Familiar Tales and Twists

I love fairy tales.

When I was in elementary school, I read every single book in the fairy tales and folklore section. I’ve always been a sucker for retold fairy tales–modern retellings, expanded retellings, reinterpreted tellings, gender flipped retellings, new endings, new twists– you name it, I’m probably your audience.

Which is part of the reason I have no free time left.

I’m part of a podcast (that should be launching its first season soon!) called Anansi Storytime. It’s radio-drama style podcasts of traditional folktales. We hope to expand that. We just started recording Season 2. I’ve gotten cast for a couple of lines as a Goddess. Who could hate that?

Another friend of mine just started up a Fables game. Based in the world from Vertigo Comics: Fables, we’re fairy tale creatures, fleeing from The Adversary, whom no one has met, who is conquering all the lands from the fairy tales and collecting all the magic items.

The humanoid fables live in a few blocks of New York City that they’ve owned since it was New Amsterdam, the rest are forced to live on The Farm.

My character is Lizina, from A Colony of Cats – a sweet girl, driven from home to live in the colony of cats outside of town. There, she’s so kind and helpful that when she puts in her notice–because she misses her abusive mother and sister, that she’s dipped in gold and ends up with a gold star on her forehead. The golden clothes and star won’t come off, and her skin looks like she’s wearing glitter-lotion, but her hair is still black and her eyes are still dark, dark brown. She can speak with cats, fashions crazy outfits over her un-removable golden peasant clothes, and tends the shop for Grannie Yaga. Her gifts? If she’s greeted a cat, it will feel compelled to help if she asks. She’s blessed–and cannot do evil. She’s stunning–she can enchant, or she can blind with light reflecting off that gold star of hers.

Yes. Baba Yaga is one of the fables. She’s pissed because in this world, her sisters have been edited out of the stories and she’s terrified that’s what happens when The Adversary  kills a magical person/creature. Other witches have had her stories softened and given to them. She was the Grannie in bed with the wolf when Little Red came to call, with offerings and fear. Here in New York City, much of her magic is restrained, but her will is still strong. She can bake magic into her cooking. Luckily, Lizina deals with the customers, because she doesn’t have time for that. And don’t call her Grannie without her invitation.

But you can’t all be goodness and light, or darkness and merciless. There exists something in between. Puss in Boots–Female puss in boots. Who’s had a hard time keeping to one form after eating that old Ogre (even if it was in mouse form at the time). Luckily, she used her whiles on a magician who’s helping her keep her form. She uses cons to pay the rent, and Schmendrick, (who botched the Last unicorn‘s transformation), is trying to get it right, this time.

And there are two more characters left to join the story. Weaving new stories with friends is fun.

The rest of my free time? Working on my step-count–collecting all the Pokemon. And longsword class on Thursday nights. What else would a busy fantasy writer be doing?

How are you keeping busy? Any new tales to tell?

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Sunset on the lake.

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