Author has written 31 stories for Fairy Tales.
Author has written 69 stories and 8 poems for Fairy Tales, actually. If one wanted to be precise.
Hello, I'm Clare. I live in New Zealand ("we spell differently from you, some might say more correctly..."). I have an honours degree in English and Theatre and sometimes am too tired to switch my brain over to normal people speech so forgive me for obscure terms and quotes that might creep in. The origins of my nom de plume is a long and convoluted tale involving French exams, a notorious ostrich smuggler, two aviary-related periodicals, the Thomson and Knowles Collective Novella, and the third equal greatest teacher of mathematics ever.
Oh yeah, and I have an inspiration blog because Elfine had one and it was pretty, so.
Reading, sleeping, Theatre (on stage, backstage or in front of a stage, I'm not picky), going to Disneyland (I've done LA, Paris, and Tokyo, only 2 more to go!). Fairy Tales are my genre of choice and I take the idea of fanfiction quite literally so you'll never find me writing a wholly original fairy tale (at least, I hope not, or I'm going to be looking pretty silly right about now). And it's f-a-i-r-y, I have an intense and inexplicable dislike for the word ... no, I don't want it on my profile, even in protest. I do not like the alternate spelling of fairy; just, no.
A Few of my Favourite Things:
Punctuation: I take it seriously and have been known to compliment people on their artistic use of.
Okay, I'm going to add just one of my not favourite things. It takes me an age and a half to write anything, particularly reviews (yeah, those three paltry lines took about half an hour to come into being), so I do not like being ignored. Even two words 'Thank you' so I know I'm not just talking to the vast vacuumous space that is the intraweb would be appreciated.
The Story So Far:
Han Solo: A retelling of Hansel and Gretel, a fifth form writing assignment (that's 2004 - it shows its age). Modern(ish), dark, and with a supporting cast of alcoholism, police brutality, prostitution and paedophilia - but don't let that put you off. It's actually quite impressive I managed to squish so much repungency, as well as a healthy dollop of angst and self-pity, into only 932 words.
The Princess and the: My little sister refused to let me continue reading until I explained why the princess didn't fall off. At the time, the princess was just strapped down by the helpful ladies-in-waiting, but that's where the idea sprouted form. I added in the original draft, just in case someone was interested (they could be, you don't know!). Yeah, well that's what I say, really it was just so that it moved back to the front pages so more people would read it and give me reviews :sigh: I'm the most despicable review hussy, but they give me such lovely warm fuzzies and really brighten my day (hint hint).
The Prince Who Spoke Gibberish: The title popped into my head, and then it was just a case of fitting it to a fairy tale and then writing the thing. The first of my Sleeping Beauties; so far with references to one sonnet and 3 plays Shakespearean, but there are more coming when I finally overhaul the thing. Somehow I actually considered writing another chapter but was wary to as it would mean mixing Regency-esque with modern and then I'd have had to go into the whole "Carriages without horses? O my! Hold me, Tom; I'm feeling woozy!" which I detest and refuse to write, but if I didn't it would be weird, therefore I could not write it (see how smoothly I talked myself out of that?). Currently (for the last, what? year or so?) the second chapter is being rewritten and vastly improved.
The Contrarian Tales: This sort of jumped out and whacked me over the head, shouting, 'Look at me! Aren't I pretty?' while I was reading Thief of Time by Terry Pratchett (disclaimerdisclaimerdisclaimer). It then proceeded to dance the can-can while humming the Star Wars Theme in two-part harmony. Anyway ... Title is homaging Chaucer, whom I adore (I also adore my brother who taught me the correct usage of 'who' and 'whom'). Sterling renditions of Rapunzel, The Emperor's New Clothes, Hansel and Gretel, Rapunzel again, Sleeping Beauty, Jack and the Beanstalk, The Valiant Tailor (as it happens, my favourite fairytale as a child), The Princess and the Pea, Cinderella, the Twelve Dancing Princesses, and Princess and the Pea again. I updated - I'm as shocked as you.
Ten Kinds of Fool: Sleeping Beauty has so many different and interesting elements, don't you think? This one's concentrating on those princes who didn't make it to the castle. I cannot write songs and am aware of this so for Richard I stole and adapted from the English folk song tradition and Shakespeare respectively - as a point of no particular importance, the The rain it raineth every day I was changing was from Twelfth Night but it also appears in King Lear slightly altered, amended, revised, or what you will. (See what I did there?) It is possible that one day there may be a further two parts sequelling and prequelling this story, if I ever get 'round to finishing them.
Heart of Gold: This is a strange story (and it ends where it ended). In fact it's not a story: it's a feminist statement hidden in a list disguised in the trappings of a story which is mostly sort of the Twelve Dancing Princesses. It's also told in extreme 1st person. But people don't seem to have been confused, I'm so happy. A few vaguely interesting things: Just-be-yourself-true-beauty's-on-the-inside is a relatively modern idea and it's Briony, who has the most modern affliction, who's closest to the little princess; I didn't plan it that way, happy accident. Beth uses lead based makeup, like Queen Elizabeth 1 (that was definitely planned). And Beatrix wears specifically an s-bend corset from the Edwardian period, which is why she throws herself about misquoting George Bernard Shaw.
I’d like to thank Ellen Jacee, slipshod, Die Schildkroten, Bingo7, Rachel, vanderspektacular, InChrist-Billios, Reader in the Corner, Lightzing, and Haven Linn (and my parents, and the Academy) who inadvertently and through no fault of their own made me think perhaps I could send it to a competition, and now it's in an honest-to-goodness actual book; crazy, ne c’est pas? So mysterious visitor to my profile - if you're wondering which story to read, it's this one, this is the actual good one.
The Truth About Sisters: This is a different story – different narrator, different tone, different genre – however, it will barely even make literal sense if you don’t read Heart of Gold first. This story also has a different approach to the main theme. I have a big sister; when she got a red polar fleece I had to get one just like it, and when she got a charcoal winter coat you better believe we were a matched pair before the year was out. Fashion and beauty are often confused, but one is transient and the other is transcendental. The ideas of beauty in HoG were learnt mainly from other women, mothers passing it down to their daughters, sisters to sisters, but they weren’t trying to hurt, disfigure, deform each other: none of them thought they were lying. Well, that’s the enormous subtext one can read into it, if one wants to. The truth about sisters is that they love each other (in my experience, which I sincerely hope isn’t unusual); the original title was simply Sisters and Bedtime.
The Ballad of the Golden Goose: Me and poetry. Huh. As may be obvious from other writings, I like making characters and love messing around with structure and form. And what is poetry if not pure structure and form? Plus I've found a way to fit character in as well. Poets among you will never speak to me again, but other than that: all is happy.
To my Son: How well do you know your fairy tales? I'll admit to having a ridiculous amount of fun writing this and fitting them in every which way. My final count was 3 myths, 2 folklores and 10 fairy tales, though references to them range from the glancing to the cryptic to the wet-salmon-to-the-side-of-the-head. I wanted to write a story about "and he went to seek his fortune" because it's one of those things that fairy tales seem to say because it's as good a starter as any, like "Once upon a time", and also because girls don't. Ever. Girls do something stupid and then have to go to seek their lovers.
Time Within Mind: A friend and I were watching the BBC Pride and Prejudice, Lizzie and Darcy kissed having just been married, we sighed, and my friend said, "And they all lived happily ever after. Until ten months later she dies at childbirth and he gets typhoid." I don't watch happy movies with her anymore. But that's where this story came from, and obliquely Sirenic Griffin's Barefoot. Halfway through I realised it had contracted a minor theme of Communication; keep that in mind while you read and it might make it more interesting.
Her Toes: Cinderella had staged a coup of my mental faculties and this and Time Within Mind were the result. It's a funny little thing about glass slippers just because I can so I did (in three hours, hours! it usually takes me months).
Sweet Rose and Wilde: I hope someone has noticed that until now all my titles had begun with either 'T' or 'H'; I have to keep myself amused somehow. There was a jacket in the shop where I work and according to the label its colour was 'Sweet Rose/Wild'. In December 2006 I was like, 'huh, that would make a cool title' and here we have the product, just two years later. I'm quietly going to put here, hidden away in the rest of my babble (don't keep reading if you want to figure out what the story's about yourself) this is a Sleeping Beauty story. If you have any questions, seriously ask them, at any point in time by any means; I will know the answer and if I don't I'll make it up so's I look as though I do.
Scandal Sheets: This story owes its being to Rosa Cotton who after reading the Contrarian Cindy Story said she wished she could see/read the 'desperate maiden-hunt' alluded to in said Story (well actually she said she "almost" wished and I picked that up, started running and ended up in Belgium again but whatever). And I updated it after only 3 years, will the wonders never cease?
The Roses: Was going to call it 'Sweet Rose and Wild' but that would have just been begging for trouble - anyway, it's where the idea came from, again. Another, 'nother, 'nother, 'nother Sleeping Beauty.
The Ones that Failed: So feey called her story Half-Formed Words (which you should go read now if you haven't yet - it's one of my Favourites) a 'failed fairy tale' which I think is one of the most beautiful, poignant phrases in the entire world and happily commandeered for my own purposes. A series of short little tales that don't quite make it. At the beginning of the first chapter there's a comprehensive overview of what you'll be getting yourself into.
Rapunzel: Martin Crimp's Attempts on Her Life I owe a great debt to for the idea of answer-phone messages. It's Rapunzel in a very fast, very loose fashion - as in light-speed and ... so tempting to make a crass joke right about now. If you want to make yourself useful, tell me if I laid on the green dress a bit thick.
Three Of Thousands: Just to put things in perspective, I started writing this before I finished Heart of Gold - when I say it takes me an age an a half to write anything I'm not kidding. It all started while writing a Sleeping Beauty (none of the ones published, another one, I have many) and trying to describe that feeling when someone takes your hand and you feel instantly comforted - the result of which is the title of the third tale - and it grew all out of proportion from there. I wrote them in backwards order; which isn't really relevant unless you like psychology and reading too much into things.
Monster: The origins of this story lie in two slipshod/bread and coal stories which she's gone and deleted on me. And then it was said writing in second person was hard and I couldn't pass on a challenge like that. People usually skip over Beast asking Beauty to marry him every night after dinner - I think it's one of the strangest, most interesting parts of the story.
Snow White: Yes, I'm making myself a wee mini-series of modern retellings here. I met up with my friend Lydia who's in med and she told me about her first human dissection. I thought this story was about sharing that experience and creeping people out but it's not. This is a story about ships passing in the night.
Jenny! Jenny, that was so not fair! I like - nay, love - replying to reviews. You have to tell me what the inside of the Lindo Ferguson is actually like - I've never been inside - and if I got the right lecturer for dissections - I chose the lady from the med website because the story felt so male-heavy - Jenny, I command you!
How to Begin: I only just realised two years and six days after the fact that I'd never written a blurb for this story, poor lonely thing. If you live in the Fairy Tale section long enough you start to notice certain trends; one of them I tackle in Like an Eye Witness, another is stories that begin 'Once upon a time is how these stories always begin'. I have a bad habit of leaving reviews to stories so I can tell the author that no actually they don't and what did saying that really add to your story? And, geez Louise, if you're going to do it, do the phrase justice. Thus this story and so forth.
Ad Undas: Written as part of the ACA 2009 Phenomenomenom for FaylinnNorse, who prompted thusly: Rapunzel, with pirates. No stupid questions/remarks. -- "My, you're so much heavier than the prince!" ...no. Must include swashbuckling and golden hair floating in the water. It's the longest thing I've ever written (even inculding my honour's dissertation - Addy was one of the few things that kept me sane during the last month of that) and it makes me inordinately happy, so enjoy.
Like an Eyewitness: I do not like, and do not read on principle, stories whose summaries are something along the lines of "My name is [name]. I want to tell you the truth about [fairy tale]. This is my story" - it's an old and tired cliché, and I find the concept of 'truth' ludicrous in relation to fairy tales anyway. So this is my reaction to that. A quote from Tim O'Brien for you: "A thing may happen and be a total lie; another thing may not happen and be truer than the truth."
Good Enough: So I was walking home one day with my ipod on, and a line from Simon and Garfunkel's 'America' got all suggestive on me, and before I got home I had what I wanted to say planned out and it was written that evening. And then I, being me, spent the better part of five months tinkering with it until I decided to unleash it upon you all, le sigh. It was originally supposed to be a One that FAILed but then it didn't really fail, it just got its happy ending ... suspended a bit.
if you touch me again i will: As said (somewhere, I forget where, I say a lot of things), I have a habit of taking anything that particularly strikes me and twisting it about until I can make it into a fairy tale, and the circumstance of the poem this story is written around was very familiar to me. Passive agression ftw. Linking likewise themes, it's kind of similar in its thoughts to those running about behind 'In the Tradition of Lear' which is the ... fourteenth? One that Failed.
From Andersen Sanders: Written for the ACA 2011 Ficathon for Captain Fantastic, who prompted thusly: A Little Mermaid tale in which the main character realizes that she does not love the prince after all, and a story in which the "Cinderella" who fits into the shoe is not the girl who was at the ball. I have fanart! (And there would be a link there but the ff gods hate links so you'll just have to search 'Andersen Sanders' on deviantart should you wish to see it.)
Annis Milligan: (Title will almost certainly be subject to change.) Quoth I to slipshod, "like what kind of story [would you like if you won]?". And she to I, "like a story about robots! a steampunk fairy tale in which a main character is a robot!" And thus did begin my Cinderella steampunk tale. It's ... interesting, shall we say, to try and write in a very visual kind of genre when my writing style leans heavily towards dialogue and as little description as I can get away with, but I get to look up up pretty steampunk clothes as totes legit research, yay!
Don't: If one were taking Clar the Pirate's Literary Tour, this story would end you up outside an empty shopfront on Princes Street where I destroyed my lower back writing on a too low table. Unsurprisingly, I don't like The Girl With No Hands, I don't like it at all. And therefore I write a story about it? Pretty much.
Destiny's Ending: The Captain - man, how many years ago was it? I might have still been an undergraduate - gave me an idea for a One that FAILed and then it turned into something more. I blame it on us both being English Majors but whenever I write something for her it ends up being meta.
Beauty and the Beast: Among the many things I did to avoid writing my dissertation, I read all of Neil Gaiman's Sandman comics and was immediately filled with the desire to make a comic. But I can't draw. You see my predicament. So that's where this came from; and from doing a restorative justice programme at the local Corrections Facility; and hating it when books think that the hero beating the bad guy to a pulp is an acceptable, noble even, just dessert; and MertleYuts being awesome and winning an imaginary contest.
The C3PO: (you can't tell me that's not what you thought of first time you saw 'C2')
I just like Sleeping Beauty, okay. So you don't have to, I've been through all 153 (last time I checked) pages and found every Sleeping Beauty in the Fairy Tales section. This is not all of them, there are over a hundred and I can only be thankful that I wasn't trying to collect all the BatBs. All of them are good but my personal recommendations are What's to Come, Stasis, and the two poems by Mad Poetess.
Help Wanted: Must Love Footnotes. If you have the time and nothing better to do, and enjoy potentially being bored out of your mind / finding literary gems pertaining to sleeping princesses, come be my long-story slogger. I have the list of stories but now need someone of good taste to read them and decide whether they should be included in the C2.