When I was young and reading (or listening to) fairy stories, there were a few details that used to confuse and/or bother me. Why, for example, do Hansel and Gretel – at the end of the story - go back to the parents who have abandoned them in the forest to be torn apart by wild animals?! Why does the enchanted (frog) prince fall in love with a princess who has done nothing but lie to and mistreat him?! Here’s another one – although I’ll admit that this one didn’t occur to me until I was older and influenced by feminism – just what does the princess feel like when she's offered by her father as part of a prize (along with “half of my kingdom”) in a contest open to all comers?!
I started writing these stories some years ago, inspired by three reasons: a wish to deal with the issues mentioned above; a wish to present an ecofeminist version of well-known fairy tales; and (most important) a belief that everybody – especially young people (children AND teenagers) should be presented with the idea that there are at least two sides to every story. I don’t necessarily want you to think that my versions are the TRUE versions – I just want you to think that there ARE other possibilities than the ones you’ve heard before.
(Well, I DO hope you actually LIKE my versions…)
I’ve decided to set up this website now and upload the stories as they stand, even though they aren’t in a finished state:
a) “The Hand Of The Princess” and "Ella Of The Cinders" are the most finished of them. The rest of the stories haven’t been thoroughly revised yet. I might make changes to them – as indeed I might to the two already mentioned.
b) “The Loom Of Destiny” has only got one chapter so far. I am hoping to complete it someday…
c) I've set up links to the stories in two versions: Acrobat Reader® and 'normal' (with tinted background). There's a disadvantage to each form. With the first, you can download the story onto your computer but I don't think you can print it out. With the second, you can't see the title page or chapter heading the way I designed them unless you have the following fonts in your computer's control panel/fonts file: "Aladdin Expanded", "Cricket", "Draconian", and "Vivacious" (all ©). (It's worth getting these installed.)
d) So you’ve got to consider all the stories here – and the site itself – as very much “work in progress”, and if you have any comments or suggestions to make, I would be very happy to read and consider them, whether you are child, teenager, or adult. I’m not just saying that: I really would appreciate feedback. Write to me at the address on the homepage - I hope to publish the most interesting comments on this site – even if I decide not to work them into the stories.
e) There's only one story so far translated into another language. I will work on this (I've been writing - or failing to write a story in catalan for the last 6 years...
p.s. If by any chance anybody connected with the publishing world reads these stories and would be interested in bringing them out in book form, I’d be delighted to hear from you…
My good friend Sarah Lewtas, the illustrator of some of the stories, has given up painting to concentrate on sculpture. I am SO glad She painted these watercolours for Me before this decision... You can visit Her site here - http://www.sarahlewtas.com
I would like to thank My good friend Ian Gordon for his combination of patience and impatience, answering some questions and leaving Me to find out the answers to others in learning to set up a website. I had a GREAT time. You can visit His site here - http://www.ashlemon.com