Recurrent Magic

A Recurrence of Magic Jewellery.

I have written a number of books. For children; The Dreamstealers Trilogy, which was published in Wales by Y Lolfa. Then historical novels; A Court in Splendour and The Bardic Monk, published by Llanerch Press, a small press in Somerset who happened to like my work. I have never had any success with mainstream publishers but I can acknowledge that my subject matter is maybe a bit obscure. Whether it is or not, one of the things I have noticed, looking back at my published and unpublished work is a noticeable recurrence that intrigues me because I did not actually see it at the time.

The presence of jewellery as a means of performing magic appeared in my first attempt at a novel. The thing I have about jewellery is more complex perhaps than I myself understand. I do wear it, and I do like it, and I do own a lot of worthless tat in the jewellery line. I have never ever yearned for gold or diamonds or any other precious stones. The real McCoy, as seen on aristos and celebs past and present, leaves me cold. It all looks rather boring and stiff, added to which I might lose it. My tat, on the other hand, which is made of tin and gilt, glass, plastic and leather,is eminently loseable, and in terms of accessories offers some genuinely varied embellishment. Neck chains, ear-rings, brooches, pendants, bracelets; I wear them all. Why I would write about them having strangely active properties, is however, something of an enigma to me. Perhaps it is merely that I have a paucity of imaginative ideas, and the jewellery has been handy once so maybe it will be again. Except that it does not happen like that.

In The White Tower, a historical/fantasy/novel originally written during the 1970s, the heroine is gifted a charm bracelet, which she discovers conceals magic properties. When she rubs the charms they act to alert members of a spell-circle to come together. In Shapeshifters of Cilgerran, part 2 of the Dreamstealers, a brooch from the cloak of Manawyddan, one of the demi-gods from the Mabinogion, reveals itself, to contain all the spells in his Defnydd Hud or Materia Magica. He only has to finger the brooch and rub it lightly to find the spell he wishes to perform. In my latest novel Arianne Lexicon, Teenage Detective : The Case of  the Matching Charms, a charm bracelet appears again. In this story (forty years after The White Tower) it is both the mystery and the solution, magic realism not magic occultism, antique silver, found behind the radiator in the maths room which contains hidden clues. What it is important to stress is that in none of these instances have I thought back to the previous occasion. Every one of them has suggested itself at the time of writing, and each time arisen as something original, how can I not know I have done it before? But genuinely, there has been no awareness of repetition at the time. Only in retrospect, and only this time, since finishing Arianne, and going back to do a rewrite on another unfinished work, rediscovering the never published manuscript of The White Tower, soon to be completed as The Girl Merlin. It’s all very odd. I wonder if, as with dreams, other people will see connections here which elude me.

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