Finding the colors again
In the Word Wood

Dreaming awake

Nattadon morning 1

“I write fantasy because it’s there. I have no other excuse for sitting down for several hours a day indulging my imagination. Daydreaming. Thinking up imaginary people, impossible places. Imagination is the golden-eyed monster that never sleeps. It must be fed; it cannot be ignored. Making it tell the same tale over and over again makes it thin and whining; its scales begin to fall off; its fiery breath becomes a trickle of smoke. It is best fed by reality, an odd diet for something nonexistent; there are few details of daily life and its broad range of emotional context that can’t be transformed into food for the imagination. It must be visited constantly, or else it begins to become restless and emit strange bellows at embarrassing moments; ignoring it only makes it grow larger and noisier. Content, it dreams awake, and spins the fabric of tales. There is really nothing to be done with such imagery except to use it: in writing, in art. Those who fear the imagination condemn it: something childish, they say, something monsterish, misbegotten. Not all of us dream awake. But those of us who do have no choice.” - Patricia A. Mckillip

Nattadon morning 2

"Do people choose the art that inspires them — do they think it over, decide they might prefer the fabulous to the real? For me, it was those early readings of fairy tales that made me who I was as a reader and, later on, as a storyteller." - Alice Hoffman

Nattadon morning 3

"My parents gave me C.S. Lewis and Tolkien and T.H. White, but I think I was supposed to grow out of them. Which makes me think of that famous China Miéville line — when people ask me how I got into fantasy, I ask them, how did you get out of it?"  - Lev Grossman (from "What Fantasy Does Best")

Nattadon morning 4

"People who deny the existence of dragons are often eaten by dragons. From within."  - Ursula K. Le Guin (from The Wave in the Mind)

Nattadon morning 5

The dragon and her dad


Those who deny the existence of dragons have eyes that will not see and ears that will not hear.

Those who see the world by dragon light (even if they do not know that is the light that guides them) are given a precious gift.

I know for a fact any map of my brain would have a script announcing "here be dragons."

*happy sigh*

Terri, you're on a roll with GORGEOUS quotes and GORGEOUS pictures lately. May the gods heap blessing upon blessing on the friends who gave you the new camera.

Give Tilly a pat on the head for me- with greetings from Pepper, my wonderful new rescue pup, who could be Tilly's twin. Best decision I ever made.

Dreaming Awake

I am dreaming awake.
Both awake
and dreaming.

Between fantasy and reality there is
a boundary.
In the boundary there is
a gate.

I can open the gate
with my thoughts

or with my heart
with my pen
my brush
my voice
or my mandolin;

or by meeting your eye
or by touching you
or by walking away
or by lying alone in the dark
on the moss
under the moon;

by speaking sometimes,
sometimes by listening;

or by as many other
simple magics as
there are moments
and stars.

Either way,
a boundary once traversed
is no longer a boundary.

The gate swings both ways
in the endless wind.

There is no lock.

So awake.
And dream.

Austin Hackney, did you write that? It is truly beautiful! I love the finale:

So awake.
And dream.

Gives me shivers.

Terri, I'm sharing your fairy tale quotations (like the Alice Hoffman above) with my students. :)

They're right when they say imagination is monstrous and misbegotten. I don't see why they would make it less important or amazing. "Awesome" and "awful" come from the same root, after all.

Thank you.

I wrote it this morning in response to Terri's inspiring post.

Had I not written it, you can be sure that I would have given credit to the author.


Fantastic photo! (beautiful poem, Austin).

Beautiful! I love the rhythms, like chanting a spell.

Me, too!

Thank you.

I'm delighted that you like it.


Oh, Terri, I just love these quotes, thank you. For a little while, due to the influence of various professors, I tried very hard to write realistic fiction. It drove me to depression, I think-- that feeling of being eaten from within by your own dragons. In the past year or so, something gave me permission to write that way again, write the way I always did as a girl, the way I read in the books and fairytales I loved. I think it was some combination of reading Catherynne Valente's work, finding Rima Staines whole world, and moving back to the land of my home and my love, where the wild things started to speak. I like what Patricia McKillip says-- that for some of us, there is no choice but to dream awake. Thanks for this, as always! xxox Sylvia

The same thing happened to me. My teachers and professors tried to sway me one way, while my soul was tugging me along elsewhere-- "where the wild things speak". (Love that!) It was such a relief when I started writing my soul's stories. Like coming back home.

Terri, I have been reading your posts for years but finally could resist no longer and had to register with typepad to comment on this post. It's so wonderful, and has captured everything I feel, wonder and enjoy about growing older, and not having to 'grow up'. Thank you for sharing these quotes! I'm printing this one to keep. Minerva ~

simply gorgeous, feeling inspired now :-D

This is magical Kitchen Boy....thank you for sharing.

Do you mind if I share it on my personal blog? (Not "The Jousting Life" blog, my "Donkey Sense" blog(which I have been neglecting horribly).) I will of course name you as the author and link to your website.

You are welcome, of course.


You are very kind.

Thank you.


"by as many other simple magics as there are moments and stars"


Thank you, dear.

Dora, if I'm remembering correctly, it comes from a lovely little essay she wrote for the Washington Post a long while back (2004 maybe?), but alas, that essay is no longer online. And I'm kicking myself that I didn't print out a copy....

The same thing happened to me as well, which is how I drifted into studying myth and folklore in college. The myth professor, as opposed to the lit department, didn't think my love of fantasy was so terrible, bless him.

If you would like to see it, here is the link:

If you would like me to change anything, please let me know.



Looks great. One small thing: the blog is not


I hand copied your poem in violet ink and attached to my drawing board. It inspired a breakthrough in an illustration I've struggled with, a portrait of a Cherokee basket weaver. Now I know what she's weaving. Thank you Austin.

I'm glad.

You're welcome.


Austen's lovely poem, charming comments, wisdom and beauty in the the brotherhood and sisterhood
of all, and McKillip, Hoffman, Grossman and Leguin, say them three times and you're in the wise wondrous world of other.

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