Today I am turning the blog over to the fabulous Danyelle Leafty, author of The Fairy Godmother Dilemma.
Sixteen-year-old Breena never thought anything could be worse than being forced to leave the faerie realm. Then she got stuck with a fairy godmother. But if she has to choose between the two, she’d leave the Faerie Realm over getting bossed about by a faerie with a pointed stick any day. Unfortunately, her attempt to evade her fairy godmother gives her growing pains in the form of fur, whiskers, and a tail.
Turning into a cat is the least of her worries, though. The potion wasn’t meant to bring out her inner feline, it was meant to put her to sleep. Forever. If Breena wants to make it to her Happily Ever After, she’ll have to accept that sometimes a fairy godmother really does come in handy, after all.
Sounds great, huh? Take it away Danyelle!
Why Do We Speak In Fairy Tales?
All it takes is four little words—once upon a time—and readers are immediately transported to a place where magic really does exist. Where there are dragons to be defeated, maidens to rescue, princes to enchant, and where good always triumphs because they all live happily ever after.
Fairy tales have been told for hundreds—and I’m guessing thousands—of years. Even in our modern times full of high tech gadgets and fast paced lifestyles, fairy tales are just as popular as ever.
There are a lot of theories, and this is mine. We tell fairy tales as a way of sharing the very things that make us human so we don’t drown under the weight of humanity. We also share them to remind us to hope, because sometimes the world can be a very bleak, dark place. Fairy tales remind us of the sun and give us the promise of hope. Fairy tales also remind us of the wonder we had as children when the world was a brand new place, bursting with possibilities.
G.K. Chesterton said it best, “Fairy tales do not give a child his first idea of bogey. What fairy tales give the child is his first clear idea of the possible defeat of bogey. The baby has known the dragon intimately ever since he had an imagination. What the fairy tale provides for him is a St. George to kill the dragon.” And “Fairy tales are more than true; not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten."
Children, probably more than most, know that dragons exist on a very personal level. Some dragons are small, annoying things that gnaw on your ankles. While others are giant, fire breathing behemoths that devour their souls. In our world, sometimes the only power a child can have comes through stories.
And adults are not immune from dragons. Some dragons rage without, while others gobble us up from the insides. Stories, fairy tales, empower us—if only into realizing that we have a choice to act or not act. To offer mercy or to withhold forgiveness. To help another or lead them to an iron cage. Fairy tales remind us that not only can we choose our response, but there are consequences for our actions. Things are a little less black and white in real life, but the same concepts apply. How we choose to act creates ripples that affect those around us. Nothing we do is without consequence.
An excellent article that discusses the relevance of fairy tales today was published in the NY Times. Practicing Medicine Can Be Grimm Work is an excellent read. Fairy tales explore the darkest and brightest aspects of human nature—something we all share.
Fairy tales also remind us what it was like when we saw the world for the first time.
One of my favorite quotes comes from Chesterton again, "Fairy tales say that apples were golden only to refresh the forgotten moment when we found that they were green. They make rivers run with wine only to make us remember, for one wild moment, that they run with water."
Do you remember how fascinating everything was when you were little? How a sunrise could hold you breathless, and discovering new animals and plants delighted you?
Sometimes, in the path that leads to growing up, we forget that we are surrounded by daily miracles. Granted, they’re small as a child’s laugh or the first bloom of spring, but things don’t have to be flashing and big to be miraculous. In a world with a short attention span, where the weight of the world hangs heavy on your shoulders, and there’s never enough time to do it all, it’s good to be reminded that we are drowning in wonders. If only we have the eyes to see.
And fairy tales, as well as other stories, serve as excellent bifocals.
What about you? Do you speak in fairy tales?
(Leave a comment on this post for your chance to win a free e-book subscription to The Fairy Godmother Dilemma!)
Danyelle Leafty writes MG and YA fantasy. In her spare time, she collects dragons, talking frogs, and fairy godmothers. She can be found discussing the art of turning one's characters into various animals, painting with words, and the best ways to avoid getting eaten by dragons on her blog. Her serial novel THE FAIRY GODMOTHER DILEMMA can be found here. You can contact her here.
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