View Post

Grimm 053: Little Snow-White

In Fairy Tales & Myths, Grimm's Fairy Tales, Reading by BronwenLeave a Comment

This entry is part 1 of 8 in the series Fairy Tales & Myths

I know I said I wanted to look for unusual fairy tales, not the typical fare. But I learned a new factoid about this one over on Tor.com, which has some really great examinations of fairy tales, in their piece Charmed, I’m Sure: A Closer Look at Everyone’s Dream Prince. So let’s dive in. Source is pitt.edu. This is the Brothers …

View Post

Old Peter: The Silver Saucer and Transparent Apple

In Fairy Tales & Myths, Old Peter's Russian Tales by BronwenLeave a Comment

This entry is part 2 of 8 in the series Fairy Tales & Myths

I was waiting until I could find my copy of Old Peter’s Russian Tales–a collection of Russian fairy tales as retold by a British visitor (Arthur Ransome, of Swallows & Amazons fame) with British children in mind–only to discover that it’s available for free in multiple places online. D’oh. I did find my book. Unfortunately, because of the nature of …

View Post

Grimm 108. Hans-My-Hedgehog

In Fairy Tales & Myths, Grimm's Fairy Tales by BronwenLeave a Comment

This entry is part 3 of 8 in the series Fairy Tales & Myths

Holy cow, I was not expecting to stumble across this. I came across the mere mention of a “hedgehog princess” and immediately had to look it up. I didn’t find a hedgehog princess, but I did find a half-human hedgehog boy who marries a princess! Yes, this requires some explanation. Let’s begin. Source: Pitt.edu Summary Like so many fairy tale …

View Post

Grimm 198. Maid Maleen

In Fairy Tales & Myths, Grimm's Fairy Tales, Reading by BronwenLeave a Comment

This entry is part 8 of 8 in the series Fairy Tales & Myths

There’s a princess and a tower and a wedding, and yet this isn’t one of the more popular stories. Go figure. Source: SurLaLune Fairy Tales: Annotated Maid Maleen Synopsis Maid Maleen is the daughter of a king. She falls in love with a prince, but her father is against the marriage. Being a reasonable parent, he has a tower built and …

View Post

Anderson: The Dryad

In Fairy Tales & Myths, Hans Christian Anderson, Reading, The Wider World by BronwenLeave a Comment

This entry is part 7 of 8 in the series Fairy Tales & Myths

My summary isn’t going to do this justice. Anderson writes evocatively of the setting and the people, and I’m just going to focus on the main plot. Here we go. Source: HCA.Gilead.org.il Summary In the countryside of France, a massive tree is felled. The villagers replace it with a young chestnut tree, which has a dryad living inside it. She is …

View Post

Grimm 122. Donkey Cabbages

In Fairy Tales & Myths, Grimm's Fairy Tales, Reading by BronwenLeave a Comment

This entry is part 6 of 8 in the series Fairy Tales & Myths

Doesn’t “donkey cabbages” sound like a kid’s insult? I’m not quite sure how to even summarize this one, it is that strange. Here we go anyway. Source: The Complete Grimm’s Fairy Tales (Knickerbocker Edition) Summary One day, a huntsman is walking around and comes upon an old woman. He’s kind to her, and so she blesses him with a magic cloak (travel …

View Post

Grimm 037. Thumbling

In Fairy Tales & Myths, Grimm's Fairy Tales, Reading by BronwenLeave a Comment

This entry is part 5 of 8 in the series Fairy Tales & Myths

Not Thumbelina, but the German answer to the English Tom Thumb. You may well know the gist of this one. Source: The Complete Grimm’s Fairy Tales (Knickerbocker Edition) Summary A lonely peasant couple wishes for a child. A boy is born to them, but he’s only as tall as a thumb, so they call him Thumbling. They are delighted to have him. …

View Post

Fairy Tales on deck, starting Feb 28

In Fairy Tales & Myths, Reading by BronwenLeave a Comment

This entry is part 4 of 8 in the series Fairy Tales & Myths

New project. In order to better familiarize myself with the fairy tale cannon, once a month I’m going to read and examine a fairy story. Preferably not super popular stories, I’m looking for unusual stuff. I want to do this for my own edification, and also to give my blogging some structure. I like fairy tales as a genre, and …

View Post

The Year in Books, 2016

In Reading by BronwenLeave a Comment

Author Laura Brown has a new blog post titled “My Diverse Reads of 2016” where she takes a look at how many books she read in the past year that count as diverse. This seems like a worthy experiment to me, so let’s dig into my data. In 2016 I read 67 books. I had challenged myself to read 55. This …

View Post

Monster Structure Worksheet v1.1

In On Writing, Reading, Writing Tools by BronwenLeave a Comment

Major updates to the Monster Structure Worksheet! What is the MSW? It’s a combination of novel structure theories into one chart to help you visualize what-all is supposed to happen and when. I’ve been reading K.M. Weiland’s Structuring Your Novel [amazon asin=0985780401&template=add to cart] and I highly recommend it. It’s a great step-by-step walk-through of  the parts of story structure. Weiland …

View Post

What I Read, Part 1: Blogs

In On Writing, Reading, Writing Tools by BronwenLeave a Comment

There’s been a bunch of talk in my spheres lately about what folks are reading to learn about their craft. I found a bunch of new things to explore, and I figure I should share. This week I’ll post about the blogs I follow, and later I’ll go into the books I love. RSS Feeds and Readers RSS stands for …

View Post

Lilith’s Brood by Octavia Butler

In Reading, The Wider World by BronwenLeave a Comment

Last month I heard that Octavia Butler’s XENOGENESIS TRILOGY, aka LILITH’S BROOD, is in development as a TV series. At the time I had yet to read anything by her, and I figured this was a great opportunity to start. So I bought the first book and got stuck in. Ms. Butler’s books are quite different from what’s popular right …

View Post

Alanna, Tamora and Me

In On Writing, Reading by BronwenLeave a Comment

When I made the transition from picture books to middle grade I devoured everything in my path. Amelia Bedelia. Mrs. Piggly-Wiggly. The Egypt Game. All of the American Girl series. Most of the Babysitters Club–we’re talking twenty books at a time. I was voracious, because I was still searching for something. When I was twelve, I found it. Tamora Pierce’s In …

View Post

Obsessive Love in YA

In Reading by BronwenLeave a Comment

V and I were having a discussion about what we call ‘obsessive love’. It often starts as instalove, but not always. It’s what happens when a character just can’t stop thinking about–and, more importantly, behaving in relation to–their love interest. Everything is about this person. They invade every thought, every scene. I do not like obsessive love. Worse, I don’t …