1 picture = 1,000 words

by | May 27, 2023

Inspiration can be found anywhere. On this island I call home, if I’m in need of visual inspiration, all I have to do is walk out on my deck to see mountains in two countries, the open sea, and stunning sunrises. Pretty fantastic, right?

There are unexpected sources, too, like random conversations, or a chance scroll through social media (5 swipes, then I’m out). A couple days ago, I was arrested by an image of Xylaria polymorpha, a fungus commonly known as – drumroll, please – Dead Man’s Fingers.

"Dead Man's Fingers." Was there ever a more perfect name for a thing found in nature that also belongs in a book, more specifically, one of my books?

This fungus appears on already-dead wood; it’s not out there killing living things on its own. In fact, it consumes polysaccharides and when it’s finished its meal – boom! – there’s a nice, soft pile of nutrient rich stuff for woodland beasties (including insects) to feed on.

And on which trees could one find Xylaria polymorpha if one was to go looking? Apple, crabapple, cherry, pear, and plum. And what kind of fruit-bearing trees are found in the orchards described in my Magic series?

Apples. And one very, very significant crabapple.

(Dead Man’s Fingers *might* be making an appearance in my current work in progress. I’m posting full chapters over on Ream, and short teasers for my newsletter subscribers. And yes, this WIP is the 4th book in the Magic series.)

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