Tuesday, May 31, 2016

The State of the Kingdom.

Ah, summer’s just about here.  The season of my birthday and the season in which I got my heart operated on.  It seems like a good time for some reflection.  I’ve got an extra week this month and I’ve been kind of mulling over what I’ve been doing on this blog.  So, I thought I’d write it out and if anyone had any reactions to it or suggestions, they could let me know in the comments.

First thing’s first: I have way too much reading and viewing material to spotlight on the blog, so I’m going to be focusing on that stuff rather than taking in a lot of new material.  That said, let me break down how things are going and what we may expect in the future:

Folk Tale Secret Stash: Secret Stash is the one I started this blog with and in some ways one of my favorites.  There is a slight problem, though.  I haven’t really read any of my folk tale books in a while.  I’m working my way back into rereading them, but it’s going to take a little bit of time.  So, the Secret Stash columns may be a bit few and far between for a while.  They’ll never go away completely, though.

Fantasy Literature Rewind: Rewind should go on as it usually does.  I have some stuff lined up.  I have My Own Fairy Book  by Andrew Lang, The Enchanted Castle and Five Children and It by E. Nesbit.  There’s also some stuff I need to reread in order to spotlight it like The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Graeme and the fairy stories of both Oscar Wilde and Frank Stockton.  I’m also considering a couple of less orthodox posts.  I’ve been considering touching on some more 20th Century stuff that we probably know best from movies like Bambi by Felix Salten, One Hundred and One Dalmatians by Dodie Smith and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang by Ian Fleming.  I’ve also been considering a look at the rare pieces of adult literature that sometimes work their way into people’s fairy tale canon like Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift and A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare (and yes, I do already own most of these books I've mentioned).  I know this seems like a lot, but I got kind of fired up by getting to read The Jungle Book again.  So, it’s going to take a while to get to it all.  Some stuff may wait until I can tie it in with the inevitable movie remakes that will happen.

Also, some fairy tales fall in a space between these two like those of Giambatista Basile and Charles Perrault, so if I write about those they’ll probably just be stand alone posts rather than under one of the title cards.

Fairy Tale Media Fix: Media Fix is another one that likely isn’t going to change much.  There are a few fairy tale inspired movies that are coming out.  So, I’ll review those.  I’m going to try and keep it focused on stuff that’s based on actual folk-derived fairy tales, though.  You’ll notice that I opted not to review the new Jungle Book movie despite the fact that I loved it.  Instead, I decided to write a FLR about the book that inspired it.  This is largely just to keep me from being overwhelmed.  I also want to do more “Tales from the $5 DVD Bin” because there are just so many bad or cheap fairy tale movies and cartoons out there.  You may be seeing one of those sooner rather than later.

Four-Color Fairy Tales- Honestly, unless you count all of Zenescope’s Grimm Fairy Tales series, fairy tale comics can be a little bit few and far between.  So, this is actually a column that I’m going to expand in scope to include stuff based on children’s literature.  There’s some stuff out there with interesting titles like Peter Panzerfaust and Pinocchio the Vampire Slayer.  I’m also probably going to shine the spotlight on some graphic novels that were created directly for the book market rather than for the comic book specialty market.  Also, there might be some retro reviews for stuff like X-Men Fairy Tales and Lullaby.

The Stuff of Legends- We are so close to the end of The Stuff of Legends.  The idea for it originally came from my desire to write about characters like King Arthur and the Pied Piper, but then I expanded it to twelve different legendary characters.  It was also designed as kind of a counter to Folk Tale Secret Stash because other than one or two characters, all the characters I wrote down were pretty famous.  I’ve written about ten of them so far and have two to go.  After that, I’m considering a revival but not right away.  If I do, there will also be a slight format change so that I can talk about different types of legend s (ghost stories, urban legends, tall tales, cryptid legends) as well as legendary characters.

The Top Seven- The Top Seven pretty much exists for those rare moments when I feel like being Buzzfeed.  So, the lists will come when the idea strikes me.  They take a lot of work to research and arrange.  So, that is a factor.

Once Upon a Pixel- This has been the title I’ve used pretty much every time I’ve focused on video games.  So, I’m probably going to start giving this one an actual title card.  I’ve been considering doing pieces on folklore references that show up in classic franchises like Super Mario Bros. and Pokemon.  I also do want to do something with Song of the Deep when it comes out, but it will depend on whether I can get access.  Otherwise, you probably won’t see this column too much.  There are time, money and hardware issues.

Fairy Tale Fandom Book Report- Now this is where the big changes are probably going to come into play.  I never really planned on focusing on contemporary fiction because there are so many blogs that already focus on that.  It originally came about just because I wanted to talk about the Sisters Grimm series of children’s books by Michael Buckley.  However, it’s also the one that gets people to contact me and ask to review their books.  The truth is that I’m not crazy about doing it.  I prefer digging up the retro stuff.  It might be a different matter if I made any money off this blog, but I don’t.  Also, my disinterest kind of harms the people asking for the reviews too.  Once I have the review copy on my kindle, I’ll end up leaving it to sit for months if I’m not excited about reading it.  By that time, the book is “cold” and my reviewing it does little to help their initial publicity.  So, I’ve decided that in the spirit of this particular blog I’m going to refocus on the weirder fairy tale adaptations for this column.  The ones that mash things up with other genres or do crazy twists to the concept that really catch my attention.  Basically, expect more stuff like The Lunar Chronicles and Time Lord Fairy Tales and less stuff like The Northlore Series or The Ugly Stepsister.  If someone does want to pitch me a book to review, they should definitely be on their A game and be prepared to catch my attention.  First rule of thumb: try to avoid a pitch that uses overused words like “dark”, “twisted” or “fractured”.

That’s about it.  I’m thinking about a few other things.  Once Stuff of Legends is done, I’m thinking about doing a limited run series in which I try to make recipes inspired by fairy tales (I even have a crock pot recipe called Cinderella Stew).  I want to do a post on fables the same way I did one on nursery rhymes.  This summer I also want to visit some of the local amusement parks that use fairy tale themes and take some pictures for a spotlight post.  I’ve also considered tackling some bigger issues like cultural appropriation in regards to fairy tales and storytelling, but that would take some big time research.  As usual, my posts will continue to be exploratory in nature.  I just get an idea, research it and post my thoughts.

If anyone has any ideas, thoughts, comments, concerns or you just want to get on my case for wasting a week doing a “housekeeping” post, let me know in the comments below.

1 comment:

  1. If you do recipes: Can you please try out the cake d'amour recipe from the Peau D'Ane/Donkey Skin movie and tell us if it results in an actually edible cake? (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-9dQysBGyPw)

    I understand if you don't want to waste food, but it would make for a fun experiment