Plans and Things

Hey! More of a News blog this time.

I’ve had a couple of people ask me about the Beauty and the Beast story that I posted on Saturday; saying they liked it, but wondering why I hadn’t veered more from the traditional story.

There are a couple of reasons.

The first is that I wrote it in several years ago for a friend who had no idea what the traditional story was. He was only familiar with the Disney version, and thought the whole story arc with Gaston, Beauty’s father being an inventor, and the talking furnishings was part of the traditional tale. When I said it wasn’t, he said he would like to hear the traditional version, so I wrote it.

The second is that sometimes, we need comfort food. An old, familiar story is comfort food for the soul. I did change it slightly; the sisters are good people, in my version, because I’m tired of stories that tell us to be wary of our sisters. Most people aren’t trying to hurt us, and the sooner we stop assuming that they are, the fewer communication errors there are going to be. But that’s a whole other blog post, and not the one I’m writing now.

The reason that I posted that story on Saturday is that The Plan is to post a new story every other week, on Saturday. I had a brand spanking new one written, but I’ve been sick. (Nothing serious, just the grunge, but it’s left me feverish and not able to focus very well.) That being the case, I didn’t want to put a new story out until I’d at least read it while healthy. My three test-readers assured me it was fine, but still. So, assuming that I get over this bug, you’ll be able to read that one Saturday after next.

And yes, this does mean new short stories every couple of weeks. I hope that’s good news!

So, that’s where we are right now. I’m working on stuff for Second Life, and continuing to write; I’m about half way through the first draft of a novel, and have a handful of new short stories in various stages of editing and test-reading. If you’re interested in being among those who get the stories first, I’m also putting together a Patreon page. I’ll let you know when it’s ready.

Until then, stay well if you possibly can, and I’ll post more tomorrow!

Image made using Canva and Photoshop.

7 thoughts on “Plans and Things”

  1. Two very good reasons! I think knowing the traditional stories is part of cultural literacy, and while I admire what Disney does with fairy tales, I do think we need to know the originals. I shall be looking for your stories now.

  2. One thing you wrote here VERY much strikes a chord with me:
    “The first is that I wrote it in several years ago for a friend who had no idea what the traditional story _was._ He was only familiar with the Disney version, and thought the whole story arc with Gaston, Beauty’s father being an inventor, and the talking furnishings was part of the traditional tale.”
    Not long ago, I heard of a small girl in second grade who’d been required (like other students in the same class) to tell her classmates her favorite story. She chose “Beauty and the Beast” (which she had learned from having had read to her, then reading for herself, the version in one of the Andrew Lang fairy-tale books) — so she was publicly derided (by her classmates AND teacher), and was flunked on the assignment, for “getting the story wrong” by leaving out most of it: no Gaston, no inventor father, and so on. It didn’t help, not one bit, that she and her parents were able to show that the same Andrew Lang book was in the school library — the teacher and classmates continued to sneeringly declare its story non-existent (the teacher wouldn’t even LOOK or LISTEN, when the girl’s father brought it to the parents’ meeting with the teacher, opened it, and began reading). This kind of thing happens increas8gnly, and amazingly often, nowadays (in schools and at times in other social settings) when a fairy-tale or myth isn’t according to the Disney version. It’s a deadlier thing than any fairytale monster or storybook villain, so I’m wondering if this sort of incident has ever formed part of the plot in any of your Dreamwewver stories or other fiction.

    1. Hi Kate! Thanks so much for reading my story. Yeah, I’ve seen the same thing a time or two, and I’m so sorry it happened to this child. Not so much because there is a Disney version; folk tales are constantly reinterpreted. That’s what keeps them alive. But that the teacher was unwilling to accept that Disney wasn’t the original author, and that the original is also valid. In fact, in my opinion, all retellings of the old tales are valid. Willful ignorance, though, is a horrible thing that I see proudly flaunted more and more often. I’m not sure if that’s because it’s more common, or because I’m noticing it more, though.

      I haven’t put this idea into any of my stories yet, but I plan to explore the idea of willful ignorance in one of the Grandnana stories. I might put something about retelling old tales in one, too. I’ve decided to use the Grandnana stories to explain my personal philosophy. I’ve written several more, but haven’t posted them anywhere yet. Would you like to see more of them?

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