Ending the year going Into the Woods

I’ve never been one for the obvious. If it’s too easy, it’s boring. If everyone is doing it, something must be wrong. So there’s no reason I should like Into the Woods. It’s so blatantly a metaphor for a life lesson. You go through the woods naïve and afraid of the unknown only to emerge smarter and warier of the road ahead. Red Riding Hood learns about the dangers of straying from the path. Cinderella finds her voice. The baker realizes he’s not alone. Jack loses a friend but gains independence. Even writing these lines I want to yell “DUH” at the screen.

But I love it. I love the music. I adore the Witch. The message is clever even while being obvious. When I saw the production as a kid I thought it was so cool that someone decided to mash all these fairy tales together. Now as an adult I’ve gained new insight into the lyrics. It’s an honest to goodness family movie mostly because you can watch it all your life and get something new each time. This time I learned about reluctance.

We’re days away from the New Year and that means the dreaded list of resolutions. Last year I did away with the entire idea of it with the notion that making a list is just a way to make me feel bad by April (or March) because I’ve lost interest in them. My resolutions are usually related to moving more and exercise. Despite my best efforts, I am generally a sedentary creature preferring to read and write more than move and sweat.

I searched fairy tales for a good story on reluctance, but I have yet to find one. Reluctant heroes are not a problem in fairy tales. Princes chase down maidens who gratefully accept the assistance. Tailors seek adventures on the basis of having downed seven flies with one hit. Little girls with bold outerwear head to Grandma’s without a thought for the hungry wolf that lies in wait. Reluctance is not something fairy tale characters are acquainted with.

Except in Into the Woods. Only kids have no fear of the woods. Adults are very aware that the unknown could hold danger or at least disappointment. They’re all reluctant to enter, but they go because it’s the only way to get what they want. Hemming and hawing are allowed, but the woods are still waiting. Just like the New Year and my resolutions. So, I’ll make my resolutions yet again and work to get past May with them (at least).

No more hemming and hawing…the woods await.

Ducktales by the ghyll in UK

A touch of whimsy in the woods.

Happy 2015!



No Excuses…On with the Show

When I made the decision to become a writer, I made an interesting discovery. Lots of people in my life and some new acquaintances voiced the same desire. However, they didn’t have anything written down. Or they had an idea which they haven’t resolved. Or…the list goes on and on. This really bugged me–like people who use the elevator to go up one flight at the gym. Nothing brought this home to me more like the one and only episode of “Girls” I watched. (To my contemporaries, I apologize for having no interest in this series to which I’m supposed to watch like the Gospels.)

It was the pilot episode. To sum it up the lead Girl wants to be a writer and lives in New York City, which is beyond expensive, but she makes no money. She’s still an intern and when her parents tell her she’s cut off so they can actually enjoy themselves she throws a hissy-fit. Being on this side of thirty I no longer commiserate with Girl and now root for the parents. And no, I don’t feel old–just really peeved that my mother’s “wait and see” was more prophesy than idle rant. Anyway, at some point she shows up at her parents’ hotel to show them the book she’s working on. And it’s a mess! Jots and doodles on 10 pages about who knows what and the parents are thoroughly underwhelmed. I was, too. Maybe it’s harsh, but come on? That makes you a writer? No wonder you can’t get respect for calling yourself one unless you’re published.

Now, I’ve been a blogger for almost a year and I’ll admit it’s gotten away from me a times. As the title of the post says, no excuses, so I won’t bore you with details that will make you sympathetic to my plight. I have been working on a novel (two in fact), but this blog is my exercise. It’s like having a thriving business, but not being bothered to work on the accounts. It catches up to you. I refuse to let this blog become a New Year’s resolution that only makes it to March. Go to the gym, eat better, oh and use your blog to actually blog! So to that end, next week I will publish a short story about my take on the 12 Dancing Princesses (It also proves I have been writing, just not blogging).

I still don’t like “Girls” and I think people are too quick to say they want to write, too. But instead of griping about it, I’ll just get on with my blogging.