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Saturday, 23 December 2017

Guest Post: Demet Divaroren on Word Charmers

My father-in-law organises his world in tables and formulas on excel spreadsheets. But when he watches Dynamo the Illusionist walk on water, his eyes glow like light bulbs. ‘It is real, no? Look, people are watching him on the bridge. Look at their faces! How he does it? Amazing,’ he concludes, his methodical mind bending in Dynamo’s hands.
           
This is the extraordinary power of magic. While its illusion transfixes the mind, real magic transforms our lives in many ways. 

We are all magicians who cast spells with twenty-six letters of the alphabet. Each day we charm them into words and sentences that alter our reality depending on our intention. Our words are like fire, pour in some love and they can spark up one’s soul. Fuel them with anger and they can light one up in flames. Pluck them from a creative space and they can set fire to one’s imagination.

It’s this alchemy of words that lured me into the powerful world of storytelling. While my novel Living on Hope Street explores the light, dark and mysterious places within the human psyche in a contemporary setting, my current work in progress has flung me into the fantastical world of Ruby Skillet, a young girl with quirky parents and a boat named Finn.

Ruby’s is a world where humans and inanimate objects do mystical things, but the real magic occurs when I sit in front of my laptop, light a torch and search my imagination. Some days it’s like a dark, empty cave and no matter how hard I try, I can’t see beyond the damp walls that guard the entrance. Other times, my imagination is as colourful and explosive as fireworks full of eccentric characters and beings.

When I bring these places to life with words, I uncover parts of myself I didn’t know existed. This place of discovery and transformation is worth a thousand spells. It’s a place we all access every day with words written and spoken. The kind of magic that’s pulled out of ourselves and not out of a hat.

Demet Divaroren is the co-editor of the CBCA short-listed Coming of Age: Growing up Muslim in Australia. Demet was born in Adana, Turkey, and migrated to Australia with her family when she was six months old. She teaches creative writing at TAFE and writes fiction and non-fiction exploring life, love and the complexities of human emotions.

Read our full KBR review of Living on Hope Street, here.

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