I've always gotten a kick out of creepy children's rhymes and tales -- whether you peel back the layers of Disney-like storytelling and find the wicked, creepy center, or you actually pay attention to the cheerily-delivered words and find out what they mean. Most of the time, the stories get white-washed into a fairy tale where Rapunzel wasn't getting it on with the Prince, and Little Red Riding Hood wasn't unknowingly eating her own grandmother. Obviously, they weren't quite the kiddie fare they are these days.

And that's why Neil Gaiman just wrote a great piece for The Guardian, explaining how he came to write the adult fairy tale, Stardust, which came out last month and is being released on DVD just in time for Christmas. The article starts with the history of fairy tales and how they went from adult fantastical fare to kid stories, and the many manifestations they have taken over the years. It's pretty cool to read how he went about writing the tale -- trying to channel the mid-1920s: "All I was certain of was that nobody had written books on computers back in the 1920s, so I bought a large book of unlined pages, the first fountain pen I had owned since my schooldays and a copy of Katharine Briggs' Dictionary of Fairies. I filled the pen and began." In the days where we can write and rewrite without the least scribble, I find it impressive when people go back to writing's roots and do it by hand -- especially when most hands aren't conditioned for it any more.

Gaiman also discusses the changes to the story once Matthew Vaughn penned the script. While the film takes a number of liberties, some of which the author mentions, he points out that this is what they're meant to do -- every story is weaved through a cycle of records on paper and retelling. "I would, of course, be happy if Stardust met with a similar fate, if it continued to be retold long after its author was forgotten, if people forgot that it had once been a book and began their tales of the boy who set out to find the fallen star with 'Once upon a time,' and finished with 'Happily ever after.'" If that happens, someone else will come around and recreate an adult fairy tale and the cycle can continue.