Journal

December 2017 Recap

December isn’t quite done, but it’s sliding closer to tine for cookie comas and out of town visitors so I’m going to do this a tiny bit early.

Writing:

Got nothing to report this month. I’ve been on and off work to cover for childcare since the grandparents are away, so it’s been crazy around our house. In November I made it 36k into the rewrite of the Beasty book so that’s nearly halfway. Looking forward to January when I can dive back into it.

Rethinking:

I never was a fan of Cinderella growing up. I wanted to be Robin Hood (the fox), and shoot arrows, and climb trees, and have dangerous adventures, not Cinderella stuck doing housework and pining for a prince.

Now that I’ve got a toddler, both the animated Disney Cinderella (1950) and live action Cinderella (2015) are on repeat at our house. It’s strange coming back to familiar stories as an adult. There are so many things I never noticed about the story before.

In the animated version, Cinderella wakes up from a good dream singing “A dream is a wish your heart makes…” but she doesn’t tell anyone what she wants, even when they try to find out. She keeps her dreams close to her heart. I always assumed she was waiting for her prince to come, but that was not Cinderella (Snow White sings that one). The prince isn’t even in the movie for more than five minutes. All Cinderella  wanted was to have a break from the drudgery, and to go to a ball with her family. Up until this point she still thinks of of her stepmother and sisters as family and hopes that by doing as they ask they will love her. After this point, she realizes that they only think of her as a servant. And this is why she’s devastated (It’s a theme that the remake hammers in a little more explicitly).

And perhaps, like Superman, I thought Cinderella was boring, because she was always good and kind. But now I see that as her triumph. She was strong enough to survive losing both her parents, and an abusive stepmother, without letting it destroy the dreamer she was. “Have courage, be kind.” is the refrain from the remake. Now I know that when the world is cruel, being kind requires more courage than shooting an arrow. I’ve finally grown up enough to appreciate this.

I think a lot of people misunderstand kindness. Being kind doesn’t mean being polite, a push over, or a martyr. It doesn’t mean speaking softly, but thinking about the well being of other people before you act.

Related: A Twitter thread about kindness.  And a badly paraphrased quote from the Dali Lama “Help others if you can, but if you can’t then at least try to do no harm.”

Reading:

    • The Reader by Tracy Chee
    • Our Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab
    • The Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
    • Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh
    • The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig
    • Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard
    • An Extraordinary Union by Alyssa Cole

And I hope you have a good holiday season. Sending hugs and <3’s into the universe for you. May 2018 be a good year for us all. See you in the new year!

4 Comments

  1. “I thought Cinderella was boring, because she was always good and kind. But now I see that as her triumph.”

    YES! Well put. I know the live action remake rubbed a lot of people the wrong way, some accusing it of being anti-feminism, but I am totally in agreement with you. Kindness is not easy. Kindness takes strength.

    Happy holidays to you as well!

  2. “And perhaps, like Superman, I thought Cinderella was boring, because she was always good and kind.”

    I was never a huge Superman fan, but there’s a reason people got so upset when in one of the movies he killed somebody. It was not without reason, from what I understand, but still.

    Superman doesn’t kill. Ever. That’s as basic as the fact that Batman never uses guns. It’s what people want from those types of characters. And it’s a big factor in the appeal of Wonder Woman both in general and in the movie — her compassion and her principles are part of her strength.

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