Saturday, May 31, 2014

Fairy Tale Media Fix: Maleficent

So, yesterday was the day.  Yesterday, Disney released a fairy tale inspired movie that people had been awaiting for quite a while.

That’s right, I’m talking about Maleficent.  That’s right, a movie starring the greatest villain to ever just sort of disappear from her original fairy tale.  No, seriously.  Here are the French version and the German version.  After setting things in motion she just disappears completely from the text.  She doesn’t even make an appearance in the infamous Italian version that shocks so many people.  However, this version is based on the 1959 animated movie from Disney which was in turn based on the Tchaikovsky ballet.  Both of those productions gave the “evil fairy” bigger parts.  At least, I think the ballet did.  The version of the ballet that I managed to watch was decidedly non-standard and involved vampiric fairies (I am totally not making that up).  I may have to seek out a more traditional version someday.

            Anyway, on to the story of Maleficent.  Warning, there may be SPOILERS ahead.  

It starts out with the story of two kingdoms.  One is the kingdom of men and the other is the Moors, which is populated by the fairies.  Maleficent is one of the fairies, a girl with horns and great, big bird wings.  One day, word comes that a human has been spotted on the Moors.  Maleficent goes to meet this intruder and it turns out to be a poor young boy named Stefan.  Stefan and Maleficent become fast friends and even a little bit more.  However, then the two are separated.  Maleficent spends the interceding years defending the Moors and fighting off the forces of the king who wants to take the Moors as his own.  Stefan has meanwhile become a knight and one of the king’s inner circle.  The king swears on his deathbed that whoever kills Maleficent shall be made his heir.  This causes Stefan to reunite with Maleficent in a ploy to kill her.  However, instead of killing her he does something else that sets her down a darker path.  We’re going to jump ahead here, because some of the more interesting things happen after Maleficent enacts her famous curse.  The princess Aurora is whisked off by three fairies that raise her far away in hiding.  Seeing that the fairies are probably unsuited to the task, Maleficent starts looking after Aurora from the shadows.  She even starts to care for the girl, perhaps realizing that she’s the only innocent in all of this.  Meanwhile, King Stefan stews in his own anger and paranoia, growing darker by the day.  In the end, this is what the movie is ultimately about.  It’s about two people and how their hearts become darkened by ambition, anger, bitterness and revenge.  It’s also about how one of them starts to regain some light through exposure to someone who is good and innocent.
            I know in the past I’ve made fun of Disney (and shall continue to do so, just for fun).  However, everyone will admit that when they’re on their game, they make some really good movies.  This is a case of Disney being totally on its game.  The writing is good.  The acting is spot on.  The effects are absolutely beautiful.  Of particular note are the many fairy creatures of the Moors.  Whoever designed those pulled out all the stops.  There are some things that maybe should be noted.  We see a familiar Disney trope turned on its head.  However, I imagine we’ll have to expect that for a while.  They’ve been doing that since The Princess and the Frog.  Also, anyone who’s particularly fond of Prince Phillip ought to be warned that he has an even smaller part in this version than in the 1959 Disney original (hard to believe, I know).  He doesn’t even get to slay a dragon.  I suppose those are little things in the grand scheme of things, though.  Now, this may not be my favorite retelling of the “Sleeping Beauty” story (as a storyteller, I’m inclined to believe my own version is the best).  We also might chafe at some of the iconic parts of the story that we liked being changed.  However, it is ultimately a good story well told and definitely worth a watch.

If you have any thoughts, feel free to post them in the comments below.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Fairy Tale Media Fix: Grimm

Y’know, it strikes me that in the months I’ve had this blog, I still haven’t posted anything about NBC’s Grimm.  I blame my crazy schedule that keeps me posting only once a week.

For the uninitiated, Grimm is a show about a Portland homicide detective named Nick Burkhardt, played by David Giuntoli. 

Burkhardt is descended from a line of hunters called Grimms who hunt down Wesen, creatures that hide among humanity and are hidden in plain sight until they “volg” and show what they really are.  The suggestion is that the Brothers Grimm were actually Grimms and their encounters with Wesen were disguised as a collection of folk tales (I wonder why people seem to love this idea of Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm secretly being detectives, hunters or other men of action rather than the scholars and linguists they were.  I guess collecting German folk stories and having a law of philology named after them isn’t good enough for some people).  Anyway, Burkhardt’s primary ability is the power to see what Wesen are when they don’t want him to.  There are some other characters like his partner Hank Griffin (Russell Hornsby) and girlfriend Juliette Silverton (Bitsie Tulloch).  However, I think the guy who really steals the show on a regular basis is this guy:

Silas Michael Weir as Monroe.  Monroe is a blutbad, which is basically a “Big, Bad Wolf” type creature.  Monroe regularly helps Nick understand Wesen culture from a non-stab-y, kill-y, hunt-y sort of perspective.  I’ve seen the Big, Bad Wolf reimagined about a million ways, but Monroe is probably the first time I’ve seen him reimagined as a lovable, dorky clock maker who goes overboard decorating for Christmas and Halloween (trust me, it’s better than it reads on paper).  Almost as endearing is Bree Turner as Rosalee, Monroe’s lady love.  She’s a fuchsbau (fox creature) who runs a tea and herb shop.

            Now, the show has been on for three seasons and will have a fourth one coming up.  Each episode starts with an uncredited fairy tale quote written on the screen.  This drives me nuts, because I want to know where the quote comes from and I rarely recognize them out of context.  Sometimes, they do episodes that borrow plots almost directly from famous fairy tales.  These episodes also drive me nuts because the characters never seem to notice the plot they’re walking through.  Seriously, how do you not realize that you’re in the middle of “Rumpelstiltskin”?  Those episodes also drive me crazy with some of the odd choices they make.  For example, their version of “Cinderella” involved a Wesen that was essentially a psycho bat-creature with a dangerous high-pitched sonic scream (yes, you read that right).  And yet, despite these things, I actually like this show.  The truth is that when Grimm doesn’t do that stuff, it’s an awesome show.  That’s roughly 90% of the time.  It’s one of the few shows I know of that draws on the themes of more obscure folk stories like “The Robber Bridegroom” or “The Demon in the Bottle”.  There has been more than one occasion when the show has given me some glimpse of folklore that I was unaware of like La Llorona, El Cucuy or the Aswang.  You know they’re doing their homework when they give me something to Google!  But overall, I think the great thing about Grimm is how much it is its own thing.  Unlike other fairy tale shows (:cough:Once Upon a Time:cough:), Grimm has a very unique identity unto itself.  That identity, along with some really extensive world-building and really good storytelling keeps Grimm a show that I will willingly come back to every season.

Thoughts on NBC’s Grimm?  The comments section is below.  You know what to do.



Sunday, May 25, 2014

Four Color Fairy Tales: Fairy Quest.

Y’know, one of the nice things about knowing other fairy tale fans is that they’re able to let you know when other fairy tale stuff is happening that you might have missed.   For example, InkGypsy of Once Upon a Blog sent me a link to Bleeding Cool the other day that let me know that there was more Fairy Quest hitting comic book store shelves in August.

What is Fairy Quest, you may ask?  Fairy Quest is an independently produced comic book written by Paul Jenkins and drawn by Humberto Ramos, two well-established comic book pros.  The comic is completely owned by the people who created it and licensed for publication by Boom! Studios.  It was also funded largely by a Kickstarter campaign.  I supported the Kickstarter for the first volume of Fairy Quest.  As a result, it not only got a comic book published but also netted me some sweet refrigerator magnets (pictured below) as well as a sticker I seem to have misplaced and a wallpaper for my computer desktop.

            Fairy Quest is what I like to call a “fairy tale rally” comic, in that it draws characters and ideas from various different fairy tales, children’s stories and nursery rhymes.  The story takes place in a land called Fablewood where all the characters from all the stories you’ve heard exist.  Now, it turns out that Fablewood is under the thumb of a man named Mr. Grimm who forces the characters to play out their stories over and over again with no variation or deviation at the risk of harsh punishment.  The worst of those punishments is something called the Mind Eraser.  The Mind Eraser is a machine that brainwashes characters into acting just as Mr. Grimm wants them to.  Now, the problem is that certain characters have started to deviate from the story in secret.  Cinderella yearns to stop going to the ball every night and, perhaps most scandalous of all, Little Red Riding Hood has become friends with the Big Bad Wolf.  The chips really hit the fan when Mr. Grimm finds out about all this.  Cindy Rella (Cinderella) gets Mind Erased and Red and Mr. Woof (Big Bad Wolf) make a run for it.  Their only hope is to find a mysterious place called Realworld, where they might be free of Mr. Grimm’s influence.

            Now, I’m not usually one for Little Red Riding Hood stories, especially ones where they reform the wolf.  I kind of find those to be done to death (hey, at least this one doesn’t turn the wolf into a love interest).  However, I'm willing to look past that because Fairy Quest is just a whole lot of fun.  The notion that the characters feel more imprisoned by their stories than anything is a neat twist as is their salvation coming from a place called Realworld.  In a way, it means that living a fairy tale isn’t all that great and that all the characters want is to be real people.  The writing is great and I absolutely love the artwork.  That’s to be expected for me, though.  I’ve loved Humberto Ramos’s kinetic, cartoony big-eyed artwork ever since he worked on a DC book entitled Impulse.  One other nice thing about Fairy Quest is that it doesn’t push too hard into being a comic for adults.  The comic book industry is probably among the first to jump on the “fairy tales aren’t just for kids” bandwagon.  However, while that’s not inherently bad, it has resulted in kind of a one-sided approach to fairy tale comics.  Now, while comics like Fables and Grimm Fairy Tales are definitely adults-only, Fairy Quest keeps things much closer to a PG level.  Maybe PG-13 where some of the creepy Mind Eraser stuff comes into play.

So, I’d strongly suggest giving Fairy Quest a try as the fun little fairy tale rally it is.  The first miniseries Fairy Quest: Outlaws is out there and only two issues long, so it’s easy to pick up if you find it.  It’s also available in an oversized trade paperback.  You can check local bookstores for that or of course your local library.  Fairy Quest: Outcasts comes out in August and you can of course find that at your local comic book shop.  You can find a local comic book shop with THIS.

Have something to say about Fairy Quest or have some other fairy tale comics recommendations?  The comments are below.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Folk Tale Secret Stash: Li Chi Slays the Serpent.

I think it’s time that I addressed a certain point regarding my feelings toward gender in folklore and fairy tales.  In my dealings with other fairy tale fans, they may have noted my preference for tales with active, male protagonists.  One or two may have misinterpreted this as a rejection of recent trends toward promoting active females in fairy tales.  This is anything but true.  My promoting active male characters has little to do with chauvinism and much to do with dispelling the girl oriented “princess culture” that has come to dominate how people view fairy tales and has caused many young boys to lose interest in the artform.  It’s also a rejection of all those do-nothing “Prince Charmings” that serve as plot devices in too many tales.  The truth is that I love girl characters that take center stage as well as an active part in their own destiny.  Now, which country’s folklore can we look to in order to find a perfect example of this character type?

Would it surprise you if I said “China”?

I know it might.  China has something of a bad rep when it comes to gender relations, especially as you reach backward in time.  However, there are few cultures out there that completely adhere to their bad press.  Traditional China manages to shake off some of its bad reputation with one little story entitled Li Chi Slays the Serpent.  Now, for the sake of this post (and the title card at the top), we’re going to treat Li Chi as a folk tale.  However, it may actually be more of a legend.  A legend is a folk story with some basis in history.  I say this might be a legend because of how specific the story can get regarding names and places and because the story explicitly states that ballads are still sung about Li Chi (legends often make it into song more than folk tales do).  As I’ve looked into this story, I’ve also seen it referred to as a “myth” and a “fantasy”.  I’m not sure anyone really knows what it is anymore.  Anyway, as far as legends are concerned, I plan to do more with them in the future, including the story of another famous Chinese woman. 

Now this is a very short story and relatively easy to tell.  Any storyteller looking for a five minute story should consider this one.  It goes like this: in Fukien in the ancient state of Yueh there is the Yung mountain range.  In a cave in those mountains there once lived a horrible serpent. 

The serpent killed many people and offerings of oxen and sheep did little to appease it.  The serpent then began to appear in the dreams of spirit mediums and made its desires clear: it wanted girls of 12 or 13 years old to feast on.  What else could the officials of the town do?  They would get the children of criminals and bondmaids and sacrifice them to the serpent every year.  Their families were compensated.

Now, word of this eventually reached the household of a man named Li Tan who had six daughters and no sons.  Tan’s youngest daughter Chi decided to volunteer.  Her parents tried to stop her but she told them (and I quote) “Dear parents, you have no one to depend on, for having brought forth six daughters and not a single son, it is as if you were childless.  I could never compare with Ti Jung of the Han Dynasty, who offered herself as a bondmaid to the emperor in exchange for her father’s life.  I cannot take care of you in your old age; I only waste your good food and clothes.  Since I’m no use to you alive, why shouldn’t I give up my life a little sooner?  What could be wrong in selling me to gain a bit of money for yourselves?”

Wait!  Don’t go yet!

I know this doesn’t really sound like the enlightened female I was talking about, but hear me out.  Just because she said that, doesn’t mean she believed it.  Sometimes it’s easier to get what you want if you tell people what you think they want to hear.  Anyway, it didn’t work and her parents still forbade her from going.  So, she snuck out and went anyway.  She brought along some rice balls sweetened with malt sugar and when she got there she requested a sharp sword and a dog that was good at killing snakes.  You can probably guess what happened, but you can read it for yourself HERE.

Now how does such a structured society like old China end up having a story where a girl breaks from traditional roles and plays the hero?  Well, according to the Introduction of the book I got this tale from (Chinese Fairy Tales and Fantasies translated and edited by Moss Roberts), it could have to do with the conflict between Confucian and Taoist thought.  People who followed the teachings of Confucius and served in high ranking positions viewed the world as a balanced series of obligations between higher and lower orders (emperor and subject, husband and wife, human and animal, etc).  Taoist thinkers were frequently critics of such rigid structures and it manifested in popular literature like plays, tales and legends.  I really don’t know much about Confucianism or Taoism, so I’ll take Roberts’s word for it.

There it is!  Probably my favorite butt-kicking, serpent-slaying, Chinese fairy tale heroine.

Got thoughts on this story or want to recommend some other heroine stories?  The comments section is below.  You know what to do.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Cinderella teaser trailer aka "The Shoe".

I've been staying off the internet for a little while to get some stuff done, but apparently, Disney just dropped the first teaser trailer for Kenneth Branaugh's upcoming Cinderella movie.  It features what must be the finest, most cutting edge piece of high definition digitally rendered footwear Hollywood has to offer.

You can see it HERE.

But yeah . . . it's a shoe.  Apparently, some people went absolutely nuts about this teaser, though.

It makes me wonder what people are looking for in the trailers for fairy tale films.  I remember when some of the earliest trailers came out for Jack the Giant Slayer, they made the movie look really dark and intense.  Those early trailers didn't do much for me, because I often interpret "dark" as "gloomy" which doesn't jibe with my view of "Jack and the Beanstalk", which I always viewed as more of a comical adventure story.  Also, the movie itself was hardly dark in the least.

Anyway, what do you think about the trailer and fairy tale film trailers in general.  Comment section is below.  You know what to do.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Once Upon a Pixel with Child of Light.

You know, I don’t really get much chance to write about video games on this blog.  This is a bit strange, when you think about it.  I mean, fantasy-based video games are no stranger to fairy tale type elements.  In video games I’ve been lost in dark, scary woods, talked to helpful animals, used enchanted objects and attempted to save more princesses than I could count (okay, to be fair, those were often the same princesses over and over).  However, the thing about fantasy video games is that by their very nature and the structure they adhere to, they don’t so much evoke fairy tales as they evoke . . . fantasy video games.  Or, at the very least, many of them feel like Tolkien pastiches.

Then I went and downloaded the new game Child of Light.

Photo courtesy of
I have never before seen a video game that evoked this much fairy tale mojo and worked  so hard to maintain it.  The set-up is like this.  There was once a duke whose wife, a mysterious duchess, died.  All things were well until the duke became lonely and began to court a dark beauty.  Then, the duke’s youngest daughter Aurora caught a chill and seemingly died.  The duke was devastated.  However, far away, Aurora found herself waking up in a dark, spooky forest.  I’m really not doing a great job of explaining this.  This video does a far better job of it.

Anyway, it turns out she’s in Lemuria, which has been reimagined for the purpose of this game into a sort of fairy tale land.  Aurora meets a firefly named Igniculus and makes her way through the dark forest.  Along the way, she receives a sword and some fairy wings and is placed on a quest to find the sun, moon and stars which were stolen and hidden away by an evil queen.  As she goes along, Aurora’s joined on her quest by a jester, a wizard who looks a lot like one of the seven dwarfs, her sister who’s been given protective magic, a large talking mouse and other characters I have yet to meet (I haven’t gotten that far yet).  Naturally, since this is a video game, it will still include some video game elements.  In this case, it’s fighting and jumping.  This game’s primary mode of locomotion at least at the beginning is running and jumping like a platforming game like Super Mario Bros.  After you get the wings, you’ll likely spend a lot more time flying.  The game also features a turn-based battle system common with role playing games.  The rest of the game is rather unique, though.  First of all, it’s absolutely beautiful to behold.  The art resembles storybook illustrations colored with watercolors.  The dialogue is done all in a simple rhyme scheme that gives it all a very “Fee Fi Fo Fum” or “Mirror mirror on the wall” type of vibe (the only character who doesn’t rhyme is the jester and the other characters keep correcting her).  The game is just peppered with fairy tale tropes, too.  There’s everything from dark forests to evil queens to talking animals.  Sometimes things are included just for spectacle.  Early in the game, you can see a giant lumbering off in the distance.

Photo courtesy of
Now, I keep saying that the game is very fairy tale inspired.  However, my more savvy readers are probably wondering what kind of fairy tale.  Is it the rustic, earthiness of Grimm?  How about the courtly wit of Perrault?  Maybe it’s something bittersweet like Andersen or Wilde?  Or maybe it has the whimsy of a Stockton or Baum?  If the truth is to be told, it has a little bit of all of it.  It also has some elements of classic children’s fantasy novels and even a dash of dream-like fantasy similar to Windsor McKay’s Little Nemo.

Also, I should note that the game is incredibly playable and addictive.  I once sat down to play it and found myself only able to pull myself away after a couple of hours.  It has already inspired Lindsey Stirling to film this video (which is pretty cool).  Also, how awesome is this game’s protagonist?  It’s a little girl in a fake crown with fairy wings and a sword.  It’s a female character who’s not grim or gritty or grown-up or sexualized or created just to be rescued.  Heck, she’s not even a princess as far as we know (remember, her mother had mysterious origins).  Whenever someone calls her “princess”, she corrects them and tells them to just call her Aurora.

photo courtesy of
The game is made by Ubisoft Montreal and was created by a small team of very talented people as seen on the game’s website.  It’s also available for download on most major game systems (I purchased mine via Wii U).  If you play on PC, it can be downloaded on Steam right here.

If you are at all a video game player and have not yet tried this game, I suggest you give it a try.  It’s a unique RPG experience that evokes fairy tales while not repeating the plots of tales we already know too well.

Played the game and have thoughts?  Have thoughts regardless of playing the game?  Post in the comments below.


Thursday, May 8, 2014

Four Color Fairy Tales: Fables

Okay, so not long ago Warner Bros. revealed its slate of upcoming movies based on DC Comics properties.  On that list was Fables.  So, I think now might be a good time to talk about that one.  At the same time, part of me thinks that I shouldn’t have to post about this one at all.  I mean, who that’s either a fairy tale fan or all around geek doesn’t know about Fables.  Nevertheless, here we go.

Fables is a comic book series written by Bill Willingham and drawn by Mark Buckingham that’s been part of DC Comics’ adult-oriented Vertigo imprint since 2002.  The series focuses on a number of characters from fairy tales, nursery rhymes and classic stories who are forced out of their own world, which they call the Homelands, by someone they refer to as The Adversary.  Having left their home, they establish a secret immigrant community called Fabletown in New York City.  The plot focuses on the lives of the Fables (what the characters call themselves) as they try to keep the community secret from the Mundys (what they call regular people) and as they try to find a way to retake their Homelands.  The best way to describe the story is that it’s fairy tale noir with elements of high and low fantasy.  Among the characters are the sheriff of Fabletown Bigby Wolf (the Big Bad Wolf in human form), deputy mayor Snow White, their seven children (that one’s kind of a long story), Snow’s sister Rose Red, Little Boy Blue, Prince Charming (Snow’s ex-husband and all-around cad) as well as many, many others.  Seriously, this comic has one of the biggest ensemble casts around.

In terms of Vertigo comics, this is one of the biggest ones around.  It was so popular that it spawned two long-term spin-offs Jack of Fables and Fairest (not pictured below) as well as a couple of miniseries based around super-spy Cinderella (yes, you heard that right).

There was also a novel, a downloadable computer game and a Fables TV show was once in the works at ABC (shortly after the Fables show fell through, Once Upon a Time debuted.  Naturally, Fables fans lost their minds all over the internet).

Now, I actually read Fables for about 11 graphic novels worth of material.  I can tell you this: it is very well written and well drawn.  I can also tell you just from my own understanding of fairy tales and folklore that it is amazingly well-researched.  I also happen to know that it changed howmany comic book fans looked at fairy tales.  It also set the path for any number of fairy tale related comic books that came after.  However, I also have to admit one thing.

It wasn’t one of my favorites.

You’d think it would be based on the concept alone.  However, there was always something that kept it out of my top seven.  Maybe I had a hard time connecting with the “fairy tale refugee” experience.  Maybe it was something about the characters.  I had a hard time developing a real liking for or interest in any of them.  While Bigby Wolf was pretty much the favorite of most Fables fans, I wasn’t ever interested in him just because I didn’t think casting the Big Bad Wolf as a good guy was all that novel or interesting.  There was one exception.  I really liked Flycatcher (aka Prince Ambrose, aka The Frog Prince).  For the most part, he was just so idealistic and he had a tendency toward nonviolence that I liked while at the same time being very impressive as a leader.  It was something very few people seemed to expect from him (which is strange, considering how we really should expect that there’s something more beneath the surface with the Frog Prince).  It could be some of the choices they made with the other characters.  Their version of Jack was a total scumbag, which upset my inner child greatly.  I also hated the Fables take on the Seven Dwarfs and thought their take on Little Kay from “The Snow Queen” was oddly dark.  Of course, that’s probably it right there.

It was dark.

Fables was ultimately a little too dark to be one of my favorites.  I know the mantra these days is that fairy tales aren’t the light and fluffy stories people once thought they were.  I’m not completely against dark stories, but when it comes to dark stories I tend to get a little picky as to how the darkness is utilized.  One should note that with folklore in general, darkness and light often comes down to interpretation.  My interpretations often tend to walk a tonal middle ground.

But that’s Fables for you.  It’s dark.  It’s gritty.  It’s grown-up.  It rarely pulls its punches.  It’s amazingly well-written, well-drawn and well-researched.  It brought fairy tales into comic book stores.  Ultimately though, it’s not for everyone.

The series is ending soon, as described in this video.  I can’t give the series a negative review because I know it’s a quality book and I can’t rave about it because it’s not my “cup of tea”.  However, I will say that if what I described sounds good to you, than you should by all means check it out.  It can probably be found at a nearby public library or at a big bookstore.  However, if you are going to buy it, I suggest supporting a local comic book shop.  You can find one by clicking here.

Thoughts on Fables?  Post in the comments below.

Monday, May 5, 2014

You Know You're a Fairy Tale Blogger When . . .

Graphic by Gypsy using Dore's illustrations & Debbie's vintage dust jacket project from Confessions of a Plate Addict
(text is the opening lines of Le Chat Botté)

I got tagged in the "You know you're a fairy tale blogger" chain.  So, here goes.
I will admit that these might not all be completely true, but I try not to let the truth get in the way of a good story . . .

 You know you're a fairy tale blogger when:

- You sometimes get the urge to shake your fist and shout "Curse you, Disney!"

- You wonder if there are any shades, tones or hues of Andrew Lang you don't own (There’s a Red Fairy Book and a Crimson Fairy Book.  Is there a Scarlet Fairy Book and I missed it?  What about Vermilion?).

 - You not only buy fairy tale related items but items that are only connected by a tangent.  Like a European peasant food cook book so you’d have a sense of what Cinderella ate or an old German card game so you’d know what characters from Grimm’s Fairy Tales might have done in their free time.

- You find yourself recommending obscure folk tales to people who only showed a casual interest in what you blog about.

- You have all your folk tale books organized geographically for easy access.

- You have two favorite fairy tales.  One famous one you grew up with and one you had to discover all on your own.

- You know who Madame d’Aulnoy is.

- You have lively inner debates as to whether certain legends count as fairy tales (for example: King Arthur, Robin Hood and The Pied Piper) and whether you should post about them.

- You sometimes think you know more about the work of writers Alex Flinn, Robin McKinley and Shannon Hale than your local Teen Room librarian does.

- You kick yourself if something fairy tale-ish happens and you didn’t prepare a relevant post about it in time.

- You sometimes get a little peeved that Once Upon a Time keeps using the same old fairy tales everybody knows (Come on, ABC!  Give us something really worth posting about).

- You’re willing to put male pride aside so that you can post about stuff like fairy tale ballets and Ever After High dolls.

- You write long, impassioned posts to try and dispel generalizations about the Brothers Grimm.

- You take being called a fool as a compliment because you know that fools have all the best adventures.

- You sometimes hope that someone will come along and want to trade you magic beans for something.
This blog chain started with Kristin at Tales of Faerie.
Then, it got passed to Gypsy at Once Upon a Blog.
Next, it went to Heidi Anne Heiner at the venerable Sur La Lune.
Then, it came to this little ol' Fairy Tale Geek here.
But look out, Tahlia Merrill from Diamonds and Toads and Timeless Tales because "Tag, you're it!"

What is this? From Kristin, of Tales of Faerie:After having a fairy tale blog for years, it really starts to bleed into the rest of your life. Gypsy from Once Upon a Blog and I have been enjoying sharing some of these unique results of our bloggerhood and thought some of you might also have some funny and interesting things to share as well!