Waking the music
Fairy Tale Art for a Monday Morning

Dreaming awake

Udo Weigelt's The Legendary Unicorn illustrated by Julia Gukova

"I write fantasy because it's there. I have no other excuse for sitting down for several hours a day indulging my imagination. Daydreaming. Thinking up imaginary people, impossible places. Imagination is the golden-eyed monster that never sleeps. It must be fed; it cannot be ignored. Making it tell the same tale over Brigitte Schar's The Blind Fairy illustrated by Julia Gukovaagain makes it thin and whining; its scales begin to fall off; its fiery breath becomes a trickle of smoke. It is best fed by reality, an odd diet for something nonexistant; there are few details of daily life and its broad range of emotional context that can't transformed into food for the imagination. It must be visited constantly, or else it begins to become restless and emit strange bellows at embarrassing moments; ignoring it only makes it grown larger and noisier. Content, it dreams awake, and spins the fabric of tales. There is really nothing to be done with such imagery except to use it: in writing, in art. Those who fear the imagination condemn it: something childish, they say, something monsterish, misbegotten. Not all of us dream awake. But those who do have no choice."  - Patricia A. McKillip

Russian Symphony by Julia Gukova

Insectia: Symmetry by Julia Gukova

"I'm inspired by dreams and shadows, obsession and desire. By nature, I'm a dream collector and never stop working. I question people about their weirdest dreams and the strangest, most inexplicable experiences they've had. All this information whirls around in my mind, and new dreams emerge that form the seeds of stories and novels."  - Storm Constantine

Brigitte Schar's The Blind Fairy illustrated by Julia Gukova

"To be entranced, to be driven, to be obsessed, to be under the spell of an emerging, not quite fully 'comprehended' narrative -- this is the greatest happiness of the writer's life even as it burns us out and exhausts us, unfitting us for the placid contours of 'normality.' " - Joyce Carol Oates

Brigitte Schar's The Blind Fairy illustrated by Julia Gukova

The dream-like imagery today is by Julia Gukova, a Russian painter and illustrator based in Moscow. She studied at the Krasnopresnenskaya Visual Arts School and Moscow State University of Printing Arts, and has worked as a painter and graphic designer since the late 1980s. Gukova has illustrated over forty books for publishers in Russia and abroad, including Alice in Wonderland, The Wizard of Oz, The Mole's Daughter, The Blind Fairy, Peter and the Wolf,  and The Legendary Unicorn.

Insectia: Asymmetry by Julia Gukova

Sweet dreams, everyone. See you Monday.

Udo Weigelt's The Legendary Unicorn illustrated by Julia Gukova


Sorry this has nothing to do with the post but I have to put up this poem! Just had a fox on our snowy back lawn; the first one in yonks (I think the local allotment owners had a secret cull):

(Aspects of the beast)

Fire in the white,
spark In God’s mind
dreaming the world
into being.

Thin as a stiletto
and red as the stain
on its blade.

It paces away,
a wedge
prizing apart
the layers of the day:
light from the night,
death from the life
precariously poised
In us all.

Oh, thank you so much for this! I love foxes and can well imagine them "dreaming a world into being."

Gorgeous as always and I am IN LOVE with the illustrations. Happy Friday sweet Terri!

The illustrations this week have been luscious and inspiring - feeding my imagination for sure!

The paintings are exquisite! I love Constantine's claim of being a dream collector- that's also a hobby of mine. Such profound, archetypal and wise lore in dreams, some of the best incubation spice for creative soup.

I love foxes too. In our little industrial city they represent, for me, a sense of the wild waiting just beyond the borders to claim back that which has always been theirs!

Yes to it all, the poetry (thank you Wolf Man Stuart) and the comments. The images all week long have been beautiful, the quotes so well-tuned and my favorite today are McKillip's. Reminding me what "feeding" means to a Cook of Stories ... giving synchronistic nods to a recent big-medicine dream of mine: Humble servant frying up the chicken, delighted to be where it all starts in the kitchen of dreaming up fresh stories, warm soups, crispy skin.

Dream master weaver Robert Moss would love the journeying taking place here. He has a grand blog for dreamers here: http://www.mossdreams.blogspot.com/

Whoops apologies Stuart, that was meant to be Foxy Man Stuart:)

A wolf in my garden would've been a little unnerving! Still, could make an interesting poem...

I thought - how interesting the world now - is an artist from England, tells of the artist of Russia and artist from Latvia reads all this. It pleases the heart.
Good weekend, Terry!

I haven't been able to sleep the last two nights due to a story gnawing at my bones. Today, I hope to put it on a page -- perhaps then I will be able to sleep.

One of my old favorite books about dreams and their impact on writing is the book "Writers Dreaming," compiled and edited by Naomi Epel. In particular, I love the essays written by Isabel Allende and Clive Barker.

"Something wonderful happens in dreams which I always wished happened in reality more often. I think this is what an artist is trying to do when he or she is writing. You sense the metaphysics, the reasons for being, that underpin something." - Clive Barker

On a side note -- When I was in my early 20s around 1991, I had a vivid dream about a dark man and he told me his name. The next morning, I went to the bookstore and found a novel by the man who had talked to me in my sleep. The book was Weaveworld and the author Clive Barker. I had led a very sheltered life and had never heard of him before that dream. It seemed important at the time.

“...[T]hat state of semiconsciousness that you have when you just wake up from a dream—it’s dawn and everything is silent and you are still half asleep and half awake—in that moment I think that one can listen. It as is if one has a storage room where you have information that you can’t reach when you’re awake. Information that you get through different channels that you’re not aware of during the day. Something you heard, something you saw, something that happened to somebody. A smell. A color. A texture. And you grab it. And you store it. And you’re not aware of it at all. Then, in that dreamy state, somehow you can reach in the darkness and find something like a treasure that is hidden in this storage room. And that is what your dream is about. It’s bringing back information to your conscious mind that has always been there because you wouldn’t dream about it if you didn’t already have it within you. So it’s yours. You’re not dreaming anybody else’s dream. You just have to get there.” – Isabel Allende

Your posts are always inspiring and insightful, but this one really hit home this week. Thank you, Terri. :)

Mountain Fall Dream

“Not all of us dream awake. But those who do
have no choice."—Patricia McKillip

I tumble in the bedclothes,
as if falling down a mountainside,
grasping for the storyline
to save me from disaster.

So my every nights, my days
my dreams awake,
an oddity of imagination,
the DNA of wonder.

And still I slide, stumble, fall,
past stumps of old trees,
bones of mammoths,
into passes torn asunder.

A line of dialogue informs,
becomes a well-made actor
who reaches out a helping hand,
and a happy ever after.

©2015 Jane Yolen all rights reserved


This is so beautiful. I remember the animals in "The Cry of the Icemark," as so well
presented. A rich connection with the wild. I have never seen a wild fox. I looked for
coyotes in the woods but never saw one. The first coyote not in captivity I saw was a few years ago, when I was in a bus in the south part of San Francisco, trotting on a sidewalk in the evening. At last.

You're Just Imagining

Luck of Idaho yarns and fairy tales,
But also daydreams. In Cow Canyon,
Below a highway, nothing but a hill.
And only us in little cottage, I
Heard the chatter of chipmunks,
The parade of chicks behind
Their mother. I gave them names
And adventures. Imagining.

My dolls, the Princess, the dumb Prince
And the quick witted enchanted prince,
Disguised as a red and blue monkey
Did dodge so cleverly from bandits
As they struggled to get out of the
Magic Forest. They let the dumb prince
Think he was the hero. I saw tiny
Doors in trees, for elves and gnomes.

My stepfolk, two mothers, one sister,
One brother, were more afraid of me
Than I of them. They thought the
Dreamy were mad and dangerous.
Perhaps we are. But only if we cannot
Make believe in stories that hide
Behind walls of mist. invisable, the
Unannounced whisper, magic words.

'invisible, the/Unannounced whisper, magic words.'

A wonderfully powerful phrase, Phyllis!

Thank you, Candace and Phyllis. I think the Coyote on the sidewalk in San Francisco must be the US equivalent of the 'Urban Fox' we get in the UK. As I said in my reply to Terri, I love the way the creatures of the wild are reclaiming the spaces/cities we've considered exclusively our own for so long. Just recently I saw a buzzard sitting on a lamp post in the suburbs, and only last summer I watched two huge crows (possibly ravens?) mobbing a hawk high over the houses in the inner city! It gives me hope for our increasingly urbanised world.

You can add one more country to that list, because I'm an American-born artist now living in England (married to an Englishman) telling of an artist from Russia...

It pleases my heart too that a love of myth and mythic arts brings us together from so many places around the world.

Have a good weekend too!

What a wonderful dream you had! And thank you for the book recommendation, I'll seek that one out.

I *love* this. Particularly these lines:

an oddity of imagination,
the DNA of wonder

Just wonderful.

"My stepfolk, two mothers, one sister,
One brother, were more afraid of me
Than I of them. They thought the
Dreamy were mad and dangerous."


We ARE mad and dangerous. We make you open your eyes to things that never were and always are. Like prophets, we spin tales to create the world anew. We teach you to dive into your inner self and come up with gold from the shipwrecks around you.

Poets, storytellers, novelists--the best of them do not take this power lightly. And especially those who write for children know what we do is the real magic.


Hi Stuart

This is a beautiful poem and one that skillfully develops a partial creation myth through the characteristics of the fox. Something that is wild and raw, clever with anticipation and able to judge with keen distinction. Thank you for sharing this. I love the lore of Foxes and the sense of furtive mystery they evoke.


Hi Jane

Terrific poem! I love the action and the metaphor in this one assigned to the process of writing/creating. And I have felt that way when trying to grasp a poem/theme/idea that comes forth and yet alludes me. I feel like I am slipping down that "mountainside" and keep reaching for something to grip, to work with. Thank you so much for sharing this!

Best Wendy

Hi Phyllis,

What a delightful poem! I love what you saw in the trees, the birds and all the creatures and aspects of your surroundings. The magic is there, within the grasp of our imaginations, and we as writers/storytellers have the power to awaken it, make it come alive. Thank you so much for sharing this!

My best,

Thanks, Wendy. I was feeling particularly falling-off-the mountainside when I wrote that, a combination of having trouble with a novel and the coming of a really bad head cold.


Daring To Dream Of The Quintessential Poem

..there I was without a face
and it touched me.
Pablo Neruda

The sleep god, himself, appears
and slips the reigns into my hand
nodding -- that I must go the old way. Cloaked
on horseback through the evening gate.

The roan stays quiet and still
while Morpheus, appareled in his peasant's shirt
and vest (his boots strewn with pollen),
stresses -- the poem must find me, by scent
and instinct; not what poses in the glass. That writer
wearing her same, familiar brand.

Like a seamstress the journey
alters our path. Voice and viewpoint change
and the change remains unknown
even to one's self --until the song (and if the song)

restless and readied for perfection
pursues its mistress. Much like a cat
searching for a sorceress to serve, or spirit
seeking a lamp to illume.

The subconscious draws me in
draped in dusk and smelling of want.
Those white flowers on the archway
soft, poisonous with expectation.
Just wanted to say this is an incredible posting with its gorgeous illustrations, quotes and diverse poems and ideas from all the contributors in this blog's commentary section! Thank you!!


How rich and glorious. I'll copy it and plunge into it more. Levels and levels....without end

"..dive into your inner self and come up with gold from the shipwrecks around you..."
A capsule novel!

And here we are, literally on the same pages....less and less do I feel lost. Imagination is
the great lost and found lighted cave.

So interesting that DNA. I have often wondered who those long ago ancestors were up to?
With a name like Holliday and my grandmother from Luxembourg a Speilmann, ie Playman...?

Beautiful. Just beautiful.

Thanks so much Terri!!

I hope you are feeling better and can enjoy those wanderings around your lovely countryside! I send you my prayers and positive thoughts!

Take care

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