Sunday, October 23, 2005

Weekend Assignment #82: Favorite Children's Story

John Scalzi, AOL's Blogfather, posits a topic of discussion each week at his AOL Journal, By The Way. Pick up a copy of the question, leave a link to your answers and follow the links to other's answers. It beats sitting there and picking your nose, Igor.

Weekend Assignment #82: Bedtime Stories

To answer the the obvious question: Why, yes, my daughter's bedroom does have a view overlooking an immense spiral galaxy. Doesn't everyone's?

But that's not important now. What's important is not the celestial delights of the universe, but the more homey delight that Athena holds in her hands -- the subject of this week's Weekend Assignment:

Weekend Assignment #82: What was your favorite bedtime story as a child?

Extra Credit: As an adult , have you shared that favorite bedtime story with a child?

Dear John,

My favorite bedtime story was Goldilocks & The Three Bears. Simple, moral, deeply satisfying. Then as I got a little older, Blueberries For Sal became number one on the hit parade. Shortly thereafter, I started reading my own bedtime stories if the tale was a repeat of one I already knew. Soon I was taken up into the magical world of Frank Blum's Oz tales, then Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island, Mark Twain's Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn, and A Connecticut Yankee In King Arthur's Court. The Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew, Edgar Allan Poe's macabre tales occupied me for a while, followed by a return to the fairy tales in the Collected Works of the Brothers Grimm; then I discovered the mother lode, William Shakespeare's The Tempest. Othello. Hamlet. A Mid-somers Night's Dream. Romeo & Juliet. The Gentleman of Verona.

Somewhere along the way, DC Comics snuck into the mix. Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, The Fantastic Four, Spiderman. Mad Magazine, then National Lampoon. Playboy Magazine opened up all sorts of vistas. Yes, the obvious ones. But the not so obvious ones, too. In the early to mid-sixties, Henry Miller, Kurt Vonnegut, Hemingway, J.D. Salinger, Ray Bradbury, Robert Heinlein, Frank Herbert, and many others graced the pages of that men's magazine. Some of the best modern fiction to be had. The New Yorker was rarely around unless my mother had been on a buying trip to New York for her dress shop, but the old man's Playboy appeared each month like clockwork and I picked up the mail and carried it home. I'm sure it warped my impressionable little mind, as the first story I remember writing in the sixties had a title that involved Goldilocks And The Brothers Make Three...


Keep the greasy side down and your eyes peeled – it's deer-dodging season out there. Big hugs and kisses to Krissy and Athena, just because All Hallows Eve is fast upon you, christians.


PS. I'll be sharing Goldilocks with my grandchildren. That's the second generation I'll have introduced them to, John. You have a little catching up to do, but then again, I had a head start...

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