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Sue Spitulnik

Creative Lady

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writing

Fairy Tales

The following information is provided on the National Day of Calendar. Most of it was new to me so I am sharing it with you. Enjoy.

What were once oral histories, myths and legends retold around the fire or by traveling storytellers, have been written down and become known the world over as fairy tales.

The origins of most fairy tales were unseemly and would not be approved or rated as appropriate for children by the Association of Fairy Tales by today’s standards. Most were told as a way to make children behave, teach a lesson or to pass the time much like ghost stories around a campfire today.

Many of the stories have some basis in truth. For example, some believe the story of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is inspired by the real life of Margarete von Waldeck, the daughter of the 16th century Count of Waldeck. The area of Germany where the family lived was known for mining. Some of the tunnels were so tight they had to use children – or small people such as dwarfs – to work the mines.

Margarete’s beauty is well documented, and she had a stepmother who sent her away. She fell in love with a prince but mysteriously died before she could have her happily ever after.

As the stories evolved, they took on a more magical quality with fictional characters such as fairies, giants, mermaids and gnomes, and sometimes gruesome story plots.

Toes cut off to fit into a slipper, a wooden boy killing his cricket or instead of kissing that frog prince his head must be cut off, but those are the unrated versions.

The brothers Grimm collected and published some of the more well-known tales we are familiar with today. Jakob and his brother Wilhelm together set out on a quest to preserve these tales at a time in history when a tradition of oral storytelling was fading. In 1812, they published their first volume of stories titled Household Tales.  Their stories had a darker quality and were clearly meant for an adult audience.

Rumpelstiltskin is one of the tales they collected. There were several versions, and the little man went by many names in different parts of Europe. From Trit-a-trot in Ireland to Whuppity Stoorie in Scotland, Rumplestiltskin was one difficult man to identify.

Interestingly, Professor Rumplestiltskin Schwartz has been known to debate the origins of some Mother Goose stories, including the fabled Three Little Pigs. The tale is full of Jewish allegory and symbolism. Based on this and much more, Schwartz would place the origins of these particular set of piggies in 14th century Gdansk. Read more here: https://www.ou.org/jewish_action/02/2013/the-three-little-pigs-a-quintessential-jewish-allegory-in-deceptive-disguise/

While some storytellers have a long and sometimes ancient history such as Aesop (The Fox and the Goose, The Ant and the Grasshopper), other storytellers are more recent like the Grimm brothers.

Hans Christian Andersen first published in 1829 and brought to us written versions of the Princess and the Pea, The Ugly Duckling, The Little Mermaid and many more. Where Grimm’s tales could take on a darker cast and were unmistakably written with adults in mind, Andersen’s stories are sweet and warm.

Flash Fiction Writing Contest

LCRW stands for Lilac City Rochester Writers. This is one of the local writing groups I belong to. We are hosting a contest as a fund-raiser and would love to have you join the fun. Submissions will be accepted through March 31.  If you click on the blue “Here” it will take you to the LCRW website for all the information and a Word Form that works.  Continue reading “Flash Fiction Writing Contest”

A Writer’s Best Friend

When an author rereads their own work, one thing they are looking to edit is the use of the same word too many times. Here’s an example by Shaun Kearney, ESL teacher:

It’s a fair bet that if it’s fair tomorrow, then my fair haired wife and I will head to the Spring Fair, which is held in a fair sized park, in this fair city of ours and we may win a prize in a competition if everyone else plays fair.
Continue reading “A Writer’s Best Friend”

My New Desk

Well that was an unexpected week away from my blog! I’m back with a better organized work space, and a grand sense of accomplishment.

For the past few years my computer monitor has been sitting on my husband’s mother’s old desk and my keyboard and mouse have been sitting on a folding tray table I could lower enough to be able to type away in an ergonomically correct position. Functional yes, appearance and space wise, a big fat ugh… I finally convinced my husband a new desk with a pull out shelf for the keyboard was a wise decision. Continue reading “My New Desk”

#FlashFictionChallenge-The Mesh of Marriage

Charli Mills at Carrot Ranch Literary community has given the word “mesh” for this weeks flash fiction challenge. Here  is my offering using mesh as a verb. This is the link  https://carrotranch.com/2017/11/16/november-16-flash-fiction-challenge-2/.

“Melding two people in marriage is like weaving your personalities into a strong mesh. Today I know your special mesh is as fine as Lilly’s wedding veil. It is my duty to warn you, life will present trials that will stretch the spaces and even create holes. Disputes can be about anything from whether to have children, how to spend your money, or deal with  in-laws. I challenge you to never let your mesh get a hole in it. Do you accept my challenge?”

The reverend eyed the bride’s family as the beaming couple answered in unison, “We do.”

The Different Sides of Me

Charli Mill’s over at The Carrot Ranch, recently ran a fantastic Flash Fiction Rodeo. The various contests attracted a few entries by spammers, one of which has raised a bit of a laugh by Charli and the contest leader, Geoff le Pard. You can read Charli’s amusing post about this particular spam post here: https://carrotranch.com/2017/11/09/november-9-flash-fiction-challenge-2/.

Charli’s challenge this week was for us to write a piece of flash fiction, in exactly 99-words, on who the spammer, Nanjo Castille, might be in real life.  Here is my piece:

Flash Fiction offering:

 

 

I, Nanjo Castille sit in my office staring at funeral home handouts. When with the public, I am calm, reassuring, kind and almost stoic. The mourning around me is not my own. When time permits, I write nonsensical flash fiction that looks like spam and submit it to Carrot Ranch. It eases the pain I see on a daily basis. I absolutely hate good-byes, those of others and my own. At day’s end, I loose my tied back hair, hang the suit up, and ride the long way home on my Harley enjoying the smells and sights of life.

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