Welcome to my very first blog. Pardon me if it’s not up to snuff right away. I’m an old dog learning new tricks. I readily admit this whole technology thing scares me and that was my inspiration. You see, I chose the Old World setting for Just Maagy, specifically, to remove the trappings and distractions of modern day. Princess Maagy lives in a much simpler time, before trains, planes and cars… before telephones, GPS, flush toilets and lamps that light without oil and a wick. My children… and probably yours… have never NOT known technology in some form (I know… a double negative, but used correctly!). My grandchildren could work on a computer long before they could read or write their names. Conversely, I grew up on a farm in rural, coastal Virginia, from 1953 to 1962 with my dad’s parents. We lived mostly as people did in the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century, in a handcrafted home with no indoor plumbing or central heating. There was electricity downstairs only. We used oil lamps and chamber pots and took “bird baths” in the winters. My granddad farmed with a team of horses and raised hogs and cattle for meat and dairy. Grandmother “canned” all the vegetables and fruits we would need for the long winters. Sharing the story of my humble beginnings is to point out a very different existence from today’s society.
Never in my wildest imagination would I have predicted how the world would change around me. I’m being dragged kicking and screaming into the twenty-first century… much like Maagy, when she is carted off to the Summer Castle. Don’t get me wrong… I’m not anti-technology. In fact, I think it’s amazing that I could sit in my living room and my Daughter, Melanie, was in the Greek Isles at a street café, talking to us face-to-face… for free! I know there are those who fully understand the whys and wherefores of how it was possible, but to me, it was pure magic! I have a smart phone and take my laptop everywhere, though I have no idea how they actually work… just how to use them. I have a Twitter account (I’m not sure what to make of yet!) and a website, Facebook and I store things in the cloud… wherever that is!
I’ve often wondered… or rather, theorized… who Maagy would be if she were growing up in America in this age of Internet. I fantasize she would be the first female Army Ranger or Navy Seal (a hint of what is to come in Maagy’s future). She would drive a Ford F150 Pickup… red, of course… Extend cab, jacked up suspension, bed cover… Bluetooth… you get the idea. She would tenaciously devour the wealth of knowledge she could collect from cyberspace and have an iPhone 6, fitness tracking devises, smart TV, etc., etc. Her last name would be Rockefeller, Ford, or Byrd… or perhaps, Wentworth, but she would be Southern Plantation stock with old money from generations of a cotton empire… or perhaps peanuts… or fine Thoroughbreds. She would be a pampered princess, to be sure, and in line to become the heiress and CEO of the family business… much like her incarnation in the “long-ago-far-away” fairytale world where she currently exists.
In Just Maagy, an entitled little aristocrat is thrust into an environment as foreign to her, as technology is to me. Once there, while exploring the mysterious fourth floor, Maagy realizes there is something magical about the place and the odd assortment of characters she meets. As she makes friends with a Huggermugger named Winnsbo, she discovers a world she never knew existed. She begins to understand there are many things, which exist, but for which there are no explanations. One must simply believe those things are possible… much the same way I feel about “The Cloud”… it’s just there and I don’t need to know how or why. No doubt, she would be fascinated with the magic of technology. She learns to muck stables, sew, ride horseback and milk cows. Through these enlightening moments, Princess Maagy discovers that people should not be defined by their stations in life, but rather, by their integrity and humanity. If she were here, in this world, her lessons would still translate to assessing the quality of a person, not by whether he or she has a smart phone or drives a 1992 Buick Century with the bumper missing, but by his or her behavior… and that is a lesson for all ages… of all times… in all worlds.