“American stories are rooted in realism; even our fantasies are rooted in realism,” he said, pointing to Dorothy who unmasks the great and powerful Wizard of Oz as a charlatan.
To write a Magic School Mini takes a lot of self-control, especially if you are someone, like me, who likes words and stories immensely. The reason being, you have to limit yourself to one idea. Really condense it and keep it simple. You don't want to lose your reader diving straight into the depths of 101 philosophy and this isn't the time or place to retell every interesting detail in the story and how they can be used to work magic into reality.
I tell you this because in typing "The Wizard of Oz," my mind went a thousand different directions, even though I know precisely what I came here to tell you. So I will stick with one particular Magic School Mini as best I can.
I was passing through the office of one of the elementary schools that I teach at when I heard one tired sounding woman say to another, "Well, I'm off to see the wizard."
It made me stop dead in my tracks because, while I have been known to say this before, I have never heard anyone else say it, especially not adults.
So I said, "Wait! You know the Wizard?! Why, that's wonderful!"
The woman laughed, being unexpectedly pulled by me from her tired reality and into the actual fictional story and then she said, "No, unfortunately I don't know him at all."
I replied, "Ah, that's okay. I've heard he's not what he's cracked up to be."
"Yes, just a tiny man hiding behind a curtain," she added.
We all three laughed. And that was that.
I experience a level of joy when I find elements of fictional stories making their way into everyday conversation. I think we lighten our own reality by incorporating the fictional realms in this way. Did I really think she knew the Wizard of Oz personally? Well, I mean, you never can tell. Things aren't always as they seem, and when we can give ourselves a rest from the tiring details of our own to do list for a moment and propose impossibilities as actually having the option of showing up, why I do believe we are the better for it. I left the office a different person then when I entered in, simply because imagination was afoot.
We were joking about the fact that the Wizard was a total letdown, but the way the conversation unfolded there was an unspoken suggestion of, but what if he wasn't? What if you really could leave your day job and journey to an evergreen land where someone was able to magically hand you what you most needed to find. And to take it a step further, what if that someone is actually you?