Long-time and thorough readers of Point No Point might recognize my contribution to the talented, lovely, and generous Rita Bay’s new blog feature, Thursday Redux. She invites authors to recycle favorite posts from the past. Mine is from early 2011, following a writing class I took at the amazing Richard Hugo House in Seattle. The workshop explored the fairy tale form as a way of telling stories for all readers, not just children; historically, fairy tales could be quite rough. I’m certain this practice wandered into the manuscript of You, Jane, with its fables that come true in uncontrollable and sometimes harsh ways.
Here’s an excerpt:
One exercise instructed us to take a favorite Disney-style tale and “rough it up,” making it into a more classic, adult-style fable. Well, my favorite Disney movie ever is The Jungle Book; here’s the moment where Mowgli meets Baloo, but, well, we’re not in Disneyworld anymore.
ROUGHING IT UP
One day a bear was out bathing in a stream. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw a creature come toward him that he did not recognize as a usual resident of the jungle. This creature was a human child.
The bear sighed. He knew what would happen, having seen other small human cubs wander loose in the jungle.