Lessons from Wildfires

Built on a skeleton of fallen branches, covered over with leaves and twigs, the sweat lodge looked positively eager to burst into flames. The surface tinder was necessary–I was told–to prevent passing forest rangers from seeing the illegal mound of old U-Haul blankets and fire fuel. Apparently, the rangers had already confiscated one such lodge…

The Invisible Mountain

“First there is a mountain. Then there is no mountain. Then there is.” – Zen Proverb Everything is possible in the beginning. Having started a handful of businesses, a couple of little local TV shows, several websites, and about three dozen novels, I’ve always found the beginning to be a perfectly lovely time–a gentle stroll…

Magic Loops

The thesis of this series is that there is abundant magic in the world that can be learned and even harnessed to support writers, artists, and other creatives in creating more and better work that connects with an increasingly bigger and more committed audience. This magic is fundamentally based on feedback loops. This post further…

The Substance of Magic

What do forest fires, wealth inequality, animal stampedes, successful authors, depression, and the creation of life have in common? They all fundamentally rely on the same basic mechanism–and it is to me the source and substance of all magic in our seemingly mundane world. When the new mage in a fantasy novel first taps into…

Magical Beginnings

Any journey into magic–as this blog and the series it’s part of purports to be–ought to begin with a proper Call to Adventure. So let’s imagine you’re out one day in whatever hamlet, burg, or -opolis you call home, when an old man in a funny hat with a long pipe points at you from…

A Book of Word-ly Magick

One of the things I love about writing conferences is that moment in the hotel lounge or bar–roughly around 11:37 pm–when the mood shifts and you’re suddenly in a Cary Grant movie surrounded by a room full of witty, charming, and fabulous people. While some might call this “being drunk,” I prefer to think of…