You’ll Never Know What’s Inside this Wardrobe Until You Peek

20160323_191656Anyone who has read the right books growing up will know that Wardrobes are magical places. Of the portkeys that transport us from our everyday little world into the unknown world of worlds beyond, the Wardrobe is the most famous. While anyone with a little imagination will check the wall between train platforms 9 and 10, will look deeply into girl-size rabbit holes, and will look at objects left on park benches and in fallow fields to see if they shimmer, we cannot check every mirky wood for a way into faërie.

Never, though, do I ever pass a Wardrobe without at least having a peek inside.

We often find ourselves in magical wardrobes when we least expect it. It is sort of a Narnian principle that you can’t force it—you can’t make the magic happen just because you desperately want it. In this case, our growing family found ourselves in a tiny top floor apartment. My desk—strewn with papers, coffee cups, half-read books, and technology in various stages of decay— was an overwhelming sight in our single open space, the living room.

It had to be contained. We needed a solution to make our living space also a work space.

As our family was wandering through one of the least magical places in our particular universe—a suburban big box store—we suddenly found it: the Wardrobe. But not just any Wardrobe. A Wardrobe with a secret desk inside of it.

20160323_191540It is true. “Secret” is not the same as “magical.” But that does not mean it cannot transport you to other worlds.

While this looks like a mundane desk built by the Sauder company to be ideally suited to tiny spaces, this Wardrobe-desk really was a portkey for my imagination. It was in this particular Wardrobe that my first story turned into my first novel. And then my second, and third. Here I discovered hundreds of characters in dozens of fictional worlds—for writing is always a kind of discovery, as new and surprising to the author as it is to the reader. Here I wrote my first 200 blogs, my first academic papers, my first project proposals. I spent at least three weekends, sleepless and fueled by coffee and idiotic hope, trying to pound out a novel for the International 3-Day Novel Contest.

It is also here that I wrote the letter confirming that our family’s dream of adoption had died—really, murdered by bad people who knew better. It was here where I received my first publisher rejections. It was in this Wardrobe I ran spreadsheets for the most difficult financial times of our lives. Even the magic of Wardrobes cannot fix everything.

My needs and space have grown. I now have a desk covered in half-read books, unpaid bills, various tea mugs, and years of technology at various stages of decay. I have had to move out of the Wardrobe.

20160323_191551The Wardrobe is used. I have added shelfs and braced it here or there. You can see the spot where I put my left foot: it has worn the Sauder varnish clean to a smooth, blonde sheen. You can see where I set my coffee mug down, and where I kept my mouse It is definitely used, but we all know that for Wardrobes to work they should never be new.

And now the Wardrobe can be yours.

I am asking $100—a bargain at twice the price! But if you tell me that you are a writer trying to transport yourself to another world, an author trying to find your way to print, a poet in the age after poetry, an innovator trying to do a beautiful thing, an artist who loves to sketch the world, or a teacher in training hoping to invite a whole new generation of young people to other worlds, you can have it for $80.

You’ll never know what is inside this Wardrobe for you until you peek.

 See the ad here:

About Brenton Dickieson

“A Pilgrim in Narnia” is a blog project in reading and talking about the work of C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and the worlds they touched. As a "Faith, Fantasy, and Fiction" blog, we cover topics like children’s literature, apologetics and philosophy, myths and mythology, fantasy, theology, cultural critique, art and writing. This blog includes my thoughts as I read through Lewis and Tolkien and reflect on my own life and culture. In this sense, I am a Pilgrim in Narnia--or Middle Earth, or Fairyland. I am often peeking inside of wardrobes, looking for magic bricks in urban alleys, or rooting through yard sale boxes for old rings. If something here captures your imagination, leave a comment, “like” a post, share with your friends, or sign up to receive Narnian Pilgrim posts in your email box. Brenton Dickieson is a father, husband, friend, university lecturer, and freelance writer from Prince Edward Island, Canada. You can follow him on Twitter, @BrentonDana.
This entry was posted in Fictional Worlds, News & Links and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

21 Responses to You’ll Never Know What’s Inside this Wardrobe Until You Peek

  1. Tony says:

    Neat ad. I don’t need a wardrobe, however.


    Tony Gunter P. O. Box 423 Boaz, AL 35957 (256) 558-0941

    Sent from my iPad


    Liked by 1 person

  2. LarkLeaf says:

    I’m desperately trying to think of a way that I could conceivably make space for another piece of furniture in my house…Because I want to write stories, AND I want to teach, AND I’ve never passed a wardrobe without a thrill of wonder, AND I am practically drooling over the opportunity to have a real, non-magical magic wardrobe desk. It couldn’t be more perfect.

    Except for the fact that I have no space.
    Too many bookshelves, you see…

    Liked by 1 person

    • David Llewellyn Dodds says:

      I’m always measuring to see if I can fit in another bookshelf (and, say, still open the door it’s ‘behind’ wide enough to get through), and we got our harmonium cheaply at the end of a Church jumble/rummage sale, when they were fearing they might have to throw it away – and a mad dash home and rearranging of the living room made sure we could fit it in…

      Liked by 1 person

      • David, you can’t be truly expected to pass up a Harmonium.


        • David Llewellyn Dodds says:

          No – what a surprise and treat! And useful for children who had to learn a Psalm or song a week at school and for me to practice for oratorio choir – and we even later ran into a second-hand book (lawn sale, this time!) of Christmas Carol settings for Harmonium (which some of us – not I, alas – learned to play well). But if we ever move further than it is convenient – or affordable! – to take, it is now a Responsibility: I should find a Good Home for it (happily, an organist friend has offered to help, if it come so that).

          Liked by 1 person

    • Well, Larkleaf: that’s the problem, too many books, not enough space. But if you see a truly magical wardrobe near you, I would encourage you to make space!


  3. L.A. Smith says:

    That is a wonderful wardrobe! Alas I already have my own writing portal that has taken me on many journeys of my own. I hope someone takes yours and begins their own journeys with it. Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. David Llewellyn Dodds says:

    A sad fact we discovered in the comparatively ‘little’ Netherlands (well, about 8 times the acreage of PEI, with over 100 times the population) when we were looking to share old furniture within the family was, how prohibitive the transportation costs were. I hope that’s not so, there – or you find a local buyer.


  5. David Llewellyn Dodds says:

    One of my favorite wardrobe stories – when the Santo Caliz (one of the best contenders for really being The Holy Grail) was whisked away by some of the Faithful before those intent on bagging it and otherwise sacking the Cathedral arrived (this was in Valencia during the Spanish Civil War), one of the places it spent part of its years of safe seclusion was – in a wardrobe (with a secret compartment).

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Marc says:

    An enchanted wardrobe. I wish I had room in my apartment for it. And the desk reminds me of the desk in George MacDonald’s book Phantastes which was the door to Fairy Land for Anodos. Did a fairy appear to you there urging you to trust the beech tree but avoid the alder and the terrible Ash?

    Liked by 1 person

    • No fairy, no. Still waiting–though I would prefer my own flesh-version of Anodos’ story to the one he had to play out (on some days at least).
      Unfortunately, there are no truly secret compartments in this great desk.
      I’ve never understood why Ash is terrible.


  7. So, have you found a new magical writing desk in it’s place?


  8. David Llewellyn Dodds says:

    The Holy Grail, books (especially second-hand)… the interest (in various ways) down the ages of things connected with people, and knowing about them and that (or those) connection(s) (or wanting or trying to). So, it is delightful to think what may draw the next enjoyer(s) of the wardrobe, is this illustrated history! May they come and embark upon their adventures with it, soon! (Which for some reason makes me think of a book I have not yet read which seems to be about imagined interactions of people and some thing: Hilaire Belloc’s The Green Overcoat (illustrated by Chesterton) – the preface of which, comparing a green overcoat and a green elephant, I’ve just tried, thanks to Internet Archive…)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hannah says:

      Fun comparison between green overcoat & elephant! And looking for it I found great links to Internet archives, so thanks for the comment, David

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Pingback: Good Political Leadership According to Narnia | A Pilgrim in Narnia

  10. Pingback: Girls, Boys, and the Maps in Their Heads | A Pilgrim in Narnia

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.