Saturday, December 18, 2010

Alabamian Nights, a Foreward

The idea behind Alabamian Nights came from my enjoyment of Arabian Nights, or 1001 Nights, as a teen, and was started because two friends introduced me to NaNoWriMo and it sounded fascinating. And to be completely honest, other than knowing there’s a 50,000 word deadline in a single month—I had NO idea what I was going to do—and then it hit me, so here we are.

No, this is not a modernization of the Arabian Nights stories. And no, this isn’t going to give a look into the traditional tales of the south—I’ll admit freely and upfront, I’m a northerner in southern Alabama. What it IS, is a collection of original stories that I make up each time I sit down to add to my ‘novel’.

No, there is no king threatening my life each night if I fail to entertain, merely my two wonderful children who won’t hear a one of these tales until they’ve all been written. But to be honest, as I’ve thought about it, I think the threat I face with my tales is just as dire as the one faced by Sheherezad. With all the technology and political correctness, the rules and toys that diminish socializing face to face, I fear that my children, our children, are facing a loss to something beyond value—the ability to use their imagination.

I’m aiming for 101 stories, because even though the original is called 1001 Nights—that's how long it took her to tell the tales, not how many she actually told. In fact, some stories spanned several nights and I’ve yet to come across an edition that has more than 100 stories to share.

Now, my boys have grown up listening to me tell tales. The story every night part is true. Heck, even making up stories on the fly is true. What makes this a work of fiction is that I haven’t actually shared these stories with my children –yet-. So I imagine their responses because I’ve told them tales for so long, they already KNOW that stories are meant to be interacted with and not merely listened to.

I hope that three things come of reading these—1. You like it and wish to read it with someone else (because like I said, stories are meant to be interacted with!) 2. It encourages the making up of stories. And 3. It leads you to searching for other stories to delight in.

That said, Enjoy!

--Janin Wise

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