Monthly Archives: November 2018

Nov 28

The story behind Fairies and Fireflies

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The stories in the Fairies and Fireflies collection:

  • Sunflower (a reprint of the story from Dragons and Dreams)
  • Pussy Willow
  • Firefly
  • Honey Bees
  • The Littlest Firefly
  • Urusk
  • Urusk and the Fairy

In Dragons and Dreams, there’s a story called Sunflower about a lonely Butterfly Fairy who wanted a pet. She used her magic to make a kitten out of a sunflower, but it turned out that the kitten was huge compared to the tiny Butterfly Fairy. Ultimately, she found a lonely little human girl and gave the sunflower kitten to her.

I got a note back from an early reader who asked whether the Butterfly Fairy ever got herself a proper kitten, so I wrote Pussy Willow, where Butterfly Fairy uses a pussy willow to make a kitten just the right size for her. When Willow got into some trouble with some fireflies and Butterfly Fairy rescued her, both of them made new friends. Urisk, which means “brownie” in Scots Gaelic, seemed like he’d make another good resident of the Wide Wild Field. Lois McMaster Bujold, an excellent author of science fiction and fantasy, always asks herself, “What is the worst thing I could do to this character?” Since brownies do most of their work at night when everybody is asleep, I thought of a brownie who was afraid of the dark. To get around this, he makes friends with a firefly. When I finished writing Urisk’s stories, it turned out that I had another collection of bedtime stories.

The Littlest Firefly was another teaching story written for my daughter. Even in preschool, she felt different from the other children and was bullied or ostracized for being different. The Littlest Firefly is about a firefly who never flashes light in time with any of the other firefly communities. The story is about being true to yourself and trust that somewhere out there is a tribe where you can fit in and still be your real self.

Nov 09

The story behind Dragons and Dreams

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Dragons and Dreams is a collection of six fairy tales that I wrote for my children:

  • A Princess for Tea
  • The Grumpy Dragon:
  • Sunflower
  • The Dark
  • The Third Precious Thing
  • Child of Promise

I’m often asked which of my books is my favorite. While one isn’t supposed to have favorites among one’s “children,” I do, and it’s Dragons and Dreams.

The stories in Dragons and Dreams were created to tell my children at bedtime. When I think of this book, I feel two little bodies snuggled next to me as I tell them the stories. After a while, I’d forget the exact wording, and my kids would correct me. “That’s not how the story goes, Mommy!” So I wrote them down to have the exact words each time I told them the story. Many years later the self-publishing revolution came about and I thought, Why not? If my kids loved these stories, maybe other kids will too. And that’s how all this started.

Each of the stories in this collection relates to an event in my children’s life.

A Princess for Tea was written for fun, with a sly undercurrent about the importance of proper research. Now as adults, both David and Tori are research junkies, just like their mother and father.

The Grumpy Dragon was written for Tori, who never wanted to go to bed. Once she was in bed, she didn’t want to stay there. Twenty years later, Tori still bugs me to write the sequel.

Tori loves cats and, once upon a time, she had a large, squishy yellow-and-orange stuffed cat named Sunflower. The story Sunflower explained how the stuffed toy cat came to have such un-catlike colors.

I wrote The Dark to give David and Tori a different story about the dark than the boogie man or monsters in the closet. I wrote it after seeing the play The Blue Bird by Maurice Maeterlinck. I was dissatisfied by the play and wanted to do something different with the idea. As The Dark evolved, it turned out that the two stories have very little to do with each other except a vague quest by two children. I like my version better.

The Third Precious Thing is my attempt at a classic fairy tale. In it, the king’s three sons are sent out to wander through the kingdom, and at the end of the year, they are to bring the most precious thing they find. Very few ever understand the real reason the old king chooses the one he did. It’s just a little quiet chuckle to myself.

Child of Promise was written when my son started having issues around being adopted. The idea behind Child of Promise is simple: Every child is the child of promise.

Nov 09

The Story Behind…

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Why write The Story Behind?

Hi! I’m Becca, and I write fairy tales. Over the next few months I will be posting a brief essay every two weeks that tells the story behind my stories. Some people have asked me where I get the inspiration for my stories, stories, so I wrote it down for your enjoyment.