Removed from Amazon: Read it here for free

My novelette, Tragic Kingdom of Authorial Ghosts was unpublished today. It is no longer for sale at Amazon. Instead, part one of the novelette can be read here at this website. Find it at the Heaven Bound in Anaheim page. Parts two and three will be published in the coming weeks (saves me the trouble of writing posts).

Down the road, in the fullness of time, the aforementioned novelette will become book one of a novel tentatively entitled, Heaven Bound in Anaheim which I hope to release as a hard bound book.

The Snow Queen Becomes Frozen

In my last post I’d mentioned that I’d started thinking about Book III in the Tragic Kingdom of Authorial Ghosts novelette (destined to grow into a novel). But there is much research to be done before I can begin that book, so I launched into writing Book IV which requires only a little research. It’s a child friendly fantasy set in Fantasyland’s Storybook Land.

The miniature landscape of the  Storybook Land has always delighted me. Over the years the company has added to the land and it now includes with the children’s storybook classics the lands from the movies, Aladdin and Frozen. The little homes and castles of those tales are as charming to view as any of the other miniature sets. I won’t nitpick their inclusion in Storybook Land. The point of this post is to bring up something the creators of Frozen left out.

Wikipedia used the verb ‘inspired’ to describe the connection of the two stories, “Inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s, The Snow Queen, the film tells the story of…” Evidently, what didn’t inspire the writers was God and the Bible. Mention of these are to be found in the Andersen fairytale. It might be that the Wikipedia article writer should find another verb to describe the process by which the fairytale became the movie.

In The Snow Queen, Greta and Kay (a boy) recite the Lord’s Prayer in the beginning of the story. At the happy ending the grandmother quotes Matthew 18:3, “Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become as little children, you will not enter the Kingdom of heaven.”

I will explore how this instruction by Jesus to his disciples relates to the plot in The Snow Queen in next week’s part two of this post. To be fair to the creators of Frozen, they left a bunch of other stuff out. Understandably, the fairytale’s robber-maiden got dropped. She’s a little girl who likes to take her dagger and sadistically draw it across the throat of a talking reindeer kept chained to the wall. She also sleeps with the dagger. So, obviously she was never going to be in the film. Other story elements that never made the journey from fairytale to the big screen: the plot, and all the characters, especially the goddess like Snow Queen herself.

The aforementioned talking reindeer had to lose his power of speech and his magical ability to travel vast distances, but given the name Sven and made into a beast of burden he might be said to have made the cut – sorta, kinda.

There are two story elements the fairytale and the movie definitely share: snow and ice.

Mark Twain and Tomorrowland

The second book in my novel, Tragic Kingdom of Authorial Ghosts, is nearly done, at least the first draft is. Even before I knew how to end book two, I began thinking about book three which will take place in Tomorrowland. The plot and characters are vaguely determined in my mind, and I’m looking forward to writing it. The subject seemed problematic because Tomorrowland has been regarded as problematic by its creators and fans. Walt Disney, according to the Disneyland Encyclopedia, referred to it as “Todayland”. It was incomplete on opening day and has undergone two make-overs or reinventions. On YouTube there are a couple of videos by a Disneyland fan, Mystic Journeys, that explore the subject. Here’s one of them:

Gadzookery 3: Jolly for Bully; and the Censor’s Discretion

In 1867 Samuel Clemens along with an editor friend, Charles Henry Webb, censored a manuscript he wanted to flog to New York publishers. Or maybe it was all Webb’s doing. Ron Power in Mark Twain: A Life reports that Samuel later claimed the latter. Anyway, the substitutions, according to Mr. Powers were,   “…aimed at purging the most extreme of the rough-and-ready words and phrases that had been his natural coinage in the West.”* Continue reading