Posts tagged ‘magic’

Life Through a Mother’s Hands

**previously published by All Rights Reserved in 2008**

            We are elderly now; we have felt the world through our fingertips. Disfigured and full of arthritis, making a move is now difficult for us. What can you expect from ninety‑four year-old hands? Once we moved like magic making beautiful music come out of the piano that sat in my human’s parlour. How the children loved to sit and listen to us chime out old tunes. Now this old house where we sit is empty. The children have left home and moved away where they have their own lives, but I haven’t forgotten wiping away their tears and embracing them in their times of joy and sorrow. We have but ourselves to converse with, eight twisted fingers, and two thumbs who have shared a lifetime together.

            “The times we used to have,” said the right index finger. “Remember how long we had to hold onto the handle bars of Nellie’s bike, but eventually she was ready to reach out with her own replicas of a younger us.”

            “Being Miss Caroline’s hands have given us many adventures,” answered the left pinkie.

            “We first got to touch her beloved Isaac’s hands, their warmth radiated our souls, and I still wear his token of love seventy-five years later, even though he has been gone for more than a decade,” said the left ring finger.

            “Holding the wee babes just as they entered this world, all five of them and the life they have given us since then.”

            The calluses and blisters that we have gotten along the way are not a hard price to pay for the happiness we have received. These hands still sting with the want to smack Clark Davis when he dumped Annie at the alter. He decided marrying a Culhane, even for their money wasn’t an acceptable thing to do. The poor girl cried buckets, some of them soaking into our flesh as we cradled her gently like when she was little. Now she has what she deserves, a husband, children and grandchildren to brighten her days. I hope the whole family comes to visit soon, all forty-three of them; they’d give us useless old hands something to do.

            I wish we could go back to the days when we moved like lightening loving, fixing, and caring for everything in our path. The days when children came running in wanting us to caress their kittens and fix their dolly’s boo boos have all but gone, only to return on their brief visits and even then I seem incapable of doing even the simplest of tasks with my ineffective fingers. How they want to move but can’t. The strife knowing that we are no longer able to do the things we once did is overwhelming. We used to make beautiful hand crafted quilts for our children, grand children, and great grandchildren but now we can no longer hold a needle or the scissors needed to cut the cloth. We once did great things, we had a family who needed us, and we got out in the community and took food to the less fortunate. We played cards well into the night but now my hands cannot hold the things that I love. Our days of glory have come and gone but thankfully, even through the pain of each tiny movement we make we can remember how things once were, in us are the memories, the feeling of the wrapping paper on a homemade gift, the washcloth’s water and soap soaking into us as we cleaned a popsicle stained face, hands gripping each other. We were given everything in this world, the greatest gift, being a mother’s hands.

Waiting for Christmas

by: Rebecca Taylor

**Previously published by Halcyon Magazine**

Christmas carolling

Holiday songs

Reindeer playing

Icicles on their noses

Santa in his workshop

Trying out toys

Making magical moments

As Christmas Eve approaches

Sleigh bells ring in anticipation.

Witch Crystal

by: Malika Gandhi

Paradise on Paper is happy to welcome a guest poster this week.


I love Witches, and not the normal kind. What do I mean by normal kind? Well, it’s not as if witches really exist to they? Far from it!

In the ancient and olden times (By this I mean the 1200- early 1900), when people believed Witches existed, they targeted normal women and some men, who helped injured people heal with herbs, and potions, amongst other things. If they looked ‘evil’ or wore certain clothes, they were witches, and must be killed! Witches – beware!

The Horrible Histories books informed me of the gruesome way they were killed, and I just shudder thinking about it!


But, I am not writing about historical witches, but fantastical witches whom I think are just brilliant. When I think of books I have read based on stories of witches, such as Roald Dahl’s the Witches, JK Rowling’s Harry Potter books, and C.S.Lewis’  The Chronicles of Narnia books, it made me even more determined to write one of my own.


Where there are witches, there is magic and magical elements, that doesn’t exist in the human world however hard we try to create them. That’s why I love reading books that bring the imagination to life, where we see them as a film reel, running through our minds, and expanding our creative thoughts along the way!


So, I sat and penned the book Witch Crystal, something a little different but that would have you hooked. So what ‘s so great about this book? There are thousands of YA Fantasy books to read, why is this one so special? Well, without trying to blow my own horn, I will tell you some things about the book and the characters, and let you make the decision  – is it something you want to read or not? Does it sound like it may be something different?


So, Witch Crystal is about a witch – that bit is quite obvious. Where is it based? What elements can you look forward to reading, I hear you ask. So here are some of the tantalising facts!


  1. Witch Crystal is set on two planets – our very own Earth, the location being Robin Hood Bay in North Yorkshire, and Norway. The second planet is fictional, called Zrotaz, where fictional or mythical magical creatures reside.


  1. There is an abundance of magical/mythical creatures in the book, some talk and some don’t. One of my favourite is the Unisus – a cross breed of a Unicorn and a Pegasus – a magnificent creature, if I do say so myself. There is also, Luille, my lovely comedian owl.

There are also villainous creatures too, such as the vile werewolves, and the evil Merpeople. Look out for them!


  1. Teen romance – there is a sweet little romance that is not so evident as yet but it is there in the background. I would like to say it is a subtle romance that will grow in the next two books.


  1. Spells, enchantments, and magical visual scenes – there is plenty of this throughout the book, that will leave you mesmerised, and that will bring the story to life.
  • The magical waterfall that won’t freeze in freezing weather
  • The trees that grow tea that help sleep
  • The luminous river
  • Enchantments that keep away unwanted company, spells that will throw you, lift you, and take you away to another place, and magically treated buildings that is a source of power for all witches and creatures.


Nothing is normal in Larissa’s witch world!


  1. The Aurora Borealis or the Northern Lights. This factor is very important to the book, and without giving too much away, let’s say without it, travel between Earth and Zrotaz would not be possible!


  1. Some key characters to look out for:

The Witch Crystal




The Earth Spirits

The High Witch


The Sacred Witch

The Unisus and the Witches Council


Witch Crystal, a story spells, charms, magic, and scenic locations!



Malika’s Bio:

Malika Gandhi lives in the East Midlands, UK. She is a homemaker and in between caring for her family, she writes her books and dabbles in a little painting.

Malika was born in India but moved to London.



The Monsoon Writer:

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Unicorn Illustrations & Art work:

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Where to purchase Witch Crystal!









“How did you and Grandma meet?”

“Haven’t I already told you this story?” I tucked Emma into bed, but she set up again in anticipation. Emma had been home with the flu, and her mother worked nights. I had the grandfatherly privilege of babysitting.

“No. Mom says you haven’t even said Grandma’s name since she died.”

I grinned at my beautiful grandchild, but the truth is, the memory of my Ester pained me. It’d been five years, but some things never heal right. Heal right? Well, some things just don’t heal.

“Please tell me. Pretty please?”

I cleared my throat and began peering at her bookshelf. “What about a book? I could read to you instead.”

“Only if it’s about you and Grandma.”

I looked down at Emma, her innocent seven-year-old eyes begging me. Those eyes always got to me. “Alright, alright.” In true Princess Bride fashion, I said, “You’re sick; I’ll humor you.”

I settled down into Emma’s kid-sized desk chair. It wibbled and wobbled. It was not made for a big old man like me. I pretended to take a long time trying to balance myself in order to stall for the right words.

“Well.” I started.

“Well?” She asked, leaning forward and waiting.

I sat still a long time, twiddling my thumbs together, until I thought of the words. “I could have avoided all that trouble. Yes, I could have, if only I’d remembered to shut the hood of the car hard enough. But I didn’t.”

“What trouble?”

“Your grandmother. She was trouble.”

“She was?” Incredulous eyes stared up at me.

“Now don’t go getting your knickers in a wad and I’ll tell you about it.” I paused. “One fine morning I was trying to get to the grocer down on main street, but I had a hard time getting there. My car shuddered and shook, and I thought something was wrong. I pulled over and looked under the hood, but I saw nothing out of place. Then again, I was no expert. I got in my car again. I was driving down the road, quick as you please, when the hood just came up and hit my windshield.”

Emma gasped and placed her dramatic hands over her mouth.

“Couldn’t see a dog gone thing. I swerved and ended up running into a fire hydrant. By the time I got out of the car I’d made such a big scene that children were running and ladies were screaming. But there was one lady who wasn’t. She just stood there staring at me. I took one look at my crumpled car and I knew I was in deep water. The car was my daddy’s – not even mine. I starting pacing around it, mumbling to myself, not knowing which way to turn. All the while that lady stared at me. The nerve of her. She came up to me, real calm like, and asked how I was.”

“And you said you were doing bad?” Guessed Emma.

“Yes, I did. Then she told me, “It helps if you talk about it.” I guffawed and mocked. She was a stranger; I don’t just  go spilling stories to anybody. Finally she dragged it out of me – the whole story about the car not being my own and how all I wanted was to go to the grocer to pick up a few things for my Ma. All this time I was realizing this lady had mighty pretty eyes.” Ester’s eyes. I still saw them when I fell asleep. “They were hazel; one had brown speckles in it. She told me her name was Ester and helped me find a phone to call my father.” I took a deep breath, exhausted.

“And that’s how it all started?” She asked. She was settled deeper in her blankets now, her eyelids low.

I nodded. “Her daddy was a mechanic, she he helped fix my beat up car. That old fire hydrant never was the same, though.” Those were the days. Idyllic, when the only thing on my mind was whether this girl fancied me or not. “We spend days in my garage, watching her daddy fix up my car and drinking soda. Learning a lot of things about each other. Talking can do that.” I glanced at Emma. “Words can hold magic,” I said softly.

I slowly stood up and kissed Emma on the cheek. I stood a moment watching her. Her hair was the same strawberry blonde color as Esters. I grinned. I’d heard traits could skip a generation, but I’d never realized that was the case with her. They looked so much alike. I suppose I had tried not to notice it before because it would’ve been so painful. Truth is, before today, I didn’t want to think of Ester so much. I realized that thinking is alright. Thinking leads to talking, talking leads to magical words, and the magic leads to a change in the thinking, and then it starts all over again. I suppose if I had never met Ester, I would have been spared the heartache of losing her. But Ester would have admonished that way of thinking. She would have told me not to despair but to focus on the magical things around me. That’s just would I would do. Emma – this beautiful child before me – was magical.

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