1. What first sparked your interest in fairy tales?I have loved fairy tales since I was really young. I had quite a few fairy tales on records (75 RPM!) which I loved but one in particular was my favorite. It was Snow White. I think this was partly because it was a record with a book attached (I only remember one other, which was Hansel & Gretel) and the book had a lot of pictures. It was a Disney record too so it came with narration, voices, songs and full color film stills.
What really sparked my imagination though was the "working drawings" scattered throughout. These had the black lines of the final drawings with blue 'working' lines underneath and I was fascinated that there was a creative process behind the story - someone created this, made it up, decided what it looked like and perhaps decided what parts to tell us about the story and what not to. I was maybe 4 (?) when this captured my attention and started thinking this way. I also remember being particularly drawn to fairy tales from that time on.
I continued to be a keen and advanced reader and at age 9 borrowed CS Lewis' "Till We Have Faces" and was floored that there was an alternate telling of the Cupid and Psyche story. That's the book that started me on the study path, looking at why stories are told the way they are, what the motifs are, how different stories told from different points of view can still be rooted in the same story etc, etc. I also realized, thanks to that book, that fairy tales in particular had layers that could be understood in different ways by children and adults alike (I noticed Disney, the person, employed the same idea of layered storytelling in his films as well). I was well and truly hooked on fairy tales at that point and have continued reading and studying fairy tales avidly in one form or another ever since. The more I did, the more I realized how helpful they were to me in every day life as well, though not necessarily in terms of morals,which is how many people think of their 'usefulness'. Rather it told me about people, human behavior, the importance of wise choices, of hope and in not needing to understand absolutely everything to find a way through. I guess you could say it's a pretty long term obsession, er, interest. :)
2. What prompted you to start a fairy tale blog?I do believe part of it was zeitgeist. I started mine, only to see that Heidi Ann Heiner, who's SurLaLune website and forums I had been following since the first few weeks they appeared, started her own blog that same month! My personal reasons, though, were just that I couldn't believe how often I saw fairy tales being used, retold and referenced in the news and in popular culture and yet the people who seemed most passionate about them didn't seem to realize this - or be able to connect as a result. I was home taking care of my new baby and, since I wasn't writing or consulting much for work any more, decided to channel my thoughts into blogging. Despite the general idea that fairy tales were outdated or "diluted beyond return by Disney", to me, fairy tales were everywhere, globally, and alive and well. The main problem was that there were fewer in circulation than ever due to the melding of pop culture and movies across nations and that the same ones were getting used/retold over and over. I hoped that by highlighting how often fairy tales were being used by 'regular' people that it would encourage other fairy tale folk to do more, create more, be more active in whatever their fields were, and maybe connect and join forces somewhat to help spread the wealth of this amazing resource society is sitting on top of, but is barely aware of.
3. What is your process for finding blog material/what sources do you use?