Alice in Wonderland and other fantasy escapes
Fairy Tale Therapy
When life tips your tiara it can hurt like the worst toothache. All princesses endure this at one time or another. Sometimes the only relief from the pain of a tipped tiara is to re-write a fairy tale and mock all the bullies who tried to knock your crown off your head. I found riffing fairy tales to be quite therapeutic.
Therapy 101: Alice in Wonderland
Alice in Lewis Carroll’s Wonderland is insatiably curious and eager for adventure. Following a white rabbit down a hole she finds a world that skates on the thin edge of logic.
My Contemporary Alice
Miami real estate broker, Alice Harte, follows the WRONG white rabbit and tumbles into a world populated by mobsters and their nonsense lawyers. The original Alice nibbled on mushrooms and EAT ME cookies to grow in size and strength. Alice Harte relies on Xanax when she stumbles across a beheaded mob boss. Will she keep her own head? And what about love? After all, this is romantic suspense.
How The Secret Diary of Alice in Wonderland, Age 42 and Three-Quarters came to be
Caught up in a relationship with a British man I met on the Internet in a holiday house exchange, I was jabberwockied to discover he was a professional conman. Like the original Alice, I tired to make sense out of his nonsense. But he confused my logical mind with his caterpillar smoke and mirrors. I had become Alice in Wonderland, and the only way out was through the portal I created by writing my own version of Alice. I became a twister of fairy tales. It’s great fun to use snarky wit to secure the tiaras of not only Alice, but Wendy Darlin, and Zo White.
Both Alices are curious creatures but whereas the original Alice wanted only to escape the world of grownups with her tiara intact; contemporary Alice wants to live in England with a loving partner, and stroll the sheep-lined country lanes. She’d also like to escape her mobster employer. Unfortunately, Alice Harte is tossed down a dark rabbit hole with murder, mystery, thugs, fish-flingers, and a touch of romance. The usual suspects: the March Hare, Red Queen, and the Tweedles appear in the book, but with a Chandler-esque twist.
The Courtroom – real life
I found myself in a courtroom not unlike Alice’s encounter with the King, Queen, dormouse, lizard, and playing cards. It was easy to convert a pack of lawyers into a deck of playing cards. I fastened my tiara, rolled up my sleeves, and jumped in. I hoped that at the end of my godawful experience I would have one heck of a fairy tale to share.
In Wonderland, Alice is called as a witness. She accidentally knocks over the jury box with the animals inside. The King orders her to place the animals back into their seats before the trial continues.
In my real life courtroom, a portly, pompous lawyer berated me, then without turning, he backed into this seat. He missed the chair and tumbled to the floor knocking over a few stray barristers. When he fell on his bum with an earth- shattering thud, I knew my fairy tale was calling to me. This would make a perfect book.
As I grew in size to the point where the beheading judge was fast falling to pieces, I recalled the part in Wonderland where the Queen orders Alice to be gone, citing Rule 42 "All persons more than a mile high to leave the court.” Alice argues against their silly rule and refuses to leave. The Queen shouts her familiar "Off with her head!" but Alice is unafraid, calling them “just a pack of cards.” The cards and characters swarm over her as she beats them off.
This final scene was enough to launch my career as a twister of fairy tales.
If your tiara is painfully tipping or your chip has fallen from your shoulder, take one fairy tale and call me in the morning.