Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Chick Lit Cheerleader: Big Red

Happy one year anniversary to our Chick Lit Cheerleader, Jen Tucker! We love having her here every month and look forward to what she'll come up with this year. She even wrote her own intro for this post, so we'll just turn it over to her!

I have been an avid fan of fractured fairy tales since my professor read aloud The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs! to her class of future educators. I’d never experienced traditional works twisted like this until taking a class in children’s literature. Luckily, author A. Wolf opened up to Jon Sciezka to share his side of the story or the world might never know the real deal with those little piggies. From what I understand, a bad case of the sniffles, and borrowing a cup of sugar, led to the misunderstanding the poor wolf was a bad guy. And now his tarnished reputation has been the highlight of gossiping swine on farms through the decades. Poor thing. I suspect many other wolves have been thrown under the “happily ever after” bus along the way just as this sad creature was. Feared because they snarl due to seasonal allergies, have wicked looking fur (it’s accidentally parted on the wrong side), and enormous gleaming incisors they spent years at the orthodontist straightening; preposterous!

*Jen shakes her head/pounds chest in pack solidarity*

I thought it would be fun to fracture (or mutilate depending how it turns out) a tale I’m fond of, yet do it grown-up style, with wolves of course. Here’s my spin on Little Red Riding Hood.

Red

Red Wilson never lifted a finger her entire life. She wasn’t born with a silver spoon in her mouth. The grandmother who raised her took great pride in caring for her only grandchild’s every need and it bred a sweet young woman, who believes goodness is rooted in everyone’s heart. A sheltered Red leaves for college ready to take on the world, as Nana worries she’s released her little one out into the big, bad world.

With her first semester of college under her belt, Red is looking for a ride home for winter break. She checks the message board at the student union stumbling upon a name she recognizes. Wolf Dixon grew up in the same small town as Red, yet she had no idea he also attended her university. Although both came of age in a town with one blinking red light, Nana made sure Red stayed away from all the hormonal teenaged boys. Especially Wolf.

Without telling Nana who her ride home for the holidays is, Red hits the road with Wolf. Although she chooses to be Pollyanna-like in her perspective on people, she can’t help but think of Nana’s stern warnings through the years about rough around the edges, Wolf. The road trip takes longer than it should when Wolf sneaks Red into a small-town bar for her first drink, liquor and Red’s digestive tract do not agree with one another, and in Wolf’s haste to get away from a group of road raging kids from their rival college, he ends up in the back of a squad car leaving Red stranded. So much for a quick trip to Grandma’s house.

Wolf cautiously reveals his complicated, layered self to Red during their trip gone wrong. He seems less brash and more insecure than he leads others to believe. So what is Nana’s true motive in suspending Red’s belief that men, especially this one, disguise their true selves in sheep’s clothing? Will Red’s innocent spin on life be shattered, or will she breathe new optimism into the boy who feels life will never deal him a happily ever after?

Wow! That was just a barrel of monkey fun to write! It’s fairy tale month here at CLC, and we’d love to hear about the tale or folklore you’d love to see fractured. Please excuse me, but I need to run! My kids opened the oven and our gingerbread kid cookies seem to be having a polka party in there! Never a dull moment during winter break at the Tuckers'.

Jen Tucker is the author of the funny and true stories, The Day I Wore My Panties Inside Out and The Day I Lost My Shaker of SaltIn September 2012, she had her children's book, Little Pumpkin published as an e-book. She also blogs monthly for Survival for Blondes. She currently lives in Indiana with her husband, three kids and two dogs. You can find her at TwitterFacebook, her blog and on her website. And in case you missed them. check out her previous Chick Lit Cheerleader posts here.

3 comments:

Kaley @ Books Etc. said...

I loved The True Story of the Three Little Pigs! I liked that it played with the conventional and shared a side of A. Wolf that we didn't see before :) It's funny that I saw this post today as yesterday I did a Top Ten Tuesday post of reading wishes and adult fairy tale retellings was on it! Jen's story has helped, a little. But I want more! I know Cinderella's been overdone but I'd like to see a New Adult or chick lit version of the story! The Little Mermaid would also be enjoyable. Thanks for a fun post!

Tobi Helton said...

I always feel bad for the wolf! LOL Thanks for sharing Jen!!! <3

JenTucker said...

Kaley, I love it when great minds think alike! I toyed with The Little Mermaid and Cinderella too, yet I felt drawn to the poor, maligned wolf. Thank you for stopping by!

Tobi, I just think he's misjudged because he's a carnivore! So not his fault, right? XO