I thought Stephen King had slipped a cog when he had Roland, The Gunslinger, and his motley crew of travelers, come upon the Emerald City. As it turns out, he's the King for more reasons than one, because he realized what I still had to learn...that there are a lot of levels to iconic stories and you can get a lot of mileage out of them. His version of Oz, including the "ruby cowboy boots," was fascinating.
Soon after that we saw the mini-series Tin Man and found that, once again, there was new life in the old characters, and in the old tale. What a lot of people don't realize is that there were many books originally, and that the movie with Judy Garland is not even really that close to the original story and books...even in the most iconic of all the Dorothy and Toto stories, the tale bends in its own directions.
Simply put, it's the characters that make it possible. Everyone knows their versions of The Wicked Witch, Dorothy, the Wizard, Tinman, and Cowardly Lion. The concept of taking people from your life and turning them into fantasy charicatures is fascinating and liberating. "You were there, and you were there..." and in the fiction, you can fix the flaws and re-arrange the things that bother you. You can point out strengths and virtues and punish wrongdoers, all in the magical city with it's yellow-brick road and it's flying houses. Baum did a brilliant job of painting a world so perfect in its magic that it sticks in the mind and binds itself to memory.
Just yesterday I was referenced with the line "Ignore the man behind the curtain."
We're never far from Oz...you only have to know where, and how to look for it.
Now, I will return to the space behind my curtain and prepare ... there are only seventeen days until Nanowrimo, and soon the words will be flowing in earnest.