What Inspired my Writing?

An instagram prompt asked what inspired me to write my story. I decided this topic deserved a blog post because it’s very much entwined with why I write in general and what I share with my readers here.

Let me begin by saying I wanted to be an author since I was younger, but nearly abandoned the dream in college. I was discouraged with my prose and haunted by a sense of inadequacy. So I just…stopped.

I started this blog over a decade ago when I moved to Northern NY. I wanted to record my journey as a Pagan and Druid in the North Country. I also wanted to provide information for newcomers to the path. At the time, I was working through the Dedicant Program, a self-paced study through my Druid tradition, Ár nDraíocht Féin. Naturally, my blog became the perfect place to share my progress. Once completed, I delved into some more advanced courses, but graduate classes and pregnancy slowed my Druidic studies. It was also around that time I decided my energy was best spent simply sharing my experiences and artistic pursuits rather than attempt to provide original, scholarly essays. In my continued quest to better understand Irish lore and culture, I realized there were more qualified individuals for that task.

An eastern hemlock growing in rocky terrain overlooking Lake of the Isles, a major location in River Magic. Photo by M. A. Phillips 2020.

Before I had my daughter, I did a lot of sewing. I still keep a gallery of my work on my site for your viewing pleasure. This all started when I wanted a representation of a Goddess on my altar. I put the skills I’d learned making teddy bears to use and coupled it with a deep love of nature and mythology. Once I found myself nursing Bee more often than not, my creative outlet cried out for release, only I needed something that didn’t require both hands, a lot of movement, or so many sharp bits. While Bee snuggled against my chest in a wrap or in my left arm, I typed out the beginnings of what would become River Magic. This occurred around the time I began reading books by Alice Hoffman and I woke up to the concept of magical realism.

Everything came together, and I found my old dreams of authorship blossoming anew. I’d been floundering with an idea for an urban fantasy/paranormal romance. I realized the genre wasn’t working for me and the story I needed to tell. River Magic, and my other fictional writing, draws on my experiences as a contemporary Druid in Upstate NY, actual folklore, my relationship with the land, real life problems, and a touch of magic that so many of us in the Pagan community encounter. It’s fictional but informed by real belief systems and lore grounded in our reality. Soon, you’ll be able to enjoy it yourself.

Published by M. A. Phillips

An author and Druid living in Northern NY.

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