Where’s my Rumplestiltskin?

Rumpelstiltskin by Melissa West

Rumpelstiltskin by Melissa West

I’m reading Step by Step: By Hand and by Foot, a blog by Melissa West that I found while looking for fairy tale research.

She is doing a series of prints with hand coloring based on fairy tales, lovely graphic work. The one that caught my attention today was Rumplestiltskin, an image of the poor miller’s daughter in a “cathedral” of straw, wondering how she will ever turn it all into gold.  She is completely overwhelmed by the straw bales so artfully stacked that she would bring them all down on her head if she moved even one.  She is stuck.

That is how I feel about beginning the marketing process for my first novel,  Maven Fairy Godmother. I have the “spinning wheel” in place, but where and how to start is overwhelming. Where is my Rumplestiltskin to rescue me and make the gold appear?

Lots of folks have their own “magic” to sell me to do the marketing, though it may cost me more in the long run than my first born, who has her own dungeon of straw to spin and with whom they will need to negotiate with on her account. I already have the techie (complicated) part set up—that’s usually what they want to sell me.  Now I need to figure out what goes there.

They can’t do my magic for me. Unlike the miller’s daughter, I have to do my own work. Maybe I will write a new story for her too. Surely there is something better for her to counter-offer than her yet-to-be-first-born? Especially since the father of that first-born has already threatened to kill her if she can’t produce the golden thread? Shades of Henry VIII and his quest for a son.

Do I have better negotiating skills than the miller’s daughter, victim of her father’s drunken tongue and a king’s cupidity? I know that being a victim is a choice, so negotiation seems the better path, even it is outright trickery, the scheme of the powerless classes.

Many kinds of material can be spun into yarn, and since spinning yarns is what I claim I do, I guess it’s time to take a handful of straw and see what happens. Besides, I already know Rumplestiltskin’s name. Spin that wheel. Twist that thread. Wrap it up.

My book is Maven Fairy Godmother—due to be born in March 2012 on her mother’s 61st birthday.

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