I have always wanted to be a Witch

I have always wanted to be a witch.

Part of that can be chalked up to my age.

My sister got the first two Harry Potter books as a Christmas present in either 1999 or 2000 when I would have been six or seven. Shortly thereafter our Mom started reading them to me as bedtime stories.

Chapter by chapter, night by night, we read through the first four in the series that way. Me leaning against her in the big brown, velveteen chair in our living room, or curled together on my bed, wrapped in the blue and red sailboat quilt my grandmother made just for me.

A nightly ritual, like magic.

From Harry Potter, I graduated to Redwall and thousands of pages of interwoven stories about magic swords and brave mice. The Jungle Book, with its clever rhymes and because ‘we be of one blood thee and I’. Nancy Drew, mysteries to be solved and a little blue sports car to zip around in while we did it. Tamora Pierce and the world of Tortall, full of lady knights and spies and mages who talked to animals.

At some point I started in on my Dad’s science fiction: Dune, Hitchhiker’s Guide, 1984, Around the World in 80 Days, John Carter Warlord of Mars, Tarzan of the Apes, The DaVinci Code.

Worlds so different from my small corner of Texas.

Worlds crafted by people who had the power to write with audacity.

People so different from me, as I was then.

Witchcraft, plain and simple.

Nothing but witchcraft could transport a young reader so far afield and bring her back in time for dinner.

Nothing but witchcraft could do so much with so little; just paper and ink.

I have always wanted to be a witch.

It shouldn’t be surprising, really.

The girl who studies Frankenstein wants to believe in some form of magic. That her bookshelves, the crystals she buys, the luck rituals she performs and jewelry she gravitates towards, all would reflect that.

That she wants to make a little magic for herself.

My fingers have never been clever enough for sleight of hand, my poker face never good enough to get through a trick without giving the game away.

Besides, what are cards or coins to world creation?

And world creation is what I’ve been training for my entire life.

What I’ve been reading for my entire life.

To write the history of a universe, of a country, a civilization, a city, a life, and then explode that history across a novel. And then share that explosion.

Share that explosion with people literally all over the world. People that you love, and people that you don’t, and people whose lives you can’t even imagine.

If creating worlds that others can see and experience with nothing but paper and ink isn’t witchcraft, then I don’t know what is.

So tonight, with my overfed familiar curled at my feet, my grandfather’s silver dollar in my pocket for luck, stacks of grimoire piled around my chamber and the moon waxing into her proper full majesty just in time for Samhain, I wish you magic.

I wish you explosions and transportation to worlds uncharted.

I wish you witchcraft.

Chase thunder,

JdB

Mija, the familiar, thoroughly unimpressed with her witch.

2 thoughts on “I have always wanted to be a Witch

  1. Well said, my dear! Well said!

    May I suggest the Dragonriders of Pern if you have not already? And read all the way to the last of the last book for the real story. Witchcraft meets science. 🙂

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    1. I read the first one ages ago and never continued. I’ll have to pick it back up after the thesis 🙂 I know it’s one of the cornerstone series of modern genre fiction!

      Like

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