We camped out again in the back yard last night. Once again it was perfect. The whippoorwills called from dusk till dawn. There were thin wisps of fog.
I awoke a few times, lay looking up through the tent's mesh at a sky given texture by the bright moon. At one point I realised that directly above me loomed a viking warrior with a horned helm and a sword upraised in one fist. By the light of morning he had transformed into a tree. Birds roosted on his blade.
Fiction is an act of transformation. It is an act of will imposed upon the mundane reality of black words on a white page. Trees become ships, become worlds, become stars. And it's not just the writer who imposes these visions. The reader transforms the work further, in ways the writer had never forseen, or intended.
At the heart of our job as writers is to see the world anew, to transform it and let our readers transform it further. But to do so we may have to shake up our own perceptions. We may have to look at reality under a new light. We have to let the moon show us vikings where daylight showed us only trees.