Foreword . . .
Thanks to poets and word-weavers such as these, and books such as this, I am incredibly lucky that my reality is shadowed with wonder and fantasy, brimming with adventure and mystery. Too many of us are warriors, fighting our own silent battles with the thought of victory salting our eyes and bringing hope to our battered hearts.
My body has never experienced the grueling determination of a joust, but my heart and mind know all too well the cheers of an excited crowd as my lance perfectly hits the target, knocking my opponent from his horse. And I should probably mention that I’ve never sat upon a horse. In fact, I’m terrified of them. I’ve never held a sword in my hands but somehow I know the Siberian and unyielding steel of Excalibur.
I like to think we all possess a touch of fantasy, to some degree. Perhaps our whimsical ways and strange fancies are what make us so very human. We all need to escape from time to time. One of my favorite things to do is to search for rabbit holes and dive right in, feet first, eyes wide open.
Try to imagine a world without fairy tales, imagine a world bereft of magic. What would become of a tender-hearted child’s bedtime story? What would happen to the Peter Pan in all of us? Where would the dreamers, the star-child, breathe?
I need magic. You need magic. The world needs magic. I need to believe in everything, not just something. That’s me you see – the girl who believes in everything. And I’m more than okay with that. Obviously believing in everything can take its toll. If there aren’t monsters under my bed, I can hear them shuffling about inside my closet. And in my dreams, I’m flying, but it’s because I’m fleeing fallen angels and demons that want to suck out my soul.
Life is all about taking the bad with the good. Balance is key and timing is everything. When I was young girl I would have happily traded in my cats and dogs for a fire-breathing dragon. Now, when I see a lizard I run away screeching like a bat out of hell.
People tell me dragons don’t exist and I laugh in their faces and feel sorry for them and their lack of imagination. I think they may be reincarnated from the ignorant masses who burnt witches at Salem. I fail to see how one cannot be enchanted by witchcraft and all that hocus pocus. It doesn’t hurt to live life a little afraid of what you don’t know, but when we let fear get a tight grip of us, when we let fear get the better of us, well, that is when we become scared of anything and everything that is different from us, anything that might be a far-cry from a non-fiction existence. That is when we let the magic disappear from our lives, forever.
Who are you? Are you a brave knight? A warrior brandishing your sword, ready for battle. Are you a dreamer? Away with the fairies, losing count of fireflies whilst searching for Neverland. A goth? Who feels right at home with the monsters hiding under the bed, who loves to dance a dervish with the devil on the stroke of midnight. Or perhaps you are a dragon-slayer? Or a soul snatcher? Basking in the heat of an eternal flame. Or maybe you’re a witch? Hiding deep in the woods, practicing dark arts beneath the light of a full moon.
L.J. Diaz, Author of Catching Snowflakes
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A special thanks to the following contributors: Amrita Valan, Anusha VR, Ariana R. Cherry, Brenda-Lee Ranta, Christa Frazee, Christopher Allen Breidinger, D.B. Hall, Debasish Mishra, Don Beukes, Elizabeth Daniel, Janny Bennett, Justin R. Hart, Ken Allan Dronsfield, L.J. Diaz, Lori Davis,Lyne Beringer, Maggie Mae Carter, Mark Heathcote, Sue Lobo, Susan E. Birch, Tammy S. Thomas, Teresa Roberts, Valormore De Plume, Vincent Van Ross, and William Wright, Jr.