Archive for the ‘Fairy tale’ Tag

Jmww 2012   Leave a comment

 

To read Jack and Jill Get a Mortgage, click here: http://jmww.150m.com/PetersonH.html

Jack and Jill (nursery rhyme)

Jack and Jill (nursery rhyme) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

I was thrilled, after two years of trying, to finally have a story accepted into jmww this past year. Jack and Jill Get a Mortgage, published in the Winter 2012 issue, is a modern take on the old nursery rhyme, imagining how Jack and Jill might have grown up.

 

I wrote this flash during Hurricane Irene, while I myself was brewing tea with FEMA water and cooking sausages out on the grill. Besides cooking and eating al fresco, there wasn’t much else to do but write while the light was good. I was also in the middle of writing a collection of short stories and poetry based upon nursery rhymes and fairy tales. During a trip to town hall to charge my cell phone, catch up on town news, and fetch a pail of water, it occurred to me that Jack and Jill would be a perfect fit for the situation my family and I were currently in.

 

Rewriting and retelling fairy tales seem to be all the rage these days, look how there’s been two Snow White movies this year. I try to be a little different with mine, find stories and rhymes that may get overlooked by more mainstream writers, and taking the characters and putting them in situations they’d never find themselves in the original stories. It’s great fun to research folktales and legends. You learn more about how we’ve come to think about life, where the tales got their start; it’s interesting to see how these cautionary tales can still be applied to life today, when there are still wolves to avoid and hills to tumble down.

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The Moronic Ox   2 comments

WPA poster by Kenneth Whitley, 1939.

Image via Wikipedia

http://moronicox.com/peterson.html

Seriously, could there be a better name for a literary journal than Moronic Ox? When I first heard about them, I knew a group of editors with such a funny and clever name would appreciate my writing. And I was right! How about that?

A few days ago I wrote about my love for fold and fairy tales on the Velvet Chamber post. There I deconstructed a princess. In the story on the Moronic Ox entitled A Little Red, I turn that sweet little girl on her way to grandma’s house into a feminist and a carnivore.

Of course, I’m not the first person to think of Little Red in this way. In her book, Little Red Riding Hood Uncloaked, Sex, Morality, and the Evolution of a Fairy Tale, Catherine Orenstein explores the history of the story, how it was initially written to warn young women about the “wolves” lurking around in the palaces of Europe, and how it has evolved, (or some would say, devolved), into porn, comedy, cartoons, popular music, and slang.

And so, after reading this book, it was only a matter of time before I took the matter into my own hands and twisted the tale. In my story, there is no kindly woodcutter, just a smart girl picking her teeth, a wolfish grin on her face and a message in blood written across the wall.

I really like playing around with old stories. Soon I will begin work on a Goldilocks tale, keeping the old thief and losing the little girl. Someday perhaps I’ll have enough of these to collect into a book. Someday perhaps I will be able to find a publisher willing to produce that book.

What about you? Is there an old story that you love enough to rewrite, making it your own? Try it sometime, old characters you thought you knew will become interesting, and sometimes dangerous, strangers.

The Velvet Chamber   Leave a comment

Snow White Poisoned Apple

Image via Wikipedia

http://talesfromthevelvetchamber.blogspot.com/2010/04/flash-fiction.html

In all my time working in libraries, the 398s have consistently been my favorite call numbers to browse. Fairly tales, folk tales, legends, they all have an allure to me that I can’t fully explain. I love reading how such tales evolved over time, for example, Goldilocks was originally an old woman and a thief before the Victorian era when she became a cute little blond with her bloomers showing. Who knew?

This fascination shows up time and again in my writing, and the piece of flash fiction that Tales from the Velvet Chamber posted earlier this year is no exception. Snow White: Sadist, (TVC has it under the original title, Snow White is Bored), explores the mind of our classic soprano Dr. Doolittle, why she would open the door, consistently, for random people just happening by a cabin in the darkest wood, where no one ever goes. Why she would choose to overlook, time and again, the warnings of the dwarfs, and put herself in jeopardy. My spin is boredom, and the wrong animal confidant.

The deadline for this project, by the way, is the end  of October. Here’s what she’s looking for:

Stories that radically revise stereotypes of “bad women” in the Bible, in myth and in fairy-tales. Stories that aren’t afraid to be literary, transgressive, dark, and sexy. Think: Lilith, Medea, the Wicked Stepmother, the Evil Witch, Pandora, Eve, crones, sibyls, fates, muses. Contemporary adaptations are fine. Mythical adapations equally welcome.

Email story in word attachment to laslugocki@gmail.com Subject line: Submission. Documents should be double-spaced, 12 pt. font, Times New Roman. Paragraphs should be indented five spaces. Bio (necessary) and contact information in the upper right hand corner. Stories should not exceed 5,000 words. Please do not send work-in-progress. Final drafts only.