Always The Magic

Hi Tarts,

This past weekend I enjoyed lots of deadline recovery time.

It was sorely needed.

Even in the worst of crunch times, I keep up with my cycle runs and beach walks.

Doing so is good for the soul.

Getting out into the world, away from my own four walls, keeps me balanced and happy.  It also refreshes, energizes, and delights me.  Daily out-of-the-house excursions also offer levity to counter the stress and strain of deadlines.


Sometimes I’m met by magic.

Recently, the great Deadline Dragon himself made an appearance.  As did some naughty love scene ‘blooms.’  All things that made me smile and chuckle.

But not all such magic makes me laugh.

Sometimes I’m awed.

Awed by wonder, beauty, and enchantment.

The swan above is a perfect example.

Here’s another look..

Isn’t he magnificent?

Actually, there are a lot of swans around here.  I’ve even seen a black one, though not in a while.

Usually, they’re seen from a distance, gliding gracefully across the far side of a pond.

Not so this past Sunday.

This beauty was only yards away and didn’t mind when I stopped my bike to stare, admire, and take pictures of him.

Seeing him so close was a precious gift.

A special treat that warmed my heart and touched my soul.

I love swans.

I think everyone knows how much I love classical music?

But I may not have said that I used to visit the opera and ballet lots when I lived in Munich.  One of my all-time favorite ballets is Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake.  I’ve seen it many times, often on my birthday (as performances frequently appear then). 

The music is hauntingly beautiful and ever so romantic..

(If you receive this in email, you may need to visit the actual Tartan Ink site to view the videos)

I often listen to Swan Lake (and other Tchaikovsky ballets) when writing.

Especially when writing love scenes and other emotionally gripping ecounters between the hero and heroine.

Here’s another wonderful sampling..

A fabulous Swan Lake trailer by the Royal Ballet..

I’ve seen the Royal Ballet perform Swan Lake in London.  I still get chills (of the most delicious kind) to remember that magical night.

And so…

Happening upon this swan recently, really made me feel good about the just-finished book.

Or perhaps it was just Devorgilla smiling at me?

I do think his appearance was magical because…

He even waved goodbye when I cycled on..

Pretty special, h’mmm?

He also made me realize something, deep down in my deadline-fried brain.

Even in the darkest, scariest pit of deadline hell, then when your nerves are frazzled, your eyes either bloodshot or swollen or both, and when your hair is messy, and you don’t even want to think about cooking, cleaning, or (gads!) doing the laundry…

There’s a good side.

Something beautiful comes of all the stress and strain.

When the dust settles and the deadline dragon slinks away to rest (or bother some other writer?), you have a new book.

The swan reminded me of that truth.

The beauty is always there.

Maybe not in an obvious way.

But there all the same.

The swan is surely about every morning when I cycle past that pond.   Just because I don’t see him, doesn’t mean he isn’t there, somewhere.

There is wonder and magic in the world.

We just have to get out and open our hearts to find it.

Any swans near you?  Ever seen Swan Lake?  Anyone else take ballet as a little girl?  (I did – for twelve years, which probably started my great love affair with classical music) 

Anyone agree that old Dev sent the swan?


Filed under Nature, On Writing, Uncategorized, Writing Life

29 responses to “Always The Magic

  1. Marilyn Munro


    I must agree that the swan was sent by old Dev as a gift for staying ahead of the Deadline Dragon. Enjoy all the magic you may find.

  2. Lexi

    How beautiful, and that first picture is very well done.

    • Thank you! The light helped a lot..makes the water look like a Monet painting. The beautiful swan is the star, though. I saw him again tonight while cycling. Or one of his pals. Way off at the far side of the pond.

  3. AutumnFire

    You haven’t lived until you’ve seen Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo do their version of Swan Lake. Here is the La Mort du Cygne scene . Also check out their Swan Lake parody (if I include that link it will block me, but you should be able to see it as a choice on the side). Enjoy!

    And now to get buried in work again…

  4. Oh I agree Dev set the swan. I had six out here on the pond most of the winter. I don’t know where they have gone. I haven’t seen them in months. I haven’t seen the eagles in weeks and there are fewer geese.

  5. Of course it was a gift, maybe from Dev or your guardian angel or ??? Anyway that kind of follows up what I talked of the other day about finding that special gift or blessing in the darkest hours. They are always there; you just need to look!
    I **loved** ballet as a child and did want to be a ballerina for a bit–despite two left feet!! And since my parents were both fans of classical music, I grew up with it and still love many pieces, especially the more romantic and emotional!! As to swans, they are rather scarce in the desert LOL but when I lived in the northern Sacramento Valley we did see them as well as various types of geese in the winter months when they visited the region and I was totally awed. They are amazing!

    • I love that you, too, grew up loving and appreciating ballet and classical music. :) This is also a resting place for Canadian geese. I love seeing them when they are here. It’s incredible to see and hear them fly over. Agree about the swan….
      Did you notice that the light and reflections on the water creates a glowing aura around him? Interesting, that…

  6. Devious and delightful Dev knows by heart that Keats said ” Beauty is Truth, Truth Beauty” —- that is all ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.” I also took ballet when young and am a lover of classical music. Thank you for the swans. They practice ballet every day.

  7. There’s a pair of swans on the lake at the cottage in Michigan. So beautiful! I love the pictures you took of the swan there. I think they are one of the most beautiful birds, so white and fluffy. I love watching them preen. I also took ballet when I was younger. I’m thinking I was around 6 maybe. I only took it for a year or two. I remember learning how to twirl the baton too and marching in a Christmas parade around the same age. Just a few weeks ago, my mom gave me my little outfit that I wore during the recital. The pink tutu made me smile when I opened the box. She saves everything and I’m glad that she saved my outfit and ballet and tap shoes. I know that tiny baton is floating around her basement somewhere. :)

    I don’t think I would want to live in a world without wonder and magic. Keeping your mind and heart open for that is like always having hope.

    • I’m smiling, Leah. Love that you, too, grew up with ballet and recitals. It’s so neat that you still have your ballet gear. Wow! I don’t, but do have old recital pictures in full ballet dress. I’ll share them one of these days.
      I’m so glad you were able to enjoy swans at the cottage. That’s so special.
      Agree… let me off if wonder and awe vanished from the world. No classical music? No Swan Lake? No appreciation for nature? I can’t imagine and don’t want to.


    I took ballet… would have loved to continue, but my parents decided piano was better… And I have seen Swan Lake, one of my favorite ballets. And the music itself is exquisite.

  9. Mary Morgan

    Good Afternoon…
    What a special, magical post, Sue-Ellen! Such pure delight for me at the moment…

    I love ballet! I wanted to take lessons, but sadly, my parents could not afford it. It doesn’t matter, since I was meant for others things in my life. My mom did take me to see the Nutcracker and Swan Lake in San Francisco. I alway cry when I’m at the ballet. It’s just so moving. I get lost in the music and dance…*sigh*

    Your swan is beautiful! I would like to think it is a magical swan, because it let you get up close to take a picture, and give you that lovely moment to take it all in. :)

    Nature is truly a wonder, and one where it constantly refreshes and nurtures my soul.

    • Nutcracker is such a tradition, isn’t it? I rarely miss it each Christmas. So glad you, too, love Swan Lake. Not surprised. :)

      I loved seeing the swan so close and for so long. Saw him (or a pal) while cycling this evening. We definitely share the same taste in music and things of beauty. Nature… I have to have my daily dose. That is why I get out to cycle and walk the beach every day. I’d wither away if I never left my house. I need my nature fix.

  10. Sue-Ellen, Tarts, I am working 9-5 tomorrow and Friday. Will look in at night and maybe very early in the morning.

  11. Karen C

    Enjoyed the pictures and I agree the first one reminds one of a Monet painting – just beautiful. I don’t get to see too many swans in my neck of the woods, but have seen some lovely creatures on my road trip. We did see some geese at one of our stops, just enjoying the evening. And I berated myself in the morning for not even thinking about taking pictures!

  12. Pingback: Something Special | Tartan Ink

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