Filk Friday: Fairies Stole My Keys

Friday, April 29, 2011

I'm sure we've all had those days where something we need has come up missing. We might wonder if  a bit of mischief has waylaid our belongings. In this playful song, fairies are the ones responsible for the missing object. Fairies Stole My Keys has a bouncy beat and light hearted lyrics, which makes it fun to sing. I hope you enjoy this song from Emerald Rose as much as I do. You can find it on iTunes if you want your own copy.

The Wish Giver

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

I hope you all had a wonderful week while I was on vacation. I'll be working on catching up on my blog reading over the next few days. For a little something today, here is a book I read years ago and stumbled on again last week at Goodwill down near my mom. The Wish Giver by Bill Brittain is a quaint MG novel about wishing without considering the consequences. Set in New England, it carries the flavor of early Americana stories of strange happenings. 

It's told from the POV of Stew Meat, the owner of the Coven Tree General Store. Thaddeus Blinn promises him and the three youths willing to listen that he can grant them each any one wish for only 50 cents. They aren't sure he really can, but he suckers them into paying him. He gives them each a white card with a red spot on it. All they have to do is press their thumb on the spot and state their wish aloud. But he tells them to give it plenty of thought because he'll never be back again.

"Take great care when you wish," Blinn called after us. "For it will be granted exactly as you ask for it."

Though Stew Meat simply tucks his card away and laughs at himself for nearly believing the wild tale, the youngsters each find themselves willing to try out their cards. Blinn's warning was just as he said, for their wishes come true more directly than they imagined.

Be careful what you wish for.

I can see why The Wish Giver was made a Newbery Honor Book. Though some people get rather funny regarding magic in stories, I think this is well worth reading for the allegory aspect to it. Polly, Rowena, and Adam each learn something about themselves and the people around them. That's where the real story is. The wishes simply highlight each issue, and make them think more about their actions and abilities.

Did anyone else read this when they were growing up?

Filk Friday: The Duke's Eldest Daughter

Friday, April 15, 2011

I'm sure we've all heard quite a few stories where mortal-immortal relationships turn out badly. The Duke's Eldest Daughter has a different ending. Poor Jane was considered unremarkable by her own people but treasured by the elf folk. This song can be found on Freedom, Flight, and Fantasy at Firebird Arts.

I will be on vacation next week. I get to spend some time with my sister-in-law, at least one friend, and my mom. A bunch to pack into one week, especially when they aren't all in the same city, so I won't be posting while I'm gone. I might sneak in some internet time to read a few of your posts, but otherwise I'll see you all when I get back.

Have a great week!

Random blargh with drawing

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

I've frittered away much of the day so far trying to find a decent drawing program for my computer. So far, everything is a fail for what I want a computer program to do. I want to make perfect/nearly perfect nine-pointed stars in many variations. You know, like sunbursts, flowers, long points, and short points. I also want something for creating designs for cross-stitch, needlepoint, and filet crochet. Not all on the same program, mind you. One for the drawing and one for the graphing.

For now, I'll stick with paper to make my stars and charts. ;) I've already charted a small teapot and a 33 square wide 9-point star. The star turned out better than I hoped. If I can add a fairy or dragon to it, I'll have the perfect symbol to combine my Faith with my love of fantasy. Back to the drawing pad, I guess. At least I'm not feeling so blargh anymore. :D

10th Kingdom/Mamma Mia crossover

Friday, April 8, 2011

I was going to attempt a blog hop today, but the one I was watching for hasn't posted the topic yet. So, since I still want to offer something for today, here's something I ran across this evening: clips from 10th Kingdom set to Mamma Mia. I'd been trying to find one of those fan vids, but pretty much everything I'd seen gives away too much of the ending. This one didn't; it's just fun. The song is performed by the A *Teens.

If you haven't seen the 10th Kingdom, you should. The story is fantabulous. It's well worth the 417 minutes to sit through the whole mini series. And watching it on DVD will spare you the agony I had when it came out and being forced to wait a week between each segment. Here is the trailer:

The show more than lived up to the promise. If you need more of a teaser, here is one of my favorite songs from it. It's gorgeous and acted as one of the strongest hooks to pull me in at the beginning.

Three great YA fantasies

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

A couple weeks ago I picked up some crafting books and three YA fantasies. Last week, I made it to the novels. Wonderful. All three of them rang with their own harmonies.

First was Dragon Sword and Wind Child by Noriko Ogiwara. I admit I picked this one because it said dragon. But I really enjoyed how the author used the mythology and setting of ancient Japan to create her world. Saya is thrust into the conflict between Light and Dark and comes to realize that it is not a matter of good versus evil like she'd been taught. She must accept her birthright and figure out the meaning behind an ancient legend regarding the Wind Sword in order to save her world.

For a retelling of a Grimm's fairy tale, Shannon Hale does a great rendition of The Goose Girl. Princess Ani starts off timid, but it's hard to learn confidence or social graces with such a dynamic mother. Nothing is ever good enough. After the king's death, her mother declares her to not be fit as Crown Princess and sends her to their neighboring kingdom as bribe, err, bride to prevent the larger country from carrying out possible plans to invade. But on the journey, Ani's maid stages a coup and usurps Ani's place and her name, sending Ani fleeing for her life. The former princess must learn to both survive and find her strengths in order to save her old home, her new home, the people who've accepted her, and the man she loves. When you wants a cozy fairy tale but with more scope than the typical one, this is a fun read.

Toads and Diamonds by Heather Tomlinson is another fairy tale rendition. This one has the feel of India, something that intrigued me because of my friend Jai. Out of the three, this book was probably my favorite. It has a gorgeous cover: lovely sari fabric and golden bangles above hands decorated with henna tattoos and a large pink blossom cupped between them. In the original tale, one sister is sweetness and light but bossed around and made to do drudge work. One day at a well, she is kind to an old woman who turns out to be magical who grants her the gifts of jewels and flowers dropping from her lips when she speaks. The other sister, in jealousy, goes to the well herself but is haughty to the old woman. As punishment, the magic woman makes toads and snakes to fall from her mouth. The kind sister gets to marry a prince, while the mean sister is driven into the wilderness.

This version is wildly different in how the story happens, beginning with the characters. The sisters love each other, though they each have their unique talents. Diribani isn't used to working so hard, but she tries her best in order to provide for her stepmother and stepsister after her father's death. While fetching water at the well, she is kind to a goddess disguised as an old woman. She is granted the first gift. Tana, her sister, feels unworthy next to Diribani's goodness, so when she meets the goddess herself, she feels she deserves the unpleasant gift. Diribani is taken up by a prince and Tana is forced to leave her home. However, blessings and curses are not always what you expect. A gift may be both. Wisdom, good fortune, or death. Which fate will each girl find?

I recommend all three books, but if you can only find time for one, get your hands on Toads and Diamonds. *mutters* Now to go find Tomlinson's other books.

Filk Friday: filk from Parnell Hall

Friday, April 1, 2011

The next time I go to the library, I really need to remember to look for Parnell Hall's books. Authors who can write filk get a step up in my reading list, and the Puzzle Lady mysteries have sounded neat. Here I have two filk songs that he did: Signing in the Waldenbooks and Kill 'Em.

Signing in the Waldenbooks is about the woes of trying to get noticed once you get published, a humorous lament. The part where he's seated next to Mary Higgens Clark at a con is one of the best parts. Kill 'Em is a guide for writing murder mysteries. He has some great chains of rhyming.