Do You Want to Believe in Magic Again?

believe magic again

Do you remember knowing that green was your favorite color because it’s what made the grass grow?

Do you remember when the 3-eyed, orange-fanged monster lurking under your bed was real (and smelly), waiting to pounce as soon as your toes touched the floor?

Do you remember how powerful and brave Dad was when he banished these beasts with a chanted command: “Go away, Go away! Nobody here wants to play!”

Do you remember when coloring outside the lines just meant you had more space to fill with brilliant colors?


Do you remember when ANYTHING was possible if you tried hard enough (especially if Dad was there to help during the hard parts)?

Suspending the willing suspension of disbelief

I can’t point to a specific point in time, but somewhere along the way, I stopped believing in magic. No Santa Claus. Flying meant buying a plane ticket. Dreams became strategic visions that were only implemented after a thorough feasibility study.

It wasn’t all bad. I learned that even though I was told babies were “delivered,” we get to play a pretty fun part in the production process. I learned that the human heart is more than an animated vessel that dispensed warm fuzzies, it’s an amazingly complex pump that continuously circulates life-sustaining blood. And those feasibility studies, they likely prevented countless disappointments from unrealized dreams strategic visions.

While I can’t point to a specific point in time that I stopped believing in magic, I CAN pinpoint the moment I wanted to start believing again.


A World According to Dina

Several months ago, while reading from my daily blogs on WordPress Reader, I came to a blog called “A World According to Dina.” I wouldn’t be surprised if you are already familiar, as it’s a wildly popular destination for photography enthusiasts, artists, and explorers. It’s hosted by four extraordinary Norwegian artists (the fab Four of Cley) who freely share art and experiences that most of us would pay admission to enjoy.

In this post, titled “Let’s go inside,” I was following along on an exhibition hosted by Japanese artist Takashi Murakami when I saw a photo of a girl standing before a wall-sized painting. I could only see a fraction of the painting, but what I could see was bizarre and fantastic. There were monsters and grotesque figures set against an underwater background. None of it made sense to me.

I only saw the girl from the back. Her little hands were reaching out towards the canvas. I couldn’t see her face but I was convinced, she believed. She connected with this fantastic world. And even more wondrous, she interacted with it. It was beautiful and inspiring. It was magical.


A Sketch According to Gabe

believe magic again


After receiving permission to try a sketch based on this photo (thanks again Fab Four of Cley for letting me play along), I tried to recreate the sense of wonder and willing suspension of disbelief that this little girl inspired.

Over the next few months, my efforts fell flat. Then I stumbled across another blog post written by Deconstructing Doctor. She reminded me of the fascination I felt so long ago when playing with things that grownups would consider ordinary (like a shiny penny). Because it was new and bizarre, my imagination had to fill in the blanks.

I took another stab at the sketch, this time trying not to worry about getting everything just right. Instead, I left plenty of spaces for imagination to fill in the blanks.

I don’t know how your imagination will fill in the blanks, but I hope you enjoy the sketch.


After all, don’t you want to believe in magic again?

creativity | imagination | digital art

I can’t point to a specific point in time, but somewhere along the way, I stopped believing in magic. No Santa Claus. Flying meant buying a plane ticket. Dreams became strategic visions that were only implemented after a thorough feasibility study.




  • Reply Shallow Reflections June 3, 2017 at 4:27 am

    I remember when I lost my ability to play with my dolls. I kept trying to recreate the fantasy play I had when I was younger and couldn’t make it work any more. Finally I put them away forever but I still have the dolls packed away and have moved them around during my adult life, always hearing my mother’s words admonishing me to keep them whenever I’m tempted to throw them away. Your lovely post reminded me of this transition in my childhood, Gabe. I love your sketch and the meaning behind it.

    • Reply Gabriel June 3, 2017 at 4:38 am

      That’s awesome that you still have these mementos! Who knows, maybe someday they’ll make a repeat appearance…
      And really glad you enjoyed the sketch. This has already become one of my favorites (probably because it took such a long time to create)

  • Reply Didi June 3, 2017 at 4:47 am

    This is such an important thing.
    I am convinced I survived my depression because I am one of the few adults that never lost the wondering that a child has. That gave me the strenght to believe there’d be a time for me again to discover and explore things. Even in my darkest moments i managed to get home safe because of that tiny, tiny spark inside.

    I hope people try not to lose the ability to wonder as it’ll always be a part of you. Sadly most of the times burried under piles of work, disapointments and adult resposibillities.

    “We don’t stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing”.

    • Reply Gabriel June 3, 2017 at 5:02 am

      Doesn’t surprise me a bit Didi that you’ve held on to that childlike wonder, or that this was one of the tools you rely on to get you through challenging periods. And I love the quote!

  • Reply Didi June 3, 2017 at 5:21 am

    Can I ask why it doesn’t suprise you?

    • Reply Gabriel June 3, 2017 at 5:31 am

      Normally, I’d say that anyone who enjoys this blog probably retains some of their more “whimsical” tendencies, but you share so openly with sensitivity and creativity. I love it!

      • Reply Didi June 3, 2017 at 10:48 am

        Thank you for the kind words.
        They mean a lot to me.

        • Reply Gabriel June 4, 2017 at 12:31 pm

          Absolutely Didi!

  • Reply Phil Taylor June 3, 2017 at 5:44 am

    As adults I think some of us grow up and forget the magic while others still want to believe in something magical beyond or within ourselves. The world would be a boring place if we couldn’t believe in magic whether it’s real or not.

    • Reply Gabriel June 4, 2017 at 12:02 pm

      I think you might be right Phil. and I wanna be the second kind (the ones that believe in something magical beyond or within ourselves).

  • Reply sandyjwhite June 3, 2017 at 6:00 am

    The world would be such a better place if we retained our belief in magic
    past childhood.
    I collected stuffed animals as a kid. I don’t “play” with them any longer,
    but they are still with me displayed in a bookcase.
    I plan to pass them on to great nieces/nephews so their imaginations can bring
    the zoo back to life.

    • Reply Gabriel June 4, 2017 at 12:08 pm

      That’s great Sandy. I suspect that even though your not playing with them anymore, they still spark flames of imagination/inspiration.
      Love that.

  • Reply SickChristine June 3, 2017 at 6:33 am

    I loved this. I’ve been all out of sorts since I’ve been done with treatment. I thought it would be smooth sailing after finally getting good news, but everything feels out of whack. After reading this, I think I want to go find some magic to believe in. Maybe that will help.

    • Reply Gabriel June 4, 2017 at 12:19 pm

      You are more than welcome to as much of my “magic” as you’d like Christine. And I wonder if some of the “out of whack” is exhaustion after a challenging fight.
      I usually get cranky and disillusioned if I don’t get ice cream and a nap after a long day. And I don’t even want to talk about how exhausting it is when I have a few of those long days back-to-back. But thats just me…

  • Reply Miriam June 3, 2017 at 6:58 am

    What a wonderful sketch. There’s so much mystery and wonder in your sketch, love it. Great post Gabe, what a shame that, as we go through life, we slowly lose our ability to believe in magic I’d like to think it’s still out there, still in that childlike part of us, under a mountain of possibilities and playtime.

    • Reply Gabriel June 4, 2017 at 12:20 pm

      Love that Miriam! Especially the mountain of possibilities and playtime.

  • Reply Almost Iowa June 3, 2017 at 7:42 am

    You nailed it, Gabe.

    But magic isn’t dead, Twiggy, our shed cat, gave birth to five kittens a few weeks ago. Now that is magic – but then I found all five curled up in the straw with my dog, Scooter. Now THAT is magic.

    It is those little wonders that make magic and all we have to do is embrace them with the enthusiasm of that little girl to make them all the more real.

    • Reply Didi June 3, 2017 at 9:04 am

      Thats so true. It’s everywhere for those willing and daring to see.

    • Reply Gabriel June 4, 2017 at 12:24 pm

      Great, now Monica and I are gonna start another round of negotiations for a pet;)

      BTW, Scooter…Twiggy…Steel venom… you come up with awesome names Greg.

  • Reply desertcurmudgeon June 3, 2017 at 7:54 am

    Amazing sketch, Gabe! You absolutely captured the magic.

    • Reply Gabriel June 4, 2017 at 12:24 pm

      Cheers Paul!

  • Reply Deb June 3, 2017 at 8:18 am

    Wow your “sketch” is provoking! I love it. It makes me stop and absorb all that’s going on in it. It draws me in. I know what you mean about magic and I have been on that same pathway trying to release my inner child more and let my imagination loose rather than tied down. I was at the bank the other day watching a five year old climbing on the pole that creates the line, then jumping up an down and just being fidgety and I smiled and imagined what if all of us adults waiting in line actually started fidgeting like that child was, rather than standing quietly and afraid of each other. I then wondered if anyone was noticing me standing there smiling for no apparent reason and that made me smile and laugh inside even more. It’s too bad that we are taught to not do that and don’t do this…that’s how we lose it. But now that we know magic is real and good, it’s time to bring it back and believe like a kid again!! Magical post!! 🙂

    • Reply Gabriel June 4, 2017 at 12:28 pm

      Have you ever noticed that boredom (particularly boring situations like standing in line) releases our imagination? I can see from your description here that it sure does for you.
      Don’t know if I’m willing to intentionally subject myself to boring situations to unleash my inner child, but its an interesting idea.
      So glad you enjoyed Deb!

      • Reply Deb June 4, 2017 at 4:14 pm

        Yes I find myself doing it so much more lately. Before I would have been annoyed that the child was not being obedient, now I embrace their “carefreeness” and realize that it’s time for me to let loose and be more carefree too!!
        I truly did enjoy! Wishing you a magical week ahead. 🙂

  • Reply Writing to Freedom June 3, 2017 at 8:32 am

    Thanks Gabe. You help remind and lead me back to play, humor and now magic. The golden triangle of youth and innocence. 🙂

  • Reply June 3, 2017 at 8:45 am

    It really is a shame how we slowly lose our sense of magic as we get older. Fortunately, all we need to do is watch children playing to get some of it back. I love how you captured the little girl’s sense of wonder and delight. I’m going to first check out those two web sites, then I’ll head outside to see if I can conjure up some magic of my own.

    • Reply Gabriel June 4, 2017 at 12:31 pm

      Well said Janis. You get it. And I hope you enjoy a trip to a world according to Dina, and Deconstructing Doctor. They are both great sites!

  • Reply Bel June 3, 2017 at 12:59 pm

    Hi, Gabe! Your post are always so unique and bring out realities that are locked deep within our souls long forgotten or permanently buried there. Somehow growing up made some of us cynical and jaded draining the magical wonder that made every single day an exciting adventure. Life happens and there are no castles, rainbows, and knights in shining armors defeating the monsters that consume us. I guess before I go way off tangent here – let me say the sketch you did is awesome and it made me want to believe in magic again.

    • Reply Gabriel June 4, 2017 at 12:38 pm

      wow Bel! Really loved this comment, and not just the wonderful ego food you shared with me. “…jaded, draining the magical wonder that made every day an exciting adventure.” That is what I was trying to say. Thank you!

  • Reply Andrea Stephenson June 3, 2017 at 3:00 pm

    Great picture Gabe – I think the world can never have enough magic and this is why I write.

    • Reply Gabriel June 4, 2017 at 12:45 pm

      And I’m glad you do Andrea. You have a gift with prose that I hope to learn from over time.

  • Reply Terese June 3, 2017 at 5:00 pm

    Beautiful, Gabe! Thank you for sharing your gift with us. Nice to see you again!

    • Reply Gabriel June 4, 2017 at 12:45 pm

      Thanks Terese- and so glad you enjoyed the sketch!

  • Reply usathroughoureyes June 3, 2017 at 6:35 pm

    Isn’t it something how we are so much in a hurry as children to grow up and then when we do we want to be like children again. You bring out wonderful points here. The painting is so great. You are truly a gifted man.

    • Reply Gabriel June 4, 2017 at 12:51 pm

      awww your too kind Tom and Audrey. And your comment reminds me of an old slogan: “I don’t wanna grow up, I’m a Toys-R-Us kid!”

  • Reply usathroughoureyes June 3, 2017 at 6:38 pm

    Oh and the monster under my bed was green and called the “Creature from the Black Lagoon”. Its funny because that movie petrified me as a young child and then the other night we watched it on TCM and I was scared again, lol.

    • Reply Gabriel June 4, 2017 at 12:53 pm

      Yes, loved that movie!

  • Reply Dina June 4, 2017 at 3:01 am

    Thank you so much for this precious gift, Gabe. We feel deeply touched by your kind words and action. Your sketch truly brings back the magic to us all and remind us why it’s so important to preserve the ability to see the wonder and magic in everyday life like our two bookfayries Siri and Selma points it out to us. You did a great job and you have honoured us in the most flattering way! Last night the four of us got back from an extensive road trip to all the remote parts of Scotland, very magic too, with its majestic, barren landscape – and to be greeted with your artistic work put a big smile on our faces. Thanks again, wishing you a wonderful Sunday with lots of magical moments to come.
    Warm greetings and big hugs coming your way,
    The Fab Four of Cley,
    Dina-Hanne, Klausbernd, Siri & Selma xxx

    • Reply Gabriel June 4, 2017 at 12:56 pm

      Thanks again Dina for letting me play along. Your blog, and the art you share, is a great addition to my WordPress routine.

      I’m looking forward to seeing your work from your road trip through Scotland!

      • Reply Dina June 5, 2017 at 5:15 am

        Thank you, once again, Gabe. 🙂 I have so many photos after several weeks on the road, it’s hard to get started, but slowly we’re getting there. Wishing you a great start to your week! 🙂

        • Reply Gabriel June 5, 2017 at 5:04 pm

          One of the (many) things I enjoy so much about your blog is the obvious attention to detail you all put into each submission. I can feel that the “publish” button is not clicked until you all are satisfied with the final result. It’s a wonderful standard that I hope to emulate.

  • Reply Let’s go inside | The World according to Dina June 4, 2017 at 3:10 am

    […] visit Gabriel Burkhardt and his artistic blog Almostunsavagable and see how Siri’s photo above inspired him to find the magic again. His take on my photo is […]

  • Reply mydangblog June 4, 2017 at 11:27 am

    When I was in Grade 5 (about 10 years old), our teacher said, :Of course, none of you still believe in Santa Claus!” Unfortunately, I did, and it broke my heart. Still, I believe in magic, especially the magic of art like yours:-)

    • Reply Gabriel June 4, 2017 at 1:01 pm

      Suzanne, that’s a horrible way to face the Santa question! (the answer is yes, he does exist btw)

  • Reply Ann Coleman June 4, 2017 at 11:34 am

    I loved what you did with that photo, Gabe! And thanks for the information on the other two blogs, as I haven’t discovered them yet.
    As for magic, who knows? One of the joys of creating is that we make something new, and we can make anything at all…and that’s magical. I don’t think we’ll ever again believe in magic quite the way we did when we were children, but we can open our minds to the magical moments that still exist in the world. But that total childlike wonder (which you captured so well in the picture) may be a bit beyond us now. I don’t know for sure. All I can do is appreciate the magic I’m still able to see!

    • Reply Gabriel June 4, 2017 at 1:05 pm

      Yeesh I’m loving these comments. I’m clearly not the first one to ponder the mysteries of childhood magic and where it disappears to.
      But I love the HOPE you allude to here. The childlike wonder/magic hasn’t disappeared, it has transformed. And thats still magic that we can appreciate and tap into.

  • Reply karenlee June 4, 2017 at 12:42 pm

    Wonderful! I think we must step outside ourselves a bit to experience the wonders of the place called magic, real or perceived, a place where adults shy away from and children delve into head first. Those the most creative among us have the ability to find that balance. Thanks for the reminder. 🙂

    • Reply Gabriel June 4, 2017 at 1:07 pm

      Glad you enjoyed Karen! And yes, I suspect that those most successful in tapping into that wonder and imagination are those who find the right balance. Its a goal worth working towards

  • Reply Rolene June 4, 2017 at 10:15 pm

    Thank you for this inspiring post. I realized few weeks back I also want to start to dream again and to think that anything is possible. Somehow growing up takes that away with us.

    • Reply Gabriel June 5, 2017 at 4:55 pm

      I’m glad you enjoyed the post and the message Rolene! I understand what you mean about losing something as we grow up. But the optimist in me wants to believe that rather than the magic disappearing as we grow older, maybe it transforms instead.

  • Reply twobrownfeet June 4, 2017 at 11:08 pm

    As a child I don’t think I believed in magic. As an adult, I wish I can. 🙂 Gets you through those tough spots in life.

    • Reply Gabriel June 5, 2017 at 4:58 pm

      So true. And maybe it helps return a little color to those bleak moments.

  • Reply N. Brooke Breazeale June 4, 2017 at 11:52 pm

    I smiled when I saw the title of this and just got the chance to read it.. I smiled because, as you know , this is the title of my blog as well as the book I’m writing… ‘summoning magic’. I think you’ll relate with this one.

    The picture inspired exactly what I believed you intended,.. it’s brilliant and chaotic; it has feeling and texture; it’s whimsical and intriguing, it is elusive and fleeting. It is magic.
    Thank you for the honesty with which you write. This too, is magic,

    • Reply Gabriel June 5, 2017 at 4:59 pm

      Glad you enjoyed Natalie, and looking forward to checking out your book when it’s finished!

  • Reply dave ply June 5, 2017 at 12:08 am

    I don’t know if I was ever much into personal make believe, even as a wee lad. Not enough imagination I guess. But that has not prevented a sense of wonder at our universe, perhaps even a sense of “real” magic instead of the make believe kind.

    “The universe is full of magical things, patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper.” — Eden Phillpotts

    • Reply Gabriel June 5, 2017 at 5:00 pm

      I think I know what you mean Dave, especially as it pertains to anatomy and physiology and biochemistry and…

  • Reply Arionis June 5, 2017 at 6:42 am

    As a lucky recipient of one of your sketches, I can say that they’re all magical to me. This one is no exception. Great job!

    • Reply Gabriel June 5, 2017 at 5:02 pm

      Yeah, I know I’m not supposed to “brag,” but I really like this sketch. Probably because it took me several months of starting, stopping, and starting over again until my head (and heart) figured out what the important parts were.

  • Reply Dippy-Dotty Girl June 5, 2017 at 6:31 pm

    I love Dina’s blog. It is absolutely beautiful and I have been wondering where the Fab Four had disappeared to until I read here that they have been holidaying in Scotland. Not many believe in the willing suspension of disbelief and may I say it does not hurt to indulge in a bit of it? What is life if not touched by a bit of magic, don’t you think? And Chinese. I swear by the power of Chinese.

    • Reply Gabriel June 5, 2017 at 6:35 pm

      hehehe yes! As the wise General Tso says: “mmmph ahhhh mrph”

  • Reply Dippy-Dotty Girl June 5, 2017 at 6:32 pm

    Also, that sketch is beautiful. I can relate to it.

  • Reply lifelessons June 5, 2017 at 10:09 pm

    I love your sketch as well. Now anxious to see the one that inspired it.

    • Reply Gabriel June 5, 2017 at 10:33 pm

      That’s great. I think you’ll really enjoy A World According to Dina’s blog

  • Reply adventuresofabusymomcom June 6, 2017 at 1:49 am

    Beautiful post

  • Reply Liz C. June 6, 2017 at 7:28 pm

    I think your sketch is pretty amazing. It resembles the photo in the blog, yet at the same time it’s unique on it’s own.

    I’m in my 20’s and I’m in that transition where the magical things of youth seem to fade away. They’re replaced with responsibilities and whatnot. I’m trying to hold on to the magic.. and your post is just on point.

    • Reply Gabriel June 6, 2017 at 7:33 pm

      Hey Liz! I’m glad you liked the sketch. That’s so awesome that you recognize the transition towards getting buried in the “grownup-ness” of it all. I was too caught up in the exciting blur to notice until it was nearly gone. But i’m looking forward to rediscovery.

  • Reply Jay June 7, 2017 at 3:52 pm

    I think I’ve kept a lot of that child-like wonder. I notice that while playing with my nephews, other grown-ups go along with their play, but I have no problem doing my own pretending.

    • Reply Gabriel June 7, 2017 at 6:38 pm

      That is a rare gift, Jay. Apparently, Charles Dicken’s was similar. Children would create the beginnings of “make-believe” and he would take it to a whole new level.
      So, if you come up with a rendition of Christmas Carol or Great Expectations, don’t forget to include us earth-bound grownups in the fun.

  • Reply Liesbet June 9, 2017 at 1:32 pm

    The sketch came out fantastic, Gabe! So much power and color and emotions… We probably all wish we could live like the child in us once in a while (and we can, if we really want to). It is so incredible and inspiring that some of the blogs you follow affect you to take action. For any blogger to leave a mark on a reader is satisfying and for any reader being affected by a blog is fortunate as well! What a synergy and I am sure that whomever’s photo you make a sketch of is touched as well!

    • Reply Gabriel June 9, 2017 at 1:36 pm

      Thanks Liesbet! I really do enjoy this blogging thing more than I initially expected. Especially when I get a chance to see the world through another bloggers eyes for a few moments (or in this case, much longer).
      It sounds cheesy, but you were exactly right about the synergy. We bring out the best in each other.

  • Reply noellekelly June 10, 2017 at 3:33 am

    Gabe, that sketch is fantastic. I love the colours and the magical appeal! I do believe in magic, mostly the magic in kind acts of people and what they can do. Belief in magic is why I love Harry Potter so much!
    My Dad explained to us when the news broke about a certain red suited man, that it was real, Santa Claus is all about the Christmas spirit and the magical time of year with family and friends.

    • Reply Gabriel June 10, 2017 at 3:00 pm

      Thanks so much Noelle. Santa Claus AND Harry Potter? You’ve definitiely held onto the magic.

      • Reply noellekelly June 10, 2017 at 3:03 pm

        I know right?! I believe in magic!

  • Reply hiren June 10, 2017 at 4:29 am

    I really enjoy your blogs…

  • Reply Jennifer June 10, 2017 at 5:48 am

    Wow, my friend, I didn’t realize that you were an artist. I went and looked at the original photo and I love how this painting captures that moment in time. I would have been that little girl, now I just stand at a polite distance from pictures and step into their world in my head. I believe.

    • Reply Gabriel June 10, 2017 at 3:01 pm

      I’m glad you enjoyed the sketch Jennifer. And I can tell. You get it.

  • Reply You Can Always Start Now June 10, 2017 at 6:12 am

    Incredible. Love the art – colors, her reaching in. For me magic still happens when I day dream. I’m usually walking creating stories in my head or dropping myself into other people scenarios (you would be surprised what TV shows I have been in!!!). Thanks for the remember and encouragement.

    • Reply Gabriel June 10, 2017 at 3:03 pm

      Ooooh? Now I wonder which TV shows spark your imagination. We’ve been taking lots of NEtflix journeys recently, so I think I can understand where you’re coming from.

  • Reply carolineschroniclesblog June 10, 2017 at 8:07 am

    Loved this post & your sketch, very thought provoking. I like having a sneaky go on the swings in kids’ playgrounds, very freeing ? xx (I’m 51!)

    • Reply Gabriel June 10, 2017 at 3:07 pm

      YES! I totally miss playing in the playground! And for me (as a grownup on the outside guy), it’s far more problematic 😉

  • Reply angelanoelauthor June 10, 2017 at 8:57 am

    You know what I love most about this? (Of course not, so I’m going to tell you.) I love that you released the necessity of getting it “right” and found the way to make it your own. It’s wonderful because it’s yours. That’s the kind of magic I can always believe in.

    • Reply Gabriel June 10, 2017 at 3:09 pm

      Thanks so much Angela. I’m quick to remind others that “the enemy of good is perfect,” but I’m slow to heed my own advice.

      • Reply angelanoelauthor June 11, 2017 at 12:02 pm

        Aren’t we all? 🙂

  • Reply josypheen June 10, 2017 at 9:05 am

    This is such a good post in so many ways!
    I already love Murakami so really liked your picture it really captures the fun of discovering an artist that really speaks to you. 😀

    You also introduced me to a new blog to follow.

    • Reply Gabriel June 10, 2017 at 3:10 pm

      Murakami IS awesome isn’t he? And thanks so much for joining me on this blogging journey. It’s gonna be a fun ride.

  • Reply Gary June 10, 2017 at 9:27 am

    Great post; there is a small junior school at the end of my road and yesterday I was listening to the kids at the after school club (slight nostalgia as my kids went there once upon a time and, as a governor, I was instrumental in setting up said club way back). Anyway, resonance with this post because I thought, whilst listening, how vibrant and unpolluted with growing up their laughs and excitement was. I remember thinking, when do we lose that and why should we not strive to get it back. It truly is a magical age to be!

    • Reply Gabriel June 10, 2017 at 3:13 pm

      Doesn’t surprise me at all that you played a role in creating a space for the next generation to grow and play in Gary. I love following your blog, especially the published excerpts that you freely share with us. It motivates me to start getting back in front of the keyboard more often. I don’t know if I can harness the creativity you can, but it sure looks like fun!

      • Reply Gary June 11, 2017 at 8:13 am

        I often overlook past achievements and don’t take the positives I should from them. Writing is very much the same. I often have what’s known as cognitive dissonance (internal conflicts that are polar opposites leaving me unable to make a decision); in my case the writing is good, no it’s bad on cycle. My CBT therapist said evidence things rather than overthink them!! Thanks for the comment about my blog too; that’s evidencing!!! Its overdue a re-theme as it happens so things should be easier to locate. As for writing, I could carp on about how I approach it for ages, probably have on other peoples blogs when the subject has arisen in conversations; which reminds me of a piece of advice about posts. When you find commenting becomes a paragraph then you have probably got material for a full post! My tip here would be, write, find writing buddies (who also write) and get them to debate things. Creativity can’t be unlocked if we don’t try. (Flipping CBT person lol). I don’t know how much of my stuff you’ve actually seen mind; there is quite a it deeper in, but as with FB, it drops down the blog roll very quickly; hence the re-theme where I can used the “Featured Post” capability. A lot of my writing is very much first draft. I’ve used the blog to see if it has potential to invest time in to develop further. Get writing and don’t be afraid to post it and let us have a read too 🙂

        • Reply Gabriel June 11, 2017 at 6:53 pm

          There’s a lot of good stuff to unpack here Gary. I completely relate with your struggles with cognitive dissonance (Eddie is my inner editor and he ALWAYS has something contrary to say). I’m also curious to see which new theme you choose. My current theme (Hemlock via Envato) allows highlights of featured posts but I haven’t been using it properly as I usually just feature the most recent posts. I’m still new enough at this that I haven’t begun to reach out to writing buddies to engage with. (I’m still focused on building up a community of engaged and appreciative readers.) However, this is absolutely the plan once I’m ready to take the leap.

          You’ve provided quite a few delicious morsels for me to chew on Gary, and I look forward to doing so over the coming days/weeks. In the meantime, I’ll see you around the blogisphere!

          • Gary June 12, 2017 at 9:26 am

            I think all writers suffer that one which is why its good to link up with others. I had a two year plan; the first year was to build up a following community (I’d written three books prior to that with one in first draft, one almost complete and the other proofed) and then start the submission process. I gathered agents and publishers like to see a social presence so it seemed a good game plan while exploring avenues. I’m hoping to progress the theme change this month when I get free time to concentrate properly. If I can make it half as good as the demo then it should do what I want; but don’t quote me on that!

            I suspect you and I will bump into each other many times now Gabe!

          • Gabriel June 13, 2017 at 6:51 am

            That was my initial motivation as well. -Build a social media presence to lend credibility prior to publishing. However, somewhere along the way I derailed.
            I fell in love with blogging, with the instant feedback, and with the surprisingingly genuine relationships I’ve formed. I’ve only been doing this blogging thing seriously for a few months now, so I think I still have time to learn to incorporate disciplined writing with an intention to publish again.
            For now, I’m having a lot of fun enaging with other bloggers (such as yourself), occasionally contributing something meaningful to the conversation. Seeing your successes in the real world, all while maintaining an active presence in the blogisphere gives me hope, (and that extra nudge of motivation). Cheers Gary- and you’re right, we’ll be seeing mroe of each other. Consider me the latest in your train of ducklings… 😉

          • Gary June 13, 2017 at 9:46 am

            I’ve been doing blogging, Twitter and my FB page since January 2016. I got caught up in writing three books and stumbled thinking what next? Stepping back led me to the social media phase. I’ve eased back off the blog a bit recently as it was leaving the writing with no time. I also shifted toward author spotlights too. My biggest mental drain was doing NaNo last year. I completed the target, but was entirely drained trying to do that around kids and school runs. Now I’ve actually submitted my completed manuscript to a publisher its taken some pressure of that first step. If it comes good then excellent, if not, then onto the next! It took me a year to actually pick the writing game back up mind. Just think of blogging as part of the process; build up connections and the writing will find you when the time is right. 🙂

  • Reply Lauren Elliott June 10, 2017 at 1:26 pm

    Beautiful sketch, and a post that really resonates! As a new mum, I find that there is so much expectation on children to hit their milestones and grow up quickly today. I want my little boy to believe in Santa, and tooth fairies, and magic for many years to come! We have our whole adult lives for sensibility .

    • Reply Gabriel June 10, 2017 at 3:17 pm

      I’m glad you enjoyed the post Lauren, but even more, congratulations on the new addition to your family (although, if I read correctly, you’re already more than 10 months in, so you’ve probably had a chance to get several full nights of sleep).
      And I Believe in the new Jamie Oliver recipe you shared with us;)

  • Reply amommasview June 10, 2017 at 4:33 pm

    All I can say: Never stop believing in magic 🙂

    • Reply Gabriel June 10, 2017 at 4:40 pm


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    • Reply Gabriel June 10, 2017 at 4:58 pm

      Thanks for sharing the link on your blog!

  • Reply the incurable dreamer June 10, 2017 at 5:36 pm

    You knocked it out of the park with this sketch, Gabe – I love it. Magic, in my opinion, is all around and exists within each of us. Perhaps that is why I live with the belief that anything is possible, and that within my reach are the stars. The moon. And my dreams. Ever since I was a kid and watched the movie NeverEnding Story, I have longed to exist in a place that ignites my soul and makes me feel like I am exactly where I belong. To this day, I believe. That is why I call myself incurable. I am a dreamer, and a believer in magic and all the places my imagination is going to take me.

    I love this post and haven’t yet stopped smiling! Thank you, Gabe!

    • Reply Gabriel June 10, 2017 at 5:56 pm

      You beautiful beautiful woman. You are an incurable dreamer. And this summs up so eloquently what I’ve begun to search for (at least in my sketchs – baby steps). Thank you for being you!

      • Reply the incurable dreamer June 10, 2017 at 8:27 pm

        Thank you so much, Gabe. You are going to find it, I know it. It’s already in you, and every word you write in each one of your posts is proof. You are flying, and ahead of you are infinite possibilities. Thank YOU for being you!

        • Reply Gabriel June 11, 2017 at 3:56 am

          Big smiles my friend. Big smiles.

  • Reply bedlamanddaisies June 12, 2017 at 7:17 pm

    I remember that post. You did a great job a recreating that photo. I actually wrote a post about when one of my big imagination games (going over the rainbow) disappeared and no matter how hard I tried, I could not draw it back. I love that you are searching for the magic. 🙂

    • Reply Gabriel June 13, 2017 at 7:17 am

      OOOH was it a recent post? I’m looking forward to popping back over to your blog soon to check it out.

      • Reply bedlamanddaisies June 14, 2017 at 10:22 am

        I think it was some time back, but your post made me fondly remember again those moments from my childhood.

  • Reply houstonphotojourney June 13, 2017 at 7:00 am

    Nice to find your blog through USATHROUGHOUREYES and the wonderful digital painting you created for them – it was just magnificent! I also read about the Doc’s penny 🙂 .

    • Reply Gabriel June 13, 2017 at 7:04 am

      Hi and thanks for stopping by! Glad you enjoyed this post as well. Digital art is a really fun hobby for me, and getting the chance to share my projects with others is an added benefit that is often even more rewarding than the creation.

      Sounds like you have wonderful taste in blogs, I’ll be sure to head over to your blog soon to check out yours as well!

      • Reply houstonphotojourney June 13, 2017 at 7:08 am

        So what do you use to do these masterpieces?

        • Reply Gabriel June 13, 2017 at 7:12 am

          I use my iPad pro as the canvas, an Apple Pencil as the brush and the painting app is called ProCreate. It’s a lot of fun!

          • houstonphotojourney June 13, 2017 at 7:32 am

            Just beautiful! and thanks – I was super curious!

          • houstonphotojourney June 13, 2017 at 7:34 am

            Thanks I was super curious how you did that! Beautiful!!!

  • Reply janetweightreed10 June 15, 2017 at 3:52 am

    This magical image is fantastic….and I love living each and every day with the awareness of the unseen magic in our world…..the key is tapping into it..which you clearly do….Have a lovely weekend…janet 🙂

    • Reply Gabriel June 17, 2017 at 7:00 am

      So glad you enjoyed Janet. Your compliments mean so much as I really enjoy the art (and process) that you share with us. Cheers!

  • Reply Erin Bast June 19, 2017 at 2:30 pm

    Beautiful post. It’s really scary to start losing the ability to wonder at the world around us and get lost in our imaginations. As the years go by, I realize I need to put effort into living in the moment, focusing on details, feelings, etc. However, when I was a kid, it was natural. What helps me get back to that is being in nature or traveling to a very different place. That’s why I love doing those things so much.

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  • Reply Pytho Black August 8, 2017 at 8:09 pm

    My advice for creating magical potential. Watch the small child, sitting by herself, and try to be her in your mind. At the beach, if you find a beautiful shell or interesting object, offer it to a small child (with permission of the parents of course). As you go by a lemonade stand, with little children selling lemonade to finance some maybe desired toy or trip, buy some lemonade for $50.00 with a smile, no need for change. Very small children have pure, uncontaminated minds, so close to essence.

    • Reply Gabriel August 12, 2017 at 9:06 pm

      I know this is a late reply, but I couldn’t resist.

      It has been a few weeks since I published this post, and your recommendations really resonate with me. Being observant is one thing, but taking the time to engage makes so much difference. Doesn’t it?

    Now it's your turn to play!

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