Tag Archives: fairy tales
So, I have been struck by a lightning bolt of inspiration. While working on the werewolf story I have been writing since 1998, I decided to make the sweet little old German lady from the Gingerbread House into the main character of her own novel. I can’t help it. Grandma Gretel is based on a real person I knew as a child. She was a concentration camp survivor from WWII who lived by herself in our little Iowa town. And I loved her. I can’t help but write a story about her in fictional form. So, here is the start of my goofy new project;
Recipes for Gingerbread Children (Rezepte für Lebkuchen-Kinder)
A novel by Michael Beyer
Gretel baked gingerbread the way Mozart composed symphonic masterpieces, or Leonardo DaVinci painted women with mysterious smiles. People loved her gingerbread cookies and were hooked with one single taste. And her recipes were a carefully guarded secret, as was the reason that she lived alone in the little town of Norwall, Iowa, on the eastern edge of Wright County. Gretel was basically a very happy person, a very loving person. But there were good reasons for her secrets to remain secrets, and though the people of her little Iowa town loved her and took care of her, they must never know the truth.
“Gretel, old girl, you make me work hard for my milk,” complained Lumpkin the Brownie as he deposited the special bag of flour on the kitchen table.
“Ya, you are such a kidder, you are,” Grandma Gretel snapped at the little brown-skinned man who had just climbed through her kitchen window and thrown the small bag of magical ingredients on the table. Lumpkin was a local fairy and benign spirit who got away with living in town because he was only three inches tall and could turn invisible at will.
“No kidding, Grandma. Brownies don’t like to do work. We’re just as lazy as human beans. We only do this stuff because we are compelled… or bribed. And your milk and your gingerbread is magical.”
“Ya ya, magical… this I know. But what you can be telling me is… did you have to do any bad things to get the fairy flour?”
“We are not the Unseely Court, Grandma Gretel. We don’t deal in evil or pain. We do it for love.”
“Love of cookies and milk I am thinking.”
The brownie grinned a great, wide, and particularly ugly grin. “Still counts as love, old woman.”
I was trying to write a post and my computer had to have a brain fart and blow it to pieces. It began because the mouse pad froze and I had to try to do everything by key commands while trying to save what I wrote. That’s gone, however. In its place is a cryptic question in German that asks if you want to be a swan. How did that happen? More than one wrong key got pressed. As I write this, two people have already liked the computer brain-fart post. Let’s see how this will get fixed.
I intended to write a post on my attempt to finish my novel in November, the novel The Magical Miss Morgan. I was inspired to do that because my niece, Stephanie Bisinger, is currently involved in the NaNoWriMo project to write 50,000 words in November and complete a rough draft of a novel. The contest is really intended for creative young student types, and my niece is doing well. I, however, am probably not going to make the goal. I have increased my daily output, written faster, deeper, and more creatively than I have in a long time. I have my neurons firing so fast and so hard that my brain is heating up, hence the danger that my hair will suddenly burst into flame. Writing is a dangerous business. And yet, on my birthday, November 17th, 2014, I am only at 17,021 words. I am quickly running out of month and I am not even at the halfway point. That’s what happens when you get old. Your writing bones get all creaky and slow. I have sped up the novel, though. I made a major breakthrough. Having decided to use the “Do you want to be a swan?” thing from the computer brain-fart, I now have a major plot point that I didn’t have before. And I promoted a minor character to a place in the major action of the middle of the book. That was an excellent idea, really, because the character is a favorite of mine, made from a real cousin when he was younger mixed with a real former student. In the book, he is convinced that the major fantasy element of the story is not real, but when he is confronted with evidence right before his eyes, he wets his pants and runs away. Perfect… at least for potty humor.
Not all my Paffoonies are completely sane. The never-ending struggle of darkness and light can color things funny in a world of swiftly swirling imaginings. Lyrical joy opposed to malignant menace, devouring worlds in the palm of my hand.