Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Fairy Tale Spotlight: The Manikin

The term manikin in fairy lore tends to refer to a very small man of about 2 to 3 feet tall. These are not to be confused with dwarves. In almost all cases, the manikin is a very bad entity that should be avoided at all costs.

If you encounter a manikin, you are already in trouble. Simply being in their presence is like signing a contract. You have to deal with them on their terms, and attacking them will only end in folly. It's a bit like breaching the contract, giving them the leeway to destroy you. In fact, legality is very important to the manikin. They have a certain set of rules that guide them and allow them to proceed with their evil ways. I'll do my best to help you if you ever come across one.

A manikin always wants something. It could literally be anything. Here are some examples:
1. He may want to take your child away.
2. He may want you to marry him.
3. He may simply wish to have sex with you. Very bad.
4. He may wish to murder you and/or your family.
5. He may wish to turn you into some other form such as a useless animal or just into a rock for his own amusement.

Upon encountering a manikin, you should be afraid but also as calm as you can. Your situation is dire but not altogether impossible to overcome. Here is some advice:
1. Don't try and fight him or run away. He will instantly win what he wants.
2. Listen carefully to his offer. Bargain as much as you can, but if it is only making it worse, stop.
3. The manikin's offer will require you to accomplish a near-impossible feat which is likely rigged. Agree to his terms and walk away if he will let you.
4. In some cases, the manikin will promise a reward if you play their game. Politely decline all his attempts if he tries to trick you in this way. Once again, do not fight him or run away.

The last stage of a manikin encounter is the puzzle. You have to perform some incredible act that most would think impossible. Here are some tips:
1. Loopholes work. Try and find a clever way to beat his logic.
2. Cheat. Sneak around while he does not know you are there. Listen to him mumble to himself. He may give you the secret unknowingly. You may also find his journal and learn from it there. Manikins are extremely vain and tend to brag to others and themselves.
3. If you have found a way to beat the manikin, beat them with as much flare as you can. If you do a very good job at it, it may actually kill the manikin where he stands. That will save others the trouble of dealing with him.
4. If all else fails, there is not much you can do after that. You can defy him and be destroyed, or you can go along with his deal. I am very sorry if this happens to you.

Easily, the most famous manikin in fairy lore was "Rumpelstiltskin." In the case of that story, the manikin actually tries to portray himself as a savior to a woman by preventing the king from chopping her head off. She agreed to his assistance, but she must give him her first born. She attempts to change the deal, and he agrees to her terms. If she can guess his name, she can keep her child. Luckily, she overheard him singing about his name being Rumpelstiltskin. She was able to turn that knowledge against him in such a clever way that he ends up committing suicide simply because he cannot handle the shame of losing.

Manikins can sometimes be called gnomes, but the latter term is not exclusive to this particular creature. Manikins are always evil in fairy lore. They are selfish demon creatures that wish horrible and nasty things on human kind. They still exist today but may not look the same as they did in the olden days. Beware.

Thank you for reading my blog! If you enjoyed it, you can comment below, or you can email me at tkwadeauthor@gmail.com. Beware!

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Fairy Tale Spotlight: The Witch

Witches are real. I am not talking about the ones who bite the head off chickens and dress all goth. The contemporary farce called Wicca or Pagan Witchcraft is nothing more than a club where social rejects go to feel like they belong. I am not even afraid of them. No. Real witches fill me with true fear, and I greatly believe that we are better off without them.

Fairy Tales are full of witches. Just about every famous author of the genre has done something with them. Often they are haggish and ill-tempered viragoes that the protagonist has an unfortunate run-in with. Other times, they can be quite beautiful; however, the latter can sometimes be the result of a simple illusion.

In many of the Grimm tales, the witch is usually stumbled upon and engages the protagonist with a trap. She will often attempt to force the victim into being her slave because she is too lazy to keep her place tidy. She may also send the victim out on a quest that cannot be overcome in order to ensnare them for their failure.

The whole idea of the witch is that they are bitter women who turn to magic to take out their hate and anger on the world around them. They care about nobody else but themselves. Even if they have a proper daughter, they will treat her like a piece of property. I have met people like that in real life, but they don't have magic. Thank goodness! Needless to say, witches are bad, and the hero of the story should do everything in their power to put them out of business.

Sometimes the witch is a person in power. In "Snow White," the witch is actually a queen. She is even naturally beautiful, but vanity has a way of sullying ones perception of the truth. She envies Snow White's beauty even though such a thing is ultimately pointless. Here, the witch is so desperate to destroy an innocent for her own ego, she casts a spell to make herself hideous--as to trick Snow White into eating a poisonous apple. As a kid, I thought this transformation was permanent, and it made me wonder why someone would go through such lengths to appease themselves.

In the Oz universe, L.Frank Baum introduced us to the ideal of good and bad witches. This has been latched onto by people ever since the book and movie came out. Very popular with feminists. That was actually the idea too. Interestingly, the whole concept of good and bad witches were dropped just a few books later. The word witch was soon vilified. Glinda was thereafter refereed to as a sorceress, where evil Mombi was the resident witch. I'm sorry, but I agree with this decision. Witches bad. Witches always bad.

Today, witches live among us. They know magic and use it against those they consider a threat. They are haggish and ugly and have to use either spells or a hell of a lot of makeup to hide the truth. We do not see them because we do not believe them. We point at Wiccans and shrug, but the truth is less obvious. Witches are a part of our fairy lore since the beginning of time, and the reason they are is because they have always been among us. They are villains, and we still need heroes to take them out.


No, I'm serious.

Thank you for reading my blog! If you enjoyed it, you can comment below, or you can email me at tkwadeauthor@gmail.com. Yes, I'm really serious!

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Fairy Tale Spotlight: The Princess

Although there are exceptions, the fairy tale princess has generally been the prize for the prince at the very end of the story. If she is the protagonist, her fate often still ends in marriage. The purpose of this spotlight is to showcase the protagonist princess in a similar light to the prince. We'll talk about normal women who become princesses at a later date.

Sometimes, the princess of a kingdom--generally the daughter of a king--must go out on an adventure. There are a number of reasons why she should do this, because in all honesty, that sort of business is not commonly expected of a princess. The most common reason is love. Whether the king approves or not, sometimes the princess will go out of her way to save the one she loves. Sometimes, she will make many sacrificed to make this happen such as never speaking a word for 3 years.

Many of these stories involve the princess being reduced to the state of a vagabond in order to complete her quest. She may live like a beggar looking for a clue that may lead to her lover. In most cases, the old stories do not favor princesses very much. At the very least, she will find the one she loves and achieve a pleasant life as a wife.

If anyone has read more than the first Oz book, they would have heard of a princess named Ozma. This character breaks many of the tropes of the Grim stories. She was a true princess being the daughter of the former king of oz, King Pastoria. Ozma represented everything it was to be a women while at the same time going on grand adventures throughout the land of Oz. I've read 19 of these stories so far and she is tossed out there quite often. Ironically, when a prince ends up proposing to her, she was entirely uninterested.

The point of this spotlight is to show that princesses do sometimes get out and do some of the dirty work, but I am happy when they do. I personally think anyone who strives with all their might for something good deserves it--whether they be man or woman. Don't get me wrong, I think the whole damsel in distress genre is a great trope, but remember that the characters are the ones who drive the story forward. If a woman has the gumption to stand up and be a true heroin, then there is nothing wrong with letting it inspire you.

On one final note, I recommend you all see the new Wonder Woman movie that came out this year. It is a good example of what I've been talking about. I don't want to spoil it, but needless to say, she is a princess and she is most certainly not the one in distress. Enjoy!

Thank you for reading my blog! If you enjoyed it, you can comment below, or you can email me at tkwadeauthor@gmail.com. Thanks!

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Fairy Tale Spotlight: The Prince

There are a lot of stories where the lead protagonist is a prince. Even though the term prince can be a number of things, it is often the son of a king in these stories. Grimm stories often simply refer to them as "a king's son" for this very reason. So many of them begin with someone of great wealth and influence, but there is so much more to it than just a rich guy.

I don 't know everyone who reads these spotlights, but I'm going to assume that most of you are not royalty. So, why do so many fairy tales have us trying to relate to people in high places? Why do we even put up with that? Well, why not? There's nothing wrong from seeing things from alternate perspectives. And besides, these princes are usually not allowed to just throw money at their problems.

In these stories, the king is still the absolute power in the region. The prince is still subject to his rule and can even be executed when committing a wrong. Grimm stories often make this point very clear. Even though the prince is wealthy, he still has to work through his problems by his own wit. That often means leaving the safety of his castle. The moment he does this, he is like any other man, only better educated than your standard peasant.

The prince's job in these stories is to strive for heroism. He has to be extremely clever to outwit the monsters of the world. The end goal should be to save a damsel and inherit either his own kingdom or another tied to the woman. The Grimm stories were very predictable as to the latter.

There are also stories where the prince would give up his riches and become a vagabond. He would live as a peasant and search for adventure. As usual, he would find a woman who he loved, and once she is removed from danger, he would break his disguise and bring her home to be married. Well, I suppose it's good to have your wealth to fall back on, but understand that he has to overcome an important struggle before he is allowed to to that. Otherwise, it would be considered cheating.

A lot of people today don't like glorifying the rich. They just want to see them as spoiled people who never know anything of the dangers of the world. There IS some truth in that; however, that doesn't mean that someone with wealth cannot be noble as well. If we entirely had thrown out the idea of a rich hero, we wouldn't have cool properties like Batman and Iron Man. Rich is not exclusively corrupt. Corrupt is corrupt. Let's put these men to the test and see how they fair in this world before we cast judgement against them. Think about it.

Thank you for reading my blog! If you enjoyed it, you can comment below, or you can email me at tkwadeauthor@gmail.com. Thanks!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Fairy Tale Spotlight: The Wise Woman

If you read a large number of the Grimm fairy tales like I did, you may occasionally run into a character known only as a wise woman. This description is a little vague, but the author sticks to it as if calling her that is of vast importance. So what does it mean?

There is a common modus operandi between these wise women. For one, she seems to be heavily in the know as pertaining to the character who meets her. The latter knowledge could be his corporeal situation or a spiritual one. She often materializes as an old, raggedy woman which is intended to fool the character into thinking she is a person of no consequence. Often she will be encountered having some sort of problem such as needing food or having difficulty getting something due to her age and feebleness. This is actually a test to see is the person meeting her is of good character. They will either assist her or be snide. Often, both scenarios happen in the same story.

Whatever the case, if you pass her test, she will help you, and if you fail, you will be severely punished. The good men will usually obtain a princess as a wife as well as the kingdom, and the cruel person often suffers a fate worse than death such as having bugs crawl out of his mouth whenever he talks. Death is also a possible fate, however.

The quick and dirty assumption is that she is a witch. A good witch perhaps. She possesses the powers to do both good and terrible things but does them based on the moral character of those she meets. A more likely possibility is that she is simply a fairy, and there have been instances where this eventually comes out. Most of the time, however, her identity is not given.

Another possibility given to me by my fellow author Shawn O'Toole is that she could represent the Holy Spirit. That would make her a carnal representation of justice acting upon those she meets in real time. I found this interpretation very interesting.

I am one of those crazy guys who believe in fairy tales. I believe that people were inspired by real events and invented stories that were ultimately oral tradition versions of those incidences. People in days of old may have actually met this wise woman in person. Heck, she might even still be walking about today. Remember that if you are ever asked by a cripple, old lady to help pick up her purse.

The only thing left to mention is that there have been a couple times where the story depicts the character as a wise man. They are the same thing with a different sex. However, the majority of the stories had her as a woman. When all is said and done, just don't be a jerk for no good reason. Strong spiritual forces may deem you unworthy and cast swift judgement upon you. Not good.

Thank you for reading my blog! If you enjoyed it you can comment below, or you can email me at tkwadeauthor@gmail.com. Thank you!

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Fairy Tale Spotlight: The Journey

The name of this spotlight might sound like something more abstract. However, I mean it literally this time. Many fairy tales involve journeys. I would go so far as to say it is likely the most prominent aspect of them. I have read a huge number of these stories, and a journey is almost always a requirement.

If you have ever read an Oz book--seriously, any one of them--there will be a journey involved. The general formula has the characters set out on a quest to get something. save someone, find a missing person, or just get a new set of brains. Along the way, they have various encounters with some of the many oddities found within the land of Oz. It is my experience that most of these places are based on some singular principle... or just a pun. We'll deal with these places with more focus on later spotlights. Whatever the case, the characters overcome the trials of these locations and move on with their journey.

Another great example is J.R.R. Tolkien's "Lord of the Rings" books. Anyone who has read these books or seen the movies know all about how dangerous some journeys can be. I mean... those hobbits really had a hard road compared to Dorothy. "Lord of the Rings" showed a far grimmer world for the characters to travel through, but the journey was just as important there as it was in Oz. One was just a bit friendlier.

In the Grimm stories, journeys happen all the time; however, they are heavily truncated because the stories are short. Most of the time, these journeys happen with singular characters, and the places they go to can range from the silly to the extremely dangerous. Nevertheless, the hero prevails against these trials and ends up with a princess and a kingdom.

Okay, now we will allow ourselves to get a bit more abstract. Life is a journey. Yes, I really just said that, but it is actually true. We go through life and bump into strange villages with people that don't understand us. We have to overcome these trials and do so by being who we were meant to be... not simply who we are. If you only act as you are, you might as well stop the journey at the first village you visit. Don't even get me started on climbing mountains to drop an evil ring into a pit of lava. You'll never even get that far if you can't overcome at least most of your inborn traits. It's all about adapting and evolving with the trials sent your way... and also never stopping... no matter what.

But don't you ever wonder why you never run into the stuff the characters do for real? I, for one, would love to run into a city with talking foxes in it. In my published book "Ava in Fairyland," I had such a place--it was called Foxania--and I have fantasized about visiting it for real. I know that the place does not exist, and it never will for so long as the world retains much of its cynicism. We can enjoy stuff like that only in books at the moment. But I mean it when I say that such things are genuinely attainable. It simply takes creative minds and enough people to both want it and care deeply to make it happen. Disney World is a great example of this in action. God is not the only creator after all.

Next time you pick up a fairy tale, try to imagine as deeply as you can what the journey happening in that book is really like. If you don't feel like reading, just make one up and take the whole thing step-by-step in your mind. Not all at once. Maybe when you are bored or lying down before going to sleep. If you really like the idea, jot it down. No pressure. Just do with it what you like and make it your own. You may be surprised where that journey takes you.

Thank you for reading my blog! If you enjoyed it, you can comment below, or you can email me at tkwadeauthor@gmail.com. We're off to see the wizard!

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Another World

Okay, I need you to listen up for a bit. Take a deep breath. Relax. Let the world around you fade for just the time it takes to read this blog. I know how easy it is to be cynical in the world we live in. Not a lot of it seems very friendly outside of your closest circle, and even then, there is a sense of danger. I want you to let all that go for a moment and just treat yourself to a heaping spoonful of fantasy.

It's easy to imagine fantasy, but it is very hard to see it in your own life. Fairy tales often paint pictures of brave heroes and also villains that must be dealt with. And often these villains are dispatched by the end of the story. What do you think about that? Do you often wish you could stand up to villains and best them at every turn? Like I said before, just take a deep breath. I want you to just imagine it and soak in the idea as if it was a reality. Let's enjoy it for a little while.

Let's take the box we often live in and just bust open the sides. What's left? A wide open world with many amazing, fantastic, and dangerous places to go to. You don't really have a job. You seek your own fortune. You travel anywhere you want to go and meet interesting people along the way. When you encounter evil, you fight it. You even win those battles. You fight because it is the right thing to do. I mean, what else are you going to do that day--go to work?

Now, let's take this a little further. Imagine if there were more good people in the world than bad. Yes, there is still evil, but there are enough good people to keep them from becoming a problem. How does being in an "all-good" world make you feel? Do you feel like you have more freedom? Are you... bored? Do you prefer the previous imbalance? How about we look at this as an opportunity rather than a curse. Take the opening and start doing everything you ever wanted to do. You may be surprised where it will go.

Imagine if fairy tales were real. Even convince yourself, if just for a moment, that they really are real. What are you going to do next? Are you going to make a great journey? Are you going to build a new town with the help if some helpful fairies? Will you make friends with some gnomes? How do you feel about talking animals? What if you had a mouse companion that gave you critical advice as you tried to solve a mystery? Does that sound appealing?

Now, I know none of this is real. I know you open your eyes and see only bad things in this world. Hear me out: That doesn't mean you have to dismiss any of this. You don't have to let any of this go. There is the life you live and the life you can life for. I'm genuinely sorry for what you are going through. But I must ask you to try and hold on to what good you can, because that good is the essence of that other world I have been talking about. And most importantly, it is real in the truest sense. I'm serious. It's real. It's even to some degrees tangible.

Where we go from here in these blogs shall be into these strange unseen lands. I shall be bringing to you a new spotlight series that goes into the wonderful world of the fairy tail, and in doing so, I shall also be pointing out the reality of these tales. We will dive as deeply as we can go. We will explore all the different angles and bends, every pathway and portal. I welcome you to an entire new spotlight series: The Fairy Tail Spotlight!

Thank you for reading my blog! If you enjoyed it, you can comment below, or you can email me at tkwadeauthor@gmail.com. Thank you!