Guest Post: Hard At (Magical) Work by Gypsy Thornton

April 16, 2024

The following is an unsolicited guest post from the amazing Gypsy Thornton of Once Upon a Blog – full disclosure, we were shy about even posting this, because it’s SO kind and complimentary of us, but our desire to give you someone else’s perspective on The Carterhaugh Writers Society won out… so imagine us blushing but delighted as we post this!

Right now, The Carterhaugh School of Folklore and the Fantastic is overseeing the creation of thousands of new spells PER DAY. Literally.

And when I say “right now” I also mean that literally. Right now, as you are reading this (in the third week of April, 2024) the brand new Carterhaugh Writers Society is hard at work, creating a multitude of things that never existed before. They are taking ideas, thoughts, energy, and feelings and transmuting them into something that can be captured on paper or screen, giving shape to things that didn’t exist in this world until they put in the work. These newly bonded bards and wonder wordsmiths are putting in the determined and persistent magical work of showing up to be there for themselves and others, then putting pen to paper and fingers to keys, committed to actively transforming the elusive light and shadow of things that aren’t yet real into things that are. 

Through The Carterhaugh Writer’s Society, Professors Brittany and Sara are not just pointing the way, they are working just as hard as everyone else; they’re sharing approaches and tricks that work for them, offering instruction in time-honored techniques and skills that can be practiced and honed to enhance this type of magic, all while busy doing some seriously hefty spellwork of their own, weaving and spelling with the rest of the members, as they write a brand new book. 

This might give the impression that there is a secret enclave at work where special, initiated writers enter and log on to disappear from the real world for hours, then reappear with armfuls (and pagefuls) of spelled wonders, but Brittany and Sara agree that everyone should be empowered to know how to make focused spelling work, so they’ve sent newsletters about it (totally worth signing up for), talked on a podcast about it (accessible, fun, and inspiring), and given a lot of guidance just in describing the Society

The difference with this Writers Society – the members of whom are currently hard at work capturing and conjuring words into books and other life-changing forms of shareable writing – is that those who have joined, have committed to show up together at the same times and same places, to work hard on their own magic, while protecting the writing/spelling space for each other, all boosting each other’s focus so they can all stay on the “write” page (and get that first draft done!)

But let’s get nitty gritty for a moment: anyone who has any inkling of fairy-tale magic knows that in undertaking such a task, you’re likely to get a little dirty, find yourself in places you never expected to be at odd hours, and grappling with ingredients and elements that make your tummy a little queasy. It is hard to turn up, knowing that this is part of the experience, but that is also the work, after all, and you don’t get to the real magic until you commit to persisting through it. It’s not all magic teas that soothe, scents that transport you to memory elements that are perfect to add to a scene, being hypnotized by the tappity-tap of a keyboard or the swish of a quill feather, or the joyous tingle of being surprised by what is forming under your fingers, though those are part of it too. Sometimes those magical-feeling parts of writing can be very elusive and pursuing them is as dangerous as following wisps in a swamp. If  – and when – you do, for this happens to every magic worker, the words remain unspelled, and the scent of possible magic fades because you’ve lost your way. What can be most helpful at times like these, is being part of a circle of focus to help keep you grounded, and show you where and how to step until you are out of the mire and back on the page. This is The Carterhaugh Writers Society superpower currently at work in the liminal spaces of time shared online. 

The Carterhaugh Writers Society is not only a collection of word wizards who are capturing stories and bottling them into ink and paper form, but is determined to prove the effectiveness of this collective by creating creative works the world needs. And to prove how strongly they believe in this technique and collective power, Profs Sara and Brittany are among the wizards actively working on spelling these never-before-seen volumes, manuscripts, and works into being (and some of them may very well work their way onto a shelf near you.) You can think of it almost like a living library that is growing with every hour! 

How inspiring is that?!

PS: If your life didn’t allow you the room to join the inaugural launch of the Carterhaugh Writer’s Society, never fear. The Society will open its doors again for another spelling session in the future, and then you too, can join be part of this magical collective in action. You can even join the waitlist on this page!

Bio: Gypsy Thornton (she/her) is the Guardian of a chicken-legged coffee cup with a mind of its own. A night owl forced to get up with larks, she often describes herself as liminal and is forever trying to do impossible things before breakfast. She can only be seen in her true form after midnight. 

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