Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The First Signs!

Spring is coming!!!

These bleeding heart shoots are a little scary looking. Like little purple hands reaching up out of the thawing earth. Just waiting for someone to get close enough......

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Into the Woods

Back in November I participated in National Novel Writing Month(AKA NaNoWriMo) and and through that I wrote a book. Early last month I got an e~mail about a contest on that if won would result in a publishing contract with Penguin books. Needless to say I was super excited and rushed to finish editing my book by the entry deadline. I managed to finish and sent it on it's merry way, now I just have to wait for February 25 to find out if I've made it to round two! The books that make it into the second round are being judged on a pitch that you wrote about your book.

Not only did it have to be something like you would find on the back of a book, but you also had to include why it would appeal to the age group you had written it for. Now, I entered it into the young adult category(ages 12-17) because honestly, not to many people my age read fairy tales any more! Let me tell you, that last paragraph was hard to write!

How would my book appeal and speak to girls today, I really had no idea. I think that I hit on an important issue that is very relevant and is also something that has come up in my own life. I didn't want to pull just any old moral out of my hat so to speak, I wanted it to be something that I had had personal experience with. All that to say, here's the pitch and in the spirit of optimism be looking for my book at your favorite book sellers soon!
We have all had fantasies about entering into the book we are reading, and yet, aren't we all a little glad that we can't? Imagine if when things got intense or scary, you were unable to shut the book and walk away. It is in exactly this situation we join our heroine. Her favorite story has always been Beauty and the Beast; and, from the outside, the story seems simple. Beauty shows up, always perfect and lovely, and the hideous Beast falls in love with her. Hannah is an average girl living a normal life, but what happens when she wakes up as Beauty and finds herself in a strange place filled with magic and danger?

The danger can't be banished by the turning of a page. The Beast is real and sitting right in front of her. The enchanted servants expect things of her that she knows she is incapable of accomplishing. How can she - plain, awkward and clumsy Hannah Smith - be expected to take Beauty's place in the story? Join Hannah as she struggles to discover the truth behind fear and love. Will she allow herself to live happily ever after?

In today's world of super models and stick thin actresses girls are bombarded with images of perfection. You are only worthy of love if you are perfect. The story of Beauty and the Beast has always been a favorite of mine but Beauty was well beautiful! Would the spell still get broken if an average girl took Beauty's place? Hannah, through no extraordinary measures, breaks the curse by just being herself. A message sorely needed by girls today. Being perfect and beautiful isn't the only way to find love and your own happily ever after.

(Into the Woods is the tittle of my book!)

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The Realm of Fairie

Sometimes as I wend my way down the paths of faerie I wonder, are all the warnings I've gotten about fantasy true? Am I being ungodly and a bad witness by reading faerie tales? Hopefully this post will shed some light on what I've discovered!

I've always loved faerie tales and gotten flack from different people during my life. Fantasy is bad, you're to young, you're to old, it's evil, it will corrupt you. When the magic of the gospel was still hard for me to grasp, faerie tales lead the way. Morals and faith were all learned in part by reading those ridiculous and evil stories!

I often wondered when others had problems and struggled with some of the more mysterious parts of the bible the reason why I seemed to have no problem accepting them. It's not because I'm smarter or some sort of super Christan, I just have faith. Reading the tales of old has given me a firm foundation in the art of accepting things be faith. I know that my Prince and King will always be there with me and watching over me.

I am content in the fact that when I need to know something to forge ahead in the quest, He will give me the tools and knowledge need to conquer whatever dragon I may be facing! In the words of Geordi La Forge (AKA, Levar Burton) you don't have to take my word for it!
The gospel does have many of the earmarks of a faerie tale. In faerie tales you have the poor boy who becomes rich, the leaden cabinet which turns out to have the treasure in it, the ugly duckling who turns out to be a swan, the frog who becomes a prince. Then we come to the gospel, where it's the Pharisees, the good ones, who turn out to be the villains. It's the whores and the tax collectors who turn out to be the good ones. Just as in faerie tales, there is the impossible happy ending when Cinderella does marry the prince, and the ugly duckling is transformed into a swan, so Jesus is not, in the end, defeated. He rises again. In all these ways there is a kind of faerie tale quality to the gospel, with the extra ordinary difference, of course, that this is the faerie tale that claims to be true. The difference is that this time it's not just a story being told-it's an event. It did happen! Here's a faerie tale come true.
~Frederich Buechner, interview in The Door

If you want your children to be intelligent, read them faerie tales. If you want the to be more intelligent, read them more faerie tales.
~Albert Einstein

I think what profess to be realistic stories for children are far more likely to deceive them(then fantasy stories). I never expected the real world to like the faerie tales. I Think that I did expect school to be like the school stories. The fantasies did not deceive me: the schools stories did.
~C.S. Lewis

By confining your child to blameless stories of child life in which nothing at all alarming ever happens, you would fail to banish the terrors, and would succeed in banishing all that can ennoble them or make them endurable. For in the faerie tales, side by side with the terrible figures, we find the immemorial comforters and protectors, the radiant ones; and the terrible figures are not merely terrible, but sublime. It would be nice if no little boy in bed, hearing or thinking he hears, a sound, were ever frightened, I think it better he should think of giants and dragons then merely burglars. And I think St George, or any bright champion in armor, is a better comfort then the idea of police.
~C.S. Lewis