I’ve been thinking about fairy tales lately, mostly because of my trip to Europe. First there was the stork and its incredible nest in France. (See yesterday’s blog for a pic. That nest is big enough to hold a slew of babies.) After that, again in France, a garden with scarecrows dressed up as Red Riding Hood and the Wolf (cleverly disguised as Grandma). 
Next, in Germany, a garden so magical that you can just tell it’s populated with all kinds of otherworldly beings.  I’d never considered writing fairy tales before, but in that very garden, I met the King of the Fairies, who pretty much ordered me to write his story. Here he is. Yeah, yeah, he's pretending to be a cat, but it's not such a great disguise. Look closely at the expression in his ice-blue eyes… Brrr.  He wasn’t helpful about the story itself; apparently that’s being left up to me. I haven’t figured out yet whether the story’s supposed to be for kids, adults, or somewhere in between.

I wanted to catch the cat’s reflection in a gorgeous decorative ball like this one, but he wouldn’t let me, because then I’d know what he really looks like – yet another aspect of his story left up to my imagination. I can make him really, really ugly if I want. If I dare. 

Anyway, this post isn’t just about what I’m supposedly going to write at the behest of the Fairy King, who fortunately is thousands of miles away from me at  the moment (I hope), but about a short story with many fairy tale elements written by my friend Linsey Lanier. Linsey blogs regularly at the Petit Fours and Hot Tamales, and this month they’re doing their October Treasure Hunt. Early this year, Linsey wrote a story called “The Clever Detective,” and now she's written the sequel, “Clever is as Clever Does.” To read the story and participate in the Treasure Hunt, go here. And if you came here from a link in Linsey's story, you know what comes next.

One way to win a prize in the Treasure Hunt is to comment on this blog… So tell me, do you like fairy tales? Do you think they’re just for kids, or are they for adults, too? Should I obey the King's behest, or should I brush him off? If you were going to write about the King of the Fairies, what would he look like?


  1. Scarlet Pumpernickel // October 15, 2010 at 12:48 AM  

    LOL! If I were to write about the Fairy King, he'd look like Mathew McConaughey. But then all my male character's do. Thanks for sharing more of your trip. Yep, Mathew McConaughey with wings would be hot! Oh yes and Orlando Bloom with white hair, there's another image for you. Remember his character from Lord of the Rings?

  2. Joanna St. James // October 15, 2010 at 7:46 AM  

    With eyes like those you better do as the fairy king says if not he'll come and get you. Remeber he can change forms and hop on a plane.

  3. Barbara Monajem // October 15, 2010 at 8:02 AM  

    Scarlet, maybe your version of the king could look like Matthew some days and Orlando others. Just for variety's sake. :)

  4. Barbara Monajem // October 15, 2010 at 8:06 AM  

    Joanna - That's what I'm worried about! Maybe he doesn't even need a plane. Maybe he can beam himself from anyplace to anywhere like in Star Trek. Aak! And if he comes looking like his real self, how will I recognize him? If he looks like Matthew or Orlando, how will I know if it's him or just them?

    LOL. A writer's life is so complicated.

  5. Judy // October 15, 2010 at 8:59 AM  

    Hi, Barabara! What fun! Yes, Fairy Tales are for everyone! I write middle-grade novels and it's such fun to let go and allow the magic to come through!! Good luck with the Treasure Hunt!

  6. Nightingale // October 15, 2010 at 9:15 AM  

    I love stories about fairies. I read one by Tanith Lee that has stuck in my memory. If I wrote about a King of Fairies, he would be tall, slender with waist-length pale blonde hair. His eyes would be golden, his gossamer wings a hazy topaz.

  7. Barbara Monajem // October 15, 2010 at 9:37 AM  

    Judy - I wrote a middle-grade novel when my kids were young -- in fact, it was my first completed book. Lots of fun to just fly in the mist and see where I landed.

  8. Barbara Monajem // October 15, 2010 at 9:37 AM  

    Nightingale - The King of the Fairies already likes you better than he likes me, LOL.

  9. Linsey Lanier // October 15, 2010 at 10:15 AM  

    Hi Barbara. I agree. Europe is the place for inspiring fairy tales. It's magical and mystical. So much history. So much age.... And I think you should obey the King's behest and write one. Can't wait to read it. Let us know when it's available. :)

    Thanks for mentioning my post today. Hope everyone is able to stop by and read my modern fairy tale at http://petitfoursandhottamales.com/2010/10/clever-is-as-clever-does/. Hope it brings a smile to your face. :)

  10. Mona Risk // October 15, 2010 at 10:25 AM  

    Like the good little girl I was, I like fairy tales and I was very scare of wolves. I love Helen Scott-Taylor's fairy tales with sexy male fairies. I am sure I will also love one of yours. Yes, write a fairy tale for adults with a sexy cat.

  11. Barbara Monajem // October 15, 2010 at 11:24 AM  

    Linsey - Your story brought many smiles to my face!! (Both of them, actually. Both stories. Not faces. I only have one of those. I hope.)

  12. Barbara Monajem // October 15, 2010 at 11:25 AM  

    Mona - I agree! Helen Scott-Taylor's stories are wonderful. I'm reading The Phoenix Charm right now.

  13. Mary Marvella // October 15, 2010 at 12:50 PM  

    Afternoon, Barbara. I agree with Scarlet and Linda about his appearance.

    Write the story of he will steal your muse or your sleep or both.

    I adore fairy tales!

    Hey to Lindsey and all! I hope I'm making sense since I'm multitasking and hemming a skirt to wear to the Stone Mountain Ghost tour. I'm part of the tour.

  14. Barbara Monajem // October 15, 2010 at 1:39 PM  

    Ooh, Mary M! Tell us about what you're doing in the tour!

  15. Mary Marvella // October 15, 2010 at 4:20 PM  

    I will definitely tell and share photos.

  16. EC Spurlock // October 15, 2010 at 4:36 PM  

    Hi Barbara,
    What a fabulous trip! The closest I've ever gotten to fairy-tale Europe is Helen. I envy you.

    I think everyone can use a touch of magic at any age. Robin McKinley writes some wonderful updated fairy tales that are suitable for any age. Not to mention Theresa Medeiros' sexy fairy tales also. And I've done fairy tales about the people usually left out of fairy tales, like the middle child.

    By all means, if the Fairy King orders it, it must be so! He's not a good person to cross. I have in fact written about the Fairy King many years ago, in one of the first stories I wrote back in college. I based him loosely on the portrayal of Oberon in the 1930's film version of A Midsummer Night's Dream, and he was essentially a living shadow; you never saw all of him, only a portion at a time, and he was very mysterious and spooky and manipulative.

  17. Barbara Monajem // October 15, 2010 at 4:42 PM  

    EC Spurlock (long time no see!) -- How cool that you've already written about the Fairy King. I never would have considered writing about him if he hadn't suddenly made himself known. I'm sure he's not the ideal guy to cross, but on the other hand, the story might be more interesting if I get him riled up first. Hard to tell!

  18. EC Spurlock // October 15, 2010 at 5:01 PM  

    I've had to put the writing on hold for a while while I was unemployed, and concentrate on things that would pay the bills. I've really missed GRW tho, and tried to keep up with you all on the blogs. Now that things are stabilizing somewhat I've gone back to it; in fact (speaking of fairy tales) I am right now doing revisions on The Ever After Affair and getting ready to resubmit. Wish me luck! And good luck to you as well.

  19. Barbara Monajem // October 15, 2010 at 5:09 PM  

    LOL. We could all use a lot of luck and I wish you loads of it. I love your title, BTW.

  20. EC Spurlock // October 15, 2010 at 8:48 PM  

    Thanks on both counts! It's a fairy tale mystery about a middle child who bucks fate and tradition by going off and starting her own adventure, and gets embroiled in a mystery at the palace that threatens everyone's Happily Ever After. Hence the title.

  21. Scarlet Pumpernickel // October 15, 2010 at 9:52 PM  

    Barbara, I really like the way you think! That is so hot! Matthew one day and Orlando the next. Yes, definitely like that idea.

  22. Beth Trissel // October 17, 2010 at 9:37 AM  

    I loved this post. Wonderful kitty. :)