Hello, friends. At the time of this writing, it's mid-December -- I've recently gotten into the habit of writing my posts way in advance of their publish date. Crazy, right? -- and I am in the middle of several ideas. On the one hand, I have about a zillion words to say about Christmas. On the other hand, I'm looking ahead to 2016 and the kind of tone I'm looking to set in the new year. I'm watching the direction my writing is taking, and I'm seeing more of the adventure language that I love rising to the forefront of my imagination. I'm learning to grasp a little more of the way I've been wired, and I'm coming to understand that I, as a 21-year-old woman, am the same little girl that walked barefoot in the backyard for hours, spinning stories and worlds and quests out of thin air and dead leaves and spiderwebs. And I'm slowly reaching the realization that maybe, if I'm so in love with story and adventure, I ought to share some of those things that go on in my mind. Maybe that's part of my job as a writer.

So. Here we are.

I loved the Narnia books by C.S. Lewis (my main man) before the movie came out, but the 2005 movie version of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe rocked my world. It spoke to my heart on about a zillion different levels -- soaring landscapes, gorgeous adventure, and Harry Gregson-Williams' incomparable scores among them. I was obsessed for months (Sidebar: I've been hopelessly in love with one of the actors in it since I was eleven. I'll leave you to guess who). One scene in the movie, during the coronation, isn't in the book, but it's captured my heart since I was an eleven-year-old and my mom took us to see it in the theater. In this movie, as each of the four children is crowned king or queen, Aslan associates them with one of the four cardinal directions, and the Narnian landscape in that direction. For example: "To the glistening Eastern Sea, I give you... Queen Lucy the Valiant." My heart smiles just writing it. Edmund had the Western Woods, Susan had the "radiant Southern sun," and Peter got "the clear Northern sky." Cue all of my feelings.

Somehow, when I watched it, the importance and significance of the four points of the compass got into my head. I even made up stories in which the cardinal directions figured prominently. And somehow, ten years later, those ideas are still twirling in my brain, dancing and whirling until, when they landed, I had the thought -- I should write about this.

And again I say: here we are.

Over the course of next week (Sunday, January 10 through Saturday, January 16), I will be publishing each installment of The Compass Poems here on the blog. These poems are not based on any kind of "real" conception of these cardinal directions, nor do they necessarily conform to any real locations (they may, but that's unintentional). But in my mind, this is what they look like. This is what they feel like.

Happy New Year, friends. May we be adventurous this year.