SO YOU WANT TO PLAY WITH MAGIC?
Just for fun, let’s pretend my book
How to Date Dead Guys is being made
into a movie.
This gives me an excuse to toast
the witches, both good and bad (or somewhere in-between), who have successfully
transformed from the page to the screen.
When in doubt, start with a
WIZARD OF OZ, by L. Frank Baum
Even my mother-in-law loves this
movie. It’s for everyone, big or small, young or old, musical or not.
Here’s the dilemma: why are good witches beautiful and bad
Or, for that matter, why are they
Why do they melt with water?
3: He sounds pretty smart to me.
Who’s to say who has a heart,
brain, or courage?
Can’t we decide these things for
Perhaps that’s exactly what L.
Frank Baum was trying to convey.
Besides The Wizard of Oz, L. Frank Baum (1856-1919) penned55
novels, 82 short stories, hundreds of poems and many scripts. Despite repeated
vows that he’d written his last Oz book, letters from children persuaded Baum to return to
the series 13 times.
As I child, I read several Oz
books. The princess who possessed a collection of beautiful heads she could
exchange at whim, depending on her mood, totally creeped me out.
Quite disturbing. Better read it again.
Figure 5: Dorothy Gale, assassin for hire
MARY POPPINS, by P. L. Travers
I only just discovered P.L.
Travers’ series while writing this article.
Figure 6: “I hate being good.” – Mary Poppins
These books sound like fun
adventures to read to my children, despite my unpopular belief that the movie
seems more like a drug trip than a children’s story.
And if the candy colored horses
don’t convince you…
Perhaps these dancing penquins and
Dick Van Dyke’s pants will do the trick.
However, despite the drug trip
atmosphere, this magical nanny is most definitely a good witch.
THE LION, THE WITCH, AND THE WARDROBE,
by C. S. Lewis
This is my “ultimate, always, and
forever” favorite book. Don’t even try to tell me anything bad about it.
I’ll shut you out.
I won’t listen.
I’m over forty, and still looking for that magic
I’d like to meet Aslan for myself.
Such beautiful book covers…
But I’m supposed to be talking
about witches here.
And, as far as bad witches go, the
White Witch of Narnia is magnificent.
The BBC series didn’t thrill me,
but the latest movie version was brilliant. I’ve forced my children to love it
as much as I do.
If only the series had continued in
such a timeless, true to the story manner…
HARRY POTTER, by J. K. Rowling
If Narnia would be my first choice of magical
places to visit, Hogwarts is a very close second.
Figure 7: Which do you like better?
And I’d convince Hermione Granger
to be my very best friend ever.
Figure 8: She’s kick-ass.
I mean, come on, who wouldn’t want
to be her friend?
She’s a determined student, a sweet
girl, and a very good witch.
Figure 9: She’s adorable.
In contrast, we have the evil and
insane Bellatrix Lestrange…
(Aren’t Rowling’s character’s names
just plain amazing?)
Figure 10: I bet Helena Bonham Carter LOVED this role.
Pretty much every single witch and
wizard in the series belongs on this page, but I only have room for one more…
Figure 11: Teacher of the Year. Every Year.
But of course I’d choose her. She’s
magnificent—both the actress and the character. Every movie in the series is
such a joy.
BEAUTIFUL CREATURES, by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
Here’s a mix of both good and bad
witches, and what’s in between. I really enjoyed the first book.
I loved watching Emmy Rossum eat up
the screen as Ridley.
(Please, please, please watch her
in Phantom of the Opera. I realize it
has nothing to do with witchcraft, but the magic of the night remains.)
The visuals of the movie were cool. The foreboding
skies. The spinning room and table.
And Emma Thompson is a hoot in this role.
What was with that ending?
PRACTICAL MAGIC, By Alice Hoffman
It’s been far too long since I’ve
either read or watched Practical Magic.
I mean to remedy this ASAP.
I’m going on a reading break.
At least, that’s what I keep
And then some project gets in the
(Utter lack of creative
Writing How to Date Dead Guys forced me to look at the moon.
Really examine it.
Because the sun won’t let you. The bright
glare forbids it.
But the moon is ours for the
Someone should’ve pinned this next quote
on my shirt in junior high. (Oh, yes, let’s give the bullies yet more fodder to
And after I’m done re-reading and
re-watching Practical Magic, then I’m
going to pack up my bags and move into this lovely house.
Who’s going to join me?
Or maybe I should let Emma Roberts
from How to Date Dead Guys live there
But she’ll need some room-mates.
What do you think of these options?
(I realize Willow was a TV to
graphic novel kind of girl, but this picture was just too divine to leave out
in the cold.)
Snape thinks they’d get along just
Think I should remind him about the
Book of Shadows?
I predict a cat fight…
Date Dead Guys by Ann Noser
Series: Under The
Publication: July 15th, 2014
College sophomore Emma Roberts remembers her
mother’s sage advice: “don’t sleep
around, don’t burp in public, and don’t tell anyone you see ghosts”. But when charming Mike Carlson drowns in the
campus river under her watch, Emma’s sheltered life shatters.
Blamed for Mike’s death and haunted by
nightmares, Emma turns to witchcraft and a mysterious Book of Shadows to bring him back.
Under a Blood Moon, she lights candles, draws a pentacle on the campus
bridge, and casts a spell. The invoked
river rages up against her, but she escapes its fury. As she stumbles back to the dorm, a stranger
drags himself from the water and follows her home. And he isn’t the only
Instead of raising
Mike, Emma assists the others she stole back from the dead—a pre-med student
who jumped off the bridge, a desperate victim determined to solve his own
murder, and a frat boy Emma can’t stand…at first. More comfortable with the dead than the
living, Emma delves deeper into the seductive Book of Shadows. Her powers
grow, but witchcraft may not be enough to protect her against the vengeful
river and the killers that feed it their victims.
Inspired by the controversial Smiley Face
Murders, HOW TO DATE DEAD GUYS will ignite the secret powers hidden deep within
each of us.
Date Dead Guys Purchase Links:
My to-do list dictates that I try to cram 48 hours of living
into a day instead of the usual 24. I’ve
chosen a life filled with animals. I
train for marathons with my dog, then go to work as a small animal
veterinarian, and finish the day by tripping over my pets as I attempt to
convince my two unruly children that YES, it really IS time for bed. But I can’t wait until the house is quiet to
write; I have to steal moments throughout the day. Ten minutes here, a half hour there, I live
within my imagination.
Like all busy American mothers, I multi-task. I work out plot holes during runs. Instead of meditating, I type madly during
yoga stretches. I find inspiration in
everyday things: a beautiful smile, a
heartbreaking song, or a newspaper article on a political theory. For example, a long drive in the dark
listening to an NPR program on the SMILEY FACE MURDERS theory made me ask so
many questions that I wrote HOW TO DATE DEAD GUYS to answer them to my
I’d love to have more time to write (and run, read, and
sleep), but until I find Hermione Granger’s time turner, I will juggle real
life with the half-written stories in my head.
Main characters and plot lines intertwine in my cranium, and I need to
let my writing weave the tales on paper so I can find out what happens next.