Cynthia L. Arnold – Author

Do you believe in Magic?

I believe in the kind of magic that leads you exactly where you need to go, and then shows you exactly what you need to see.  That whispers dialogue in your ear when you have a pen in hand, and wakes you up in the middle of the night with story lines and plot points.  The kind of magic that sears a scene into your brain and makes it as real as if you were there in person, and leaves your nostrils flaring with the pungent scent of damp and rotting leaves in a forest bewitched by its inhabitants and lit by a shimmering moon.

Magic that creates an inner knowing so strong that you leave the big city where you were born and move to an island you didn’t know existed.  I came to transcribe one novel and discovered another.

vaultWhidbey Island is one of those thin places in the world, where the boundary between fantasy and reality shimmers with potential.  Where other realms beckon and seem to only be a blink away.  The island is known for luring those who need to come and stay for a while.  It can be a healing place.  It certainly was for me.  The island seems to know exactly what you need, and will be happy to share it with you.

As bios can be deadly dull, and I believe mine to be, I have decided instead to write about the journey that has led to this book.  It is much more interesting.

In the fall of 2005, a trip to Italy began a huge shift in my life.  I didn’t want to move to Tuscany, but I didn’t want the life I had in Los Angeles anymore either.  After attending the Whidbey Island Writer’s Conference in March of 2006, the wheel of fate had clicked into place.  I knew on a very deep level what I was to do next.

After 16 years as a Production Accountant in the film industry in Los Angeles, I was burned out, and longed for something I couldn’t name.  I sold my house, because it had become a weight around my neck.  With that freedom, I made the decision to take a year off from Production and move to Whidbey Island to write.  A coming of age story that needed to be turned into a completed manuscript required attention.  I was considering several places for my hiatus sabbatical in California, but felt the pull of the island and made my choice to spend my year off here.  The anticipation of an extended break from working to rest and recuperate plus the lure of unlimited time to write was too delicious to ignore.

At this point, I need to concede that I am a woo woo girl.  Over twenty-five years ago, I sat by the rushing Tuolumne River in California on a whitewater raft trip with my sister.  My life was imploding all around me. The divorce had been finalized. The new relationship I was in had ended with violence.  Being a part time mother was not working for me. I was as lost as a soul can get.  The film industry was still several years away. Watching the water rush by, a man from New York came to sit next to me.  He asked me if I was meditating.  Shaking my head no, I admitted I didn’t know how. We chatted for a while, he got up, wished me well and left me in peace.  Well, he left me alone.  There wasn’t any peace in my life at that time.

horse-in-the-mistBereft, I closed my eyes and sat listening to the rush of the river.  Nature has always been a very healing source for me, whether it was camping, hiking, gardening, or riding my horse. Twenty minutes later, when I opened my eyes, it was as if a dirty filter had been removed from everything around me, and replaced by a crystal clear lens.  The colors of the canyon were so vibrant. The water was bluer and I could feel it on a level deep inside.  The trees seemed alive in a way I had not thought of before. Looking around, everything seemed as it had been. Groups of people were sitting around chatting as dinner was being prepared. Yet everything had changed within me. I had taken my own personal quantum leap and was no longer asleep.  A new world had magically appeared before me.  One I felt compelled to explore.

Upon returning home, I began my quest.  The eighties were filled with self-help books and I was craving answers to the emptiness inside.  My self-discovery journey continues to this day, but the first couple of years were heady indeed.  Many tools were used to expand who I was.  Therapy was a necessity, as I could not see my way anymore.  Best thing I ever did.  Al-Anon, along with a burgeoning interest in Astrology and Tarot, helped me to claim the lost soul that I needed to find.  My sister handed me Mary Stewart’s Crystal Cave, and this amazing story of Merlin became a trigger for opening up even more.  It changed my perception, which is always the biggest shift of all, and brought a knowing about otherworldly things that had been hovering on the edges of my consciousness since I was a little girl.

To those of you on your own journey, you will know of what I speak.   To those who have yet to begin this journey, the fact that you were drawn to this site and my words shows me you are a seeker.  Your time will come.  It always shows up exactly when it is supposed to. It can’t be rushed, and it can’t be avoided.

I began to have precognitive dreams.  At first, I didn’t think they were any different than any other dream.  After walking into situations that I had dreamed about, I learned the difference. It took me a long time to trust them.  They were my secret.  It seemed that the more I embraced my sacred weirdness, the easier the dreams came and the more I opened up.

One dream showed me walking in the back lot at a major studio, in a hurry, holding an armful of papers.  It was obvious that I was working, but when I woke up it just didn’t make any sense.  The back lot of this particular studio was familiar. My son worked there and I had joined him for lunch the week before.  It was so far out of my frame of reference, I dismissed it.   Six months later I was working at Paramount Pictures and it began my life in the film industry.  I had forgotten the dream, as one does.  A few weeks after I started as a construction accountant on a major film, I walked into my dream as I was headed to the back lot.  My knees went out from under me and I ended up on the ground. I was wearing the exact same shirt and jeans from the dream. It was very unnerving and profound.  I spent the next twenty-two years in the film industry, learning a lot about production, film making and how to tell a story.

Then there was that other dream.  Fifteen years ago.  About a book I was going to write.