X marks the spot

A to Z Challenge, The Caretaker of Imagination

Happiness and balance is something that’s often a part of my decision-making, and in The Caretaker of Imagination, it was very much a part of John’s decisions.

X marks the spot, but sometimes the spot doesn’t hide a treasure chest of cursed gold or blood-red rubies. Sometimes, the spot is that fine balance between what we want to do and what we need to do.

We’ve all been through it, no matter how old we are or what experiences life has thrown at us, and after many years John realises that all he really ‘needs’ to do is what he wants to do – enjoy life!

For my birthday this year, my brother bought me the card pictured below. I think it sums up perfectly John’s lesson in The Caretaker of Imagination.


Stars Make Me Teary Eyed

A to Z Challenge, Art, The Caretaker of Imagination

Earlier this year, I had commented on a post about Instagram. Another commenter read my comment and got in touch with me, asking me more about how I used Instagram. This person was the lovely Deborah Moss (and here’s her beautiful Instagram feed).

I found out that she’s working on a book of poetry, which will be accompanied by New Zealand art, and is an artist herself. After looking at her website, I fell in love with her jigsaw puzzle pieces and enquired about a commission. I was pretty vague – something about stars and tea, I said.

A couple of months later I followed up and ordered the painting. Deborah took the idea and flew with it, and I was blown away by the depth of thought that went into every aspect of the painting.

The big surprise was when it came to shipping – Deborah managed to make it to The Caretaker of Imagination’s launch party, and dropped it off personally!

Stars make me teary eyed image 1 flying tea and saucer with shooting stars On the wall

Oak Tree

A to Z Challenge, The Caretaker of Imagination

In the story The Caretaker of Imagination, there’s a treehouse in the enchanted forest which is home to a talking mouse and other wonderful creatures. It’s also one of John Carroll’s favourite places.

Poster BaseThe treehouse is set in a giant oak tree because the primary school I went to used to have an oak that we’d play in. The lower branches – which were still much higher than ourselves – were for swinging and climbing. We’d collect the acorns and burnt-orange leaves in autumn, and sit in its shade in summer.

One year, they had to cut it down. The roots were affecting the drainage in the carpark, and I still sting a little when I see the stump where the tree once was.

Even earlier than that was a weeping willow, which was a place of enchantment and possibility and pure escapism. This was cut down long before the oak, and might have to make its own cameo in a future story.