Coraline is a masterfully made film, an amazing piece of art that i would never ever ever show to a child oh my god are you kidding me

Nothing wrong with a good dose of sheer terror at a young age

“It was a story, I learned when people began to read it, that children experienced as an adventure, but which gave adults nightmares. It’s the strangest book I’ve written”

-Neil Gaiman on Coraline


This is a legit psychology phenomenon tho like there’s a stop motion version of Alice and Wonderland that adults find viscerally horrifying, but children think is nbd. It’s like in that ‘toy story’ period of development kids are all kind of high key convinced that their stuffed animals lead secret lives when they’re not looking and that they’re sleeping on top of a child-eating monster every night so they see a movie like Coraline and are just like “Ah, yes. A validation of my normal everyday worldview. Same thing happened to me last Tuesday night. I told mommy and she just smiled and nodded.”

Stephen King had this whole spiel i found really interesting about this phenomenon about how kids have like their own culture and their own literally a different way of viewing and interpreting the world with its own rules that’s like secret and removed from adult culture and that you just kinda forget ever existed as you grow up it’s apparently why he writes about kids so much

An open-ended puzzle often gives parents math anxiety while their kids just happily play with it, explore, and learn. I’ve seen it so many times in math circles. We warn folks about it.

Neil Gaiman also said that the difference in reactions stems from the fact in “Coraline” adults see a child in danger – while children see themselves facing danger and winning

i never saw so much push back from adults towards YA literature as when middle aged women started reading The Hunger Games. They were horrified that kids would be given such harsh stories, and I kept trying to point out the NECESSITY of confronting these hard issues in a safe fictional environment.

Also, in an interview, he said that Coraline was partially based on a story his not yet 6 year old daughter would tell him 

SAGAL: No. I mean, for example, your incredibly successful young adult novel “Coraline” is about a young girl in house in which there’s a hole in the wall that leads to a very mysterious and very evil world. So when you were a kid, is that what you imagined?

GAIMAN: When I was a kid, we actually lived in a house that had been divided in two at one point, which meant that one room in our house opened up onto a brick wall. And I was convinced all I had to do was just open it the right way and it wouldn’t be a brick wall. So I’d sidle over to the door and I’d pull it open.


SAGAL: Right.

GAIMAN: And it was always a brick wall.

SAGAL: Right.

GAIMAN: But it was one of those things that as I grew older, I carried it with me and I thought, I want to send somebody through that door. And when I came to write a story for my daughter Holly, at the time she was a 4 or 5-year-old girl. She’d come home from nursery. She’d seen me writing all day. So she’d come and climb on my lap and dictate stories to me. And it’d always be about small girls named Holly.

SAGAL: Right.

GAIMAN: Who would come home to normally find their mother had been kidnapped by a witch and replaced by evil people who wanted to kill her and she’d have to go off and escape. And I thought, great, what a fun kid.

“Fairy tales do not give the child his first idea of bogey. What fairy tales give the child is his first clear idea of the possible defeat of bogey. The baby has known the dragon intimately ever since he had an imagination. What the fairy tale provides for him is a St. George to kill the dragon.” – G. K. Chesterton

This isn’t important, like…. at all, but my depression has kept me writing fiction (mostly fantasy) but not reading fiction for the past few years.

Rather than giving me hope, it often makes me think about how all these wonderful, fantastical things don’t actually happen. Will I ever ride a pegasus? Unlikely. Will some wizard show up on my doorstep with the promise of adventure? Also unlikely. Will I ever be the Chosen One? Heck no.

It always makes me feel like these characters have awesome and exciting lives, while I’m just…… me.

Good surprises are few and far between. My relatives keep having life-threatening health problems that come from almost nowhere at all.

How can I have hope for the kinds of happy endings that fiction provides?

You might suggest that I read things that don’t have happy endings. But that doesn’t help either. It just puts me further into that mental cycle of negativity.

I need positivity in my life, but it has such a nasty habit of kicking me in the teeth. My mental reflex is to say “Yeah, good for them. That’s really great. Honestly. Too bad something like this is never going to happen to me.”

I’m able to be happy for people. Really, I am. But I just also have this stupid knee-jerk reaction that causes happy things to make me sad. Depression. Impostor Syndrome. Anxiety. Doesn’t matter what causes it, honestly.

It feels like you have to be that specific person/character in that specific circumstance to have these results and events.


That last quote in the post I’m reblogging….. That’s the first time in ages I’ve felt like I can go back to reading fiction and seeing it for what it really is: hope.

(This is made even more ridiculous by the fact that I write what I do in order to foster hope and compassion and self-reflection and understanding and all the other stuff that we readers are always craving in our books.)

Your words have power. Don’t underestimate them.

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