Spelling Right

chuckie 1sWe’re going to dabble in a little ‘magic’ for this week’s creative writing prompt/exercise.

We know spelling is all about getting the letters of a word in the correct order, but there are other meanings for the word ‘spell’. You can be under someone’s spell, you can cast a spell – and you can experience a spell of good or bad luck (or weather!).

Throughout history, humans have tried to invoke deities to change their destiny, particularly in matters of relationships. Love potions, spells, rituals, tokens and curses have been big business in many cultures.

Spells don’t just have to be spoken, they can be written down too. Amulets to hold spells were a must-have ancient fashion accessory worn by many, and are regularly found by archaeologists at Greek and Roman sites. The Romans also used to inscribe lead tablets with the most awful curses against their enemies – often their rivals in love.

But there were not just curses, there were also requests for protection from ill-health or loss of income, and appeals to do with affairs of the heart and gathering successful crops.

Now it is your turn to write a spell. Think of something going on in your life (or the wider world) you’d like a particular outcome for.

It may be you want your team to win, or good health for a sick friend, or to always have your favourite parking space. You may wish for the winning Lotto numbers, or want to attract the attentions of someone romantically.

And of course, you’re a writer, so you might like to cast a spell that will smooth the path of your literary journey, the acceptance of your manuscript by a publisher and its subsequent appearance on bookshelves, perhaps.

So go ahead, use your words to create a spell. You can go as dark as you like here if you must (just don’t tell me the bad stuff, I’m happy in my fluffy cloud of delusion about how good life is).

If you’re heading that way, you may even take inspiration from Shakespeare’s famous witches in ‘Macbeth’:

Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn and caldron bubble.
Fillet of a fenny snake,
In the caldron boil and bake;
Eye of newt and toe of frog,
Wool of bat and tongue of dog,
Adder’s fork and blind-worm’s sting,
Lizard’s leg and howlet’s wing,
For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.
Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn and caldron bubble.
Cool it with a baboon’s blood,
Then the charm is firm and good.

Clearly, rhyming couplets work for spells, but you can just as well produce a piece of powerful prose to do the job…

And if you have got this far (well done!) and are wondering why on earth I have a picture of a ginger cat on display, well why not? I know there’s the black cat thing with witches and spells and all, but I have it on good authority this is Ginger Cat Appreciation Day. So today’s picture is one of my past ginger feline friends – Chuckie.

If you are new here, welcome! There’s a bit of background as to what this is all about here, otherwise just call back next week for another creative writing prompt/exercise to inspire you to keep writing. There’s a new post every Wednesday afternoon at 5pm, Dublin time.