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Hidden History on podcast “Whispers in the Dark” – free stuff to listeners

Hidden History of Oz author, Tarl Telford, will be a featured guest on the Wednesday, March 13th podcast, Whispers in the Dark, hosted by Viktor Aurelius. The entire show is two hours, running from 9:00pm – 11:00pm Eastern Time (GMT – 5 hours). The second hour is devoted to The Hidden History of Oz.

For all you fans tuning in live, there will be a very special treat. Only for fans tuning in live, and following the chat feed, there will be a limited-time coupon for a FREE download of The Hidden History of Oz, Book One: Witch Queens. For those who can’t tune in live, download the podcast for a limited-time discount coupon to download the book.

To all those who tune in and download the book, I’d like to hear your feedback. And, as always, when you finish the book, write a review, either on Amazon or Smashwords. Your honest review is greatly appreciated.


Munchkin Civil War

The Lollipop Guild, from the 1939 movie

Munchkins, you know, the short people in the Wizard of Oz movie. Why are they so short? Why do they like blue?

L. Frank Baum wrote four races into The Wonderful Wizard of Oz – Munchkin, Winkie, Quadling, and Gillikin. Then there were the folks in the Emerald Lands – the accepted term is Ozian, which Baum used himself in three of his books.

As I was working on Hidden History of Oz, Book 2, I noticed something peculiar. Munchkins and Gillikins have the same suffix – kin. Could they be related? I believe so.  Walk with me a while and I’ll tell you.

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Four Witches in Oz

Dorothy melts the Wicked Witch of the West, by W.W. Denslow

There are four witches in Oz – one in each corner, or rather, one in each Cardinal Direction. L. Frank Baum laid out the powers that ruled the corners of Oz. In his first book, he detailed this witchy phenomenon:

“There were only four witches in all the Land of Oz, and two of them, those who live in the North and the South, are good witches. I know this is true, for I am one of them myself, and cannot be mistaken. Those who dwelt in the East and the West were, indeed, wicked witches; but now that you have killed one of them, there is but one Wicked Witch in all the Land of Oz–the one who lives in the West.”

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, chapter 2, “The Council with the Munchkins”

So, four Witches? Is this a Star Wars dark lord of Sith-type limitation on the number of Witches? Let’s explore this witch-rule across three different versions of Oz – canonical Oz, by L. Frank Baum; Disney Oz, coming to theaters soon; and The Hidden History of Oz, available now.

You may have seen what Disney is doing with their Oz prequel, Oz, the Great and Powerful. If not, here’s a quick peek at one of the TV spots.

Which Witch is which?

Disney’s Witches

Official character bio for each witch:

Glinda – Glinda is a good witch who rules over a peaceful kingdom of simple, kind folk. Beautiful Glinda is not only a compassionate and benevolent witch, but also a fierce protector of her people. Though Glinda sees through Oz’s facade early on, she knows genuine goodness lies within and helps Oz achieve his true destiny.

Evanora – A witch to be feared, Evanora is Theodora’s over-protective sister. With her penetrating gaze, she exudes a powerful presence and has positioned herself as the royal advisor and protector of Emerald City.

Theodora – Theodora is a beautiful, naive witch who is protected by her powerful sister Evanora. Theodora only wants peace to come to the Land of Oz and truly believes that a prophesied wizard will arrive someday to restore order.

Then there is a silhouette of a witch in the fire. Who could this be? We’ll have to wait until March 8, 2013, when the film is released, to find out.

Baum’s Witches

North

The Good Witch of the North was not named in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Nor whas she named in any of Baum’s Oz books. However, Baum gave her the name of Locasta in the 1902 musical extravaganza, The Wizard of Oz.

Ruth Plumly Thompson, Baum’s handpicked successor in writing Oz books, revamped the character and gave her the name of Tattypoo.

The Good Witch of the North is often confused with Glinda. Why? Because the 1939 MGM movie, The Wizard of Oz, combined the two good witches into one and called her Glinda. Thanks for that.

East

The Wicked Witch of the East is not named in Baum’s books.

West

The Wicked Witch of the West is not named in Baum’s books. However, in the 1910 silent film, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, this witch is named Momba in the intertitles (or title cards).

South

The Good Witch of the South is Glinda the Good. She is the most powerful of the Witches. According to the Soldier with Green Whiskers, Glinda:

“knows how to keep young in spite of the many years she has lived.”

— The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, chapter 18, “Away to the South”

So she was the most beautiful of the four witches. Later books in Baum’s Oz series refer to Glinda as a Sorceress, rather than a Witch.

Hidden History Witches

This information is taken from The Hidden History of Oz, Book One: The Witch Queens.

Gayelette

Gayelette is the eternal sorceress who rules from the Ruby Palace in the lands of the North. She is a sorceress who exists in a different time than normal people – she does not ever age. She is more than one hundred years old. Her constant research keeps her too busy to pay attention to either matters of state or family.
Gayelette researches the power of dreams, probing into the mystery, “Why does nobody in Oz dream?”

Kalinya

Kalinya rules over the Munchkins in the East as their unquestioned leader. She is cruel and easily irritated. Her magic is telekinetic, and her greatest threat is to throw a person into the sky. She is clever and constantly schemes to gain more power, especially against her chief rival, Gayelette.
It is Kalinya who later becomes known as the Wicked Witch of the East.

Ondri-baba

Ondri-baba is the homely and cruel younger sister of Kalinya. She is short and stocky, and fond of wearing ornate neckpieces. Her magic is invisibility. She has a magic eye that can see long distances; it can see what normal waking eyes cannot see. She controls the majority of the magic hourglasses sold by Smith & Tinker, and so controls the Sandy Armies.
It is Ondri-baba who eventually conquers the Winkies in the West and becomes the Wicked Witch of the West.

Sonadia

Sonadia is only mentioned in the book. She met her untimely death under very mysterious circumstances. Through conversations with Kalinya and Glinda, we learn that Sonadia had powers over weather, and she taught some of these spells to Gayelette.

Mombi

Mombi is a strategist and political opportunist. Though her powers of transformation and disguise are well-known to the leaders of the various lands in Oz, Mombi seeks out the true positions of power – those behind the throne. She is careful in her use of power, though sometimes she gets caught up in Kalinya’s schemes.
Note: Mombi is not mentioned in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, though she is the primary antagonist in Baum’s second book, The Marvelous Land of Oz.

Locasta

Locasta is a young Munchkin maiden, taken as an apprentice by Kalinya, Witch of the East. She is quiet and non-confrontational, doing what she is told. She fears her master and the cruel punishments that she earns for her supposed ineptitude.  Her most powerful magic is the ownership of an oracular hat.
Though sent to capture Glinda, she learns a valuable lesson from the young sorceress and finds the courage to stand on her own merit. With Glinda building her forces in the South, Locasta becomes what Glinda cannot be – the Witch of the North.

Glinda

Glinda is the daughter of the Ruby Sorceress, Gayelette, and Quelala, rulers of the North. She was born a princess, but she imagines for herself adventure and romance, just like in her large collection of books. She has fiery red hair, and a temper to match.
When her parents disappear, Glinda finds herself thrown into adventure, with the Wicked Witches chasing after her. With a name and a fame belonging to her mother, Glinda fights back against the witches to earn for herself the title of Glinda the Good, and secure a new home for herself in the South.

History of the Witches in Oz

Baum’s version

According to Baum’s later Oz books, the witches had been ruling for decades, and the three witches – East, West, and Mombi in the North – conspired to conquer the entire Land of Oz and divide it up among themselves.

Hidden History version

According to stories in Book One, there have been two Witch Wars. Both of these wars tore the Land of Oz apart as the Witches combined their powers and created vast armies to fight against the kings and queens of the land.

In the Second Witch War, the Witches obtained an alliance and power from the Queen of Dreams, a mysterious ruler from across the sea. The Witches unwisely used this power and poisoned and destroyed the sea. The sea became a toxic desert that surrounds the Land of Oz.

Book One details the beginning of the Third Witch War, as the Wicked Witches again combine their power to overthrow the rulers of the land. While this book begins the Third Witch Wars, they do not end until later books, with the arrival of a young “sorceress” (Dorothy) to the Land of Oz.

How will it end?

The Witch Wars end when all the Witches are dead. We know that Dorothy interacts with all of the main witches in the original story, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. She destroys two of them, and receives magical protection and favors from the other two.  However, the journey from four cardinal witches to two witches is a fascinating one explored in the Hidden History of Oz novels.

If you haven’t picked up your copy yet, you can find it on Amazon (in paperback and Kindle versions) or on Smashwords.

Edit: Update on the ending of the Third Witch Wars. It happens in later books, not Book Four. – Tarl


fear on the Brick Road to Success

On the Road to the Emerald City, a sand scuplture

Fear is the anti-mortar on the brick road of my life. It is the unbinding factor that consistently threatens to undo all of the hard work that put into life.

For twenty-five years I have wanted to be a writer. I decided at about eleven years of age that I wanted to write novels. I started almost immediately. Today I have boxes full of notebooks full of stories – most of them half-finished. These were all building blocks for what was to come, and what is, now. Every so often, I go back and discover great ideas that I once had, but I had since forgotten in the flowing tides of imagination. You know, things get buried under the sands as the imagination flows and ebbs. The Hidden History of Oz, Book One: The Witch Queens (Emerald Engine Studios, 2012) is my first published novel. Why did it take so long to write my first book? The answer is simple in its profundity – fear. (more…)


A Courageous New Year in Oz

Cowardly Lion, by Tarl Telford

Cowardly Lion, by Tarl Telford

Courage is a thing that when it is inside you, the world seems different. So it was for the Cowardly Lion in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. So it is for us. Sometimes we just need a little reminder that what we need is already growing inside of us – it just needs a little more light to grow properly.

Today is the first day of 2013. This new year is going to be an exciting one for the Hidden History series. Book Two is more than half complete. The master plan is to publish in spring.

The entire series is plotted. That’s seven books’ worth of story that I  am anxious to share this with you, my readers. When I say I have plotted out the series, I mean that I have set the landmarks and the the conflict. But any trip is not defined simply by its landmarks. The journey is

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Hidden History of Oz – 2012 recap

The wizard, by W.W. Denslow, original illustrator for The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

Free promo time on Amazon is over, and I want to say THANK YOU to all of the hundreds of readers who downloaded The Hidden History of Oz, Book One: The Witch Queens. If a link in the book brought you here, welcome. If you are looking for information about L. Frank Baum‘s Oz, you’ll find some useful pieces of canonical knowledge, as it relates to the Hidden History of Oz.

But first, a welcome and introduction- (more…)


Image

Intersections of Oz

Intersections of Oz

This handy infographic displays the interrelationship of Oz stories.
There are a lot of Oz stories out there, and we’re about to discover even more. Find out where The Hidden History of Oz series, written by Tarl Telford, fits into everything.


Humbug

Prince of Humbugs, written by P.T. Barnum

Humbug.

“I do not think that word means what you think it means.” I quote here Inigo Montoya here, talking to Vizzini about “inconceivable”. (see The Princess Bride for details)

Humbug isn’t a word we use anymore. It became forever immortalized on the lips of one Ebeneezer Scrooge in Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. It’s too bad – humbug is a good word that describes very well a practice that many of us buy in to. It may even describe some of the people we may know. (more…)


Spend Christmas in Oz – for FREE

‘Twas the Night Before Christmas, by WW Denslow (original illustrator of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz)

This Christmas, give your loved ones (including yourself) an exciting vacation in the Land of Oz.
For a limited time ONLY (Dec. 24 – 26), download my book, “The Hidden History of Oz, Book One: The Witch Queens”, for FREE. (http://www.amazon.com/Witch-Queens-Hidden-History-ebook/dp/B008JISCNC/)

This exciting prequel to The Wonderful Wizard of Oz will keep children, friends, and in-laws enthralled for hours! Join young sorceress Glinda and the ventriloquist-turned-wizard, Oscar, as they stand against the Wicked Witches and learn the true cost and responsibility of freedom.
For a limited time only, spend Christmas in the Land of Oz. Your imagination (and the beneficiaries of this wonderful gift) will thank you.

Paperback version is available also, but it’s not free. While you are clicking around this site, why not click your mouse three times and say, “There’s no place like the Hidden History of Oz facebook page!” Like us there, and you can also follow us on Google+

Have a very Merry Christmas. Give the gift of Oz to family. They will thank you, and so will we.


Rubies and Emeralds and Pearls, oh my!

When you think of precious gems in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, what immediately comes to mind? Emeralds, of course. Why is this? Because the Emerald City is the central metropolis in the Land of Oz. It is the must-see destination for all visitors to Oz.

However, there is another prominent precious stone that appears multiple times in “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” and is arguably of equal, if not greater, significance.

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Hidden History Map of Oz, circa 1852

Map of Oz, during the time of The Witch Queens

The mapped Land of Oz holds many mysteries. There are many places to explore. This map is just the beginning of your journeys.

See, this is the official map for The Hidden History of Oz: Book One, The Witch Queens, included in both the paperback and Kindle versions. Note that this is not all of Oz. This is the map of the places traveled to in this story.

Let’s look at the structure of the map first, then look at the deserts. (more…)


Dreamers in Oz

How did Dorothy get to Oz? How did Oscar Diggs (aka The Wizard) get to Oz?

The simple answer is that they flew. With all of the satellite technology that we have available to us now, you would think that Oz would show up on Google Maps, but it doesn’t. The reason is simple – there is only one way to get to Oz.

Or, put another way, only dreamers enter Oz. Proof after the break. (more…)


Powered by Dreams

Dream City, by Paul Klee, courtesy wikipaintings.org

The basic premise of the Hidden History of Oz is “dreams determine reality.” Compare this with the basic premise set forth by L. Frank Baum in his written introduction to The Wonderful Wizard of Oz:

“… a modernized fairy tale, in which the wonderment and joy are retained and the heartaches and nightmares are left out.” (emphasis added)

As stated on this site, “There is that history which is celebrated … and that which is hidden.” Baum told simple stories with no explanation. They have enchanted generations. The fairy tales of the past have been lost in the shadows as today’s knowledge has expanded. It is time to revisit the fairy tales and discover their meaning for our generation. (more…)


History of the Winged Monkeys

The Winged Monkeys are one of the most memorable creatures in MGM’s 1939 film, The Wizard of Oz. While this has contributed nightmare fuel to more than one generation, the silent monkeys of that film bear little character resemblance to the nuanced race of creatures in the original novel, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.

The Winged Monkeys play a much more important role in the history of Oz than you have been led to believe. In many respects, the Winged Monkeys brought the Hidden History of Oz to light. (more…)


Wrong Directions: Secrets of the Compass Rose

Hidden History Compass Rose, by Tarl Telford

Hidden History Compass Rose, by Tarl Telford

Compass Rose for the Hidden History of Oz. Note that the directions East and West are reversed from the "civilized world"


The compass rose in Oz has been a controversy for more than a century. The directions East and West are reversed on the first “official” map of Oz.

Was this a mistake? Or are directions truly different in Oz?  (more…)


The Science of Oz (sort of), Part 1

The Lion and the Tortoise, painted by Eugene Delacroix, 1835

Lion and Tortoise, by Eugene Delacroix, 1835. Public Domain image courtesy wikipaintings

Science enriches our lives, broadens our understanding, and encourages us to explore the world we live in. Science can also be a big downer when it comes to magic and myth. Sometimes knowing the science of stories makes them less … well, magical. That is the risk we take in this post.  (more…)


Annotating Oz

Gayelette, the Ruby Sorceress

Gayelette, the Ruby Sorceress The Hidden History of Oz came to life over several years. It didn’t spring fully-formed from my forehead. The concept began when I discovered clues cleverly dropped by L. Frank Baum that told the story of Oz before the Wizard came …

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s take this one step at a time.

Why annotate Oz?

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