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My intrepid Christmas vacation journey is a blur of events. Since linear time does not actually exist (a wizard peddling goblin mushrooms in the subway showed me so), chronology…there shall be none. Post-by-post as sense stimuli occurs to me…


After the pirate ship, after crashing the rich peoples’ party, after the little girl threatened me with a doll and a sword, but before I drank my novel in beer form and lost a pound of flesh off my elbow, half-naked on the ice, there was the wand.

Wand 1 A dinner party at the awesome home of my good friends Matty and Sarah, and Matty says, “There’s something in the basement I want to show you.”

Like a good horror movie protagonist, I say, “Alright.”

They have a nifty basement, parts of which would be welcome on a ghost tour, or good for turning night-cams up at your face and screaming on Discovery channel footage of yet another episode where you almost find something. In a little workroom, Matty points to a table full of magic wands. He’s recently taken to the craft of carving them by hand, the unique properties of the sticks he finds guiding their creation (and we get into a little discussion about how creativity is often enhanced by restrictions and complications forcing the mind to problem solve).

“Pick one out,” he says.

Suddenly, I’m in a magician’s shop, in a novel! I give lots of careful, esoteric consideration (the uninitiated would call it indecision). I at first avoid the black wand — it’s just too obvious! — but, as they say, the wand chooses you.

Wand 2

Matty explains how he originally envisioned making the length of this wand a smooth, tapering sort of cone, but a black, rotten vein in the center of the wood caused it to come away unevenly, so he was forced to adapt and give it a more organic texture. I like that better anyway, and a wand with a black-rotten core…well that’s just feeding the mythology my brain is already building around it.


Matty has begun selling them. CHECK IT OUT! There are a few up there now, including one that very nearly chose me. Perhaps it will instead choose you…

Wand 3