7.15.2011

GUEST POST: Putting the Fairy Back in Fairy Tales

Welcome to Day 5 of Danyelle Leafty’s Fairy Godmother Blog Tour.


I'm pleased to be a part of this new publication venture. Danyelle is making use of tech and paving a path into the woods of interactive reading/writing. You should definitely check this out. Danyelle explains the ins-and-outs on her blog: Let the Fairy Godmother Dilemma Commence!

The Fairy Godmother Dilemma is a novel that Danyelle is publishing in serial form on her website. Here’s the blurb:

Sixteen-year-old Breena doesn’t want to leave the faerie queen’s court, and she doesn’t want a fairy godmother. But if she has to choose between the two, she’d leave the Faerie Realm over getting bossed about by a faerie with a pointed stick any day. Unfortunately, her attempt to evade her fairy godmother gives her growing pains in the form of fur, whiskers, and a tail.

Turning into a cat is the least of her worries, though, because the potion wasn’t meant to bring out her inner feline, it was meant to put her to sleep. Forever. If Breena wants to make it to her Happily Ever After, she’ll have to accept that sometimes having a fairy godmother makes all the difference in the world.

Today, I'm undoubtedly a zombie from the epic times had at the Harry Potter midnight showing (yeah, I'm writing this beforehand). So I had the foresight to invite a very special guest to post at A Nudge.

Everyone, please welcome NERISSA, fairy godmother, class of the Silver Star!
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Greetings. I am Nerissa, fairy godmother, class of the Silver Star.

Something has been bothering me of late. It’s these stories you mortals have that masquerade as “fairy tales.” But regardless of what Misters Grimm, Madame d’Aulnoy, and Master Perrault may say, there were fairies in fairy tales. Or, at least, there used to be.

And most of the fairies weren’t the tall, splendiferous beings that oozed sophisticated evil, and neither were they cackling hags that enjoyed cursing clueless damsels. Because, let’s face it, the majority of Damsels in Distress—DIDs—aren’t the brightest chipmunks in the forest. Their talents lie in other directions, like being kind, bringing kingdoms to their knees just by fluttering their eyelashes, and managing to drudge all day and still look beautiful. Bless their hearts.

And that’s what your mortal fairy tales often say. And while that’s correct, in a highly abbreviated way, the tales leave out the fairies—the ones who bear the brunt of the work load.

Take Snow White, for instance. Beautiful girl with all the sense of a rabbit and a penchant for apples—poisoned or otherwise. Oh, sure, the dwarves helped hide her from the wicked queen. For a time. And yes, the prince came dashing in, and didn’t mind kissing a girl that appeared to be dead. But who do you think convinced the woodsman to let Snow White flee? (Hint: with a family of his own, he wasn’t likely to be influenced by a mere speck of a girl. In times like these, it *pays* to carry around a wand that comes to a very sharp point.) And who do you think led her to the dwarves and convinced them to let her stay even though she was hopeless at making anything but apple tarts. And who do you think got word to the prince about a very pretty, very eligible young maiden in the woods?

And then there’s the Little Mermaid. She would wish for legs and a life on land when she had a perfectly pleasant existence in the sea. So she fell in love with a prince. Her story just goes to prove that you should always be sure of your beloved’s level of affection before making permanent agreements with witches. A lot of people consider her story a tragedy, but that’s because most look at it with mortal eyes. A life with a prince who couldn’t even recognize you despite the fact that you saved his life or understand the depths of your love whenever you looked at him or, well, she couldn’t talk, but you get the idea. What kind of existence is that?

It wasn’t a fairy that talked her out of gutting the boy so she could return home. She did that all under her own power, which is why she was awarded a soul. She lost her prince, but gained a soul. Not a bad trade. Of course, the fairy godmother in charge of the Little Mermaid did her best to help the prince realize what he had in front of him, but some mortals have heads thicker than granite. And she did try to help by requesting the Little Mermaid’s sisters appeal to the sea witch, but how was she to know that the witch had been craving hearts at the moment? No one, not even a fairy godmother, can be perfect all the time.

And then there’s the story of Hansel and Gretel. Really, if they hadn’t had a fairy godmother fretting over them, they never would have made it out of the forest. She tried to convince them to move a few towns over, but would they listen? No. So she gave them the idea of using stones as markers, but Hansel had a short attention span and figured that bread would work just as well. Better, because it stood out against the landscape better. And do you really believe two small children could overcome a witch all on their own? If you do, I’ve got news for you.

Although I do have to say that the stories nearly got Cinderella correct. Except her fairy godmother didn’t just give her a night of dining and dancing with a strict curfew. She pitched in with the housework every so often, and arranged for the prince to find the slipper. She didn’t, however, account for the prince’s lack of attention to detail. Honestly, you’d think the boy would notice that the step-sisters didn’t look a thing like Cinderella. And if you want to blame his mistake on moonlight and music, then you’d think he’d notice if the girl he was riding off into the sunset with had a shoe full of blood. Especially considering that glass is fairly transparent. But what can you do. (Well, besides convincing the birds to tell him what was going on. That fairy godmother was lucky the prince was fluent in bluebird is all I can say.)

So next time you read a “fairy tale,” remember that the true fairy tales really did have fairies in them. They just happened to be in the background most of the time. Working. Because Happily Ever Afters don’t just happen on their own.
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Thank you Danyelle and Nerissa for that enchanting post!

Intrigued? Check out Danyelle's website for the details on how you can subscribe to read. (There are different types of subscriptions too!)

OR you can leave a comment here (or at any of the tour stops) and WIN a FREE e-book subscription. I'll do a random drawing to see who wins, probably sometime next week, after I've recovered from all the Harry Potter madness.

For more chances to win & for more info/fun from the Fairy Godmother Dilemma, check out the rest of the Blog Tour Schedule!

GOOD LUCK and Happy Friday!



Danyelle Leafty writes MG and YA fantasy. In her spare time, she collects dragons, talking frogs, and fairy godmothers. She can be found discussing the art of turning one's characters into various animals, painting with words, and the best ways to avoid getting eaten by dragons on her blog. Her serial novel THE FAIRY GODMOTHER DILEMMA can be found here. You can contact her here.

10 comments:

Nisa said...

Mwahaha! I love the way your mind works. Fairy-less fairy tales, indeed!

shelly said...

Very cool!

Taffy said...

oh, Danyelle! I love this!

M Pax said...

Bring fairies back! Interesting idea.

ali said...

I love Danyelle!

Lydia K said...

Sigh. I just love Danyelle's writing!

Christina Farley said...

Adorable! I love it. As a Disney fan, I love fairytales

Danyelle L. said...

Thanks for being such a fabulous host, Krispy! And *blushes* thanks for all your kind words, everyone! I appreciate them more than words can say. :)

akossket said...

I like her logic on these fairy tales. :)

Theresa Milstein said...

Interesting project!

I still haven't seen the Harry Potter movie. So sad!