The Sad Ballerina, the Poor Boy and the Monster

This is not just a children’s story. It came to me last weekend, and since then i have been working on the writing, and the illustrations. It should also have some nice animation and sound effects once it’s converted into an ibook. I am thinking of a female narrator for this one, but I m still not sure. (the below is just a second draft of the first part of the story)

sad-ballerina

The ballerina was a beautiful dancer. Whenever she moved to the harmony of the music, she could put people under a spell. Her instructor said there was no doubt she would soon become one of the greatest ballet dancers who ever lived. Her dancing was special, she made people happy and that was her gift.  The Ballerina herself , though, was not a happy person.

There was no apparent reason why she never smiled, and no one knew what to do about it. They often tried to talk to her, but she avoided such conversations. What was sure was that there was a deep sadness inside of her and she would not let go of it. It seemed there could be no cure for her unhappiness, and that was such a shame.

It was the Ballerina’s habit to go step out of her dancing school on her break to get some air. One day,  on such an occasion, a young boy approached her and tried to sell her some candy. She could tell from his clothes, that he was very poor and probably homeless. She did feel sorry for him, but since she had left all of her stuff inside, including her wallet, she told him that she did not want any candy. The boy looked disappointed but as he was leaving she clearly heard him giggling.

“What are you laughing about?” she asked him.

The boy covered his mouth as if he was just caught doing something he shouldn’t.

It was her funny skirt, he explained.

The ballerina got a little bit angry, “this is not a funny skirt” she told him. “That’s a tutu. It is for dancing.”

The boy couldn’t help but explode laughing at the funniest word he had ever heard “A toutou?”

“A tutu, silly boy, not a toutou! It’s for dancing ballet.”

But then the boy asked shyly “What’s ballet?”

This was pure horror to the ballerina, “Poor silly boy. I’ll show you.”

The ballerina then brought her special dancing shoes, which she told the boy they were called Pointe shoes, her music player and begun dancing for the boy.

The boy did not really care what the shoes were called, they looked as funny as her skirt, but then he forgot all that as the Ballerina started to dance. His eyes became big, filled with wonder and awe and followed her every move. He had never, ever, seen anything like that.

Soon, passersby begun to gather. At first they were a just couple, then six, then ten; before long there was barely enough space for the ballerina to move. When she was done, they all clapped and an old woman wiped away a happy tear. Most of them threw her some money, which the Ballerina knew exactly what to do with it. The little boy kept clapping until the Ballerina told him to stop then gave him all the money, she had just made.

“Here” said the ballerina to him. The boy could not believe it and was very happy but when he realized it was time for the ballerina to leave,  he was very upset and almost cried.

“What’s wrong?” Asked the ballerina, “isn’t this enough?”

“It’s more than I would make in three days,” said the little boy, “it’s not that.”

“What is it then,” asked the ballerina concerned.

“I have two younger brothers,” he told her, “and they, too, have never seen anything like your toutou dancing.”

The Ballerina was amused, and that was rare, so she immediately made up her mind about what she had to do next.

“Take me to them,” she said, “ I’ll dance for them.”

This surprised the boy a great deal, so much, he nearly dropped all of his money. Then there seemed to be something else that troubling him.

“I don’t think you can come.”

“Of course I can,” the Ballerina interrupted, “Let me just get my things.”

“No, you don’t understand. It will be too dangerous for you to come.”

“And why is that?” asked the Ballerina

“There is a monster where I live,” the boy said.

“There are no monsters,” said the Ballerina.

“Where you live, you wouldn’t see him,” said the boy, “He hides well. Where I live, he haunts the streets and he would hurt me if he catches me or my brothers. He caught us once,”

The Ballerina stood watching the boy and did not know what to say.

Then the boy said whispering, “But we escaped. We were too smart for him. We were fast too.”

“I am also smart and fast,” replied the Ballerina.

The boy sized up the Ballerina for some time. This could be dangerous, he thought, but his brothers may not get another chance to see toutou dancing again. Finally he agreed on the one condition, she would do exactly what he told her to do.

The Classics and Excitement Over “The Raven”

Being a bibliophile and an avid reader I confess that while i have read a lot of classics, the non-classics outnumber them by, well, a lot.
And while I mean to go back and to them, i always seem get sidetracked by the new big thing. It helps that i tend to prejude them as dull (“They have been written over a 100 years ago,” “my mom was only born 50 years ago and i think she’s out of fashion,” etc.) So you can imagine how positively surprised i am when i actually go through a classic which i have been postponing for ages. Then it hits me; firstly, it’s wrong and mean of me to compare my mother to a 100 year old book and she is not “unfashionable,” and secondly i have been missing out on great/awesome writing. Really the difference between the classics and the new books is that the classics have already been filtered and only the best have remained and while not all may be to your taste, at least you get to have an intellectual argument next time someone fusses about how great this classic is.
In my country (Lebanon), people don’t read much. I wish to make reading more exciting.
With tablets i think i can make reading a whole new experience which while i don’t wish to compare it to reading a paper book, should encourage people to read, not only here but around the world as well. So i thought i would start with the classics.

Ok, so would you like to hear the wind and the rain if it’s raining in the story? Would you like to have a monster jump up on you if you are reading a horror story? What about ambience? (Not rhetoric questions, i would really like to have your feedback)
I know the ambience happens in your head while you read, but we do go watch the movie because we didn’t have enough of the story and it’s a different experience.
That’s what i am aiming for: a new reading experience (entertaining) and encourage people to read worthy stories and great writing.

And by the way, I am super excited that the downloads for ‘The Raven’ ( https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/the-raven/id581468270?mt=11&ign-mpt=uo%3D4) ) have surpassed  1000 copies since it was first published in December. I am also really happy that the book has received mostly good ratings.
The invisible man is going great. I tried for this book a totally different illustration style than the raven.
I really hope people will like this one too.