A Spell is a Process, Not a Thing
"Remember: a spell is a process, not a thing,” Xenograg tells his students for the hundredth time. Today, the three girls—the princesses Erwyn, Amanda, and Mystic—sit and practice carving runes into wand-sized wooden dowels. It is delicate work with a very sharp knife; each girl has nicked her finger at least once this morning.
"Preparation is everything,” continues Xenograg’s lecture. "Magicians are people who pay attention, think ahead, and get ready for things before they occur. The spell or skill that may save your life someday in the future will be begun here today. All learning is preparation.”
Erwyn finishes a carving and adds the dowel to her work pile. She takes a moment to look up at her teacher to show she is paying attention to his words, then takes up a new practice wand. Each girl works through a pile of a dozen sticks at her own pace.