Monday, April 7, 2014

Tilly Higgins from The Moon Master's Ball

Well. Where to begin? I suppose I'll just jump in and say a little something about my Cinderella...


Tilly Higgins is the sort of person that most people take for granted. She’s always lived in the town of Winslow, everyone knows and likes her, and yet most, even the closest of her friends, have failed to realize that there has been something troubling her since she was a small child. Because of her dark past she is an introverted person who works hard at her job and concentrates on leading a normal life, and she certainly isn’t searching for a Prince Charming! It’s only because she feels bound by Lord Hollingberry, the dear old man she works for, that she ventures to return to the place that frightened her many years ago and… I can’t say anything else. This is a short story, after all! ;)


I don’t really know how I came up with Tilly’s personality. She’s not necessarily like any of my friends or family, but I hope she is someone that anyone who reads Five Glass Slippers will come to love and enjoy rooting for throughout The Moon Master’s Ball.



Sunday, April 6, 2014

A Reluctant Lady: Cinderella in What Eyes Can See

I can actually remember the very moment I got the inspiration for What Eyes Can See--or rather, what eventually wound up as What Eyes Can See. In the beginning it was a completely different story.

It was early June, or thereabouts. I had just heard of the Five Glass Slippers contest, and I was dreaming of entering. The only problem was that I had no plot.

Yeah, that was a little bit of a problem.

So I thought. And I thought and thought. Finally, washing dishes at my kitchen sink one evening, I had a moment of inspiration: what if Cinderella wasn't the heroine she's made out to be? After all, I ruminated, as we all know, winners write the history; was Cinderella really as mistreated as she makes it sound? What if the stepmother and stepsisters were the long-suffering saints, and Cinderella was, for lack of a better term, a spoiled brat? In that first glimpse of a story that flashed through my mind at the kitchen sink, an insufferable, spoiled, haughty, gorgeous Cinderella charms the prince with her beauty. He catches the "gorgeous" thing pretty quickly, but doesn't recognize that the other three adjectives apply to her until after the wedding. She makes the entire kingdom miserable. The end. (I have a thing for sad endings. Villette, anyone? Loved it.)

Luckily, that's not the story I ended up writing. But it did set me on a path--a path in which Cinderella, instead of being a mistreated servant in her own household, is simply just a very shy girl who's never really connected with her stepmother. What if Cinderella didn't want to go to the ball at all? That question set me scribbling in an old notebook every moment I had spare to scribble. It kept me up into the wee hours of the morning pecking away on my laptop whilst Josh Groban softly serenaded me. It pushed me to actually finish a story for once (yup, serial story-beginner-and-abandoner here).

I can't say that Arella in What Eyes Can See is really based on any person I know in particular. She's just an answer to the question I asked myself after I got over that whole "spoiled Cinderella marries Prince Charming and he regrets it forever" thing. And she's an answer to an elusive ideal I've always held for myself. Beautiful. Blonde. Petite. Graceful. Reserved. That perfect girl I always wanted to be...

But as Arella taught me while answering my question, the ideal isn't really always ideal. It comes with some serious problems, too. Sooner or later, some stepmother will force you to go to a royal ball...and then, well, stuff happens.

Hmm. Yeah, it's probably a good thing I didn't go with the depressing one, isn't it?

I really need to get one of those cool sign-off things like "cheers" or "toodles" or "TTFN" or whatever.
       ~Elisabeth Brown

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Cinderella in A Cinder's Tale

A big thank-you to Rachel for kick-starting the Five Glass Slippers blog!  All five of us are extremely excited to be able to chat with you about our stories.  Like Rachel, I also took a little bit of inspiration for my protagonist from a real-life acquaintance.

I’m on the tall side--just enough to make compact cars annoying, but not enough to buy tall jeans with any sort of confidence that I won’t be stepping on the hems.  All that is to say, I haven’t personally experienced the trials and tribulations of the vertically challenged. 

My friend Christian, however, is just barely five feet tall on a good day, and she is forever climbing up on wobbly tables, rolling chairs, and other structurally unsound objects in order to reach items shelved by taller individuals.  She is simultaneously one of the cutest and fiercest people I’ve ever met. (She once broke a man’s nose with a small skillet.  He was 6’ 4”, so really the most surprising thing about that story is how she managed to reach his nose in the first place.)  Somehow Christian manages to blend a no-nonsense attitude with boundless friendliness, resulting in a skillet-wielding spitfire who will make your favorite flavor of cake for your birthday.

Elsa, the protagonist of A Cinder’s Tale, is based in part upon my diminutive friend.  Although there is no nose-breaking in the story (spoilers?), there is a good deal of climbing on top of objects to reach things.  Elsa and Christian are both exceedingly tolerant of, shall we say, difficult working environments and even more difficult coworkers.  Patience is a necessity, whether one works on a lava-strewn planet or in a cubicle farm.  One’s odds of receiving a custom-made spacesuit to fit one's height, however, are considerably higher in the former place of employment than in the latter.  

I can't wait for you to get to know Elsa properly.  June isn't far away!
Stephanie Ricker