Jane (Book One) - fireflys_locket

Magic and Soul: A Magic Inc. Book Two Excerpt

“My Dad always said I was talented. That I was meant for great things. But I never really understood why. I mean, I come from a powerful family, but… I never – I barely had to work at it. Magic just came easily to me. For a while, as a child, I was fascinated with the idea of being powerful or exceptional. Especially when I thought about how different I felt from the other kids. But then… it started to feel pointless. I was good, but I never got any better because there was no reason to. No motivation. So, I – well, I had to look for a reason.”

“Did you find one?”

Chaz chuckled. “Yeah, I did. And it was important, so I trained hard. And I did get better. But I still felt like I didn’t deserve to be so powerful. Like the power wasn’t even mine, and was only given to me to fulfill a purpose that could have easily been someone else’s. That’s why I get so – obsessed, I guess – with running Magic Inc. sometimes. It was something I had to learn to do on my own. I mean, through my Dad’s help, but… I really had to work at it. It may give me a lot of stress, especially now, but when I do make something happen, I know I did it on my own. I earned it.”

I smiled, then thought for a moment. “It’s good that you love your work. And that you want to work hard. I know that’s admirable. I just don’t think you should feel bad about being powerful. About having something so special come naturally to you. Because isn’t magic, like, a part of your soul? Even if you didn’t have to work at it so much, you should be proud that it’s a part of you. It’s your strength of soul, the connection to who you are, that makes you powerful. It does belong to you.”

Chaz looked surprised. “I… well, never thought of it that way.”

“Maybe you were meant to fulfill a role, but that doesn’t mean that’s why you’re powerful. Maybe you were chosen because you are powerful already,” I continued. “And I don’t think having a destiny means that we don’t have any say in it. That we don’t get to decide what it is. It’s only that some part of us has decided already.”

“You are incredibly insightful, Jane,” Chaz said, shaking his head. “I’m not sure if you’re right – no one can really know how this works – but when you say it with such certainty, I believe you.”

I wasn’t really sure why I was so certain. Just that I still believed we were meant to be together, and that I would have chosen that life no matter what options were in front of me. But I wasn’t sure he would feel the same.

“Would you choose this life?” I asked, quietly. “If you could just be normal. Free from your responsibilities. Just a college student, studying game design?”

“There are things I would change if I could,” Chaz replied, sadly. And I knew he was thinking of his father again. “But yes,” he said, looking into my eyes with sincerity, “I would choose this life.”

~

My favorite part of writing Magic Inc. has never been the magic. As fun and whimsical as writing fantasy can be, I've always been drawn to conversations between characters over anything else. Maybe it's part of being a classic introvert, but I love deep conversations in both life and writing. And what is writing if not life? Especially, for me and Magic Inc.

Jane and Chaz's deep conversations have been my favorite thing to write over the course of Book One and Two. They relate to and balance each other so well. Jane, with her passion and emotion and the pain of someone beyond her age. And Chaz, with shared experiences of feeling different and his introspective deep thinking of someone a little older. Jane inspires Chaz to dream and believe in himself, and Chaz comforts her when she's in pain with his understanding and empathy. He sees her in a way that no one else does, and for Jane, who is so mistreated and misunderstood by her classmates, that's everything.

This is one of those moments where Jane is able to connect with her own soul and speak words beyond her years. Chaz doesn't talk down to her. He respects her thoughts and beliefs. Children are not just children, they are humans, too. With their own passions and pains, "positive" and "negative" traits, and unique experiences.

As Taylor Swift would say, "When you are young, they assume you know nothing." But Jane's innocence of spirit, in spite of her trauma, allows her to connect to something I think we (as adults) have to relearn our connection to: intuition.

Chaz shows Jane the compassion and understanding I wish I'd had as a child. In a small, strange way, his words are often me reaching back to comfort my younger self.
~
Purchase Links:
Amazon (for Kindle)
Barnes & Noble (for Nook)
Apple Books (for Apple Devices)
Smashwords (most digital formats available)
Amazon (for Print Edition)
Gina (Book Two) - fireflys_locket

What's Next?

I'm still adjusting to being finished with Book Two. It's such a strange feeling. I'm still very nervous about how it will be received. But part of me feels a bit lighter now. Relieved. And free. Finally free after nearly three years of editing.

But with that freedom comes its own set of nerves. What do I do next? Do I take a break? Or start working on the next Magic Inc. book? (Technically, I already have, but...) What about my other WiPs? Do I try juggling projects like I used to? Or should I focus on one of the ones that might catch more interest?

The answer is probably all (or most) of those. I'm going to continue trying to follow my intuition and inspiration. This year was meant to be about freedom from pressure, and while I certainly haven't been perfect at that - and isn't striving for perfection a form of pressure anyway? - that mindset has served me and my mental health tremendously.

I'm thinking of giving away a few ebook review copies of Magic Inc. One & Two. Let me know if you'd be interested!
Gina (Book Two) - fireflys_locket

Magic Inc. Book Two (Synchronicity) is Now Available



Magic Inc. Book Two (Synchronicity) is now available!

I can hardly believe I'm saying that. I've been working on this novel for over five years. And it is a deeply personal book. One that I've poured so much of my heart and soul into, all while being terrified of how people will judge it. As I've mentioned many times, the Magic Inc. series is based on my own childhood pain and struggles with bullying mixed with the fantasy world I created in my head as an escape.

I dug into my past experiences and my deepest emotions to create this story. So, it's been difficult to let anyone read it. I've even been afraid of what my close friends and family will think of it. But this story is a part of my truth. It's lived in me for so many years, and I've relied on it. Magic Inc. saved me as a child, and it has continued to keep me going in all the years since. It was time, after five years of writing and editing and agonizing over this part of the story, to let it soar freely out into the world.

Writers often talk about writing the book they needed growing up. This is mine. In Book One and Two, the friendship between Jane and Chaz is, in part, a way of expressing the things I needed to hear as a child. That it's okay to not fit in. To be different. It's okay to be your vulnerable, authentic self. And that's what I tried to do by writing this book.

I've included the summary of Book Two below, as well as an excerpt link, but I also invite you to check out the "Note from the Author" (also linked) if you would like more of an intro to the book and an explanation of potential trigger warnings before making a decision to purchase it.

Tragedy has struck. As Jane Roberts tries to help the Parkers through their loss, amidst increased bullying and painful visions, she feels only one thing remains the same: she is still convinced Chaz Parker is her Soulmate. Her feelings are stronger than ever and maturing rapidly in spite of her young age. But there’s a new problem… Chaz has a girlfriend. Desperate to see into her destiny, Jane makes a mistake which pulls her future into her present. And it could change everything at Magic Inc.

Excerpt

Note from the Author

Kindle

Smashwords

Print Version

Cover Art by Abigail Diaz
Gina (Book Two) - fireflys_locket

Note from the Author (Book Two)

This book is the story of a child who did not feel her age. Who ached for connection and understanding. It is not written for children. And thus, it has not cleaned up the parts of life that children do often think about in the real world, whether adults want them to or not.

I've made it no secret that Jane is me. Her experiences and feelings are almost entirely my own. I was an extremely sensitive child. Growing up, both peers and adults questioned the intensity of my emotions and affections. I was, at the same time, an overly mature child and an overly innocent one. Jane's dreams and longings may read as "too old" for her age to some adults, but this is how I truly felt as a child. As children often do, I dreamed of being an adult. This is not unusual. But I also longed for a more mature connection.

What I really craved was romantic love. From age nine and on, I would fall desperately, obsessively in love. And yes, I do call it love. What Jane feels is completely based in the reality of what it felt like to be young and in love. To want to find wholeness in the arms of the right person. And I do believe there are other kids, teens, and adults who will be able to relate to the intensity of her passion and struggles fitting in with the world around her.

It is up to you whether or not you are comfortable with a friendship between a child and a teenager, or with a child dreaming of romantic love with an older boy. If these concepts are triggering to you in some way – or something you would rather not allow your children to read – that is understandable. I do not wish to cause any harm, and I'd rather lose a potential reader than upset one. But this story – Jane's feelings – are my truth. And I will not hide them, either.
Dreams of Tomorrow (Kagome) - cowgirled

We Were a Fresh Page

I was feeling rather anxious, about the book being almost finished and then some, and I watched some emotional anime that had me feeling, well, emotional. And I just needed the release of diving deeper into my feelings instead of avoiding them. So, I returned to what I had of Book Three, which I'd (just barely) started and left waiting for two years to re-edit both of the previous books.

Book Three was a new beginning for me. A new way of expressing myself. Freedom I hadn't felt while writing and editing (and re-editing) Book Two. Book Three is a dark period in Jane's life. But it's also the beginning of new hope. New connections. A (very slow) beginning of learning to accept her talents and express herself. And what can I say, writing something painful and depressing can be very cathartic.

I haven't written anything new yet. Just reading over and readjusting to this new chapter (ha?) of Jane's story.
Dreams of Tomorrow (Kagome) - cowgirled

February 2021 Favorites

It's been a month of personal achievement but also deep loneliness for me. Maybe I'll go more into that later, but here are my monthly favorites.

It's Okay to Not Be Okay: This show features flawed characters dealing with past trauma in sometimes manipulative or destructive ways. However, if you can handle that, this K-Drama is a spectacular piece of art. The acting, the sets, the costumes, and the music are all gorgeous. There's a Tim Burton meets fairy tales feel. A dark children's fairy tale author meets a caregiver for a psychiatric hospital, and they deal with their mutual past and past traumas together. And while I was initially put off by the female lead's behavior, I loved all three of the main characters and even the (sometimes) annoying side characters by the end of the show. It's a romance, mixed with a spooky thriller/mystery, with strong found family themes. And it definitely has some darkness and potential triggers (please check before watching), but I found it to be a fascinating and beautiful story of characters who have been through trauma and pain. (Watch on Netfilx.)

Avatar: GNs: I've been reading the Avatar: The Last Airbender graphic novels, I'm pretty impressed so far! The characters feel so geniune to the original show that I can hear the voice actors as I'm reading. The Search is the "must-read" of the ones I've finished. It was so beautiful in both art and story, and you can finally find out what happened to Zuko's mother! (Purchase from RightStuf.)

Nuzlocke: I've been catching up on J from SuperCarlinGaming's Pokémon Nuzlocke challenges on YouTube. It's a harder way of playing the games, and I get so attached to the Pokémon as characters while watching. It's definitely making me want to go back and continue my Shield save. (But I could never do a Nuzlocke and let my Pokémon "die". 😭)

Music Favs: Always You (Nick Broadhurst), New Day (Kate Havnevik), Translucent (Morgxn), Stay (Delerium), Don't Say Goodbye, Say Goodnight (Binocular), History & In the Waiting [Reimagined] (Kina Grannis), Potential Breakup Song [2020] (Aly & AJ), Up in Flames (Ruelle), Drunk (Ed Sheeran), and *anything* by Owsey!

What were your February favorites?
Gina (Book Two) - fireflys_locket

Book Two Update

After five years of agonizing over this project (with one off for re-editing Book One), I have finally finished Magic Inc. Book Two. It still needs proofreading, so I expect a few small changes are still ahead. And I am still terrified to actually put this book out into the world. But I am truly happy with it now.
Fireflies (I Keep Them in a Jar) - cru5h

Shuffle Time (February 2021)

I've decided to do this once in a while whether I've been tagged or not!

Rules: Shuffle your favorite playlist or your entire music library and list the first 10 songs that come up. You're free to take this for your own site or blog as you please.


1. Fanadi's Palace (The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD Original Soundtrack)
2. Owl City - How I Became the Sea
3. Savage Garden - The Animal Song
4. Funky's Fugue (Donkey Kong Country Original Soundtrack)
5. Chvrches - By the Throat
6. Teen Daze - First Rain (feat. S. Carey)
7. Hyper - Sim the Builder
8. Snow Patrol - Headlights on Dark Roads
9. Britney Spears - Everytime
10. Kina Grannis - When the Party's Over
Pretty Penelo - ryfee

Pulling Electricity (Out of the Air)

Inspiration is often treated like an outcast by the writing community. "Waiting" for inspiration is considered a major weakness. We're told "real" writers write even when they don't feel like it. That we have to push and force and "make it happen" to be successful. Otherwise, it's just a hobby, and we'll never get to where we want to be.

When I discovered how most other writers felt about inspiration, it hurt. I had spent so many years relying on it. Letting it carry me through work that felt sacred, emotional, and healing. Inspiration was life force flowing through me. It was magical. And I loved it.

That didn't mean I breezed through every obstacle with ease, or never struggled with self-doubt. Writing a novel takes a lot of work. (And not everyone has the drive to finish an entire book, or many.) We obsess over the idea of "hard work" in our culture. But does good work always have to be so hard? If you trust the process and take off some of that pressure, maybe not.

Yes, writing is work, and we should honor that. That creating art takes time and patience and showing up. But if we follow the flow of inspiration, follow our intuition, maybe it doesn't have to be so hard, so painful of a process.

For a while now, I've tried to reframe the idea of "waiting" for inspiration as "courting" inspiration. To seek out inspiration in everything you love. Books, movies, TV shows, video games. Anime and manga. Podcasts and videos. And my personal favorite, music. Stories and art fill up my creative well. They give me the flowing energy of vibrant visions. When I rely on this, I don't need to force anything. I call out for inspiration, invite it in, and then yes, I wait.

Focusing on being a lightning rod for inspiration instead of constantly producing content has helped me reconnect with my own natural magic. The ideas are flowing through me on their own. There are still parts of creating that will require more attention and work. But my electricity is leading me forward, and I'm letting it. Instead of trying too hard to direct its path.
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