Playing Well With Others. And Magic.

Apr182012

Krissie and Lani and I have been talking about our Fairy Tale Lies book for a long, long time. LONG time. We all have other obligations to get out of the way before we can work on a fun project, plus it’s hell finding a time when we’re all free. But we’ve met this month three times to talk about it . . . two of us have met, the other one keeps forgetting but we love her so we forgive her . . . because we all really love this world we’re building. And because we’ve had a scathingly brilliant idea: until we can write the novel where the Big Stuff in the Kingdoms happen, we’re going to write short stories and novellas about the world on our own.

All we have to do is stay within the rules of the world and pick a fairy tale character that nobody else has called dibs on, and then we can write whatever we want and show it to the others and tweak it to make sure we haven’t violated any world rules–it’s a complicated world–and we’re good. And the best part is, we’re having such a good time making up the world together that we’re sparking all kinds of ideas in each other. I even started three little collages for my first three stories, which I would take a picture of but it’s night and it’s dark, so no for that. Then because I am obsessive I found an old frame engraving and made a banner for the website and used it to mock up book titles which is when I really had fun.

I love the way we gravitate to the kind of fairy tale that fits us. We put Krissie’s name on Beauty and the Beast because we knew she’d want it and then she came back and asked for Bluebeard and the Robber Bridegroom; she loves a Dark and Dangerous Hero, and murder is no bar to romance in her world. She also wants to do Anderson tales even though they’re dark and Danish because she’s Danish and, uh, dark. I can’t wait to see what she’s going to do.

I had called dibs on Red Riding Hood right away because I wanted to tell the story I was originally going to tell in FTL, the one about the older (grandmother) Red who goes into the woods after her granddaughter to keep her from making the Family Mistake and runs into this wolf she used to know . . .

But then I started to play around with fairy tale titles for me and came up with “The Frog Principle.” I didn’t know what the hell that meant so I kept poking at it and there was this blonde princess–blonde in every sense of the word–who kissed a guy who turned into a frog, so she had to call the EMTs–Emergency Magic Technicians–but she can’t tell them she’s a princess because somebody is killing off the royal family (that’s in the back story for the novel), so . . . (The EMT are really Lani’s invention, a kind of a magic bomb squad who show up to defuse magical disasters. If the defusing goes wrong, the blowback turns them into chickens, so their mascot is not a dalmation, it’s a rooster. Named Geoffrey. Geoffrey wasn’t always a rooster . . .) Anyway, now I want to write “The Frog Principle.” I’m thinking Jane Horrocks for a placeholder.

Then I came up with Slow White for Lani, and she said, “Uh, probably not,” so I went downstairs and watched my favorite Leverage episode (“The Rashomen Job”) and there was “Sloe White and the Seven Alibis.” I think her name is Sloe Virginia Fizzwilliam White (hey, I can stoop as low as the next girl for a joke, although not if the next girl is Lani who is stocking up on chicken jokes as I type this), and then I looked up what “sloe” meant and got “the small, sour, purplish fruit of the blackthorn.” Except for the “small” part, that’s my Girl. I need somebody sort of . . . waspish for that. Maybe Claire Foy. She was fabulous as Adorabelle. Hmmmm.

I love brainstorming with the sisters.

Okay, your turn. What fairy tale title would you write?

Filed in Writing

82 Comments to 'Playing Well With Others. And Magic.'

On April 18, 2012 at 7:41 am colognegrrl said...

I just sold mine… in German, it translates “Dead Frogs” because it’s about a heroine who discovers that the prince she married was really a toad. Now he died in an accident and she has to find the documents he hid, fight the bombshell blonde he had an affair with (and who is also searching for those papers), and deal with the young Russian who is suddenly living in her house. I hope it’ll be published by 2013.

I find, however, that the “frog” theme has been used quite a lot recently in titles and book covers…

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On April 18, 2012 at 10:18 pm Kelly S said...

I want to read this. Please share when I can.

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On April 19, 2012 at 11:43 am colognegrrl said...

Warning – it’s going to be in German! While a lot of American books are translated into German, it doesn’t happen so often the other way around… Unless I decide to do it myself and self-publish it online. I’m actually toying with the idea ever since somebody suggested for Krissie to self-publish her backlist. But up to now, I don’t even own an e-reader myself. So… we’ll see.

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On April 21, 2012 at 12:57 pm Sheryl said...

Oh, please do, for those of us who cannot read German. There are plenty of readers over here at Argh, I’m sure, who would like a different perspective. It sounds like such fun

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On April 24, 2012 at 9:19 am Eleanor said...

Adding my voice to the request. Can’t read German, but would love to read this book.

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On May 8, 2012 at 10:14 am Whitney said...

Oh yes, please, please, this sounds delightful! Despite having German heritage, I cannot read German.

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On April 18, 2012 at 10:12 am lee said...

Mine always have to do with horses ;) (I have a piece I made that says “If wishes were horses… I’d still wish for a horse”)

Princess Zoulvisia and the Horse of Flame – a Russian tale of a mysterious woman (and her flaming horse) showing up at exactly the right moment for a lost young man/prince and rescuing him.

I have a lovely New Yorker cartoon that needs no story, of a bookish academic with a veerrryy long beard locked up in a tower and a woman climbing his beard to (presumably) rescue him.

Apparently I rescue people. Who knew?

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On April 18, 2012 at 10:41 am romney said...

I love the covers!

“East of the Sun and West of the Moon” made a big impression on me as a child. Wikipedia describes it as “the search for the lost husband” but its also a bit Beauty and the Beast. Very regency romance. And she saves him in the end, which makes a pleasant change, though doesn’t leave much for a modern writer to do!

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On April 18, 2012 at 3:55 pm Stephanie Berget said...

Unbelievable. It really is a small world. Just yesterday, for my WIP, I needed to find a Norwegian Fairy Tale and came up with East of the Sun and West of the Moon. I’d never heard of it before but fell in love. Great minds and all that!

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On April 18, 2012 at 5:38 pm Deborah Blake said...

I love that one too…it was on my short list of answers :-)

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On April 18, 2012 at 11:04 am Skye said...

Beauty and the Beast; I already have a modern idea for it that just hasn’t gelled. Probably on too many meds.

Sleeping Beauty because there is a wonderful YA book called Princess Ben that shows the princess doesn’t really have to be there sleeping.

I need to reread the Andrew Lang books (Lilac Fairy Book, Blue Fairy Book, etc.). The Boy Who Didn’t Shudder is a good one. There’s tons of material to work with out there, especially as they found 500 new fairy tales in a German vault just recently!

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On April 18, 2012 at 11:11 am Rachel said...

The Princess and the Pea. Definitely. I emphathize with the poor thing not being able to get enough sleep!

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On April 18, 2012 at 11:42 am Kate George said...

The Goose Girl. I always cried when my mom read it to me as a child. The part where the horrid maid made the princess switch places with her, and then had the princess’s wise talking horse beheaded made me sob. My mother threatened to stop reading, but I’d beg… and so on.

This time the princess will be wiser and Say “sure” when the maid wants to switch. And then when the maid figures out the prince is a wet fish and wants to switch back, she’ll politely decline. Or something like that.

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On April 18, 2012 at 7:27 pm Jenny said...

Oh, I HATE the part about the horse. How can a princess be so wimpy she let’s her horse’s head be cut off?

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On April 18, 2012 at 11:43 am Jackie said...

Sounds like your EMTs are akin to Dr. Bombay (without the snark and the cocktail) of Bewitched fame. I’ve always been a huge fan of fractured fairytales and the like. Sounds fun!

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On April 18, 2012 at 11:47 am robena grant said...

I love this. And your titles. Very funny. : )
If I wrote of any tale it would be The Three Billy Goats Gruff. I was the chubbiest of my siblings and was not known for my lightness of foot. And when I got angry I would literally stomp around the house. My father would say, “Who’s that walking on my bridge?” And then someone would continue with “Trip, trap…” And so on. I’d end up laughing and not stomping. I liked how the billy goats had street smarts, even the tiniest one. The big one was a fighter, a protector of his siblings. Very admirable…even though the end of the tale is a bit gruesome. I’ve always had a thing for goats. ; )

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On April 18, 2012 at 12:04 pm McB said...

Is Geoffrey a distant cousin to The Librarian?

I, too, am loving the Fractured Fairytales theme here.

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On April 18, 2012 at 7:26 pm Jenny said...

I did mention the Librarian. Lani, inexplicably, has not read Pratchett.

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On April 19, 2012 at 12:50 pm McB said...

And she’s lived in your house how long? Inexplicable, indeed.

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On April 19, 2012 at 5:51 pm inkgrrl said...

There oughtta be a law…

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On April 22, 2012 at 8:10 am Lani said...

I’ve read some Pratchett. Not all the Pratchett. That’s a lot of effing Pratchett. ;)

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On April 24, 2012 at 9:15 am Eleanor said...

This is true, but please say you have read Witches Abroad, The Amazing Maurice, and Thief of Time. Just perfect fractured fairy tale-ness in those–to varying degrees, of course. Although Amazing Maurice still scares the crap out of me in certain parts.

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On May 3, 2012 at 5:13 pm Tasha said...

I think the best of the ‘fairy-tale’ like stories he’s done is the Hogfather. Read it every Xmas!

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On April 18, 2012 at 12:07 pm Betty Fokker said...

I would do the Three Little Piggs. Three Pigg sisters, Patty, Penny, and Pauline, who were battling bank foreclosures on urban neighborhoods by a vicious Bank of America VP, and had the help of a forensic accountant, named Preston Parks, who they all married Big Love style.

This shit is why I don’t write fiction.

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On April 19, 2012 at 12:33 pm Chelle said...

Too bad because I really want to read that story!!

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On April 18, 2012 at 12:26 pm Jennifer said...

I’d do Rapunzel. Always have had a thing for long hair and towers, and I loooooved Tangled.

I really liked Bettie Sharpe’s “Ember,” that’s my favorite retelling of any fairy tale ever.
http://bettiesharpe.com/reads/ember.php

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On April 18, 2012 at 6:05 pm Katie said...

I followed the link and read it; best version of Cinderella EVER. Thanks :) And now to do the homework I put off while I was reading it…

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On April 18, 2012 at 3:25 pm Blakely said...

Rumplestilskin. But substitute “computer code” for “gold” and “ownership interest in the company” for “baby.” And I’m pretty sure Rumplestilskin is the hero, although the princess (aka, software writing geek-grrrl) has trouble seeing that at first, because she’s all tied up with another guy – we’ll call him Andrian Prince of Prince Consulting…And there’s a sullen teenager who belongs to someone. And maybe a pet mouse to go along with Sullen Teen. I haven’t ironed out the details, yet.

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On April 18, 2012 at 3:58 pm Terri Osburn said...

I just saw “The Princess & The Penis” and spit Chips Ahoy all over my keyboard. I’ll have to clean this up before I can comment further.

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On April 18, 2012 at 4:50 pm stephanie said...

I love the magical blow back that turns you into chickens. There was a Virginia Lottery ad where Lady Luck’s wand is in for a tune up: http://youtu.be/cbCLvqoZno4

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On April 18, 2012 at 4:56 pm Phyllis Rostykus said...

I love fairy tales for starters… and really do love working with someone else for the very reasons you name, and how each of us starts gravitating toward the kinds of stories we love and are good at telling. Love hearing about you and your sisters.

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On April 18, 2012 at 5:42 pm Deborah Blake said...

I read “Princess and the Penis” followed by “magical blow back” and got a TERRIBLE mental image :-)

I wrote a dark modern retelling of Beauty and the Beast for a short story anthology. It had a happy ending…sort of. Darkest thing I ever wrote; I had no idea I had it in me…

I love modern retellings of fairy tales. Robin McKinley did a couple of wonderful ones. Can’t wait until you ladies (and Krissie) get this book written.

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On April 18, 2012 at 5:57 pm Leigh Evans said...

I know it’s been done to death, but for me, it would hands-down be Beauty and the Beast. I love that story. Hell, I cried at the Disney film.

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On April 18, 2012 at 6:00 pm Leigh Evans said...

Also–would this dovetail into your Writewell Academy? Short stories are something I have yet to come even close to figuring out.

Yeah, because we all know, it’s allllll about me.

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On April 19, 2012 at 2:26 pm Jenny said...

We have a short-form structure lecture on the list of things to do, but it’s a ways down the pipe.

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On April 18, 2012 at 6:05 pm delphia2000 said...

I, too, always loved the fairy tales that featured horses. I’d go for “The Princess on the Glass Hill.” It’s kind of a Cinderfella story and she throws him her golden apples which could be an interesting metaphor. :o)

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On April 18, 2012 at 6:05 pm delphia2000 said...

I, too, always loved the fairy tales that featured horses. I’d go for “The Princess on the Glass Hill.” It’s kind of a Cinderfella story and she throws him her golden apples which could be an interesting metaphor.

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On April 18, 2012 at 6:53 pm Caryn said...

I’ve tried a couple versions of Sleeping Beauty. The roses and the castle and the corpses of Princes hanging from the thorns have stayed in my mind’s eye for ages. It’s always possible that my princess had long since awoken and fled, and is the one coming back to wake her family and her nanny and the horses….

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On April 18, 2012 at 7:16 pm Melanie said...

The Little Mermaid, maybe, because it’s so dark and frightening and about transformation. And The Ugly Ducking.

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On April 18, 2012 at 7:48 pm Jinx said...

The Little Fur Maid.

Just because she was a chimpanzee, they made her dust the banisters and sweep the upstairs hallway with a really rather diminutive broom. But she knew, deep inside, that One Day Her Primatologist Would Come.

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On April 18, 2012 at 8:20 pm Micki said...

(-: Oh, I love this post! Buzzing with great ideas. Some SF and Fantasy publishers do publish joint-world short story collections, so it’s possible that you might sell these one day — but do not let that stop your creativity! The Chicken Formerly Known as Geoffrey has so many, many possibilities (-:.

What would I choose? I do enjoy the revamping of old fairytales to fit modern mores, and I’m a huge fan of Thurber’s fables as well as Fractured Fairytales (and I was looking around at Thurber again yesterday — talk about coincidences! The Unicorn in the Garden is so edgy . . . .)

As a kid, I loved the 12 Dancing Princesses , and there was the scariness/cleverness of the Wolf and the Seven Kids. But, what caught my mind today was perhaps the story of the crane who transformed herself into a woman, took up with a mortal man, and wove cloth for him as long as he didn’t look too closely at her. Of course, he did, and she was outta there. In today’s romance, the trend is really for full disclosure. I’d like to play with that dynamic a little — full disclosure vs. keeping some secrets/privacy.

I should start a short story while I’m slogging through the bookkeeping of my WIP . . . . Maybe next week I’ll do that; reward myself with some short-story time if I get a chapter of persons/places/timelines done . . . .

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On April 18, 2012 at 10:38 pm Shelly said...

The first story that popped in my mind was “The 12 Dancing Princesses.” I loved this as a young girl, and would like a retelling. I can’t wait to read these, I’m a sucker for fairy tales.

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On April 19, 2012 at 5:54 pm inkgrrl said...

Me too! I love The 12 Dancing Princesses! I also keep circling The Little Mermaid – not the horrid Disney version, either. And The Red Shoes.

Also, I owe The Prince my version of Bluebeard. Argh. I’m so behind on that.

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On April 19, 2012 at 2:25 pm Jenny said...

Oh, we’re going to publish these ourselves as e-books with a print option. Nobody wants short stories and novellas. Then we’ll try to go the traditional publishing route for the novel.

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On April 19, 2012 at 5:55 pm inkgrrl said...

YAY! Lots of people want short stories and novellas. Just not the big trad print pubs. Can’t wait to read them!!

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On April 18, 2012 at 8:44 pm RestingCB said...

I have this idea for Sleeping Beauty set in the future. The daughter of a rich and powerful businessman, Daddy’s Little Princess, goes into a coma as a result of too much genetic engineering. Enter the ‘princely’ scientist that finds the cure. But although I have the desire to write, I do not have the self discipline. I’m just too lazy. So it will remain in my head and my heart. Sigh . . .

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On April 18, 2012 at 10:24 pm Tess said...

LOVE the covers and ideas. Love playing with the Cinderella idea. I saw a fractured fairy tale play “The Truth About Cinderella” as an OCD neat freak who drove everyone so crazy they got her married off to the prince. The step sisters were the good guys. I like the idea of switching the misunderstood villain.

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On April 18, 2012 at 10:40 pm Shoshana said...

Do they have to be fairy tales? Can they be nursery rhymes instead?
If they can’t, Pied Piper. Definitely. SO many lovely, horrible things you can do to the long-suffering bardic hero…
I’d throw a heroine at him who saw the kids leaving and chased down her younger brother and the piper, too. But it’d take a while for her to catch up…
(Trying to imagine what he’s doing with all those kids. I figure, wandering bard types always get mixed up with the fey, right? So maybe his town offended someBeing, and all his relatives and friends are trapped Underhill, and he takes these kids as a sort of hostage-exchange -young children being preferred, maybe -only the Heroine won’t give up on her little brother and since the Piper falls in love with her he can’t give up on her, which means finding a new way to deal with the Big Bad)

If nursery rhymes count, though, I’d do Cross Patch lady and the man who had seven wives (from the riddle about going to St Ives). They’d all be ghosts, of course, he’s a widower seven times over and NOT looking for an 8th wedding. That’s okay, though, Cross Patch Lady (who is renowned for her fabulous artisan yarns and amazing tea, even if she can’t cook real food to save her life, and has an unfortunate tendency to set things on fire when she loses her temper. Never in a controlled manner, of course, that would be too useful) doesn’t want a husband, either. In fact, she’s been spending so much of her time behind locked doors that he doesn’t realize anyone is home at all when he tries to take refuge from his ghosts and stumbles in the window…

Or maybe Boy Blue and Little Bo Peep, neither of whom were cut out for country life in the least. I’d have them both run away to the city as kids, have successful lives, and then, wham! Dragon sighted over their old place. Bo Peep was on stakeout, couldn’t answer her phone, checks the messages and gets a frantic, ominously truncated plea for help (she’s a private investigator now -determined to overcome the past and find anything). She goes home to track down her, say, sister, who seems to have disappeared after placing that half-call, and finds that she was involved with the Lobos Gang somehow, who’ve been robbing bookstores for old grimoires and seem to be trying to “call up the ultimate predator”. And who happens to be the reporter with the personal vendetta against that gang but Boy Blue. He might be persuaded to share his files with her, for a chance at this dragon story.

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On April 24, 2012 at 9:05 am Eleanor said...

Please, write these? I want to read them now. Not least because I want to find out what happened to Bo Peep’s sheep in your version.

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On April 26, 2012 at 8:18 am Shoshana said...

Oh, I’m not writer. No patience for it. (It’s too depressing to contemplate taking two years to write something that I’d just read in two hours).
Which means since these will never be written or published I can safely “spoil” that for you and tell you that Bo Peep’s story is where the expression “wolf in sheep’s clothing” comes from.
Her real sheep were early victims, and while she blithely accepted the return of them, as they came wagging their tails behind them, in reality they were predators donning the guise of prey….
Shortly after Bo Peep’s “sheep” came back, the whole village of shepherds lost its livelihood as the disguised wolves made meals of the entire flock.
Of course people were angry, of course her family stuck up for her, of course that meant things were really hard on them, so she left for the city. Without her there, her family became just another victim of tragedy instead of accessories, as it were. But leaving for the city like that meant she wasn’t around to see the hunt for the wolves, or discover the remains of her real sheep, or find any answers for herself. And she’d certainly been shocked out of her earlier blithe complacency…. So now it’s important to her to always be on the lookout, to always find the truth.
She’s always wondered why wolves were so much more intelligent than other animals, always wondered why that bunch of wolves were in the area in the first place, and whether they’d caught them all…

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On April 18, 2012 at 11:37 pm Kelly S said...

Great covers!! I hope you all (you, Krissie, and Lani) do write these as I am looking forward to reading them.

Me, I don’t write. I didn’t see Hansel & Gretel mentioned yet. Oh, or Jack and the Beanstalk. Red Rose’s story (Snow’s sister) BTW, how many Prince Charmings were there and what are their first names? Brothers or cousins or not related at all? Okay, I should go to bed, mind is wandering.

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On April 19, 2012 at 12:21 am Vicky Haynes said...

I am NOT a writer but this sounds like a blast so I can hardly wait until you start publishing some of them. I love fairy tales and grown-up fairy tales are even more fun. I agree that murder shouldn’t be a delimiting factor. The rules in the fairy kingdom are not exactly the same as here in the mundane world (they have MAGIC, remember?) And what about fairy god-fathers to help out Putz Charming and Sir Fart-A-Lot??? I say, “let the puns fly and the double entendre fall where they may!”

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On April 19, 2012 at 2:13 am Louise said...

Great cover and titles.
Here goes:
Aladdin and Ms Genie.
Ali Babar and 40 wicked fairies
Puss in Boots……say no more ;-)

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On April 20, 2012 at 10:10 am Micki said...

(-: I can’t wait until genies come back into fashion again. Love, love, love those things — Robin Williams’ character summed it up — PHENOMENAL COSMIC POWERS, ittybittylivingspace. Such a dichotomy!!

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On April 19, 2012 at 3:58 am CrankyOtter said...

Also not a writer of stories, but I’ve actually been tempted to write a short short story using all the words in a particularly well played scrabble/WwF game.

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On April 19, 2012 at 4:55 am Louisa said...

When I was in UK last I tried Sloe Gin. OMG what a drink! And it would make an amazing alibi because when they are pouring that stuff you are not going to leave the pub. Unfortunately, you can’t get it in Oz as far as I can tell. Hmm, maybe there’s an opening there.

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On May 7, 2012 at 6:11 pm CrankyOtter said...

In my experience, Sloe Gin is the equivalent of classed up Maddog 40/40.

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On May 9, 2012 at 1:09 am Jenny said...

Careful. You’re just an eyelash away from trashing Annie Green Springs.

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On April 19, 2012 at 10:01 am Terri Osburn said...

I had to really think about this. I think I’d do Jack & the Beanstalk. Jack would be a woman climbing the corporate ladder. Maybe she gets some magical coffee beans at the java shop on the corner her first day at the new job. Finds herself in a corner office after a high up drinks from her cup by mistake. Once she gets to the big wigs, she has to defeat the evil, chauvinist CEO. (Can you tell I have a business degree?)

But I don’t have a catchy title.

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On April 19, 2012 at 1:41 pm Jenny said...

I love it. The title will come later.

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On April 20, 2012 at 10:00 am Terri Osburn said...

I thought about this story as I was drifting off to sleep last night. I see what you’re doing here. Trying to get us all writing multiple WIPs at the same time. Sly. Very sly.

I got Jackie & the Mean Boss. Needs work.

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On April 19, 2012 at 11:46 am Charlotte said...

Oh I think it would have to be the Seven Swans or the Twelve Ravens (basically the same story but the number of brothers to be saved varies – I think I’ve even read a version with ducks).

I love the Asbjornsen and Mo tales (the most famous being East of the Sun West of the Moon) but the stand out one is the prideful princess who ends up being seduced and pregnant by a poor woodcutter. Of course her father kicks her out and she has to go live with the poor woodcutter, who is actually a prince. It all ends well … the woodcutter/prince marries her and they live happily ever after (but not before she’s come to realise what’s really important – her baby, the woodcutter and their little hut).

Has anyone read any of the stories illustrated by Johan Bauer? They’re Swedish and full of trolls but I love every single one of them.

Must go crack out all my fairy tale books again …

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On April 19, 2012 at 12:12 pm Mikaela said...

I have :). It was ages ago, but I think they are a staple in every Swedish childbook library. ( Or at least they were when I grew up.)

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On April 19, 2012 at 12:47 pm Sure Thing said...

I’d do something from Arabian Nights – NOT Sinbad. I enjoyed the storied where the unkind got their comeuppance. I often think that’s why Cinderella is such a hit – the mean, nasty sisters get zilch.

So the one about the two girls – one who is kind and shares her water and gets rewarded and the other who sees this and seeks reward but does not share her water and it tarred and feathered.

Yeah, I have a strong sense of justice.

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On April 19, 2012 at 1:40 pm Jenny said...

It’s one of the things that fuels fairy tales: the world is out of whack and the tale re-orders it.

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On April 19, 2012 at 12:50 pm Robin S. said...

So the one thing I get from reading all the comments is that my childhood was seriously devoid of Fairy Tales. Now I have to wonder, was I not interested? Or did my mother not like them?

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On April 19, 2012 at 12:54 pm McB said...

Beauty and the Beast. I’ve always imagined that Beauty would spend most of her life living down that name, dressing like an old-fashioned schoolmarm/librarian and being very no-nonsense. A bit like Susan Sto Helit with horn rims.

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On April 19, 2012 at 5:45 pm Siri Paulson said...

I really want to read your version of Red Riding Hood, Jenny. And more than a few of these other stories, too!

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On April 19, 2012 at 9:41 pm Emily said...

I wrote a version of Beauty and the Beast from the point of view of one of the sisters once. Beauty wasn’t all that beautiful, she was the spoilt baby of the family who got everything she wanted, and disappeared into the woods one day. Cue the good old-fashioned murder mystery.

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On April 20, 2012 at 12:37 pm Strop said...

I’m a Billy Goats Gruff girl too. I had that book when I was a little girl, and it frightened me but I kept rereading. I blame this for my fascination with bridges.

I make sloe gin, some years. It’s slow (sloe) to mature, needing a good year to stand once it’s filtered and bottled, but very tasty. There’s a company in the UK which makes the gin and lots of liquers and chocolates with it, which I know about because I regularly visit their stand at The Great Yorkshire Show.

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On April 20, 2012 at 7:42 pm robena grant said...

You know, secretly, Strop, I think I was always a very hungry kid and I liked the part about the goats getting to eat all of the grass in that distant pasture, and then they got so fat they could hardly walk home. Hee hee.

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On April 21, 2012 at 7:10 pm Emily said...

Deerskin by Robin McKinley is still one of my all-time favourites for fairytale novels. It’s beautiful and gut-wrenching, and the final scene still haunts me.

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On April 23, 2012 at 4:28 am Catherine said...

Blue beard fascinated me as a child. I remember reading it when I was seven. It not surprisingly enough scared the heck out of me, but also sparked off my rather dark imaginings early. I remember thinking that this one room directly under the Principals office could be a secret room…No one ever seemed to use it. I felt fairly sure this was a room that should never be opened. We were such a small school that health testing occurred every third year or so… It felt very strange getting my hearing tested in there years later. I’ve not felt any mad writing urge regarding this tale but I do think it’s influenced my reading choices significantly.

I’m not sure if anyone has mentioned this before, but the Australian government through our national tv station ABC sponsored the development of an online space where people discuss fairy tales through imagery and words. It’s very rabbit holey

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On April 23, 2012 at 4:36 am Catherine said...

Rats that’s what I get for being lengthy on iPhone… Premature submission. Anyways the site is http://www.abc.net.au/tv/re-enchantment/

I like that it has a warning that this site is not for children. It’s dark and interesting and twisty. I attended a talk by the woman who started it last year and she said it was just about to become accessible outside of Australia.

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On April 24, 2012 at 8:58 am Eleanor said...

Sleeping Beauty, because I spent an entire semester doing research on all the different versions from Norse to modern television and I’m damned if one slightly crappy research paper is all that comes out of that. And it would be the classic version, which starts off like Disney and then ends up with an ogre mother in law who tries to eat Sleeping Beauty and her kids. I always felt like the ogre got a bad rap.

There are so many others I’d love to do as well, though. There was this big beautiful illustrated book of fairy tales I had as a kid that is still in my bookshelf at my parents’ house. It had a lot of the usual fairy tales, like Beauty and the Beast, but there were a few that I haven’t seen anywhere else, and I’d love to work with some of those.

Did anyone else ever read a picture book that was based on The Frog Prince? Another beautifully illustrated one from my childhood. The princess turned out to be kind of a bitch and so the king told the frog he’d be better off trying to find someone else and gave him jewels and clothes and a wonderful horse and sent him on his way. And he had adventures, with witches and birds, and then he eventually found his frog princess in a kingdom of amphibians and lizards. And got his happily ever after. I loved that book.

Another book I loved was The Starlight Princess. It was a collection of princess and magic stories from around the world, all illustrated with beautiful embroidery. Which was photographed so well it always seemed like you should have been able to feel the stitches when you touched the page.

Why yes, I love fairy tales and children’s books, however did you guess?

I have been excited for this book since the first time it was mentioned on the blog, and I’m so glad you all are going to be doing short stories so we don’t have to wait so long to see the world. Are they going to be published as e-books and released just online, or as regular books, or will it be a combo? If you have decided yet…

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On April 26, 2012 at 8:14 am Jenny said...

I think as e-books with a print option.
The Sleeping Beauty that always squicked me out was the one where the Prince had sex with her while she slept and she woke up giving birth. A real WTF version.

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On May 3, 2012 at 5:07 pm Tasha said...

and yet, that’s one of the traditional endings… Haven’t been able to read it since I found that one out.

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On April 24, 2012 at 5:59 pm Beth Matthews said...

I already wrote one. Beauty and the Beast…with a werewolf. :) It was also based on the medieval lais “Bisclavret” by Marie de France, which I loved.

My favorite fairy tale adaptation is “The Serpent’s Shadow” by Mercedes Lackey. It’s from a whole series of fairy tale adaptations by her called the Elemental Masters series. The first four or so are quite good.

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On April 24, 2012 at 6:38 pm Emily said...

I like Mercedes Lackey’s book Firebird, based on the Russian stories. It’s currently packed away in a box somewhere in my room o’ junk, and I’m itching to re-read it.

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On April 24, 2012 at 7:59 pm MaineBetty said...

One fairy tale moment I love is in Rapunzel. After the wicked witch (NOT like our witches) finds out that the prince is visiting the tower, she cuts off Rapunzel’s hair, the prince climbs up and the wicked witch cuts the hair rope, and he falls and is blinded. He wanders the world searching for Rapunzel. I can’t remember how she finds him again, but once she sees him, she weeps with compassion over his eyes, and the salt tears make them whole again and he can see.
I am just a sucker for reunions after hardship, for one thing, and the mystical power of love that heals all harms.

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On April 25, 2012 at 2:09 am Diane C said...

I wrote a short story about Cinderella and Snow White. Cindy hasn’t conceived after a year and her charmingless prince is blaming it all on her so she turns to his cousin (who is Snow’s husband) for assistance. He’s been in love with her since the ball and only married Snow on the rebound so he’s happy to help out. I had so much fun with the short story that I kept writing because I wanted to know what happened next. And I found out why prince not-so-charming behaved that way along with lots of other fun stuff. I’m now in editing mode. The logline is Fate had dealt Cinderella the wrong prince. Sometimes in contests, I get severely slapped for the adultery angle, but really when your prince charming turns out to be a dud,what’s a girl to do? And there’s a scandal going on with the dwarves that kind of balances it all out. Must get back to it.

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On May 3, 2012 at 5:06 pm Tasha said...

A few years ago, I came up with a story involving the boy who cried wolf set in modern day. In it, my hero (Chico Dawes) prank-calls the police department as a boy and gets probation until he turns 18. Afterwards, he becomes a scandal-rag reporter, and while driving down the highway, sees a guy pulling a long, wrapped bundle out of his trunk. When he sees a hand, he calls the cops, but no one believes him.

He returns to the general area, but can’t remember exactly where he saw the car. Then as he’s driving back, he sees the same car with another bundle, but this time the man and Chico see each other, and he recognizes the guy as Paul DeWolfe, the jock who made his life miserable in high school.

Then it’s a cat and mouse game as he tries to convince the authorities that the upstanding citizen isn’t so upstanding and that sometimes the town punk can go straight while avoiding becoming Paul’s next victim.

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