Inside The Theme – October

//Inside The Theme – October

Inside The Theme – October

This month is a favourite for more than one staffer here at the Geek Girls Pen Pal Club. Not just because it officially begins fall, but because Halloween is one of the holidays we most look forward to every year. This year, we’re exploring Dark Fairy Tales in our theme. Most of us grow up with Disney stories and modern adaptations of the stories of morality and consequences that were handed down through generations and finally collected by the Brothers Grimm. While there is a special place in our hearts for the stories of our childhood, the descent into winter’s shorter days invites us to explore the darker side of these same fables. Read along, and don’t forget to share your own answers with us over in the forum post or through social media!

1)Your favourite dark fairy tale, and why?

2) If you were a member of the Sidhe (or part of the fairy folklore world) what kind of fae would you be?

3) As a child, what was the spookiest part of October for you?

4) You are planning a feast for fairies, what do you serve?

5) What artist best captures your image of what a dark fairy tale looks like?

Jo

1)Your favourite dark fairy tale, and why?
I love all of them, for their spookiness alone. Anything that’s good to tell around a campfire where you can’t quite be sure what’s hiding in the woods around you is the cat’s meow. That being said, I have a soft spot for one called Fundevogel, which is more obscure. It is short and simple and ends with a good drowning. What’s not to love?

2) If you were a member of the Sidhe (or part of the fairy folklore world) what kind of fae would you be?
Probably a púca, which is a shapeshifting spirit that lives around marine communities, in the rocks, where they can either bring good or bad fortune. One of the most famous of these is the character Harvey from the Jimmy Stewart film of the same name, in which his 6 foot tall invisible rabbit friend, Harvey, is a “pooka.”

3) As a child, what was the spookiest part of October for you?
I loved (and still do!) “haunted” house mazes. My favorites are the outdoor ones, like in fields of corn, where you walk through and people jump out at you in the dark, or the cleverly themed ones; I once went through one where they had set up each room to be a scene from an Edgar Allan Poe poem or story. I also always read a good bit of Poe in October, and his stories make for good out loud reading around a fire.

4) You are planning a feast for fairies, what do you serve?
Tea and cakes and biscuits and scones, of course. Fairies love delicate sweets, and moonlit glades where they can dance so that the mushrooms grow.

5) What artist best captures your image of what a dark fairy tale looks like?
You know the not-quite-campy Tim Burton movie, Sleepy Hollow? That. While most people panned this as a terrible flick, not quite good enough for proper horror and not campy enough to be a spoof, I buy into the theory that it is a rather brilliant homage to the Hammer films of yore. Want to read more? Check out this review. Anyway, the nearly funny, overly gory, dark with brooding blue tones imagery perfectly captures how I envision most dark fairy tales. And go watch that movie with fresh eyes. Trust me.

Jen October Theme

1)Your favourite dark fairy tale, and why?

Can I go with Fables? I’m not caught up on the series but this comic book introduced me to some of the darker sides of fairy tales I didn’t know about. As I read each trade, I’d look up or talk to my best friend about how each ‘fairy tale’ worked in the story line. Up until reading Fables I had no idea how dark some of the fairy tales were, like Bluebeard’s story.

2) If you were a member of the Sidhe (or part of the fairy folklore world) what kind of fae would you be?

A water fairy or sprite. I love the idea of being an elemental fairy and watching over the bodies of water (which means lounging in the trees surrounding gorgeous lakes and rivers). I actually have a tattoo of Amy Brown’s Water Fairy, which has webbed hands, fins on her legs and fairy wings. I’d like to be able to swim well in the water as well as fly.

3) As a child, what was the spookiest part of October for you?

Haunted houses. Every year we went to a local haunted house that the rec centre would put on. And every year I’d get so freaked out. But it never stopped me from going through them. As a teenager and an adult, I still search out haunted houses to visit in October. There’s such a spooky thrill about them.

4) You are planning a feast for fairies, what do you serve?

Definitely tea and cakes. I picture them eating dainty petite fours and drinking tea in beautiful teacups and saucers.

5) What artist best captures your image of what a dark fairy tale looks like?

I have to go with Tim Burton. His movies have such a twisted, dark, spooky, and imaginative feel about them. From Batman Returns, to Beetlejuice, to Corpse Bride, his movies are a dark fairy tale for me.

Rosa October Theme

1)Your favourite dark fairy tale, and why?
My pick isn’t so much a fairy tale, but a children’s book; the Brothers Lionheart by Swedish author Astrid Lindgren. It’s a very beautiful tale about death, and it has the best big brother in fiction as one of it’s main characters.

2) If you were a member of the Sidhe (or part of the fairy folklore world) what kind of fae would you be?
I’d like to be a Norse Elf; think Lord of the Rings, but much more sinister (and with hollow backs). Part of old Norse folklore, they lived in hills and barrows, and if you found them, and followed them, they would invite you to their epic dance parties, and you’d never leave (and if you did, you’d have been gone for years without noticing, since time doesn’t pass in their world). They also stole babies, but that’s not my reason for picking them (or is it?)

3) As a child, what was the spookiest part of October for you?
We don’t really celebrate Halloween in Denmark, so October wasn’t considered more scary than any other month for most children. But growing up, I loved all things spooky and weird, so I knew about the holiday, and always celebrated by myself with movies and books, and strolling by haunted places (never had the courage to actually go in, though).

4) You are planning a feast for fairies, what do you serve?
In Denmark we serve porridge for our house-elves every day in December, and in return they bring presents and Christmas spirit. If we don’t, they hide our belongings, and do other mischievous stuff. Originally these elves didn’t have anything to do with Christmas, but were house-spirits, and if you didn’t give them a bowl of porridge on Sundays and holidays, they would kill your animals and destroy your harvest – a little more serious than hide your keys. Anyway, I would still serve them porridge, because a) they must really like it, since they’ve preferred it for centuries, and b) it is also my own favorite food.

5) What artist best captures your image of what a dark fairy tale looks like?
So my first thought was Sleepy Hollow, and my second was Tim Burton in general, but since both Jo and Jen beat me to it, I’ll go with M. Night Shyamalan’s The Village. I know everybody and their mother disliked that film, but I think it’s hauntingly beautiful (and you can always pretend the plot twist never happened).

Summer October Theme

1)Your favourite dark fairy tale, and why?
I’m going with the musical, Into The Woods. It may not seem as dark as the originally tales it intertwines, but it makes them real and relatable – which is in someways even scarier.

2) If you were a member of the Sidhe (or part of the fairy folklore world) what kind of fae would you be?
I don’t know… I’ve always had a soft spot for dryads…

3) As a child, what was the spookiest part of October for you?
October is my favorite month because it’s my birthday month, but I HATE being scared. So any haunted house or person jumping out at me is the worst.

4) You are planning a feast for fairies, what do you serve?
Probably WAY too much food. I’d pull out all the stops and make a giant lasagna or something.

5) What artist best captures your image of what a dark fairy tale looks like?
I love that slightly dark and mysterious place that is also so real you feel you could easily stumble into it. So I’ll go with Guillermo del Toro – especially in Pan’s Labyrinth.

Toasty October Theme

1)Your favourite dark fairy tale, and why?
Beauty and the Beast. I just really love this story and as a writer, I’ve always wanted to write my own take on it someday.

2) If you were a member of the Sidhe (or part of the fairy folklore world) what kind of fae would you be?
The Glaistig. She’s part woman, part goat and seduces men and drinks their blood. That sounds pretty fun, right?

3) As a child, what was the spookiest part of October for you?
My dad used to take me to haunted houses and they scared me so much, but I always tried to be brave in front of him. 

4) You are planning a feast for fairies, what do you serve?
Pie. Everyone loves pie, right? All the pie. 

5) What artist best captures your image of what a dark fairy tale looks like?
I wouldn’t necessarily say I have a favorite, but Jeffrey Thomas’ Twisted Princess series is pretty dark and awesome.

Kimberlee October Theme

1)Your favourite dark fairy tale, and why?
My favourite dark fairy tale is the Gerald Brom story “The Child Thief”, an adaptation of the Peter Pan story. His vision of the story paints a very different light on the motivations of Pan and his friends and the reason so many children were invited to Neverland.

2) If you were a member of the Sidhe (or part of the fairy folklore world) what kind of fae would you be?
I’ve always thought that things are far more interesting in the unseelie court than the seelie, but if I had to choose one type of fairy to be, I’d go with Selkie. Shape-shifting in to a seal and having free run of the oceans while still being able to walk and act on land would be the best of both possible worlds. Thankfully my husband isn’t a fisherman, so I won’t have to steal my pelt back and abandon him any time soon…

3) As a child, what was the spookiest part of October for you?
Those hours after all of the smaller kids are finished trick-or-treating. In our neighborhood it was prime time for the high school kids to make the rounds for the last of any candy and show off their scary costumes. I was always a little bit afraid to see them in their masks and makeup. Vampires looked so real back then!

4) You are planning a feast for fairies, what do you serve?
Fresh fruit, especially things like figs and berries, and then all kinds of little cakes and pastries. Dainty elegant finger foods.

5) What artist best captures your image of what a dark fairy tale looks like?
There are too many to choose from, but the images I’ve been most intrigued by lately are the Twisted Tales collection from deviant artist Nina-Y. She beautifully and hauntingly captures the sinister and macabre beauty that encapsulates dark fairy tales for me.

By | 2015-10-07T16:35:19+00:00 October 7th, 2015|Inside The Theme|0 Comments

About the Author:

Emily Farquharson is Co-Founder of the International Geek Girl Pen Pals Club. Self described as nonchalantly macabre, a freestyle baker and a silhouette aficionado, Farquharson is also creeped out by talking about herself in the third person.