Last night, we had a Halloween party. By “we” I mean the children. By “party” I mean they wore costumes and ate too much and watched Bela Lugosi. I love Halloween. I always have. It’s the most wonderful night of the year. After Halloween, it’s just a miserable downward spiral into winter and the nightmare of Christmas. As commercial as Halloween has become, it’s still a holiday that is what you make of it. I love that. I also love witches. I mean I really love witches. When I was in Kindergarten, my mom took my best friend Marky and me to see Hansel and Gretel. In German. They don’t Disney it up in Germany. It was scary as hell. And in German. I didn’t understand a word of it, but there were witches flying across the stage on swings that looked like brooms, and there was this horrible high-pitched cackling, and these bratty little children who had it coming. I think I cried when the witch went in the oven. It should not come as a surprise that the manuscript I’m currently working on is a retelling of Hansel and Gretel from the witch’s perspective. She’s the hero, and she’s really, really evil. In one of my favorite poems she guts her victim and then stuffs him full of twigs and bewitches him, sending him back home as a sort of zombie until the villagers grow suspicious and burn him alive. It’s a funny little story. It would be even funnier in German.