to school, twelve-year-old Abigail (Abby) Forester meets a fairy who asks for her help in saving the fairy kingdom that resides in the nearby swamp down the road. A new housing project with 180 units is being built next door, threatening the existence of the swamp fairies.

The swamp fairy explains to Abby that it is her destiny to help them, as she was chosen long ago in a different time and place. The fairies have always helped humans in the past. Abby proves to be the link who can help preserve the fairy kingdom, and the natural balance between their world and ours, to keep them both intact. One place cannot survive without the other.

Abby tells her best friend Savanna, and together the two girls embark on an adventure to save Fairy Swamp. They travel back into time to the beginning of Pensacola, Florida, where the girls learn about becoming stewards of the land, human equality, and what cultural harmony really means.”

I have even set up a word count meter on my blog, to track my progress. Please feel free to comment and lend me your support. I am excited at my new endeavor and look forward to sharing my novel in the near future!


Thanks for sharing in my excitement,

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Word Snap Weekly–Spring in Fairy Swamp

One of my favorite events of the week on WordPress is Word Snap Weekly hosted by the lovely Amanda, of Unique Art Chic.  Click here to find out more about this event.

Word Snap Weekly

Today, I would like to share a photo and an excerpt from my story, The Swamp Fairy – The Gift of Spring.  The swamp was alive this week bursting forth with bright green leaves and wild flowers in brilliant shades of red, pink, and creamy white!  I stood in the road watching the beauty of spring unfold around me.  Crimson cardinals and rosy-breasted blue birds flew about in the bushes and the trees.  Large fat bumble bees hovered about the new blooms, as the sweet nectar beckoned to them.  The fragrance from all this new life was intoxicating.  Welcome to spring in Fairy Swamp.

Spring in Fairy Swamp

“As quickly as it all began, the Swamp Fairy released the butterflies, and they immediately flew off into the sky. However, they did not look like butterflies anymore. Instead, they had taken on their true appearances. They were tiny swamp fairies wearing the colors of the spring swamp, clothed in brown, and a brilliant green, the color of new leaves. Wild flowers of every color were twisted in their flowing hair. Golden flecks of light bounced around them like glittering stars in the night.”

An excerpt from: The Swamp Fairy – The Gift of Spring

Amanda and I  Amanda and I LOVE Word Snap Weekly and we know YOU will too!  Join in and have some fun!

Thanks for stepping into Fairy Swamp for a bit of springtime.  I enjoyed seeing you all!

Silver Threading signature

The Swamp Fairy–The Gift of Spring

Friday, March 20, 2015 dawned wet and foggy. Moisture clung to the screens covering the patio. Thick fog distorted the shapes of the trees. Miss Hilda, Silver, and Bronze sat outside sipping hot coffee in the misty morning light. The mocking birds created a riot of noise while the chirps of crickets blended into the symphony of sounds. The dawn sunrise glowed eerily in the gloom.

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It was the first day of spring! At 5:45 P.M. this afternoon, we all would live through the spring equinox, a new moon, and an eclipse, even though we could not see it here in Pensacola, Florida. The stars and planets had all aligned to share some deep secret with the world, and we could feel it in the air. A feeling of apprehension, or expectation descended upon all of us.

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Silver read Miss Hilda’s and her own horoscopes aloud.

Miss Hilda’s horoscope said: Libra Friday, Mar 20, 2015

“Today your imagination is likely to be flying high, Libra, drawing on past images and events that you may have forgotten. You may wonder about the commercial potential of your thoughts. A conversation with a friend who knows this subject could prove enlightening. Write your ideas down and learn as much as you can about your various options over the next few days. You might be surprised!”

Silver’s horoscope said: Aries Friday, Mar 20, 2015

“Today you may feel a little out of sorts, Aries, but your creative energies are likely to flow freely. Inspiration could come from deep within you. You are probably more focused than usual, and therefore can spend considerable time working on a task or project without getting restless. Give free rein to your ideas. They might seem a bit dark and strange at first, but they are important.”

Bronze chuckled at our horoscopes, and said he was off to get a few things from the store. Miss Hilda and Silver continued to talk about the predictions for the day.

“Silver, do you really believe in this horoscope stuff?” asked Miss Hilda.

“Of course, I do,” replied Silver. “How could we not with the ways our lives have changed after meeting the Swamp Fairy?” she asked.

“I suppose that is true,” said Miss Hilda. “She has been in my life for so long that I do not think of her as someone new.”

“Silver, would you walk home with me? I appreciate you letting an old woman spend time with you and Bronze. Since the world did not end, I suppose I should get on home,” laughed Miss Hilda.

“Sure,” said Silver. “I am ready for a walk this morning anyway.”

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Silver and Miss Hilda set off down the road towards her house close to Fairy Swamp. The fog was trying to lift, as it drifted in hazy layers above the ground. Brilliant azaleas in shades of red and fuchsia glared in contrast to the fog.

The women walked quietly, enjoying the comfort of their friendship, words not a necessary part of their communication process. As they approached Fairy Swamp, the most delectable smell of sandalwood and jasmine, orange blossoms and roses filled the air. A pale green light emanated from the center of the swamp, casting an eerie glow in the remnants of the fog.

“I have only smelled this scent, so beautiful and pure when I have been in the presence of the swamp fairies,” said Silver to Miss Hilda. “Have they started their spring celebration before we got here?”

“No, I don’t think so,” said Miss Hilda pointing into the center of the swamp. “Look,” she said, “Fairy fire, everywhere.”

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“Fairy fire?” asked Silver.

“Yes, fairy fire is a plant that is said to grow where the fairies walk. Their tiny feet propagate this beautiful wild flower at the start of spring,” replied Miss Hilda. “My mother used to say that it was good luck if we saw it, like it was a blessing from the fairies.”

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Growing in huge mounds all around Fairy Swamp, we saw the bright, red fairy fire plants backlighted by the morning sun. It was beautiful and peaceful here on the edge of the swamp.

Deep in the heart of the swamp, a rumbling sound could be heard. It was the chanting we had heard many times before in the presence of the swamp fairies. It rumbled inside of us and pulled us towards the center of the swamp where we found the heart stone.  (Play the video as you read…)

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(Image credit: Heart Stone)

The heart stone pulsed and began to glow a deep green color in time with the chanting. Suddenly, right in front of us she stood, the Swamp Fairy. Her long blond hair fluttered in the breeze, while her glittering wings reflected the rays of the sun.

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We could hear the chanting in the background, as the Swamp Fairy gazed at Miss Hilda and me looking deep into our eyes. The Swamp Fairy raised her arms and the three of us were covered in butterflies of every color and size imaginable. Just like before, Miss Hilda and I could sense them and feel them all around us.  The swamp fairies were everywhere.  We felt no fear.  We held each other’s hands and soaked in the glory of the swamp fairies. Their iridescent wings gleamed in the light from the sun, while the fog swirled all around us, holding us close.

Miss Hilda and I felt their unity, their strength in numbers.  We felt like we was part of them and our hearts began to beat in time to the steady drumming of their wings.  We stood there, silently reveling in the unity of the fairies surrounding us.  We felt like we were home.  Both of us closed our eyes and smiled, living in the exact moment together. We were one with the fairies.

As quickly as it all began, the Swamp Fairy released the butterflies, and they immediately flew off into the sky. However, they did not look like butterflies anymore. Instead, they had taken on their true appearances. They were tiny swamp fairies wearing the colors of the spring swamp, clothed in brown, and a brilliant green, the color of new leaves. Wild flowers of every color were twisted in their flowing hair. Golden flecks of light bounced around them like glittering stars in the night.

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Humming birds in luminous colors of scarlet and emerald fluttered in a cloud of color. The birds descended, so that the tiny swamp fairies could climb onto their backs. In an instant, they flew into the sky, scattered to the winds. Miss Hilda and I looked around us and the crimson fairy fire plants were everywhere we looked. We had been blessed by the swamp fairies.

The Swamp Fairy placed fairy garlands of wild flowers in our hair. Fireflies danced about us like twinkling lights. Hares and foxes, armadillos and possum, all the animals of the swamp came forth and bowed their heads to us. Spider web lace was dropped on our shoulders. Droplets of dew hung like diamonds off the webs, glinting in the misty sunlight.

As quickly as it had all begun, it ended. Peace and a deep quiet descended on the swamp. The Swamp Fairy was gone.  Miss Hilda and I stood looking at each other with smiles on our faces. It was spring and the Swamp Fairy had blessed us with her magic!

In the distance, the sound of a huge piece of digging equipment could be heard scratching the earth into big piles of dirt. Construction had begun on the edge of Fairy Swamp!

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Silver Threading, The Swamp Fairy Story Keeper

The Swamp Fairy–The Fairy Journal

Miss Hilda and Silver sat in the garden enjoying a glass of iced tea watching the cardinals and the blue birds play in the bird bath. Large fat bees bumbled along in the hot breeze, buzzing, as they flew in circles looking for pollen on flowers that had not fully opened up yet in the warm temperatures. The air was heavy with moisture. Spring had suddenly thrust herself into Pensacola, Florida with the heat of a summer day. It was hot, even sitting in the shade of the newly leafed out trees.

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Silver had her fairy journal with her today. This is where all the fairy stories are written from the memories of the two women. Today, they had compiled a list of everything they knew about the swamp fairies, and added it to the special journal. Between sips of southern style brewed tea, they talked about their last encounter, through the horse-hole. You can read all about that here.

Here is the list that Silver and Miss Hilda compiled into her journal:

1) The Swamp Fairy asked for the help of humans, as Fairy Swamp is endangered, because of the new housing development across the street from their fairy habitat.

2) The Swamp Fairy asked Silver to write about the fairies to bring attention to their plight. She writes about them often on her blog, silverthreading.com.

3) The Swamp Fairy directed us to the center of the swamp near the heart stone where an interesting plant grows called, pink sundew.

4) The Swamp Fairy took the women back into time to when the first Native Americans lived in Pensacola, Florida. They saw how the pink sundew plants steeped into a tea, helped the early Creek Indians stave off the diseases the white man brought to the continent.

5) It is clear that the swamp fairies interacted with and protected humans.

6) The swamp fairies take care of Miss Hilda’s garden. Many of the plants have been growing there since she was a young girl. The plants bloom even in the harsh cold of winter.

7) Miss Hilda’s mother met with the Swamp Fairy on a regular basis. The fairies visit Miss Hilda daily.

8) Silver and Miss Hilda recently contacted Escambia County to see if there was anything they could do to save Fairy Swamp. The county official said that if there were endangered plant species involved they could declare the swamp protected wetlands under the State of Florida.

9) Pink sundew has medicinal properties. Miss Hilda drank tea from the plants as a child and was not sick like the other children in the area. Just like the Swamp Fairy showed them with the Creek Indians.

10) Pink sundew only grows in Fairy Swamp near the heart stone.

“Alright, Miss Hilda,” said Silver. “Is there anything else we should add to the journal?”

“No, Silver. I think you have everything written down. What were you going to show me that you saw in the newspaper?” asked Miss Hilda.

“Tomorrow is the spring equinox, a new moon, and there will be an eclipse,” read Silver out loud. “The U.K. will be plunged into darkness from the eclipse, while we will not even see it here in Florida,” she added. “It will affect people mostly in Northern Europe,” Silver finished.

“What really concerns me is that all three of these events, have in the past, been celebrated as events of significance within various cultures around the world,” Silver continued.

“In fact, some people are saying that these signs are a prediction of bad times ahead. Many people believe the connection between Friday’s eclipse and the end of the world comes partly from the “Blood Moon Prophecy.” That refers to the theory that a tetrad — four consecutive lunar eclipses, with six full moons between them — is a sign that the world is coming to an end,” Silver read from the newspaper. “Of course, you must remember that this is theory from only a few religious leaders,” said Silver.

Miss Hilda stared off into the edge of Fairy Swamp lost in thought. “Well, no matter what happens, these events must be significant to the swamp fairies,” she mused. “Every full moon and new moon seems to affect their magic giving them the ability to communicate with us more and more.” “I wonder what will happen tomorrow?” said Miss Hilda. “Have you heard anything from the Swamp Fairy?”

“Not yet,” said Silver. “In fact, it is time I get home to fix supper for Bronze.” “Miss Hilda, I want you to come to my house tomorrow morning for coffee.” “I will be up by 6:00 a.m. sharp.” “We will all have breakfast together.” Then, we can see what the day will hold for all of us,” said Silver.

“Thanks Silver,” said Miss Hilda laughing. “If the world is going to end, I think I will just come and spend the night at your house, if it is alright with you and Bronze?” she chuckled. “Besides, Bronze makes the best barbecue chicken in Beulah!”

Miss Hilda closed up her house while Silver waited for her. The two women made off down the road heading for Blackberry Ridge. Spring showed her beauty as they walked past Fairy Swamp.

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Thanks for dropping by today.  Stay tuned tomorrow to see what happens in Fairy Swamp.

Silver Threading signature

The Swamp Fairy-Through the Horse-Hole

It was March 5th, 12:05 P.M. the night of the Full Worm Moon, and Miss Hilda and I stood at the horse-hole in my backyard shivering, partly from excitement, although the cold north wind had something to do with it also. The white orb radiated a soft glow in the backyard, and we could easily see the tree line outlined before us. What were we doing here? You can read the prelude to the story here.

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Into the horse-hole

The most beautiful aroma began to waft through the air. It was a mixture of sandalwood and jasmine, orange blossoms and roses. I have only smelled this scent, so beautiful and pure when I have been in the presence of the swamp fairies. Miss Hilda and I were enchanted by the moment. We stood there clasping our hands together, excitement coursing through our veins.

Suddenly, right in front of us floated, the Swamp Fairy. She appeared in a swirling fog drifting before our eyes. She had long blond hair and glittering wings.

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“Come,” said the fairy. “It is time for you both to learn the stories that you need to know to understand the reason I have come forward asking for your help. Let us go through the horse hole, which is a gateway portal to another dimension in time where I will guide you and Miss Hilda to understand the true reason we need to save fairy swamp. Go with me now and fulfill your true destinies with the swamp fairies.”

Miss Hilda and I held hands, as the Swamp Fairy encased us in her warmth. It felt like a loving hug, a kind of closeness to the fairy we had not experienced before. We felt lighter than air as we drifted in the cold night wind. A yawning, huge gap of blackness appeared above the fence at the horse-hole, and we were sucked into a star-studded blackness. I felt a vacuum, a feeling of falling backwards, and then suddenly it was over.

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Miss Hilda and I were floating at the edge of a great swamp. The full moon was low in the night sky and cast an eerie pall on the scene before us. Dawn was not far away. I could see trees towering in the shadowy blackness all around us. Hugh great stumps jutted up through the watery depths below. The air was filled with the sounds of frogs croaking, crickets chirping, and mosquitoes hummed in our ears.

“Miss Hilda, are you here?” I asked her. The heat and humidity rose up in the air and made my breathing labored.

“I’m here Silver. Where do you think we are? Do you still see the Swamp Fairy?” she asked me.

“No, I think she left us here, I told her. Miss Hilda, are you still floating?”

“Yes, and it is really strange. I can hear and see all the bugs, although they do not seem to be bothering me. Usually I get eaten alive by mosquitoes,” she chuckled. “I am not even hot and with all this humidity we both should be dripping!”

“I agree. Miss Hilda, look over your shoulder. Do you see that light, not far off in the distance?” I asked her. “It looks like firelight the way it is flickering. I feel like we need to go that way.”

Miss Hilda and I floated, apparition like in the heavy, humid air. As we got closer to the light, it was apparent that it was a fire burning in a pit. Acrid smoke twisted up from the center of the fire. A deep red glow pulsed in the embers.

All around the fire pit were small houses made from river cane lashed together to shape walls. Large palmate leaves almost two feet across were laid in layers forming thatched roofs. The leaves pointed downwards and humidity dripped from the ends of the leaves into carved out yellow gourds surrounding the perimeter of each house. I could hear the gentle plinking noise, as the moisture dripped into the gourds.

Just to the other side of the dwellings were cultivated fields where rows of corn were planted. Tall hemp grasses grew in borders between the fields. Another planting area was further away in the opposite direction, closer to the swamp we had come from. A lone structure stood there, similar to the other building around the fire.

Pink Sundew (Drosera capillaries) plants bathed the area around the lone hut in a rosy glow, which reflected off of the pink blossoms. I knew about these plants because they grew in Fairy Swamp too. Miss Hilda and I had seen them when we found the heart stone last month. They grew where they were sheltered in the warmest part of the swamp.

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(Image credit: Pink Sundew)

Miss Hilda and I floated toward the pink sundew garden. Dawn began to break and streaks of sunlight filtered into the fields and the encampment below us. Miss Hilda and I hovered closer to the edge of the swamp where the foliage was denser. In any event, we did not want to be discovered. Miss Hilda and I spoke in whispers. We were only observers in this tableau.

As the sun rose, we could see about five women with long black hair, dressed only in deerskin wrap around skirts bring wood to add to the large fire pit. They spoke quietly and worked quickly to get the fire glowing again.

Miss Hilda and I heard a baby cry and one of the women came back with a black haired baby suckling at her breast. The woman continued to work balancing the baby in her arms as she brought more kindling for the fire. The women moved about silently preparing the fire. Large pumpkin sized gourds were filled with water and set on stones near the fire. Clouds of mosquitoes drifted through the smoke.

“Miss Hilda, do you see this?” I whispered.

“Yes,” Miss Hilda whispered back to me. “These people look like the Isti, or early Creek Native Americans. They were some of the first native tribes to settle in Pensacola. Many of the native people from what is now Georgia and Alabama came together to form the Poarch Creek tribe in eastern Alabama and northwestern Florida,” she explained. “I think we are seeing these people.”

“It appears that the Swamp Fairy took us back into time to the beginning of human activity in what I expect is Fairy Swamp,” I reasoned.

“I agree with you Silver,” said Miss Hilda. “I wonder what the significance of the lone hut over there with all the pink sundew plants growing around it could be?” she mused.

“Pink sundew does have some medicinal values. In fact, I started researching the plants that grow in Fairy Swamp when I was trying to find out what that fetterbush was. If I remember correctly, pink sundew leaves contain an enzyme digesting protein and can act as an antibiotic. Native American people used the plants that grew around them for food and medicine all the time,” I reasoned.

“That makes sense,” said Miss Hilda. “They are growing hemp too, and their houses look like they used it to bind the river canes together. I bet those huts are sturdy.”

Suddenly, the figure of an old grey haired woman dressed in deer hides came out of the lone hut. She threw both hands in the air, looked skyward, and began a keening cry. All activity ceased within the encampment. I did not even hear a bird chirping, or the croaking of a frog. The women stopped cooking at the fire and bowed their heads.

Unexpectedly, butterflies of every color, size, and type covered the old woman and the other women, the lone hut, and the pink sundew plants. Everywhere I looked around the swamp and the Native American campsite, the trees were covered with these glorious butterflies, fluttering, as if they breathed the life-blood of the swamp itself into the people they covered.

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Just as quickly as they came, the butterflies were gone. For the second time that night, the most beautiful aroma began to waft through the air. It was a mixture of sandalwood and jasmine, orange blossoms and roses. I knew we were all in the presence of the Swamp Fairy.

She hovered in the air, close to the old Native American woman. She did not look exactly like our Swamp Fairy, but a close version of her. The old woman bowed her head and spoke in her language to the fairy. The Swamp Fairy bowed her head and spoke to the old woman in that peculiar way she had, where I could understand her words in my head.

The Swamp Fairy told the old woman the pink sundew plants that grew in proliferation around the lone hut were spectacular. She then instructed the old woman that men with skin, as white as the moon, would soon come to the swamp. When this happened, she told them to start cooking the plants and drinking the tea that came from them. This would keep them safe from the white skin sickness they brought with them. She also told the old woman to continue growing and nurturing the plants. If they moved, they were to take the plants with them and grow them in their other location.

I gaped with my mouth hanging open at this exchange between the Swamp Fairy and the old Native American woman.

Miss Hilda, the Swamp Fairy is telling the old woman to use the plants as medicine against the diseases the white man will bring to the native people,” I told her.

“I remember now,” said Miss Hilda grabbing my arm excitedly. My mother used to make a tea using pink sundew leaves. I was never sick with the flu, or even a cold, as the other children were when I was young. The pink sundew tea kept me healthy,” she remembered.

Abruptly, a mammoth black orb appeared before us. Miss Hilda and I grabbed each other’s hands and hung on for dear life. In no time at all, we were sucked back through time and exploded out of the horse-hole falling onto the cold grass. We were back!

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Silver arrives home through the horse hole

Thanks for visiting me today.  I enjoyed sharing my adventures with you all!  Until next time,

Silver Threading signature

Save Fairy Swamp!

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I would sure like to be lying on the beach today… if it was warm that is.  Our warm temperatures turned quite cold as another cold front swept through our area today.  I am worn out!  We are now at the last of the painting with only the living room and dining room left to finish.  Exhaustion has set in and I must get some other things done around the house.  You know like shopping, laundry, etc.  I had two days worth of emails to go through and have finally made it through them all.  I need to take a nap before my wild night begins.

Tonight is the March full moon and Miss Hilda and I are going to meet the Swamp Fairy.  Last time we met she said, “There are stories that you both need to know first in order to understand the reason I have come forward asking for your help. Silver Threading the horse hole on your property where the fairy ring appears is a gateway portal to another dimension in time where I will guide you and Miss Hilda to understand the true reason we need to save fairy swamp. I will come to you on the full moon of each of your months to teach you and guide you to fulfill your true destinies with the swamp fairies.”  You can read the story here.

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The Horse-hole

The Swamp Fairy wants us to help protect the swamp from the building that is taking place all around Fairy Swamp, destroying the fairies natural habitat and the plants they need to survive. The Swamp Fairy said, “There is a delicate balance between fairy swamp and the reality of the humans that must be preserved, or we both shall cease to exist as you see us today.”

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Fairy Swamp is just the other side of this property where all the building is taking place!

Stay tuned… things are about to get interesting!

Silver Threading signature

Spring at Fairy Swamp

Spring Fairy Slippers

Tiny pink fairy slippers tremble in the foggy morning breeze,

all the while foretelling the tale of the swamp fairies –

from cocoons all nestled in Live Oak leaves

that swirl and dangle high up in the trees.

Spider web lace dances in the sun, as

naked tree reflections sparkle and shimmer

in the waters of the slough.

All hail!

The unveiling has begun.

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Spring is coming to Fairy Swamp.  This morning, I could hear frogs and crickets singing.  It was a glorious chorus calling to the swamp fairies to burst forth from hibernation!  It will not be long now.

Word Snap Weekly

Many thanks to Amanda, from Unique Art Chic for hosting her fabulous Word Snap Weekly.  Find out how to participate here.

Thanks for visiting me today!  I look forward to seeing you all again!

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Word Snap Weekly– Dreaming of Fairy Swamp

It is the start of another magnificent week in our blogging world, and that means it is time for Amanda’s Word Snap Weekly!  This is where we writers combine our photography with words to make stunning miniature photo essays.  Join us and see what creativity bubbles forth from your inner muse!

Dreams of Fairy Swamp

My dreams of Fairy Swamp and the Swamp Fairy have increased.  The new moon dawns on Tuesday, January 20th, which usually means fairy activity increases and my dreams take on a whole different dimension of meaning.  I will write down these dreams and share them with you next week, so stay tuned.

Word Snap Weekly

Thanks Amanda for hosting your creative and lovely challenge.  I look forward to it every week!  Thanks for peeking in on me today.  I will see you all again,

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The Swamp Fairy–“Fairy Houses”

After the Winter Solstice celebration, life seemed to settle down through the end of the year. That was fine by me. I had plenty to ponder and wonder about concerning the events that transpired with the Swamp Fairy the end of 2014.  Now we were at the beginning of a new year. In my mind, I have been going over just what I knew about the Swamp Fairy. There were certain things I knew about her and the fairy realm, and I wanted to make sure I understood all there was to know so far.

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The Swamp Fairy

For instance, in my original research I found out that it was good luck to see a swamp fairy.  They turn color too, depending on the season, for their own protection, which makes good sense for survival. In addition, they have special powers. I witnessed some of the Swamp Fairies’ powers through the powerful dreams that I have been having, which seem to include visions she sends to me in a telepathic form of communication. That does not even begin to include the images that the Swamp Fairy shares with me whenever we meet. Yes, I have had an exciting time of it.

My friend, Miss Hilda, who was the proclaimed swamp fairy expert in Pensacola, Florida, shared these facts with me:

“The swamp fairies live in the trunk of a tree or in hollow trees high up because of the water that accumulates in the swamps. Sometimes you can see the swamp fairy houses in nature.  If you see a tiny opening leading into a hole in a tree, or a little hidden pathway into the hollow of a tree trunk that just could be the home of a swamp fairy.

Swamp fairies eat berries, swamp cabbages, and fruits in the autumn to fill their pantry for the harsh winter in the swamp.  Swamp fairies take care of the little animals in the swamp.  They help them if they are hurt or if they cannot find food in winter. Sometimes swamp fairies can be mistaken for a brown leaf in autumn. 

In the summer, the fairies look like a fancy multicolored dragonfly and if caught by an eagle, an owl, or a fox they could perish.  However, when the animals discover what they caught is really a swamp fairy and not a dragonfly or a leaf, they let the swamp fairy go and apologize for any harm they may have caused.

Swamp fairies live as long as 300 years.  When a male swamp fairy marries, he does it for love, something that only happens once in a lifetime.  The female swamp fairy chooses the male swamp fairy.  They have families and live quite lives in the swamp.

If a swamp fairy reveals themselves to humans, it is because the human is open to the possibilities of life and not afraid to believe in magic.  It also means they might need your help.”

Hilda McFarland

Miss Hilda

Miss Hilda had been seeing the fairies since she was a little girl, she told me. She always helped them with the availability of fresh water and fresh fruits and vegetables, which she placed in her backyard for them to retrieve. I believe the fairies felt comfortable with her and appreciated her benevolence toward them. Miss Hilda always took care to make sure there were no strange wild animals lurking about her yard that could cause harm to them.

Living behind Fairy Swamp has had some real advantages for Miss Hilda. Her gardens were spectacular, as if the fairies themselves tended to her flowers and trees. Birds of every variety and color flashed in the trees in Miss Hilda’s garden. She was truly blessed by the beauty of her small sanctuary.

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I had wondered why the fairies contacted me to write their stories when they had Miss Hilda taking care of them from the start. It was then that Miss Hilda revealed to me that she could not write because she had come from Germany many years ago and never went to school here in America.  So, Miss Hilda and I formed an alliance when it came to the Swamp Fairy.  She and I were a team.  Without her, I could never decipher the dreams and experiences I have.

On top of all that, I still was having a hard time coming to grips with the fact that the swamp fairy had chosen me long ago to write their stories. How long ago, I wondered. We had moved back to Florida in April of 2013 after many years living out west. How could this all be?

I went to sleep last night with all these thoughts muddled in my brain. It was a warm, humid night and I tossed and turned. Near dawn, I awoke with the sheet twisted around my waist and my blankets in a bundle.

I had another dream!

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I was in the swamp again. The humidity dripped from the leaves of the trees and drifted in a foggy grey mist throughout the slough. I felt the coolness of dusk settle like a mantle around my shoulders. I shivered, and looked around trying to get my bearings. The moist air was hard to breathe in it was so heavy.

I heard a pleasant humming sound and recognized the presence of the swamp fairies. As I peered into the darkness of the gloom, I saw tiny blinking lights moving all around the swamp. It was then I realized that lightening bugs clustered near the bases of the trees. The tall Live Oak trees had hollow areas at the base of the trunks, and I could see a glow coming from inside each tree.

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Image credit: Fairy Tree Entrances

I knew I was seeing fairy swamp from long ago, because the swamp was much larger than it was now, denser and thicker. As the humming grew louder, I could see some of the fairies sitting on large oak leaves that were drifting on top of the water that covered the majority of the swamp. They drifted toward the hollow openings in the tree trunks.  The leaves looked like little boats bobbing in the dark water.

I looked inside some of the tree holes and could see vines intertwined in the hollow of the tree trucks. Fairies were flying around the vines landing on the leaves as if they were miniature ladders. The fairies were more of a green color this time, so I knew that I was seeing a scene in spring. The lightening bugs seemed to be the fairy lights that lit their way into the trees.

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Image Credit: Fairy Houses by Deviant Art

At the top of the trees were more fairy light lightening bugs that milled about, some even landing on the leaves to rest, their tiny lights blinking on and off shedding light on the fairy realm far below. Brilliant dragonflies in the colors of precious jewels drifted about in the gentle breeze blowing through the swamp.

The dankness of the mire beneath my feet had an earthy decayed smell to it. I could hear tiny splashes in the water as the fairies disembarked from the Live Oak leaves and drifted upwards into the trees. Fruits and berries were hauled up those vines one by one.  It must be the end of the day for the fairies, I thought.

From what I was seeing, Fairy Swamp was a thriving community. There were some fairies that were tee-tiny, and others that were much larger. They seemed to be everywhere.  I could not tell their ages because all of them looked young, the only difference being in their height. All the female fairies appeared to wear leaves and branches woven into their hair. The same went for their clothing. Leaves of many shades of green adorned their tiny bodies. Tiny vines encircled their waists, while some fairies had tiny blue bells in their hair. The men wore tiny brown or green caps that looked like they came from the tops of the acorns from the Live Oak trees. They had miniature beards and rosy cheeks.  They too, were dressed in leaves.

I was breathless watching the community of fairies interact within their homes in the swamp. Everyone was busy, much like bees tending to a hive. I felt that peaceful sense of belonging whenever I was in their presence. The fairies never seemed to notice me, which made me think that I was gazing into the past undetected by their current lives.  In other words, the Swamp Fairy was giving me one of her visions.

As the sun set behind the swamp, the twinkling fairy lights grew brighter and then slowly began to wink out. The end of the day was near for the fairy realm. It seemed even lightening bugs needed sleep. I yawned, stretched, and smelled the fragrance of lavender, patchouli, and sandalwood. I knew the Swamp Fairy was near.

“Good night Silver,” she whispered in my ear.

The next thing I knew, I was back in my bed, and Bronze was telling me it was time to get up.

Thanks for letting me share my stories of the Swamp Fairy.  I look forward to seeing you all again!

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Silver Threading, The Fairy Story Keeper