Saturday, August 16, 2008

Ozma Sees Herself

Okay, so I have no regular schedule for excerpts. And today's excerpt is sort of an old one, except that I am theoretically working on a new book of short stories that will include this story. I say theoretically, because my time available to work on it has been short. It would be a book not only of Oz related stories, but also a few inspired by other books - an Alice Story, a Pinnochio story, and one based on Edith Nesbit's books (my favorite, at a certain age).

But I was just talking about this story, which was on my mind partly because it was what first drew me to write for children. I wrote it for Oz Story 3, a publication of Hungry Tiger Press, which went on to publish my Oz books (and will publish my book of short stories, should I ever finish it...

Anyway, this one was inspired by an incident I always found odd as a child...when the boy Tip was transformed into the princess Ozma and hardly blinked an I wrote a story about the transitionary period

Here's the beginning of it:

Ozma was up in a tree. Her white dress was covered with twigs and leaves and small rips caused by the branches. She looked down at the Emerald City below her, feeling rebellious, as search parties scoured the city looking for her.

Ever since she had learned her true identity, there had been endless days of court procedures and formal banquets and meetings with foreign dignitaries, and she was frankly sick of it. Today she was supposed to meet the King and Queen of Ev, but she had snuck out of the palace to go tree climbing. There was a tree just outside the palace that was her favorite, and she intended to stay there all day.

When she had first become Princess, she thought it would all be luxurious fun. Indeed, she was given a beautiful suite of rooms, even if it was all done up in pink, her least favorite color. She was given expensive clothes to wear, even if they were all clumsy dresses. Most impressively, she was given a large staff to respond to her every need, even if they did spend half the day dressing her up and fussing with her hair.

Their excuse for spending all that time on her hair was that she refused to so much as comb it herself. That was because, ever since she had changed into a Princess, the thought of looking in a mirror made her uncomfortable, and she absolutely refused to do so. Even when she passed by a reflective surface, she quickly looked away. But even so, she couldn't believe her attendants had to take so long to do her hair. When she was merely Tip, she had combed her own hair every day, and it had taken about thirty seconds.

But the worst part about being Princess was the confinement. No one wanted to let her out of their sight, for fear that she would be abducted again. So they tried to occupy her time, when she wasn't at a boring banquet or entertaining another tedious dignitary, with sedentary indoor pursuits, like sewing. Ozma hated sewing. She would constantly prick her finger, and what she made always looked dreadful anyway. At least when she had lived with horrible old Mombi, she was able to sneak away during the day and climb trees or whittle branches or splash in the stream. Now she was stuck indoors all day long, and she hated it.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I wish I could read the rest