Recently I started reading the Blue Fairy Book by Andrew Lang. It's from his colored fairy books series. It was recommended to me by one of my teachers at Hollins University, and I am super excited about it. Clearly all of the stories contain fairies, some play significant parts and some have not so significant parts. As I've said before, I really enjoy the hardbound classics from Barnes and Noble so when I saw this edition I grabbed it. So excited! I expected it to be like Grimm's or Hans Christian Anderson, but it is definitely not. Some of the stories are very silly, and they’re written in modern English, so they’re very easy to read.
Last night I read a story about a prince named HYACINTH, which immediately made me think of the British sitcom Keeping up Appearances, and I couldn't stop giggling. Hyacinth Bucket (who insists her last name be pronounced Bouquet) is a social-climbing snob and absolutely hilarious. Anyway, Prince Hyacinth (bahaha) is born with a big nose. I am talking HUGE. However, everyone in the kingdom tells him it's handsome, and they hang paintings all through the castle of people with huge noses. When he finally goes out in search of his princess, and people start staring at him, he's thrown off a little. Eventually he finds his princess, but she is kidnapped and he seeks the help of a fairy. This fairy has a very, very small nose. Throughout the entire time they speak with one another, she constantly refers to his schnoz. Eventually, the prince finds the princess locked up in a glass castle and tries to kiss her through the glass but can't because—you guessed it—that big nose. Once he admits that his nose is ginormous, the fairy breaks the spell, and the glass castle disappears. It was a great story, short and hilarious, because it dealt with something as simple as a nose.
This is what got me thinking. Fairy tales are absolutely wonderful, but how many of us go back to the simplicity of things. Big noses are funny. Runny noses are funny. Noses in general are pretty hilarious if you use them to your advantage. No matter how old someone is, that humor from first grade is still hanging around inside them somewhere, so why not play on it?
So here is a writing challenge: Create a story. There must be a fairy, it must be silly, and it must use some body part. Go back to the basics. Sometimes we make writing too hard on ourselves and forget that we are writers in the first place because writing is a part of it. Once you put pen to paper and the words start coming, it's a cakewalk. Don't overthink, don't erase. Just have fun. And remember the hilarious Prince Hyacinth and his big nose.
Courtney Warren is a writer for her local newspaper, as well as a graduate student at Hollins University where she is pursuing a degree in Children’s Literature. She has a bachelor’s degree from Delta State University, the home of the Fighting Okra (which she is incredibly proud of). She loves to read just about anything placed on the shelves but has a special place in her heart for the Harry Potter series.
When she is not writing about herself in third person, she loves to write stories about middle schoolers with spunky attitudes who intend to save the world, as well as drinking Earl Grey tea from a very prissy teacup.
Check out her blog, Tea, the Spirit, & a Pen.