Chris Gardner

The joys of self-publishing.

Something wicked this way comes.


This is my favourite line in literature and I don’t care that it’s Shakespeare. I’m not even terribly concerned that it’s spoken by a witch in Macbeth and that she’s speaking of Macbeth himself. Nor am I particularly concerned that the first part, which I often forget, is ‘By the pricking of my thumbs’. That’s good too, but there’s just something delicious about the phrase ‘something wicked this way comes.’ It brings to my mind something hidden, something mysterious but certainly evil. Supernatural evil, not just human badness–something hard to define, beyond our understanding. And it’s coming. Look out–it’s behind you! Did I mention I’m a fan of horror?

Do you have a favourite line, something that stays with you, or is that a peculiarity of mine? I do realise not everyone cares for horror and I’m sure I’ve read other lines that impressed me greatly at the time but none have stayed with me quite like that one. I’m not especially a fan of Shakespeare but he did have a way with words. I don’t think his work is meant to be read though or studied at school. I’ve seen a few of his plays, some better than others. Most recently I saw a production of Twelfth Night by a young group of actors in Melbourne, not in a theatre, but a bookshop. It wasn’t a play I knew anything about and I attempted to watch a movie version once, which was awful. I also read a bit but was not impressed.

When I saw the play performed live it was absolutely fantastic–funny and obviously well-written. I couldn’t help thinking Will himself would approve, that this was the way his work should be seen and enjoyed by the audience, not suffered through! I should mention my son was in the show–I don’t generally make the trip to Melbourne to see a show unless one of mine is involved, but they were all excellent.

It’s autumn here now and the weather is generally lovely, if a bit confused. I’m still working on my story which may be a novella or a longish short story, which is no doubt why I keep going back to that line of Shakespeare’s. There’s definitely something wicked coming. Sales have been going well for ‘Stony Creek’ and I’ve put a review on the ‘Books‘ page here. I wasn’t planning to write more romance but now I’m considering a kind of sequel. We’ll see. First I need to finish with my wicked story.

Author: cmsgardnerblog

I'm a writer of fiction and non-fiction, for teens and adults. I live in Central Victoria, Australia and my books are available at

7 thoughts on “Something wicked this way comes.

  1. I get this. There’s a way of putting words together that gives them extra texture and the phrase is a cracking example of just that. It’s one of my favourite bits… When the donkey work is done and you go through tweaking the phrasing so it’s all just so.



  2. I love Shakespeare, and I read him for fun. Okay, I know, that makes me weird. But there is something about the language he uses that enchants me. My favorite line is “full of sound and fury, signifying nothing” from the “tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow…” speech in Macbeth.

  3. I don’t know about fun–probably does make you a teensy bit weird, but hey that’s a good thing, isn’t it? I do wonder if I should read a little Shakespeare every day for inspiration, but no, not going to happen. I have seen Macbeth, again only because my son was in it, but it was a rock version and I may have missed half the words!

  4. I loved the song of those same words you quote in, Harry Potter. The little choir of magicians sang it with actually fine harmony. I made a laminated card with Voltaire’s “There is not evil from which some good does not spring.” Do you get the ‘just under the surface’ meaning of that? ..that good is stimulated by evil, which tickles my soul. Also wasn’t it Shakespeare who said, “A thing is not evil unless you think it so.” Very cool, don’t you think? The whole issue of evil fascinates me. What is it really? And I have this theory that man created it himself in his myths, as an outpicturing of his own shadow, or dark side, to learn from.

    • An outpicturing of his own shadow–I like that, Joyce. Evil clearly holds a fascination for us all, whatever form it takes. I think I prefer the supernatural kind–the evil in mankind is too real and far too scary!

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