Ani’s Advent Invitation: What is magic? A holiday story (and a new book!) from Allie Potts

So, the question is a bit of an odd one around here, what with my two-legs being a bit weirdly inclined and all… What is magic? For me, magic is finding the fridge door, or the back gate left open… or my boys coming to play. That might be the best of all. But Christmas magic is waking up to find a whole Christmas tree decorated with tennis balls! It even had a chicken star on top!

She couldn’t have done it, ’cause I keep an eye on her every morning, just in case there is any chance of her going into the cupboard where my treats are kept. And there was no-one else there, so it must have been Santa!

She says magic means different things to everyone. I s’ppose she’s right. I don’t think the fish would have been impressed with a tennis ball tree. They got fresh vegetables… but I wouldn’t have been overly impressed with them myself.

Allie Potts, who has just released a brand new book, thinks magic is something else entirely… though I think it all comes down to love in the end…

What is magic?

Allie Potts

As an adult, it is a trick, an illusion or redirection, something we don’t fully understand. But to a child magic can mean any number of things.

My mother introduced me and my sisters to the arts at an early age. She would have us dress us up, letting us wear miniature fur coats and costumed jewelry, before taking us to see various theater productions. It was a treat – a chance to let us play at being grown up while still giving her the opportunity to enjoy us as children.

One December she took us to see Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker.

I watched in wonder as the Christmas tree in the center of the stage grew in front of our eyes, expanding until it was less prop than a backdrop. The rats and the toy shoulders battled. A cannon was rolled out. Bang. A cloud of smoke billowed. Then a young girl named Clara stood up to the danger. She struck with the only weapon available, her shoe, and thus saved the day.

I was hooked.

Fairies arrived, dancing pastries too, and though few words were spoken, the story held my rapt attention.

Then the performance was over. We made our way back to our car to return to our regular lives.

Christmas morning arrived.

I was usually one of the last to emerge from my room on Christmas morning. I was no less excited at the thought of what presents Santa might leave than my sisters, but I’d realized that the sooner gifts were opened the sooner the best part, the anticipation, the waiting for Christmas would be over. You see, once gifts are opened, their contents are real for all to see. You know what they are, but at the same time, you know what they aren’t and what they can never be.

Before then, I knew those brightly colored mystery boxes can contain any number of things: a dollhouse, a 5000 piece LEGO set you’d been told contained far too many pieces for Santa’s elves to supply, a new bike, a jetpack, or even an orange princess. (An aside, I still don’t know what exactly an orange princess is, but it appeared once on my son’s first hand-written letter to Santa, so it must exist, if only in dreams).

And so while I would wake as early as any, I would typically lay in my bed until the voices of my sisters down the hall demand I join the family.

That morning I turned over to find a more comfortable position, tucking my hand under my pillow for added support. My fingers felt something cool. Something smooth. There, under my pillow was a simple ornament, a small fairy princess, made of blown glass, dancing on one toe. It was my very own sugar plum fairy.

I was delighted. However had it appeared under there without my knowledge? It was magic. I ran around the house eager to show it off.

I learned my sisters woke to find sugar plum fairies under their pillows too.

They were a matching set. Until they weren’t. I was still a child after all, and children make mistakes. My fairy princess slipped, breaking one delicate dancing foot off her leg. But Santa had already come and gone. There was no more magic to fix it, but I didn’t mind. Rather than detracting from her beauty, if anything, her flaw made me love it more. It marked her as mine.

That Christmas another present under the tree waited for me. It was a green nutcracker just like I’d seen at the ballet with a working jaw and a soft gray beard, and unlike the ornaments, this present was one of a kind, and just for me. My mom had seen how the play’s magic affected me.

Other nutcrackers followed, year after year until the gift became a tradition between my mom and me, a magic unto itself. They now cover my mantle and fill the corners. Unfortunately, I ran out of room and the tradition had to end. But even now, years later, a green nutcracker with a soft gray beard assumes a center spot and a small glass one footed fairy reflects the light as it dances and dangles in my Christmas tree. They are my regular reminders that magic is real, if only you choose to believe.

About the author

Allie Potts is the author of The Fair & Foul, Project Gene Assist Book One and is celebrating the launch of the second book in the series, The Watch & Wand. Set in a not too distant future, the series takes place at a time when science meets magic and biology merges with technology, and tackles what it means to be human.

Additionally, she is the author of An Uncertain Faith, a Rocky Row Novel, a cozy mystery/women’s literature story written for those who find themselves caught between a rock and a hard place.

When not finding ways to squeeze in 72 hours into a 24 day or chasing after children determined to turn her hair gray before its time, Allie enjoys stories of all kinds. Her favorites, whether they are novels, film, or simply shared aloud with friends, are usually accompanied with a glass of wine or cup of coffee in hand.

A self-professed science geek, book nerd, and believer in the possibility of magic, Allie writes everyday style stories, flash fiction, tips and tricks, and the occasional not-a-review review at

Universal book links

The Watch & Wand    The Fair & Foul     An Uncertain Faith

Find and follow Allie Potts

Blog     Amazon author page

Twitter    Instagram    Pinterest    Facebook    Google+

The Fair & Foul: The line between humanity and technology has blurred (Project Gene Assist Book 1)

The Fair & Foul 

Juliane has a supercomputer for a brain and she isn’t afraid to use it.
Perhaps she should be.

Juliane Faris is a brilliant programmer determined to change the world through scientific and technical advancement. Blinded by ambition, she will do whatever it takes to secure her legacy including agreeing to participate in an experimental procedure. The procedure grants her unprecedented knowledge and cellular control over her body but threatens everything she holds dear including her sanity. When others undergo the same modifications it becomes apparent that not everyone can afford the price that this technology demands.

The line between biology and technology is blurring, and what seems like magic is only a scientific discovery away.

Set in the not too distant future, and rooted in technology being developed and today, The Fair & Foul is earth-based science fiction dealing with the next era of human evolution.


The Watch & Wand: The difference between science and magic is a matter of perspective (Project Gene Assist Book 2)

The Watch & Wand  

“I’d ask if you are ready, but I suppose it is already too late.”

Fifteen years have passed. The future no longer seems as bright. Between a war declared on all but the most basic technology, worldwide economic collapse, and a plague-spurred global panic, governments have collapsed leaving law and order to be defined by those left behind. Stephen knows he should be grateful, but can’t help wishing his life was more than survival.

That was until he met a girl on the run from a group known as the Watch.

Now, caught between rival factions with their own hidden agendas, Stephen has no choice but to go on a mission to reclaim a piece of missing technology.

He is told the device is the key to a better future, but in the new order, one person’s salvation can be another’s total destruction.

Antlers are for Reindeer!

If you would like to help save Ani from a fate (she says) worse than death, send your Letters to Santa, festive memories, short stories, flash fiction or poems to the Small Dog. She will post them every day through December until Christmas.

She would especially like to hear from her four-legged or feathered friends (she has a special place very close to her heart for turkeys)… but she says that two-legs are better than none, so she will accept submissions from humans too.

To get in touch, please use the form on the contact page or email Ani at


About Sue Vincent

Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire-born writer and one of the Directors of The Silent Eye, a modern Mystery School. She writes alone and with Stuart France, exploring ancient myths, the mysterious landscape of Albion and the inner journey of the soul. Find out more at France and Vincent. She is owned by a small dog who also blogs. Follow her at and on Twitter @SCVincent. Find her books on Goodreads and follow her on Amazon worldwide to find out about new releases and offers. Email:
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44 Responses to Ani’s Advent Invitation: What is magic? A holiday story (and a new book!) from Allie Potts

  1. jenanita01 says:

    Lovely Magic! Something the world needs a little more of!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Wonderful – I did not see the Nutcracker live until I was an adult – by the Cleveland ballet (even though I was living in NYC at the time). It was a Christmas present from the mother of an ex-fiance, with whom we spent that delightful holiday — who also commemorated it with a stained glass pair of ballet slippers that still graces my Christmas tree because she saw that I was enchanted. Thanks for a wonderful Christmas memory.
    (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMORE dot com)
    ADD/EFD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder
    “It takes a village to transform a world!

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Pingback: Ani’s Advent Invitation: What is magic? A holiday story (and a new book!) from Allie Potts | Campbells World

  4. ksbeth says:

    sounds wonderful – you can never have too much magic –

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Reblogged this on Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life and commented:
    Ani who is the power behind the throne in Sue Vincent’s house, has her own version of the Advent Calendar being published daily until Christmas.. Today Allie Potts with a lovely look back at childhood, sugar plum fairies and the Nutcracker ballet. #recommended

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: Ani’s Advent Invitation: What is magic? A holiday story (and a new book!) from Allie Potts – Allie Potts Writes

  7. Magic is everywhere. I truly believe that. Great post. (Love the nutcracker tradition. That kind of thing stays with you. As you’ve demonstrated.) 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  8. What a great story, Allie. I love The Nutcracker too and I would have loved a sugar plum fairy as a child. I can’t complain though as I have lots of porcelain dolls now as an adult. [smile]

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Darlene says:

    A lovely story about the magic of Christmas! I took my daughter to a performance of The Nutcracker for her 16th birthday and she just loved t!!

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Ally Bean says:

    Magic is there if you believe– as are nutcrackers, it would seem, in your life. What a fun tradition you have.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Widdershins says:

    Sometimes I think magic and memories are so intertwined they are the same thing.:D

    … just read the excerpt from The Fair and Foul … very compelling. 🙂


  12. Eliza Waters says:

    I loved the build-up in anticipation of Christmas – I can see why Allie would want to stay in bed to prolong the magic!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I really want to see that chicken topper for the tree. Puleeze? Pretty puleeze?


  14. I love a bit of magic, and Christmas always seems to have lots of it! I love the tradition you and your mum had of the Nutcracker figurines what a beautiful reminder of a special time in your lives. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Allie P. says:

    Christmas really has more than its fair share. I’d love to be able to spread it out more evenly, but I suspect that Christmas would always find a way to make more.

    Liked by 1 person

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