Our contest continues, this time with an entry from Wendy Josephkovitch (or thereabouts) Wendy is one of the rare writers who actually reads her work as well as she writes, and her most recently published novel is sending tremors where none previously existed due to the drama with which she imbues the spoken word. The Witch’s Hand–the thinking person’s sword and sorcery–is available on Amazon books.
The red that I refer to is not a communist plot, but a plot never-the-less. Here is Wendy Joseph’s entry into our contest and attempt to win fame and five hundred bucks. Remember, each entry must include the phrase “I swear, it’s not too late.”
by Wendy Joseph
From the Email Correspondence Of Illustrator Neurosa Coloritch
May 8, 2001
To Ms. Delay:
Is this to be a book with an illustration on every one of the thirty-two pages? Do you wish my award-winning stone ground color style, or the new one I am experimenting with, a combination of acid water color wash, kerosene, and acrylic, which is then computer enhanced? If so, it will be a world premiere use of it, which my analyst tells me would be just the thing to help pull me out of the depression caused by my recent separation from my lover of three months, whom I took to take me out of the depression caused by my third divorce and the death of my longtime feline companion, Genghis. Also, is this a standard telling of Ms. Hood and the Wolf, or are we going to tell it from the Wolf’s point of view? This is essential for me to know, if I am to do the illustrations properly.
May 14, 2001
Dear Ms. Delay,
When is the deadline for the first sketches for Red Riding Hood? How graphic do you want them re. the wolf eating Granny? I personally do not think children should be sheltered from such things, as I grew up on my grandmother’s tales of fleeing the Cossacks in the snow, with wolves howling in the distance, and am none the worse for it.
But I must know the deadline, as my therapist tells me any kind of uncertainty in these matters puts undue pressure on my creative capacities, and may result in a complete shutdown of my ability to produce anything. Last year this had dire consequences, as while an editor waffled between my most superior drawings and those of an inferior artist, I suffered a complete breakdown and was hospitalized for two weeks.
I cannot tell you how bad the food was, and fear that I may have been a guinea pig in some new drug testing, but my memory of that time is not clear. Thank the Goddess, I survived, but certainly cannot recommend the Tukwila Aromatherapy and Psychiatric Treatment Center for anything other than a nice view (if you like heights, which terrify me) and decent parking.
Do let me know about Little Red. I always thought she should have seen through the wolf’s disguise right away, but maybe she was a little slow. Was she retarded? Or perhaps she had a vision problem. Would you like to have me show her with a white cane? This might explain her problem with recognizing the wolf. I do not think a guide dog would be a good idea, as aside from my fear of dogs due to being severely barked at by one as a child, the dog would most certainly sniff out the wolf as they entered Granny’s house.
I must go now. Mention of dogs has triggered a flashback, and I need to see my therapist.
May 18, 2001
Dear Ms. Delay,
I would like to know if we are using the Grimm’s original Red Riding Hood. If so, I would be delighted, as it is full of violence (the wolf eats both Granny and Red, has them cut out of his stomach while he is still alive but asleep, and dies by having stones put into his stomach as a replacement).
My therapist says illustrating this would be just the thing to act as a cathartic for my latest trauma, a series of truly horrendous nightmares, including getting trapped in a train wreck while racing to get out of China during the Sino-Japanese War, standing on an aircraft carrier flight deck while fire-breathing dragons landed, and drowning in a bowl of Jello.
My therapist (did I tell you he is related to Fellini?) says these were probably set off by my new lover’s rejecting my idea that he pose as Prometheus Bound for my envisioned set of Greek tragic stories, which I plan to show next spring in a one-woman show entitled “Scourgings, Gougings and the Death of Mythological Ideals.” You are all, of course, invited.
I need to know ASAP about the Grimm illustrations, if I am to make my show deadline. I swear it’s not too late; if you can get me word by midnight of the full moon on Tuesday, I will be able to complete both projects on time and with my usual grotesque verve that has often drawn favorable comparisons to Tim Burton’s cinematic visuals.
If not, my therapist tells me it will have dire consequences. I shudder and tremble to think of the personal cost; I am, after all, human, and one can only take so much before deciding between the razor blade, the gun, or lethal injection–or perhaps I shall simply leap in front of a train, a la Anna Karenina.
Yours in angst,
May 22, 2001
I cannot tell you how delighted I am that we will be using this uncensored version of Red Riding Hood. I so look forward to doing the illustrations. When would you like the 32 thumbnail sketches? I can have them done in two weeks. My therapist says this is just the thing to keep me going during my current condition of agoraphobia, probably brought on by the voices coming from the trees outside.