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!

Wednesday, June 21, 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!

Wednesday, June 14, 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!