Black and Blue Magic

Black & Blue Magic

On a recent hot and humid day off, I went to the Crystal Lake Public Library to do some research for an idea that’s been niggling at the back of my mind—and no, I’m not telling you what it is…

As things started falling into place, there was a distinct “click.” My brain shifted into overdrive and my fingers started smokin’ the keys on my laptop. For those of you who’ve known me any length of time, you know that I type fast. Very fast!

Having just seen the movie, “Tamara Drewe“—which takes place at a writer’s colony in Ewedown, a quiet community on the outskirts of London—I closed my eyes and pretended I was there…mentally transporting myself “across the pond” (as it were) in the blink of an eye.

Sitting at a shared table—somewhat like a revolving door—people came and went throughout the day, but I kept my eyes closed and let it flow. I’d put on over-the-ear headphones as my visual signal to be left undisturbed. When all was said and done, I’d been in the same seat typing away from 9am to 6pm.

What did I have to show for it?

– The idea that had been simmering on the back burner of my mind now has a life of its own on paper, and

– A bruised finger! I don’t know how it happened. I didn’t have it when I arrived, but I certainly did when I left. And like magic, it doesn’t hurt at all.

When was the last time you were so engrossed in what you were doing that you completely lost track of time?

By the way, one of my favorite childhood books is Black and Blue Magic by Zilpha Keatley Snyder. I promise that if you check it out of the library, you’ll love it too!

Listen with your heart,

Laurie Buchanan

Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.”
— Laurie Buchanan and our Facebook page

© 2011 Laurie Buchanan – All Rights Reserved

31 thoughts on “Black and Blue Magic

  1. Laurie,

    I think you were truly inspired! Followed that “click” to its end… Good for you! Can wait to see and or read what it is that you created in those moments.

    I often find time missing while photographing, sometimes when creating a meal!!!

  2. When I write or edit my fiction, I find time disappears, hours pass. It’s quite reassuring that i can become so engrossed.
    Tamara Drewe – not yet seen the film, only the cartoon strip. But plan to.

  3. Gosh Laurie, I loose track of time almost daily it seems. Sometimes I’ll get so deeply engrossed in something at the beginning of the day and work so diligently at it that by the end of the day I’m totally convienced it’s already.. . tomorrow. I did that last week. And just as I was about to go nuts because the distribution of our mid week paper had not arrived on Wednesday as expected, I realized it was still only Tuesday. I believe time really IS speeding up!!

  4. Wow, Laurie — I need to give myself the LUXURY of not having a deadline or having to be somewhere . . . just a day with only one thing on the agenda and that is to write! I very much envy your dedication to your craft. As for your finger, my guess is that it is not a bruise but that you pinched a blood vessel which broke, especially since it does not hurt. A bruise of that color (very colorful!) would hurt. Now, what you are releasing from that particular blood vessel through that particular finger is a secret only you know 😀

  5. What a magical day, Laurie! A day that Time forgot. And gave you a bruised finger as well. (I don’t know how magical a bruised finger might be, but in your case, it feels magical.) Trying to think of when time passed this quickly and unsuspectingly, but can’t quite recall. It does feel like ALL of the days are passing like this, like quicksilver, like an enchantment. We mustn’t close our eyes or blink too much or our lives will be over faster than your afternoon in the library. (Hmmm, this is beginning to sound morbid, perhaps we shouldn’t go there? Grin.)

    • Kathy – I’m sorry for the late response, this is a teaching weekend for me. And yes, I agree that the days are passing like quicksilver, with a “catch me if you can” grin and mischevious twinkle in the eye.

  6. Ah Laurie, this is truly one of my favorite SPEAKING FROM THE HEART posts, though there have been so many to make such a distinction.

    You see, I am not only thrilled that you have used a movie title (TAMARA DREWE with that wonderful London setting) to launch the piece, but have followed it up with a pointed reference to an author I adore: Zilpha Keatley Snyder. I have read “Black and Blue Magic” and have offered it up on a middle school reading lists along with three other books by now mid-80’s but remarkably still-active author- the Newbery Honor books “The Egypt Game,” “The Headless Cupid” and “The Witches of Worm.” I own these three in HC editions in my Caldecott and Newbery holdings, but i can’t blame you for enjoying “Black and Blue Magic” which brims with buoyant wonder, much like the film “The Boy Who Could Fly,”(1986) a film that I am certain Laurie will have you smiling and deeply moved.

    You certainly have gone past that bruised finger, and I wish you and Len a great weekend.

  7. As far as being engrossed, I’ll make immediate reference to this week, where I ahve been immersed (a kind way of putting it) in a “pre-code” festival in Manhattan that has required everyday attention. Whenever I’m there (which is constantly until August 11th when it ends) I always seem to lose track of the time. Ha!

    • Sam – I can only imagine the elation you feel when you’re immersed in the energy of the “pre-code” festival. The only thing that makes my vision of you even better, is placing you in a director’s chair with a beret set at a jaunty angle on your head. Now THAT would be the icing on the cake 🙂

  8. My most memorable time when I was so engrossed in something that I lost track of time was while living in Ireland and…
    I woke one morning with a story running through my head. This was before I found out I could actually be a “writer” 🙂 I got my coffee, a clean legal pad of paper, and pen. I sat in a chair in the living room and wrote and could not stop for the characters kept rambling through my brain. I spent the whole day in magical wonder at the story I was writing.
    I loved that day.

  9. Pingback: 13 Pre-Coders including ‘Public Enemy,’ ‘Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde,’ ‘The Mouthpiece,’ ‘Red-Headed Woman,’ ‘Call Her Savage’ and Buster Keaton on Monday Morning Diary (August 1) « Wonders in

  10. Flow – it’s a thrilling feeling! Can’t wait to read about your new idea!

    For me, it happens when doing genealogical research, online, in libraries, historical societies, cemeteries and at home. Once Tim’s aunt came to visit us and brought me a box of old family papers and documents she had just discovered. Then she and Tim went out for the day and left me to sort through it, file it, write about it and organize it. Tim knows me so well he called every four hours to make sure I remembered to eat!

    • Barbara – I have an aunt who gets into the same “zone” you described when she does geneology research. I enjoy being on the receiving end of what she has to share, but the actual “doing” of it would push me right over the edge!

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