Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Concerning Wings

     But guys.

     Wings are such a cool concept

    I want story that contains a society in which having wings is normal, and, being normal, are reduced to the normality of other appendages. For example, one could tap someone on the shoulder with the tip of one's wing to get their attention, since wings are usually longer than arms are and make excellent instruments of poking. Or one could work out to get stronger wings to fly longer distances. Because it takes an incredible amount of muscle power to even fly a short distance and only the fit people could likely fly very far.

     Perhaps one would have wings that match one's personality; like the nerdy professor has owl like wings. Or contradict; the macho weightlifter has sparkly pink wings.


     (And no, I did not steal this from a popular Tumblr post. I'm just overly excited.)

     After abandoning the draft of this post for several weeks, I started thinking about how I apply this weird enthusiasm to a story. Thus, the obvious came to mind: fairies.

     When I was little I loved fairies. I had multiple fairy dolls, costumes, and some tiny figurines I had to use extra care with because they were just so fragile. Much like the fairies themselves. And humans, too, but we don't often realize how fragile we are, possibly because we, unlike fairy figurines, don't have breakable plastic wings.

     I firmly believed in them until I was four or five, I think. Though I stopped believing in them, I don't think I ever really stopped liking them (a short, induced tomboy stage aside). Liking my perception of them, I mean. True, I shifted interests to more "grown up" fantasy creatures and concepts--Tolkien's elves, for example. (I won an argument with my teacher once, concerning whether or not Gandalf was a Maia, bringing in the Silmarillion to back me up. But that's bragging, and a rather boring story on my end of things.)

     But why are the fairy stories always included or written towards the juvenile side of things? (Well, unless you count the side of people who actually believe in them and in magic....and produce books that reflect such things....I am not one of those people. Just a disclaimer.) The fairy legends are so dark; I don't understand why the creatures are included in children's stories as the sparkling embodiments of hope and caffeine. If one were to meet an actual fairy portrayed in many of the legends, it wouldn't be a dream come true. One would grab one's iron implement of choice or hold in shaking hands one of the plants said to repel fairies, or take the wiser route and run away screaming. (It's rather useless to bargain with or beg for mercy from the demonic embodiment of mischief.) Why are they relegated to the juvenile side of American media? (I'm looking at you, '90s-early 2000s Barbie fairy movies. WHY DO YOU EXIST, and why did eight year old me like you so much. If I watched you now it would be to mock you, unless it was the one in which Tom Hiddleston voice acts the villain. In that case I'd watch it to hear Tom Hiddleston sing. And no, that's not an endorsement. I merely wish everyone to be made aware of the fact that TOM HIDDLESTON AKA ONE OF THE MOST COMPLICATED MARVEL VILLAINS AND AN ACCLAIMED SHAKESPEAREAN ACTOR IS A VOICE ACTOR IN A FAIRY MOVIE.) Is it because our young nation lacks the centuries-in-the-brewing superstitious lore that Europe is steeped in? Have we all been brainwashed by the American media to expect pastel hyperness? Is the Illuminati hiding some key secret to the human psyche that could unravel the very fabric of the universe if it was discovered and exploited??

     Also, why is there so little variety in fairy stories (at least in America). why are there no fairy dystopias? And few modern fairy stories? (Forgive the homeschoolism if I'm missing a wildly popular book or series that includes fairies in a modern setting. Perhaps Artemis Fowl is an obvious example, but I know next to nothing about it besides the fact it exists.) Why does a human always have to save the fairy world? Why do fairies always tend to speak in high pitched voices? Why are they so darn cheerful all the time? Where are their personalities outside of cliche niches and terrible song lyrics? Why do humans have to save extraordinarily powerful magical beings from the Dark Powers? If the fairies can't handle it then why could a human, usually an angsty human teenager, possibly expect to be taken seriously? Why is everything saved through the Power of Friendship, which is the True Magic All Fairies Seem to Forget About? Why do people forget about the changelings? Why do people romanticize changelings? Why aren't there any emo fairies??

     (Wait, wait; I remembered an exception to some of the cliches: N. D. Wilson's 100 Cupboards books. Go read them. The first one's slow but the foreshadowing is beautiful. And no, I'm not getting paid to endorse it. And yet I still endorse it.)

     But that's the only series I can think of at the moment that takes an not commonly taken spin on fairies. All that's coming to mind are the memories of childhood movies and stereotypes and cliches. (Though cliches can be useful, which is a rant for another time.) I've heard these things are better in Britain--yet another reason why I should Forget About the Silly Notion of Education and Move to Scotland. Anyway, despite the fact that Sylvester's story has a deadline attached to it now, and Tinumali's story is simmering in the proverbial back of my mind, begging to be written....

     I wanna write a fairy story.

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