Story # 6, The Big Book of Classic Fantasy

I arrived in Genoa. I trod the pavement of my ancestral palace. My proud step was no interpreter of my heart, for I deeply felt that, though surrounded by every luxury, I was a beggar . . . We kept nightly orgies in Palazzo Carega. To sleepless, riotous nights, followed listless, supine mornings.

Transformation, by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (1797 – 1851)

This is one Mary Shelley story self is not familiar with. Interesting that she chose to write it from a man’s point of view (Oh wait, isn’t Frankenstein also written from a man’s point of view? It is! So are all Shelley’s stories written from a man’s point of view? What’s up with that?)

This is an extremely long story. Self has been reading it the whole day, and she’s still not done.

Oh, hello, what have we here? The MC encounters a dwarf squatting on top of a treasure chest, on a wild and lonely stretch of beach. All the dwarf wants is the loan of the MC’s “fit and handsome” form for three days. Then he will grant the MC his dearest wish (which is to abduct his fiancée and murder her father?)

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Photographing Public Art Challenge (PPAC) # 4

Self hasn’t been consistent in posting to this challenge, as she’s been on a road trip. She’s so glad she had time today. It really is one of her favorite Photo Challenges. Thanks so much to Cee Neuner and Marsha Ingrao for co-hosting this challenge.

For this post, she decided to focus on store window displays.

Store Window # 1: Carmel-by-the-Sea

Store Window # 2: Dublin Ink, Temple Bar, Dublin

Store Window # 3: Claire Garvey Design Studio, Cows Lane, Dublin

Luck of the Bean-Rows, Hurrah!

Story # 5 in The Big Book of Classic Fantasy is by Charles Nodier (1780 – 1844) and it features a main character who is two-and-a-half feet high and is called Luck of the Bean-Rows (love the name!) because his beans grow so fat.

When he is twelve, his parents send him off to town to find a market for his magnificent beans (and also to see the world), and before long he encounters a tiny princess, Pea-Blossom, who lends him one of her hundreds of tiny carriages to ride in.

  • “The springs of this carriage are a trifle lively,” he thought to himself (he was nimble-witted, remember); “it started off on its giddy race before Pea-Blossom could tell me whither I was bound. I don’t see why this journey should not last for ages and ages, for that lovely princess, who is young enough to be something of a madcap, told me how to start the carriage, but had no time to say how I was to stop it . . . It sped from the tropics to the poles and back from the poles to the tropics, across all the parallels and meridians, quite unconcerned by the unhealthy changes of temperature.”

Loving this story. Hopefully it will not end on a cliff-y, like that “Hard Nut” story by E. T. A. Hoffmann.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

July #TreeSquare Challenge # 17: Ocean Beach Again

Self will never tire of looking at these pines overlooking Ocean Beach. You can see the direction of the wind in their branches, even on a perfectly still day.

The #TreeSquare Challenge is the brainchild of Becky at The Life of B. Ever so grateful to her for hosting.

Nutcrackerkin

Still on Story # 3 in The Big Book of Classic Fantasy: The Story of the Hard Nut, by E. T. A. Hoffman

After 15 years of hard looking, Drosselmeier, the Court Watchmaker finds the hard nut, Krakatuk.

Not only has he found the hard nut, he has found a man who is up to the job of cracking it open, thereby saving Princess Perlipat from permanent ugliness (A mouse sat on her face, never mind it’s a long story). This man is “the gilder’s son . . . a handsome, well-grown lad” who, “besides having his hair beautifully powdered and curled,” is known for his “gallantry” in cracking nuts “for young ladies,” so much so that he has earned the nickname Nutcrackerkin.

This information immediately fills the court watchmaker with joy, because now he can return to court without fearing he will be beheaded by the King. But, just to make sure the young man is up to the task, he decides he needed to reinforce the young man’s underjaw “with a tough piece of wood.” So Drosselmeier equips the young man with “a wooden jaw” and has him practice “cracking the hardest peachstones,” which he does quite easily.

Self can hardly wait to see how Nutcrackerkin does with Krakatuk once he is in the presence of the King! There is no time to waste: the Princess Perlipat’s ugliness has advanced to such a degree that she now has “a woolly beard, which spread over” her mouth and chin.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

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