Those of you who are interested in fairy tales (hello, Mr. Pond) might have already heard of an online magazine called Enchanted Conversation. They publish original takes on classic fairy tales, which is a largely unique niche with a very dedicated audience. Enchanted Conversation just published their latest issue, and I'm delighted to announce that it includes a story I wrote called "The White Bird."
The story, like all the other stories in the issue, is a slightly skewed retelling of that time-honored children's tale of parental abandonment and cannibal witches known as "Hansel and Gretel." It was very entertaining to read all the different authors' takes on the story–I particularly appreciated Alexandra Seidel's lyrical poem About Roses (slight echoes of Yeats) and Samuel Valentino's wickedly funny Cooking Children! With Witch Wanda lampooning the idea of reality TV for evil witches. The difference in viewpoints, twists, tones, and voices is very creatively gratifying, if a bit disorienting in places.
My own tale, the first bit of fiction I've written for rather a longish while, takes a more serious look at the story, drawing out some elements from the Brothers Grimm's original to reveal–well, to reveal the story I wanted to tell about and found that I could only tell in this form. (I'm with George MacDonald in that, if you can't tell my painting is meant to be a horse, I think it won't help matters if I write This is a horse underneath it. But I am open to questions if you've got them.)
I should mention that, although the magazine is quite family-friendly, I tried not to pull any punches with the frightening and disturbing elements of the story, which is one of many that richly deserves the name of Grimm. (This is a departure for me; usually my fiction is quite goofy.) Not that I think it's "too scary for kids" (whatever that means) but that you shouldn't assume it's all about sweet peppermint and gingerbread. Fairy tales aren't just for children, but usually they do say exactly what needs to be said. I don't want any witch-related nightmares on my conscience, is all.
For those who are coming here by way of EC, welcome! Have a look around and see what else you like, and feel very free to subscribe or leave a comment or join on FriendConnect… you know the drill. Did I mention I'm a composer with a new CD just out? You might like it.