Build a house that the wolf can’t blow down: Fill your space with what gives you joy—books, pictures, magical talismans. You’re strongest when you’re surrounded by beauty.

Spin straw into gold: Take an old dress from a thrift store (or your closet)—cut it apart, refit, bejewel, resew, make it more gorgeous than ever before.

Cross a bridge guarded by a hungry troll: Simply tell that troll that someone bigger, juicier, and more fun to pick on is coming right behind you … then sneak back around in your most fabulous troll-kicking boots and send her flying into her own river.

Separate millet, sesame, and flax seeds: Accept one of those bags of broken costume jewelry your friends are always trying to get rid of. Sort the beads by size and color, then string them together in a glorious hodgepodge of a necklace.

Guess the name of Rumpelstiltskin: Page through the oldest books in your local library or bookshop. The ancient volumes contain wisdom and magic—and you might find a forgotten author or character who changes your life.

Pull the mirror shard out of your eye and see clearly again: Sometimes you just need to let yourself cry. Weeping releases the tensions that hold you back. Just like after a rain, colors look fresher and obstacles are in perspective … Sometimes it’s the best way to escape your personal Snow Queen. Plus, you probably look stunning all dewy-eyed.

Climb a glass mountain, keep to the path, stay out of that locked room: It’s good to have goals. It’s also good to wander … So if you’re really tempted to break an interdiction, challenge yourself to weigh pluses and minuses. If you do go into the forbidden room, consider redecorating. You don’t have to live with anybody else’s design choices.

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Susann Cokal is the author of four novels, including the award-winning Kingdom of Little Wounds and her latest, Mermaid Moon, in which a mermaid goes ashore to find her mother, only to fall into the clutches of a witch who wants to harvest her magic. Cokal also writes short fiction and essays about oddities, and she lives in a haunted farmhouse with cats, peacocks, spouse, and unseen beings who bump in the night. “I’ve always suspected there was more to mermaids than the shipwrecks and love stories that lead them to land,” she says. “I’m glad I had the chance to figure them out in these changing times—both in the novel and here among the creatures of Enchanted Living.”