Leigh Lauck, writer & author

“There are more things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio,
than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”

― William Shakespeare, Hamlet

Grand Canyon Magic

When I first read Hamlet in the ninth grade, this phrase flew straight to my heart and gave me a shiver. Horatio’s words, written four hundred years ago, affirmed all my youthful hopes and fantasies. For as long as I can remember, I’ve yearned to believe there is real magic in our “ordinary” world.

When I was about six, I became fixated on a margarine commercial on TV that featured a woman costumed to personify Mother Nature. This was the first time I had been exposed to the concept of the divine in the natural world.

I played in the forest behind my house and imagined it was full of woodland spirits, and that I was Mother Nature, connected to that flow of magic and mystery. I’m sure my neighbors raised an eyebrow when they saw me marching down the street toward the woods draped in a bed sheet, with a garland of dandelions on my head. Perhaps they locked their doors.

I was always the kid begging to hear ghost stories at camp, both riveted and filled with dread as I lay wide eyed in my sleeping bag. My friends and I played all kinds of games together—we fought vampires who lived in the woods near town; we were Greek goddesses presiding over the fate of humanity; we were witches running around in the back yard, pointing magic wands at each other long before Harry Potter.

Normal? I have no idea. But we were submerged totally in our adventures. Our ho-hum kid lives took on a special luster, and these fantasies made us feel like we were characters in our favorite books.

Now that I’m a “grownup” (which is debatable, just ask my husband), I am no less intrigued by the notion of forces and realities beyond the reach of our everyday experience.

I am fascinated by books that explore these themes. J.R.R. Tolkein, Stephen King and Margaret Atwood weave tales that inflame my imagination. In their stories, we meet ordinary people facing extraordinary circumstances that tread the byways of the supernatural.

I write the kind of fiction I love to read, where the boundaries between the mundane and magical blur, inviting both the reader and me to step through the veil and discover what lies beyond.

The road is full of surprises. Come with me, my friend. Our journey awaits.

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