Showing posts from November, 2014

Amputation in Fairy Tales

                            The Red Shoes: The Archers/J Arthur Rank, 1948 The other night, I was watching the classic 1948 film, The Red Shoes.  When the film was over, I decided to read up on the original tale by Hans Christian Anderson, which brought me back to the subject of amputation in fairy tales. When I was writing my novel, Silver Hands (based on Grimm's fairy tale, The Handless Maiden) I had to think carefully about how I was going to approach amputation in my re-telling.  I decided early on that, in my version, the hands were not going to grow back as they do in my source tale.  The 2012 Paralympics made everyone in my country much more aware of the achievements of amputees.  In real life, limbs do not grow back; what can grow, however, is confidence and new abilities.  This was what I wanted to portray in Silver Hands.  Margaret learns new skills in painting and calligraphy, and gains the self-confidence to face up to Van Guelder, only after amputation.  She loses her

Steampunk in Haworth

I don't know about you, but I do like a bit of steampunk.  I've written a few steampunk stories in my time, including The Marvellous Machine and Sense of Duty.  But I've never actually been to a steampunk event until today, when I decided to pay a visit to Haworth Steampunk Weekend.  It was a great chance to get free entertainment, shop for Christmas presents, and walk round one of my favourite local tourist spots in one of my (many) more flamboyant outfits, and still feel underdressed! Unbelievably for Haworth in November, it was nice enough to eat lunch outdoors, while being serenaded by a band that included a sousaphone.  (Nobody can be uncheered by a sousaphone).  There was a craft fair, as well as all the usual Howorth shops.  But the best fun was to be had looking at people's outfits, which ranged from a mere nod towards steampunk fashion to fantastic creations that had obviously taken a lot of time and money to make.  One lady had a dress that was

My Christmas Wish List

It's now the time of year when people usually start to ask the famous question, "What do you want for Christmas."  Usually, for me, it's books and films.  What more can anyone ask than a story that takes you away to a magical time and place?  Last week, I discovered that three animated films I had been waiting to be released have already been longlisted for Oscars.  One is already on DVD.  They're from three different countries and are all totally magical, and my wish  is now to see them all before next Christmas. 1.  Jack and the Cuckoo-Clock Heart. I have been waiting for this one ever since I read the book it's based on - The Boy With the Cuckoo-Clock Heart by Mathias Malzieu (original title: La Mécanique du Coeur) .  The English translation of the book came out in 2009, so it's been some wait... 2.  Song of the Sea This beautiful Irish film is made by the same people as The Secret of