In writing the fairy tales for this blog, I mostly thought to have fun with the stories. Truth be told, I never liked fractured fairy tales—not for the longest time. Fairy tales were special—perhaps even sacred, in a secular way. I didn’t start to read in a big way until after I lost my sight at the age of ten, but fairy tales had always haunted the edges of my imagination, even before that.
Having kids changed my attitude. I watched my children play-acting stories of various kinds, and I thought—maybe, just maybe—it was all right to mess with these old stories. The first fractured fairy tale I told was “Goldilocks and the Three Pigs”—to my kids, of course. Telling stories at bedtime with my kids had me making up and recombining stories in ways I hadn’t imagined before.
It wasn’t until I started this blog more than a year ago that I began taking fractured fairy tales more seriously. For years, I had registered the way fairy tales get filtered through popular culture. Bits of fairy tales get reused, sanitized, and sexualized for our everyday consumption. I of course had seen what Disney did with such stories in their efforts to adapt them for the screen—not to mention what they did to market those same films.
But there were a couple of things that helped focus my attention in a different way. My eldest daughter, always looking for something we could do as a family, got us watching the show Once Upon a Time. We all enjoyed it, but I sometimes had to bite my tongue to stop from being too critical.
The other was reading a series of young adult books by a friend of mine—The Perilous Realmseries by Thomas Wharton. If you enjoy novels that play with fairy tales, then you need to read Tom’s trilogy. The Shadow of Malabron is the first book, and it follows Will Lightfoot into the Perilous Realm, the land where all stories originate. One of Tom’s more intriguing characters from the series is Shade, the wolf from the story of Red Riding Hood. Will finds Shade in a library—Tom has a thing for libraries—and the two of them, along with a group of others, set out to help Will find his way home, and to discover Will’s story in the vast tapestry of Story that is under threat from the Night King. If you are looking for a series to get you through the Christmas holidays, then this one will do it.
Having read Tom’s series and watched Once Upon a Time with my kids, I suddenly wanted to try my hand at fractured fairy tales. You can read the result on this blog. I decided, this last fall, that maybe I should also collect them into a book. And I have. Fractured and Other Fairy Tales will appear in the next month. I’ve included some of the photos from my blog in the book as well. Not all of the photos are mine, but most are. You may wonder how a blind person takes photos, but it’s simpler than you think. Next time you are out and about, get out your phone—mine is an IPhone—close your eyes, and take a picture. Use your ears and your sense of what’s around you and see what you get. I take loads of pictures because many don’t turn out, but I’m always surprised by some of the results.
Fractured and Other Fairy Tales will be available through Amazon in the New Year, both in print and in Kindle. If you enjoyed the fairy tales on this blog, I’m hoping you will enjoy the book even more. At least if you order the hardcopy, you won’t need a Wi-Fi connection to enjoy it.