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Ursula Vernon

Fiction and Excerpts [1]
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Fiction and Excerpts [1]

The Sausage Princess and Other Stories: Reshaping the Bizarre Structure of Fairy Tales

So there’s a Grimm Brothers fairy tale about a mouse, a bird, and a talking sausage who live together. (I am not making this up.) The sausage is the cook. In order to season food, she—yes, she’s identified as a female sausage—jumps into the pan and slithers around, sweating grease and spices on the food.

Anyway, one day the bird decides that the mouse and the sausage have it too easy and they all switch jobs. The sausage goes out to gather wood and is set upon by a dog, who claims (I am still not making this up) that the sausage is guilty of carrying forged letters and thus he is allowed to eat her. The bird sees this, goes home, and tells the mouse. They decide to stay together in memory of their friend the sausage, but then the mouse does the cooking, jumps into the pot like the sausage, and is of course roasted alive. The bird, horrified, accidentally sets the house on fire and drowns in the well trying to get water to put it out.

The moral of this story is presumably that everyone’s job is hard and you should just keep your eyes on your own work, and also that mice are not bright and talking sausages are often guilty of postal fraud.

[I retell fairy tales for a living…]

Sowing History: A Gardener’s Tale

In this ongoing series, we ask SF/F authors to describe a specialty in their lives that has nothing (or very little) to do with writing. Join us as we discover what draws authors to their various hobbies, how they fit into their daily lives, and how and they inform the author’s literary identity!

When people think of gardeners, many of them tend to picture little old ladies in straw hats with bright green gloves, pottering among the roses.

When people think of gardeners who are also children’s book authors, they go straight to Beatrix Potter and assume that not only are these little old ladies in straw hats pottering among the roses, but they are also greeting the friendly woodland creatures by name—“Hello, Mister Robin! You’re looking very feathery today!” “Why, Missus Tiggywinkle, how have you been?” “Oh dear, that naughty little cottontail has been at my lettuces again!”

Well, I am a gardener and a children’s book author. I am also under forty, tattooed, and the owner of a mostly black wardrobe, and when I greet a happy woodland creature by name, there is an excellent chance that the sentence will end with “touch that and I will end you.”

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It Was A Day

From author Ursula Vernon, we invite you to read a very moving ode: “It Was A Day.” An insightful encapsulation of what it is like to grow up believing in magic and other worlds, this poem examines what happens the day we all inevitably learn that we cannot dive into fiction and stay there, and how the act of writing might help make up for that fact. It is also the journey of a female fan and creator, one that many may recognize in their own experiences, brimming with the self-perception and self-actualization required to make your voice heard. “It Was A Day” was originally posted on Vernon’s blog on September 5.

[“It Was A Day” by Ursula Vernon]