I asked Courtney Veil:
What’s your favorite fairy tale and WHY?
Hi. Thanks for having me. This is an awesome question, and there are so many great stories to consider, but my favorite fairy tale has got to be Beauty and the Beast.For one, I am so much like Belle, adventurous, curious, bookish, weird and so completely oblivious, coasting through life with my wildly strange dreams right there beside me. But she’s also someone I aim to be more like in everyday life. Yeah, it’s lame maybe, but you can learn things from fairytale characters.
In the Disney movie, she’s a selfless soul, and she was so long before it was so ooberly popular for fairytale princesses to be kick-butt heroines instead of damsels in distress. She probably inspired the trend actually. She shows so much strength and fierceness in the face of adversity and stands up for what she wants and for those she loves, and that’s something to admire and emulate. And plus, she’s willing to look past a beast’s obvious flaws, which is not something people typically do.
I went to an IEP meeting at my son’s school and some little fourth grade girl gave me a one-over from head to toe and sneered. I was dressed in a nice shirt, jeans and dress shoes, nothing wretched or sloppy, so what was up with that? Who teaches that stank attitude? I have no clue what her problem was, but that outlook and disposition is pervasive, and even young kids are adopting it. The constant bombardment from advertising, movies, videos and TV constantly telling you that you’re not amazing, that you need designer duds or handbags in order to be pretty or you need to act slutty to get what you want is skewing attitudes towards others, as well as self-perception. If people in general were more like Belle, gracious and accepting, willing to look beyond the outside, the world would be a much better place. There wouldn’t be so much pain everywhere you turn, with looks and whispers and sneers coming at you in an onslaught, even from bratty fourth graders.
And, who doesn’t wish that a special someone will someday see beyond the surface and take the time to discover what’s most beautiful about you and to totally treasure you because of what they find? A love like that is so rare and lovely, that it inspires you to be your best self.
Like The Beast.
Before he turned back into his uncharmed self, he made the decision to be less beastly and to laugh, open up and have fun. If just being around someone inspires you and makes you want to be a better you, not a different you, a better you, I think that’s a beautiful thing.
I think Beauty in the Beast is my favorite fairytale because there’s so much depth and truth about human nature within it. The Beast’s haughty attitude is what condemned him to the curse in the first place, and Belle was only able to break the spell because she was the complete opposite of him.
I love everything about it. It’s both ugly and beautiful.
While Sleeping Beauty will always be this Brunette’s favorite… I TOTALLY love Beauty and the Beast!
Kings & Queens
by Courtney Vail
Published: 1/27/2012 by Little Prince Publishing
Seventeen-year-old Majesty Alistair wants police to look further into her father’s fatal car wreck, hopes the baseball team she manages can reclaim the state crown, aches for Derek…or, no…maybe Alec…maybe. And she mostly wishes to retract the hateful words she said to her dad right before slamming the door in his face, only to never see him again.
All her desires get sidelined, though, when she overhears two fellow students planning a church massacre. She doubts cops will follow up on her tip since they’re sick of her coming around with notions of possible crimes-in-the-works. And it’s not like she cries wolf. Not really. They’d be freaked too, but they’re not the ones suffering from bloody dreams that hint at disaster like some crazy, street guy forecasting the Apocalypse.
So, she does what any habitual winner with zero cred would do…try to I.D. the nutjobs before they act. But, when their agenda turns out to be far bigger than she ever assumed, and even friends start looking suspect, the truth and her actions threaten to haunt her forever, especially since she’s left with blood on her hands, the blood of someone she loves.