Thanks for trying out the free copies

I appreciate everyone who grabbed up a free copy of my Kindle short story “Waking Plain.” There used to be a TV bit called “Fractured Fairy Tales;” I suspect I got brainwashed by that so that I take sweet old stories and turn them upside down.

Meanwhile, my soon-to-be released novel Lena has made it past the editor. One always worries about hearing something like, “Malcolm, you know that guy who dies on page 23? How did he come back to life on page 97?” Oops.

Lena is the third and final book (you can quote me on that) in the Florida Folk Magic Series published by Thomas-Jacob. With luck, we’ll be able to show you the cover soon and then announce a release date.

Meanwhile, we have another late afternoon thunderstorm roaring through northwest Georgia. This is getting tedious because the low barometric pressure impacts both our (my wife and I) sinus conditions while all that water makes the grass grow faster than we can keep it mowed.

Fortunately, I have beef stew to warm up in the Dutch oven for supper, so no cooking required tonight. And, the cats have been fed; that means they’ve stopped hovering around my desk and bothering me.

My brother and his wife and grandson will be stopping here briefly next week. Oh hell, that means we have to clean up the house. We’ll have fun while they’re here, though.

Malcolm

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Free Kindle Short Story

My Kindle short story “Waking Plain” will be free on Amazon from June 10 to June 14.

You know the “Sleeping Beauty” story, right? A badass chick is hexed into an infinite sleep until a rich and handsome prince kisses her and wakes her up.

My “Waking Plain” short story is the other side of the coin.

What if a prince is hexed into an enchanted sleep until a queen or princess kisses him and wakes him up?

And, what if there’s a problem? What if he is just so coyote ugly that nobody wants to wake him up? That’s real life for you: some people are just better off left to slumber on and on for eternity.

Usually, these things happen because an evil witch is pissed off or a fairy is slighted. Either way, we end up in a “Sleeping Beauty” situation. In most of these stories, eligible kings and princes are clawing their way through briers and alligators and landmines in hopes of kissing a princess who looks like, well, pick your favorite singer or movie star.

But if it’s a prince and if he is ugly, maybe nobody will kiss him and wake him even if he comes with a castle, a country, and $100000000000000 in gold.

“Waking Plain” turns the old fairy tale upside down, and for the next five days, you can read it for free.

Malcolm

 

‘Waking Plain’ Free on Kindle December 14-18

WakingPlainCoverFor years, I wanted to take a famous fairy tale and turn it upside down. The result is my Kindle story “Waking Plain” which is a fairy tale while poking fun at “Sleeping Beauty.”

In “Sleeping Beauty,” like other tales, the woman is always beautiful, needs a man to rescue her, and that man is somebody who (after waking her up or otherwise saving her), sweeps her off her feet because he’s not only a rich king or prince, but is really handsome.

What if “Sleeping Beauty” had been a hag? Yes, she’d probably still be asleep.

What if the guy who kissed her was the castle janitor? Does she wake up and die of fright? Does the king give him a meaningless title so he’s fit to marry the princess? Or, maybe the janitor is thrown in the dungeon?

These are the kinds of questions that need to be asked.

But, more could be done. So, I made the sleeper a rather plain prince who, as the story unfolded, was more of an out of sight, out of mind kind of royal. Who’s going to wake him up? Maybe nobody, God willing.

Enjoy the story.

Malcolm

Faerie tale in a mirror

Once upon a time—when time was more speculative than it is today—a king and queen had no children. The lords and ladies at court watched the night skies for signs and the townspeople from shipwright to innkeeper offered prayers and charms to the realm’s gods because the court and castle were dour, grey and unhappy indeed.

The king and queen seldom ventured outside the castle walls because nature’s cycles were rich and profligate. Across the parklands and throughout the forests, bluebells, roe deer, and red kites were blessed with young past human understanding.

The royal couple consulted astrologers, crossroads spirits, and the legendary faerie in the great forest. They carried talismans, drank teas, and chanted strange combinations of awkward incantations during the blue hours and holy days. Yet no answers came.

The queen considered herself sorely lacking as the barren years grew in number like stacked-up like rushes grown foul with use. The king felt cursed for the frivolities of his youth. Desperate, the couple went to a solitary goodwife and upon the winter solstice they drank together her bitter coction of herbs prepared over an unnatural fire.

 

So it begins. You’ve been there before…a girl child is born…she’s a fetching one…but a faerie is inadvertently slighted…a curse is pronounced…ultimately she sleeps for one hundred years waiting for the kiss that will wake her up into the world.

What handsome prince wouldn’t want to kiss a young woman so beautiful, so pure. . .

WakingPlainFB

But wait!

In “Waking Plain,” my new Kindle faerie tale, the sleeper is a young prince.

They say he’s as dull as dishwater, and that is kind.

The castle is a wonderment as always. So, too, the faeries and their magic. Even the great forest surrounding the wonderment of a castle is enchanted with four-legged animals and winged creatures and flowers and trees and sunshine that are grand beyond the understanding of everyday men and women.

But if the sleeper isn’t beautiful, who will kiss him? Perhaps it’s kinder to the young man–not to mention, the world itself–to let him sleep.

I don’t mean to imply that the classic tale of “Sleeping Beauty” is sexist, only to say that it’s more realistic to ponder how it would be for an everyday kind of guy–you know, the one who would be the last one chosen for a team during recess–to wait for eternity, if not longer, for the woman of his nightmares to kiss him and re-awaken him for all to see.

They would prefer not to see him, of course, but they might, just maybe, in this faerie tale in a mirror.

–Malcolm

WakingPlainCoverInasmuch as “Waking Plain” is a Kindle faerie tale (or as Amazon calls it, a “fairy tale”), that is where you will find it, and not for a who’s-fooling-whom 99¢ but for an entire $1.00. That extra penny is your payment to the faerie world for allowing this story to be told.