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1. Guest Post: Deborah Blake, Author of Wickedly Dangerous

Please give a warm welcome to special guest Deborah Blake.  Deborah’s book, Wickedly Dangerous, hits stores next week.  I’ll have a review soon over at Romance at Random, but until then, find out a few items that you will never find in protagonist Baba’s magical Airstream.  I asked where I could get one of my own, too, so I’d be styling at the horse shows.  Unfortunately, I think I’m out of luck.

5 things you’d never find in Baba’s Airstream:

1. A bag of Cheetos

2. Cleaning supplies (since she can do it all with a snap of a finger)

3. A copy of TV Guide

4. A pair of Birkenstocks (she’s strictly boots or bare feet…but you might find them in her sister Baba Beka’s magical school bus)

5. A cat (Chudo-Yudo would never allow it, alas)

And sadly, Barbara’s Airstream only exists inside my head, and I don’t think you’d want to live there. It is a very confused and messy place!

Excerpt

Plopping his hat on over his dark blonde hair, Liam strode up to the door of the Airstream—or at least, where he could have sworn the door was a couple of minutes ago. Now there was just a blank wall. He pushed the hair out of his eyes again and walked around to the other side. Shiny silver metal, but no door. So he walked back around to where he started, and there was the entrance, right where it belonged.

“I need to get more sleep,” he muttered to himself. He would almost have said the Airstream was laughing at him, but that was impossible. “More sleep and more coffee.”

He knocked. Waited a minute, and knocked again, louder. Checked his watch. It was six AM; hard to believe that whoever the trailer belonged to was already out and about, but it was always possible. An avid fisherman, maybe, eager to get the first trout of the day. Cautiously, Liam put one hand on the door handle and almost jumped out of his boots when it emitted a loud, ferocious blast of noise.

He snatched his hand away, then laughed at himself as he saw a large, blunt snout pressed against the nearest window. For a second there, he’d almost thought the trailer itself was barking. Man, did he need more coffee.

At the sound of an engine, Liam turned and walked back toward his car. A motorcycle came into view; its rider masked by head-to-toe black leather, a black helmet, and mirrored sunglasses that matched the ones Liam himself wore. The bike itself was a beautiful royal blue classic BMW that made Liam want to drool. And get a better paying job. The melodic throb of its motor cut through the morning silence until it purred to a stop about a foot away from him. The rider swung a leg over the top of the cycle and dismounted gracefully.

“Nice bike,” Liam said in a conversational tone. “Is that a sixty-eight?”

“Sixty-nine,” the rider replied. Gloved hands reached up and removed the helmet, and a cloud of long black hair came pouring out, tumbling waves of ebony silk. The faint aroma of orange blossom drifted across the meadow, although none grew there.

A tenor voice, sounding slightly amused, said, “Is there a problem, officer?”

Liam started, aware that he’d been staring rudely. He told himself it was just the surprise of her gender, not the startling Amazonian beauty of the woman herself, all angles and curves and leather.

“Sheriff,” he corrected out of habit. “Sheriff Liam McClellan.” He held out one hand, then dropped it back to his side when the woman ignored it. “And you are?”

“Not looking for trouble,” she said, a slight accent of unidentifiable origin coloring her words. Her eyes were still hidden behind the dark glasses, so he couldn’t quite make out if she was joking or not. “My name is Barbara Yager. People call me Baba.” One corner of her mouth edged up so briefly, he almost missed it.

“Welcome to Clearwater County,” Liam said. “Would you like to tell me what you’re doing parked out here?” He waved one hand at the Airstream. “I assume this belongs to you?”

She nodded, expressionless. “It does. Or I belong to it. Hard to tell which, sometimes.”

Liam smiled gamely, wondering if his caffeine deficit was making her sound odder than she really was. “Sure. I feel that way about my mortgage sometimes. So, you were going to tell me what you’re doing here.”

“Was I? Somehow I doubt it.” Again, that tiny smile, barely more than a twitch of the lips. “I’m a botanist with a specialty in herbalism; I’m on sabbatical from UC Davis. You have some unusual botanical varieties growing in this area, so I’m here to collect samples for my research.”

Liam’s cop instincts told him that her answer sounded too pat, almost rehearsed. Something about her story was a lie, he was sure of it. But why bother to lie about something he could so easily check?

“Do you have some kind of ID?” he asked. “Your vehicle didn’t turn up in the database and my dispatcher couldn’t find any record of a permit for you to be here. This is county property, you know.” He put on his best “stern cop” expression. The woman with the cloud hair didn’t seem at all fazed.

Author bio:

Deborah Blake is the author of seven books on modern Witchcraft from Llewellyn Worldwide, including The Witch’s Broom (2014). An eighth book, The Everyday Witch, will be out in 2015. Deborah’s first fiction series, The Baba Yaga books, are coming out from Berkley in 2014; they include a prequel novella, Wickedly Magical, as well as Wickedly Dangerous and Wickedly Wonderful. She is represented by agent Elaine Spencer of The Knight Agency.

When not writing, Deborah manages The Artisans’ Guild, a cooperative shop she founded with a friend in 1999, and makes gemstone jewelry. She also is a professional tarot reader and energy healer. Deborah lives in a 120 year old farmhouse in rural upstate New York with five cats who supervise all her activities, both magickal and mundane.

Deborah Blake links:

Website: http://deborahblakeauthor.com

Blog: http://deborahblake.blogspot.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/deborahblake

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/deborah.blake

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20821001-wickedly-dangerous

About the book:

Author: Deborah Blake

Release date: September 2, 2014

Genre: Paranormal Romance (modern fairy tale)

Publisher; Berkley/Penguin

Available as: Mass market paperback/eBook

Other books in the series: Wickedly Magical (Prequel novella 8/5/14) Wickedly Wonderful (Book 2, 12/2/14)

Amazon: Wickedly Dangerous (A Baba Yaga Novel)  

B&N:http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/wickedly-dangerous-deborah-blake/1118662987?cm_mmc=affiliates-_-linkshare-_-ev0de4uoclu-_-10%3a1&ean=9780425272923&isbn=9780425272923&r=1

IndieBound: http://www.indiebound.org/book/9780425272923?aff=PenguinGroupUS

Penguin: http://www.penguin.com/book/wickedly-dangerous-by-deborah-blake/9780425272923

Known as the wicked witch of Russian fairy tales, Baba Yaga is not one woman, but rather a title carried by a chosen few. They keep the balance of nature and guard the borders of our world, but don’t make the mistake of crossing one of them…

Older than she looks and powerful beyond measure, Barbara Yager no longer has much in common with the mortal life she left behind long ago. Posing as an herbalist and researcher, she travels the country with her faithful (mostly) dragon-turned-dog in an enchanted Airstream, fulfilling her duties as a Baba Yaga and avoiding any possibility of human attachment.

But when she is summoned to find a missing child, Barbara suddenly finds herself caught up in a web of deceit and an unexpected attraction to the charming but frustrating Sheriff Liam McClellan.

Now, as Barbara fights both human enemies and Otherworld creatures to save the lives of three innocent children, she discovers that her most difficult battle may be with her own heart…

The post Guest Post: Deborah Blake, Author of Wickedly Dangerous appeared first on Manga Maniac Cafe.

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2. Coming Soon: Katherine Coville’s The Cottage in the Woods

I love fairy tale reworkings. At the same time their popularity of late has resulted in a lot of mediocre ones and so when I come across one I’m both excited and wary. Is it going to be a goofy-movie-Shrek-imitating-like thing or more in the vein of Michael Buckley’s Fairy Tale DetectivesChristopher Healy’s Hero’s Guides, or Adam Gidwitz’s Grimm series?  And if YA dark is it going to be lame bodice-ripper or something with heft, like Tom McNeal’s Far Far Away? And so seeing a  description of Katherine Coville’s debut novel The Cottage in the Woods on Edelweiss,  I requested it on a whim and began reading it with very low expectations.  And so what a lovely surprise when it turned out to be completely engrossing, a book I read steadily until I was done. In other words, reader, I liked it very much.

The story is a unique melding of a Regency Romance/Victorian Gothic set within a fairy tale world. Our heroine and narrator is Ursula Brown, a very proper young bear who has come to the Cottage in the Woods, the wealthy Vaughn family’s estate near Bremen Town, as their young boy’s governess. The three Vaughn bears live an elegant and refined life and Ursula slips into it without much difficulty, tolerating Mr. Vaughn’s stern admonitions, appreciating Mrs. Vaughn’s kind gestures, and falling very much in love with her sweet young charge, Teddy.  But life in the area is not easy. The Enchanted — those animals who talk, dress, and act as humans do — are struggling with envy, prejudice, racial hostility, and out-and-out vigilantism from some of their human neighbors.

The publisher indicates that this is a reworking of “Goldilocks and the Three Bears.” It is indeed, but I don’t wish to give away just how. I will say that I found it an enormously clever rethinking of that particular story, very much in keeping with the literary tradition Coville is working in, that of the Victorian novel.  I’ve been reading and listening to a lot of them these days and so I was very impressed with how well Coville used those tropes in her story. Ursula is very introspective, the various Enchanteds in her world are as proper and polite as anyone in an Austen, Bronte, Eliot, or Trollope novel. There is plenty of drama here, but not the swashbuckling sort of some of the other fairy tale workings. And while somber on occasion it isn’t as dark as some of the YA ones around.

There are so many clever fairy tale/nursery rhyme touches that also allude to the Victorian novel tradtion. For instance, Teddy’s nurse is an illiterate tippling badger who is quite jealous of our heroine and an amusing contrast to the cozy cute ones of Potter and others. Best of all is the Goldilock’s plot thread — it is a brilliant rethinking of the story within a classic Victorian Gothic setting.  And I love the representation of the doctor who comes to examine her at one point with his Freud-like Viennese accent.

So keep an eye out for this one. I can’t wait to see what others make of it.


2 Comments on Coming Soon: Katherine Coville’s The Cottage in the Woods, last added: 8/18/2014
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3. An Interview with Frances Hardinge - by C.J. Busby

I first met Frances Hardinge as part of an intrepid SAS contingent that stormed the World Fantasy Convention in Brighton in October 2013. We had a great time, although there were fewer costumes than I'd hoped, and no centaurs galloping through the plenary session...


Myself, Teresa Flavin and Katherine Roberts do the costume thing...
I recently read and reviewed Frances Hardinge's new book, Cuckoo Song, for ABBA reviews (you can find the review here).  I loved it - and I wanted to ask Frances some questions about it, and about her writing in general, of which I am great admirer. So I thought I would hijack my ABBA post this month to interview her. Luckily, she is a very accommodating person, and was happy to allow me to grill her. As we live at opposite ends of the country, this had to be by email: but let's pretend we met in a chippy in Brighton for this conversation...

Waiting for fish and chips
So, Frances, unlike in previous novels, Cuckoo Song is set in a real historical period. How did you find that compared with setting your stories in secondary worlds where you are free to make it all up? 


Writing a book set in a specific real world time period is much harder. There's always the fear of getting some detail wrong, and being caught out. One becomes obsessed with checking historical minutae, even for details that probably won't make the final cut. In a way it's a lot of fun, and you discover lots of new things during the research, but you can go quite, quite mad. In spite of my checking, I'm sure there are still lurking errors.

I did find myself making some compromises. Sometimes to preserve the pace of the book, you can't afford to detour into lengthy explanations of historical context. 

And I had to compromise when it came to the dialogue. At first I really wanted to have my characters using plenty of slang from the time. Then I started looking at the things people actually said in 1920s Britain.

I say! Rather! I should think so! Jolly decent. A good sort. Old thing. Old bean. Old man. Ragging. Blighter. What rot! What a lark! That's torn it!

Nowadays we can't read these phrases without hearing them in the voice of Bertie Wooster or Billy Bunter. They sound flippant, innocent, comical and bit twee. When one is trying to build suspense in a tale of psychological horror, that's the last thing you need. The characters might as well be exclaiming:
“Oh well, never mind, old girl. What ho! Ginger beer!”

Yes - that would have ruined the atmosphere for sure! It's a bit like the dilemma of using Shakespearian language in an Elizabethan setting - the odd words and phrases give a sense of a different time, but too many 'thee's and 'thou's and it starts to sound like a send up. Of course, in Cuckoo Song it's not only a case of real-world historical details, because you are also depicting another world - the fairie realm. I loved the idea of fairies as these strange bird-like Besiders who lurk in out-of-the-way places. How much did you draw on particular details for myths and folktales as inspiration when developing your otherworld characters?

In the case of Cuckoo Song, I drew quite heavily on the old changeling folktales. These tales make for a disturbing read, not just because of the nightmare scenario of a malignant imposter taking the place of one's child. In the stories, the human hosts usually rid themselves of the changeling through utter cruelty - leaving them on a dunghill, flinging them into deep water, hurling them into the fire, etc. (It's particularly unpleasant because there's evidence that in past centuries some children with severe disabilities really did die from such brutal treatment, because they were thought to be 'changelings'.)

The nature of the changeling varies from one folktale to another. Sometimes it's a fretful, sickly fairy child, swapped for a healthy human infant by envious fairy parents. Sometimes it's a full-grown adult fairy, infiltrating the mortal cottage so that it can be pampered and fed. Occasionally, however, the changeling nothing more than a doll, fashioned from leaves, wood or wax, and enchanted to look like an ailing child. It was the third type that started to fascinate me.

The journey of Triss and Pen into the Underbelly is inspired by a particular folktale called "The Smith and the Fairies". After his son is stolen by fairies, a smith is advised by a wise man to go to the green hill on a certain night, armed with only a dirk, a Bible and a crowing cock. The way into the hill will be open that night. He must drive the dirk into the ground to make sure the hill does not close behind him. The Bible is protection. It is the rooster, however, that will most upset the fairies...

In some ways, however, I deliberately deviated from traditional fairy lore. The fairies of folklore tend to be vulnerable to cold iron, but also to trappings of the church - Bibles, prayers, blessings, church bells. In my book, the Besiders are twilight creatures, inhabitants of the in-between and unmapped places, and their great enemy is certainty. Most iron will not hurt them, but they have a horror of scissors, which cleanly and cruelly divide, leaving nothing in between. Religious faith is dangerous to them, but so is faith and certainty of all kinds.

I found the idea of the scissors as a symbol of dividing everything neatly into one side or the other quite chilling - as you make clear, so much cruelty comes from that kind of black and white thinking. The book is very good at delving into the grey areas between, and showing how mixed-up most people's characters are. I especially liked your portrayal of the relationship between the two sisters, Triss and Pen. As one of two sisters myself, I totally recognised that combination of fierce hatred and love - the way your sister can be both your worst enemy and the one person you can always rely on. Do you have sisters, or was that an impressive feat of imagination?

I do have a sister. I was older, but by only eleven months, and it always felt as though we were basically the same age. We constructed elaborate imaginary worlds together, tried to set up a detective agency (we never got any cases), wrote plays with songs, invented codes and fought like fury. The first time one of my milk teeth came out, it was because I was biting my sister.

Ha, ha. I knew it! I was also the eldest and my sister was thirteen months younger, so a very similar gap. And yes, we fought bitterly, but also collaborated to create imaginary worlds and games, write letters in code, make maps and search for hidden treasure (we never found any). It's a great apprenticeship for writing children's books! 

One of the things I also like about your books is that you never really hurt or destroy your main characters - they may have some heart-stopping or tearful moments, but they are generally put down gently on safe ground at the end. Are you conscious of that, and is it related to the age you write for, or is it just part of who you are as a writer, that you don't have a desire to take your readers to very dark or unhappy places? (Or do you secretly nurse a desire to write a book with a massacre in it?)

Funnily enough, one of my books does have a massacre in it! It's my third book, Gullstruck Island. I won't say any more since it's an important plot event, and I wouldn't want to commit spoilers.

Ah - I haven't read that one! (Orders it from the library immediately...)

My books tend to have a bodycount, and for the course of the story I like my readers to be in real doubt about whether my main character will survive. Most of them live in quite unforgiving worlds. I suspect that in fact I probably do take my protagonists to some dark and unhappy places... but then allow them to find a way out again, through their own ingenuity, courage and strength of will. 

My books don't often have neat or straightforward 'happy endings', but hope generally triumphs. That isn't because I'm softening my books for a younger audience, but because I'm naturally quite a hopeful person. I'm a cynical optimist.

I think that's what I meant, really - not that there aren't dark times or places, but that as a reader I feel safe. I know that somehow it will work out, the main characters will find a way. I like the idea of being a cynical optimist - I think I'm probably one, too.

I'd like to finish  by asking you a bit about the nuts and bolts of how you write. Your language is wonderfully inventive - your descriptions always fresh and original. Is that something that just flows from your pen or do you refine a lot in subsequent versions?

I am not one of those authors who manages to produce the same number of words each day (though I admire the discipline of all those who do). I have spurts of productivity where I turn out a lot of text in a day. Afterwards I go back and fiddle with it neurotically, and usually the 'fiddling' takes the form of cutting. I have a terrible addiction to metaphors, so when I revise my own work it usually involves the gentle patter of snipped metaphors and similes hitting the floor.

That's interesting - so the first draft has even more of that inventive figurative language! I'd love to see a Frances Hardinge text before it's been pruned, all overgrown and tangled with trailing metaphors. What a treat! But your stories aren't just beautifully described, they have cracking plots. Do you work these out beforehand, or follow leads as they come up? In other words, are you a plotter or a pantser?

I always plot out my books before I write them. For my first book I even had a chapter by chapter outline. I haven't gone into quite that much detail in plans for my later books, but I always map out the main incidents, and know what the ending will be.

However, there's always some room for making things up on the fly. A book should be a journey of discovery for the writer as well as the reader, otherwise the writing process can become dull and leaden. My stories surprise me. Characters develop in unexpected ways. Just now and then, I change my mind about my plot structure halfway through writing the book. It's still useful to have that first plan, though, even if I decide to deviate from it. I need that trellis, even if I can't full predict how my story-vine will grow.

What do you do when you get stuck? How do you get the ideas and words flowing again?

I seldom reach a point where I can't write. Instead, I get a form of writers' block where I write the same chapter over and over again, and can't get the text to 'work'. It lies there on the screen like a stunned weasel.

If you're sitting alone in a study for too long you can get hypnotised by your own screen. Sometimes I go for a ten-mile hike, just so that I can work through some plot knots in my head. 

I find it a lot easier to write, however, if there is a deadline looming, even if it's an artifical one. I belong to a couple of writers' groups, and I find that I become a lot more productive just before the sessions...

I think that's probably enough. I could happily carry on all day, but we need to get started on those chips! Many thanks for answering my questions, and good luck with the next book!

It's been a pleasure. Pass the ketchup!




I hope everyone's enjoyed this conversation as much as I did - and if any of you haven't come across Frances's books, do go and seek them out. They are among the most inventive, delightful and original books for older children I've read.



C.J. Busby writes funny fantasy for 7-10. Her latest book, Deep Amber, is out with Templar. The sequel, Dragon Amber, will be published in September.


Twitter: @ceciliabusby


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4. The shadow knows – it's Adventure Time! – by David Thorpe



Have you watched Adventure Time? Maybe you have seen the comic or the graphic novel or some of the merchandise. It's a phenomenon, not least because of the age range it seems to appeal to. It is a show on the Cartoon Network, which the network claims tops its ratings and is watched by 2 million 2–11 year old boys – but I know many older kids, including students, who watch it avidly too.



When I first saw it I must admit I was surprised that something as violent, surreal and bizarre – and sometimes with such horrific and sexual content – was being aired for young children. It has a PG rating but that does nothing to keep it from young children's impressionable brains.

Here's a list of extreme stuff you can find in it. It includes: "Lots of references to sex, ejaculation, viagra, sex-positions, sexual remarks and humor." And here's a spoof web page parodying the reaction of the Christian right.

Disney it is not.

I think it's brilliant (but then I have a degree in Dada and Surrealism), and its freshness is perhaps partly because it's not written in the conventional sense (by a writer or writer team) but produced by artists using storyboards that are then developed by a team, even going so far as deliberately to employ surrealist techniques such as the Exquisite Corpse game in order to come up with ideas. It's also hand-drawn, each 11 minute episode taking 8–9 months to make.

Now: "Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men?" This was the line that introduced the American radio show The Shadow in the 1930s (it later became a film, comic book series, etc etc). One answer is (besides the eponymous detective) – that children do. Children are far more preoccupied with questions about what adults call the dark side of human nature than many adults give them credit for. The best children's writers know this.
the Shadow knows

Adventure Time is therefore in the same ballpark as Where the Wild Things Are...


... and the darkest of nursery rhymes and fairy stories....



 ... the kind that were explored by Angela Carter in her novels about growing up such as the Magic Toyshop and the Company of Wolves...


...stories where grandmothers turning to carnivorous beasts, the bedroom is populated by monsters, and the house next door contains versions of your own parents but with buttons for eyes (thanks, Neil)...



But it's also in the same ballpark as beautiful wonder-filled Hayao Miyazaki films such as My Neighbour Totoro



There is a genuine sense of beauty, spirituality and awe in many of Adventure Time's episodes or scenes, that is also shared by children who are viewing the world for the first time. It's as if the creators have been able to access their own infantile selves to identify with the way that children see the world. 


My reference to The Shadow was chosen for another reason: the parts of the personality satisfied in its fans by Adventure Time and these other stories can be seen as parts of the 'shadow self', as described by the poet Robert Bly in his A Little Book on the Human Shadow.

The Jungian theory of the human shadow, itself part-derived from myths and old stories, is that babies and young children have what Bly calls a 360° personality. But much of this compass of human potential is socialised out of their behaviour during their upbringing. By the time they are around 20 years old just a slice remains. This is the socialised personality that becomes fixed as an adult.

The remaining portion is buried – the shadow – but it emerges in odd ways: our obsessions, the imaginary traits we project onto situations and other people, particularly our partners, the things we are frightened of, particularly in ourselves.

Bly says that after the age of 40 or so – the age of the midlife crisis – adults often start to unpack their shadow. Their reaction to this process determines the rest of the course of their lives. 

The shadow is not bad, nor evil. Those are labels that adults put onto things. The shadow contains just what was suppressed, punished or ignored during the socialisation or upbringing process, and depends on the values held by the parents and the culture they belong too. 

And this, I think, is why Adventure Time appeals to young adults as well as children. Young adults are struggling with those aspects of themselves which adults want to repress. In young adults there is a sense of nostalgia for their childhood self, that remains as a fading echo before the responsibilities of adulthood unkindly snuff it out altogether and they forget forever what being a child is like. They know this is going to happen, they regret it and they try to cling on to its last vestiges as long as possible.

The shadow is important, vital, necessary, and it is dangerous to repress it or ignore it. The makers of Adventure Time, and the Cartoon Network that commissions it, cannot be unaware of this. It is a liminal gate to the subconscious, the place where creativity thrives.


If I seem to be making rather grand claims for what is after all a children's cartoon I make no apologies. We all, as writers, are gatekeepers to this realm, aren't we? And each of us, in our own unique way, delves beyond the gate to do our work.

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5. Character Development: What Makes a Villain a Villain?

What makes a villain a villain? I’ve always been a fascinated—and a little bit terrified—of villains, especially in fairytales. As a child, I couldn’t get enough of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs even if the old witch sent me diving into our couch cushions to hide my eyes.

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6. What’s in a Fairy Tale?

I’m very proud to announce the first instalment of my new column at Luna Station Quarterly. The column title is “What’s in a Fairy Tale.” My first essay is “Dark Side of the Fruit,” which takes a closer look at the evil queen’s poisoned apple. LSQ has a brand new format. I hope you’ll stop by […]

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7. My Writing and Reading Life: Sarah Mlynowski

Sarah Mlynowski is the New York Times bestselling author of the Whatever After series as well as Gimme a Call, Don’t Even Think About It, Ten Things We Did (and Probably Shouldn’t Have), How to Be Bad (along with E. Lockhart and Lauren Myracle) and the Magic in Manhattan series. Originally from Montreal, Sarah now lives in the kingdom of Manhattan with her very own prince charming and their fairy-tale-loving daughters.

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8. Writing Competition: Fairy Tale Review Awards in Poetry and Prose

Fairy Tale Review Awards in Poetry and Prose

2014 Prose & Poetry Contest Guidelines

Fairy Tale Review is thrilled to announce the debut of an annual contest, beginning this year with Prose & Poetry awards. We’re interested in poems, stories, and essays with a fairy-tale feel—mainstream to experimental, genre to literary, realist to fabulist. Sarah Shun-lien Bynum will judge prose; Ilya Kaminsky will judge poetry. Both contests will award $1000, and all submissions will be considered for publication in The Mauve Issue. Reading fee: $10.

Submit online or to:

Fairy Tale Review, c/o Kate Bernheimer
Department of English
University of Arizona
Tucson AZ 85721

Deadline: July 15th, 2014

Awards: $1,000 each

Eligibility & Procedure

All submissions must be original and previously unpublished. For prose, please send works of up to 6,000 words. For poetry, no more than five poems and/or ten pages per entry. Simultaneous submissions are acceptable, but please withdraw your manuscript immediately upon acceptance elsewhere, and note that the reading fee is nonrefundable. Multiple submissions are acceptable, but please note that you will need to pay a reading fee for each submission.

Online submissions link.

Reading Fee: $10.00
Ten percent of your reading fee will be donated to Tucson Youth Poetry Slam as part of Fairy Tale Review’s interdisciplinary outreach efforts. (Fairy Tale Review has no official affiliation with Tucson Youth Poetry Slam.)

CLMP Contest Code of Ethics

CLMP’s community of independent literary publishers believe that ethical contests serve our shared goal: to connect writers and readers by publishing exceptional writing. We believe that intent to act ethically, clarity of guidelines, and transparency of process form the foundation of an ethical contest. To that end, we agree to 1) conduct our contests as ethically as possible and to address any unethical behavior on the part of our readers, judges, or editors; 2) to provide clear and specific contest guidelines—defining conflict of interest for all parties involved; and 3) to make the mechanics of our selection process available to the public. This Code recognizes that different contest models produce different results, but that each model can be run ethically. We have adopted this Code to reinforce our integrity and dedication as a publishing community and to ensure that our contests contribute to a vibrant literary heritage.

Fairy Tale Review Annual Contest Selection Process

1st Round of Judging: Non-Blind Read by Genre Editor and Editor. Finalists (approximately 15 poems, 15 pieces of prose) will then be forwarded to the contest judges for the 2nd Round of Judging.
2nd Round of Judging: Blind Read by Contest Judges. Judges change on a yearly basis.
Conflicts of Interest: Students, faculty, staff, or administrators currently affiliated with University of Arizona are ineligible for consideration or publication. Anyone with a substantial personal or professional affiliation with a judge is ineligible to enter in that category; if you have questions as to your eligibility, please contact ftreditorial (at) gmail (dot) com, and we will assess the situation together. Upon learning the Judges’ selections, the Editor will assess any potential conflict of interest before finalizing the result. We ask that past winners of our contest refrain from entering until three years after their winning entry was published.

Fairy Tale Review was established in 2005 and is an annual publication of Wayne State University Press.

About the Judges

Sarah Shun-lien Bynum is the author of two novels, Ms. Hempel Chronicles, a finalist for the 2009 PEN/Faulkner Award, and Madeleine Is Sleeping, a finalist for the 2004 National Book Award and winner of the Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize. Her fiction has appeared in many magazines and anthologies, including the New Yorker, Tin House, the Georgia Review, and the Best American Short Stories 2004 and 2009. The recipient of a Whiting Writers’ Award and an NEA Fellowship, she was named one of “20 Under 40” fiction writers by the New Yorker. She lives in Los Angeles and teaches in the Graduate Writing Program at Otis College of Art and Design.

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9. May- Lost In The Woods, Kids, Books and Dogs

          
Lost in the woods... 


Tuusula april 2014 027We have all been lost in the woods at some time in our life either literally, metaphorically or both.

It is the same for children. 

 

Being lost in the dark forest is a recurrent theme in children's literature, fairy tales, folklore and mythology. 

Being lost in the woods, where there is no clear path to follow, and the light is fading, is a serious and frightening matter.

Wild beasts, dangerous people, and invading armies cannot be seen in the dark forests. But they are there, in the mind of the author, the teller of tales, the animator...and in the mind of the child, until the story or myth brings light, escape and salvation...

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Lost In the Woods with the Moomins

MoominsForest

 The Moomin Forest Comes to the Museum...dangerous but safe. The Ateneum Art Museum, the national Finnish art museum in Helsinki, is celebrating the fantasy world of the Moomins as part of the100th year anniversary exhibit of artist Tove Jansson. Jansson wrote and drew the wonderful Moomins stories.

"The stories often contrast the warmth of home with the threats of nature, or familiar safety with the scary unknown. At the end of dangerous adventures the characters always find their way back home, and the stories always have a happy ending."  I found this Moomin3description from the exhibit guide about Jansson's writing to be a most accurate description of the stories. However, I found nothing that fully described Jansson's extraordinary imagination and I was swept away by her delightful drawings, watercolors and gouache renderings of the fantasy world of the Moomins. 

The nine books and comic strips have been translated into nearly 50 languages and reinvented for stage productions, theme parks, radio plays and TV films. Personally, I prefer the stories to the comic strips, as her writing is so imaginative.

 In Japan,  life -size Moomins in Tokyo's Moomin Cafe keep people company if they are eating alone.

Nature in the form of dark forests, mountains, water, and storms all play a major role in the Moomin adventures. Snow and cold weather take on a life of their own

Philip Pullman said: "Jansson is a genius of a very subtle kind. These simple stories resonate with profound and complex emotions that are like nothing else in literature for children or adults: intensely Nordic, and completely universal."

                            Moomins4

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                          Danger in the Woods...

                         RedRidingHood2011Movie

The classic tale of Little Red Riding Hood's dangerous journey in the woods has been traced back at least 10 centuries. Here is an excerpt from an interview by Rachael Hartigan Shea in the National Geographic Daily News with Jamie Tehrani, an anthropologist at Durham University, UK, who has been studying the orgins and evolution of Red Riding Hood. Appropriately, the interview is entitled, What Wide Orgins You Have, Little Red Riding Hood.

What are some of the theories about the origins of "Little Red Riding Hood"?

"It's been suggested that the tale was an invention of Charles Perrault, who wrote it down in the 17th century. Other people have insisted that "Little Red Riding Hood" RedRidingHoodWolfWoodshas ancient origins. There's an 11th-century poem from Belgium which was recorded by a priest, who says, oh, there's this tale told by the local peasants about a girl wearing a red baptism tunic who wanders off and encounters this wolf.

My results demonstrate that, although most versions that we're familiar with today descended from Perrault's tale, he didn't invent it. My analysis confirmed that the 11th-century poem is indeed an early ancestor of the modern fairy tale."

Here is an excerpt and link to the 17th century version of Little Red Riding Hood written by Charles Perrault

...Little Red Riding Hood set out immediately to go to her grandmother, who lived in another village.

As she was going through the wood, she met with a wolf, who had a very great mind to eat her up, but he dared not, because of some woodcutters working nearby in the forest. He asked her where she was going. The poor child, who did not know that it was dangerous to stay and talk to a wolf, said to him, "I am going to see my grandmother and carry her a cake and a little pot of butter from my mother."

DoreRedRidinghood"Does she live far off?" said the wolf

"Oh I say," answered Little Red Riding Hood; "it is beyond that mill you see there, at the first house in the village."

"Well," said the wolf, "and I'll go and see her too. I'll go this way and go you that, and we shall see who will be there first."

The wolf ran as fast as he could, taking the shortest path, and the little girl took a roundabout way, entertaining herself by gathering nuts, running after butterflies, and gathering bouquets of little flowers. It was not long before the wolf arrived at the old woman's house. He knocked at the door: tap, tap...

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"We don’t really know when fairy tales originated", said author and scholar

ZipesIrresistableFairyTaleJack Zipes
in a Smithsonian interterview by K. Annabelle Smith..."
I’ve tried to show in my most recent book, the Irresistible Fairytale, that in order to talk about any genre, particularly what we call simple genre—a myth, a legend, an anecdote, a tall tale, and so on—we really have to understand something about the origin of stories all together. What the Greeks and Romans considered myths, we consider fairy tales. We can see how very clearly the myths, which emanated from all cultures, had a huge influence on the development of the modern fairy tale."

Here's the link to read all the interview, including Zipes reaction to Snow White and the Huntsman:  Smithsonian

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2 Doghead 1.457 by 1.573 inches

 

If only Hansel and Gretel, Snow White and Red Riding Hood had a dog with them in the woods, their stories would have been totally different. Imagine having a fearless protector, who can "see" in the night, offers unconditional love, and if you ever get lost, knows the way home.

 

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China...The stories are the same , but the illustrations are new for the Planet OF The Dogs Series in China.

HBG

 

 

 

  

   

 

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PoDcoverThis blog is dedicated to the power of story and the worlds of wonder and imagination that are the world of children's literature. And to therapy dogs, that help reluctant children banish fear of reading.

Therapy dogs help change children's lives and open the doors to possibilities through reading. In the Planet Of The Dogs books the dogs teach people about courage, loyalty and love.

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  LitWorld Takes Children Out Of The Forest of Illiteracy

      LitWorldKenya

LitWorld's Mission Statement: LitWorld empowers all children to author lives of independence, hope, and joy...LitWorld engages students and families around the globe by providing opportunities for them to explore and learn from their own narratives and voices, and builds sustainable communities for literacy where knowledge and empowerment break the cycle of illiteracy and give all people a chance to pursue every dream.

Here's a link to Pam Allyn,  the founder of LitWorld , being interviewed on AlJazeera, about reading problems and illiteracy in the USA and around the globe.

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  Aliceheader

If you have kids in the family, or have a soft spot for dogs, check out the lovely annimated song, On Dog, by Nat Johnson. Here is the link:
Educating Alice, the website of author, school teacher and book lover Monica Edinger.

Ms Edinger also posted a review of Rush Limbaugh's book for kids about the Pigrims:..."So I was curious when one of my students brought in Rush Limbaugh's Rush Revere and the Brave Pilgrims for me to see. After all, I had heard that the author was a finalist Children's Book Week Author of the Year Award due to its high status on the best seller list (and this week was dubbed the winner).  And so I was curious --- what was the book like? 

Sadly, I have to concur with both the Kirkus review and editor Vicky Smith's closer look at it (and its sequel);  the book is not good. The history offered in a fictional form is the standard take on the Pilgrims and so very familiar to me. The writing is incredibly poor, cringe-inducing in spots as are the digital illustrations. There are a few older looking images scattered throughout with citations at the end; unfortunately, these are muddled without proper identification. It would not be something I'd want to add to my curriculum, that is for sure..." Here's the link: Monica Edinger 

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Life With a Dog: You Meet People

Jane Brody, the highly respected health news writer for the New York Times, after four years as a widow, has "adopted a 5-month-old puppy, a hypoallergenic Havanese small enough for me to pick up and carry, even into my ninth decade, when I travel to visit family and friends." Here are excerpts from her informative and personal article on her new life with Max, as well as the health benefits of owning a dog...

"More American Households have dogs as pets than any other type of nonhuman companion. Studies of the health ramifications have strongly suggested that pets, particularly dogs, can foster cardiovascular health, resistance to stress, social connectivity and enhanced longevity...

JaneBrody'sMaxYes, he’s a lot of work, at least at this age. But like a small child, Max makes me laugh many times a day. That’s not unusual, apparently: In a study of 95 people who kept “laughter logs,” those who owned dogs laughed more often than cat owners and people who owned neither.

When I speak to Max, he looks at me lovingly and seems to understand what I’m saying. When I open his crate each morning, he greets me with unbounded enthusiasm.Likewise when I return from a walk or swim, a day at the office, or an evening at the theater.

But perhaps the most interesting (and unpremeditated) benefit has been the scores of people I’ve met on the street, both with and without dogs, who stop to admire him and talk to me...Read it all by following this Link: JaneBrody  The photo of the Havanese is courtesy of Jenny Kutner at the Dodo.com 

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    Planet-dogs-2012

  

“The Barking Planet series of illustrated kids' books full of mythic fairy tale dog heroes is unabashedly humane, uplifting, and morally improving, which may not be everybody's cup of tea (or bowl of kibble), but it does make for interesting relief in a kid lit world increasingly obsessed with violence, family dysfunction and personal trauma.”-Barbara Julian, Animal Literature Blog

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  Frozen4

The Power and Profit of a Retold Fairy Tale

Frozen has become a major financial triumph for Disney  reports Brooks Barnes in the New York Times (excerpted below). Perhaps stockholders, Disney executives and children who have seen the movie should all thank Hans Christian Anderson for creating the original Snow Queen fairy tale -- the inspiration for the film.

"According to Robert A. Iger, Disney's chief executive, 'No single business or entertainment offering was responsible for Disney’s overall spike in profit, although the runaway success of “Frozen' may have been the largest contributor. An animated princess musical, 'Frozen' has Frozen6taken in $1.18 billion dollars worldwide since opening in November...

The Frozen soundtrack, released by Disney and distributed by Universal Music, has become the biggest hit of the season, selling nearly 2.5 million copies in the United States alone and ranking No. 1 on Billboard’s album chart 12 times.

Mr. Iger, speaking during a conference call with analysts, said “Frozen” now ranked as one of the top five franchises in terms of revenue, putting it up there with the likes of “Toy Story” and Winnie the Pooh in terms of importance.

“Passion for these characters and for the film is so extraordinary,” Mr. Iger said, noting that “Frozen” was coming to Broadway and that Disney was working to increase the presence of the film’s Nordic characters in its theme parks.

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Frozen was inspired by an 1845 Fairy Tale...

The Snow Queen... Snow-queenReindeer-06b

Here is an excerpt from the 1872 English Translation by H.P. Pauli. The Snow Queen is one of 168 fairy tales by Hans Christian Anderson. The original tale is in seven parts and included a great deal of darkness, danger and evil characters. Nevertheless, it had a very happy ending as the pure heart of Gerda overcame the powers of the Snow Queen, the develish troll and the broken mirror. The original illustration of this edition are by Vilhelm Pedersen.

The original story concerns Gerda's quest to rescue Kay, a neighbor boy and dear friend, who has been lured to the Snow Queen's palace. Here is an excerpt... 

The walls of the palace were formed of drifted snow, and the windows and doors of the cutting winds. There were more than a hundred rooms in it, all as if they had been formed with snow blown together. The largest of them extended for several miles; they were all lighted up by the vivid light of the aurora, and they were so large and empty, so icy cold and glittering! There were no amusements here, not even a little bear’s ball, when the storm might have been the music, and the bears could have danced on their hind legs, and shown their good manners. There were no pleasant ... AndersonBookCover

...Just at this moment it happened that little Gerda came through the great door of the castle. Cutting winds were raging around her, but she offered up a prayer and the winds sank down as if they were going to sleep; and she went on till she came to the large empty hall, and caught sight of Kay; she knew him directly; she flew to him and threw her arms round his neck, and held him fast, while she exclaimed, “Kay, dear little Kay, I have found you at last.”

But he sat quite still, stiff and cold.

Then little Gerda wept hot tears, which fell on his breast, and penetrated into his heart, and thawed the lump of ice, and washed away the little piece of glass which had stuck there. Then he looked at her, and she sang..."

Gerda's good heart and courage ultimately prevail over turmoil, evil and danger,

and , once again, all is happy in the end.

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 The Early Days of Fairy Tales... RedRidingHoodRackham

"The fairy tale grew, as a literary genre, out of out of the folk stories of the European past. We like to believe that they have no real authors, that they have been orally transmitted, and that they remain flexible in their details and their telling. Like Aesop's Fables, fairy tales come in famous groups with well-known characters: Beauty and the Beast, Hansel and Gretel, the Snow Queen, Rumplestiltskin, the Little Mermaid and the like. But fairy tales, as we know them now, are really the creation of literate collectors, editors, and authors working from the late seventeenth until the nineteenth century...Charles Perrault emerged in the last decades of the seventeenth century as the best and most widely read of these story tellers..." from the chapter, Straw Into Gold, in Seth Lerer's book, Children's Literature, A Reader's History from Aesop To Harry Potter.

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Frog kingMaria Tatar has written several brief, pithy, descriptions of classic fairy tales. Here is one of them from her blog, Breezes from Wonderland.

 

Frog Prince: Sweet guy who is always ready to lend a helping hand. Tends to overshare and can become clingy at times. Willing to change for the right woman. Big supporter of sustainability movements and eco-friendly solutions.

Illustration by Warwick Goble

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 Dog Lovers...if you care about cruelty and animal abuse, but don't have time to spare, or you find the internet difficult to use...read this excerpt from John Woestendiak's  insightful review of CA Wulff's How to Change the World in Thirty Seconds as seen on
Arielchange world3edhis outstanding website ohmidog!  

..."Just how much one person can do is laid out in Cayr Ariel Wulff’s new book, “How to Change the World in 30 Seconds: A Web Warriors Guide to Animal Advocacy Online.”

Wulff, who speaks from experience, shows how something as big and untenable as the Internet can, with relative ease, be used to make life better for individual dogs, and the species as a whole.
How to navigate the Internet, with an eye towards helping dogs, is clearly and concisely explained in Wulff’s handbook, which should be required reading for animal shelters, rescue organizations and anyone else interested in doing something more about the problems than complain."  Here is the link to read more of the review:  ChangeTheWorld

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Lost On The Yellow Brick Road
-- When RLegendsOzScarecrowMachineeimagining a Classic Fairy Tale Fails...

Based on the reviews, The Legend Of Oz: Dorothy's Return which opened in many theaters on May 9th in North America, will soon be forgotten. Here is an excerpt from Peter Hurtlaub's review in the San Francisco Chronicle:

"Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return" returns the heroine who inspired a billion Halloween costumes back to the yellow brick road - this time in search of a plot.

The long journey is filled with action and familiar characters, but ultimately falls short of success. All the brains, heart and courage in the world can't save a movie that doesn't have a third act...Mostly, the film reaffirms how hard it is to make a movie as unforgettable and enduring as "The Wizard of Oz." Good chance you'll forget this one on the way home from the theater."

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FunnyDogVideoDinnerA funny dog video from France... Dinner at the Country Club

 

 

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POD-the three dogs-blog size

The Planet Of The Dogs series of books are available through your favorite independent bookstore or via Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Powell's... 

Librarians, teachers, bookstores...Order Planet Of The Dogs, Castle In The Mist, and Snow Valley Heroes, A Christmas Tale, through Ingram with a full professional discount. 

Therapy reading dog owners, librarians, teachers and organizations with therapy 
reading dog programs -- you can write us at planetofthedogs@gmail.com and we will send you free reader copies from the Planet of the Dogs Series...

 Dark woods and forests are not threatening in the Planet Of The Dogs book series because of the dogs...Read Sample chapteers here. 

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Author Claire Legrand sent us this information on the Kids Author's Carnival 

KidsAuthorCarnivalThe goal of the KAC is to provide an opportunity for young readers to interact with authors up close and personal in a fun, party-like atmosphere...All ages are welcome and encouraged to attend. But please note that the kids will take center stage at this particular event! 

 

WHEN: Saturday, May 31 from 6pm to 8:30pm. Doors open at 5:30pm.
WHERE: Jefferson Market Library |425 Avenue of the Americas (at 10th Street), New York, NY 10011
COST: Free!
WHO: 37 fantastic middle grade authors...
AGES: 7 and up
ONLINE: twitter | tumblr
 
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Brigadoon Service Dogs
 
The folks at Brigadoon Service Dogs care about helping and healing people who have
Brigadoonlogoserious life problems. The dog lovers at Brigadoon know through experience that these difficult and often painful problems respond to the canine connection. In their own words...
 
"We train dogs to provide assistance to Veterans, children and adults with physical, developmental disabilities, anxiety, Post-traumatic Stress Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injury...
 
 We have opened our doors to several youth groups such as a camp for autistic children, the Parks and Recreation Youth Camp, Girl Scouts and home-schooled kids. We also participate in helping high school seniors with their culminating projects. We’ve trained dogs for children with seizures, young adults with hearing impairments, visual impairment, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, autistic children, etc." 
 
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 Provacative and Clear Analysis of :Teens Today! They Don't Read!
 
Elizabeth Burns is a librarian, author and blogger, who is passionate about reading and the world LibraryseattleGreggMcof books. I rarely post about teen readers, but was very taken by her article which analyzed the flaws in recent writings on NPR, Time, and, especially, Common Sense Media's research on Children, Teens and Reading.
Here is an excerpt that leads into her many questions regarding quetionable research and heavy handed conclusions..."Disclaimer the first: long time readers of this blog now I'm suspicious of Common Sends Media, dating back to the early biased reviews. I'm skeptical of a set that says, if you don't agree with their ratings, or research, you don't have'common sense'..." 
 
Here is a link to read it all: Liz Burn's Tea CozPhoto of Seattle library by Gregg McCarty
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 If you need help to choose a guard dog WCDogsLogo

Way Cool Dogs, always filled with good articles and insights for dog lovers, posted this helpful information regarding Guard Dogs. Here is an excerpt... 

"The guard dog is a security or protection dog. His or her job saves thousands of dollars
CITM-Billy-blog sizeof property damage and saves many lives every day. In a way, they are considered a hero dog.

If you need help to choose a guard dog, here are a few top-notch breeds to choose from. Each has its own behavior and personality. Remember. A dog whose purpose is guarding helps protect your property and your family from danger. A bad one will not.

Choosing the perfect security dog for you, your business, and your family requires two things...Here's the link to read more: Guard Dogs   The illustration by Stella McCarty is from Castle In The Mist

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Dog Owners interested in Pet Products and Giveaways...

Check out Ann Staub at Pawsitively Pets. Ann is knowledgeable and caring and has ongoing pet product reviews and giveaways ...Ann is a "stay at home SmilerReadsPODmom of 2 girls and former vet tech (she graduated from college as a veterinary technician in 2007). Afterwards, she worked as a vet tech for 5 years... working with all kinds of animals including cats, dogs, birds, small mammals, and reptiles."...Ann is also the owner of a pit bull, Shiner, seen on the left reading Planet Of The Dogs...Her website "is not meant to diagnose pet health problems, treat conditions, or replace veterinary care. All opinions shared here are our own and may differ from yours"...She has over 2,500 followers.

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What should you do, what can you do, if you see an injured dog or one in distress?

Sunbearsquad-logoFor answers, examples, true stories and more, visit Sunbear Squad...Let the experience of compassionate dog lovers guide you...free Wallet Cards & Pocket  Posters,  Informative and practical guidance...Visit SunBear Squad - 

 

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Every dog should have a man of his own. There is nothing like a well-behaved person around the house to spread the dog's blanket for him, or bring him his supper when he comes home man-tired a night." Corey Ford (1902-1969)  

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10. The Three Little Pigs and the Somewhat Bad Wolf | Book Review

A funny reimagining of the Three Little Pigs story, where the wolf isn’t so much big and bad but just hungry … and a bit grouchy.

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11. Melisande (1901)

Melisande. E. Nesbit. Illustrated by P.J. Lynch. 1901/1988/1999. Candlewick. 48 pages. [Source: Book I Bought]

When the Princess Melisande was born, her mother, the Queen, wished to have a christening party, but the King put his foot down and said he would not have it. 
"I've seen too much trouble come of christening parties," said he. "However carefully you keep your visiting book, some fairy or other is sure to get let out, and you know what that leads to. Why, even in my own family the most shocking things have occurred. The Fairy Malevola was not asked to my great-grandmother's christening, and you know all about the spindle and the hundred years' sleep."
"Perhaps you're right," said the Queen. "My own cousin by marriage forgot a stuffy old fairy when she sent out the cards for her daughter's christening, and the old wretch turned up at the last moment. The girl drops toads out of her mouth to this day."

 Don't you just love stories that start out like this?! I know I do! E. Nesbit's Melisande is practically perfect in every way. It's pure delight through and through. The premise is simple: a king and queen are so sure that a christening party is a bad idea that they decide to skip it all together. But in their eagerness to escape everything-you'd-expect, they didn't take into account every possible scenario. Seven hundred not-so-happy fairies turn up! All thinking that there had been a christening without them! Malevola is the loudest and boldest. She declares that the new princess will be bald. The king shows his cleverness and the remaining fairies are dismissed; he asserts, only ever ONE fairy is forgotten and since that ONE fairy has already given her ill-wishing gift, the others can all go back home.The King lessens his wife's sorrow, to a certain extent, by promising to give Melisande, his daughter, a wish he never used himself. (His fairy godmother gave him a wish for his wedding.) He wants to WAIT until Melisande is all grown up and can decide her own wish.

The Queen strongly influences Melisande's wish when the time comes. Melisande's wish has consequences!
I wish I had golden hair a yard long, and that it would grow an inch every day, and grow twice as fast every time it was cut...
Poor Melisande! Within a few weeks, she has realized how HORRIBLE and TERRIBLE this wish of hers was.
When it was three yards long, the Princess could not bear it any longer, it was so heavy and so hot, so she borrowed Nurse's scissors and cut it all off, and then for a few hours she was comfortable. But the hair went on growing, and now it grew twice as fast as before so that in thirty-six days it was as long as ever. The poor Princess cried with tiredness, and when she couldn't bear it any more she cut her hair and was comfortable for a very little time. The hair now grew four times as fast as at first, and in eighteen days it was as long as before, and she had to have it cut. Then it grew eight inches a day, and the next time it was cut it grew sixteen inches a day, and then thirty-two inches and sixty-four inches and a hundred and twenty eight inches a day and son, growing twice as fast after each cutting.
Soon Melisande and her parents are desperate for help! Is there a way to stop the madness?! Will she ever be happy again?!

I definitely recommend getting an illustrated edition of Melisande. The illustrations by P.J. Lynch are WONDERFUL.

© 2014 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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12. Call for Submissions: Composite Arts Magazine


Composite Arts Magazine is now accepting submissions for its Summer 2014 issue, themed Lore.

We accept fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction. Fiction and creative nonfiction should be under 3,000 words.
 
Please send no more than 5 poems or 10 total pages of poetry. The deadline for submissions is Monday May 12, 2014.
 
You can find the full theme statement, as well as further submission guidelines via Submittable.

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13. Rump (2013)

Rump: The True Story of Rumpelstiltskin. 2013. Random House. 272 pages. [Source: Review copy]

What a fun book! I really, really enjoyed Liesl Shurtliff's Rump which boasts of being, of course, the TRUE story of Rumpelstiltskin. From page one, Rump makes a delightful hero in this middle grade fantasy. Here's the first paragraph: "My mother named me after a cow's rear end. It's the favorite village joke, and probably the only one, but it's not really true. At least I don't think it's true, and neither does Gran. Really, my mother had another name for me, a wonderful name, but no one ever heard it. They only heard the first part. The worst part." Rump lives in a world where your NAME leads to your destiny, so, you can imagine that Rump struggles with what destiny has in store for him since it "blessed" him with a name like that. Rump is NOT friendless, however. His two biggest supporters are his Gran, who has raised him from his birth, and Red, his best friend and sidekick who has a Granny of her own in the forest. The situation is relatively bleak when the novel opens. Rump lives in a poor community that is easily oppressed by the king. The local miller dispenses food to the community based on how much gold the person (family) has contributed. So hunger is a part of life for many. One day, however, Rump discovers something in his Gran's woodpile: his mother's spinning wheel. His Gran is NOT pleased that Rump wants to keep it, to learn to use it. Rump gives it a try, and, he discovers the magic within. Yes, he learns he has the magic inside him to spin straw into gold. But what does NOT come naturally is the wisdom on when to use and when NOT to use magic. He has NOT learned that all magic comes with a price. That his oh-so-delightful talent might come with a big, big price that he won't want to pay.

I love this one. I do. I love the narration. I love the storytelling. I love how the story was adapted and changed. I loved that magic had consequences. I loved seeing Rump grow and mature into Rumpelstiltskin.
© 2014 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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14. Chinese Fables: The Dragon Slayer and Other Timeless Tales of Wisdom | Book Review

This collection of pithy tales is multi-layered. The stories linger in the mind the way a good poem resonates. They are ancient Chinese fables Shiho S. Nunes has expanded into longer tales.

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15. Call for Submissions: NonBinary Review


NonBinary Review, the quarterly literary publication of Zoetic Press, wants art and literature that tiptoes the tightrope between now and then. Art that makes us see our literary offerings in new ways. We want language that makes us reach for a dictionary, a tissue, or both. Words in combinations and patterns that leave the faint of heart a little dizzy. We want insight, deep diving, broad connections, literary conspiracies, personal revelations, or anything you want to tell us about the themes we’ve chosen.

Literary forms are changing as we use technology and typography to find new ways to tell stories—for work that doesn’t fit neatly into any one genre, we’ve created a separate category to properly evaluate submissions of a hybrid or experimental nature.

Each issue will focus on a single theme. Upcoming themes:

Issue #1 (June 2014): Grimm’s Fairy Tales

Issue #2 (September 2014): Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein

We are a paying market--1 cent per word for prose/hybrid work, $10 flat fee per poem, and $25 flat fee for art.

For more detailed guidelines, please expand the guidelines box of the genre you’re submitting to on our Submittable page.

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16. Call for Submissions: Rose Red Review

Rose Red Review is now accepting submissions for its Summer 2014 issue!

Rose Red Review is published four times a year, in homage to the passing season. In fairy tales, the future is unknown, often summarized by the vague phrase “happily ever after,” but each character is influenced by his or her past, and we, like the characters, live in the moment as we read their story. Rose Red Review seeks to publish art, fiction, photography, and poetry that best reflects the magic in the every day–work that honors the past, the moment, and the uncertain future.

Read more about the publication here.


Please send your submissions here.


Please visit Rose Red Review on Facebook. On Twitter.

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17. The Girl with a Brave Heart: A Tale from Tehran, by Rita Jahanforuz | Book Review

Set in Tehran, Iran, this quite original tale is a reminder that story themes are universal. At times it has the feel of Cinderella with a cultural twist. Other times, it is reminiscent of Charles Perrault’s tale of the kindly sister and the bad-tempered sister, whose deeds have different outcomes.

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18. Writing Competition: Fairy Tale Review

Fairy Tale Review is thrilled to announce the debut of an annual contest, beginning this year with Prose & Poetry awards.

We’re interested in poems, stories, and essays with a fairy-tale feel—mainstream to experimental, genre to literary, realist to fabulist. Sarah Shun-lien Bynum will judge prose; Ilya Kaminsky will judge poetry. Both contests will award $1000, and all submissions will be considered for publication in The Mauve Issue.

Reading fee: $10.

Submit online or to:

Fairy Tale Review, c/o Kate Bernheimer
Department of English
University of Arizona
Tucson AZ 85721

Deadline: July 15th, 2014

Awards: $1,000 each

Eligibility & Procedure

All submissions must be original and previously unpublished. For prose, please send works of up to 6,000 words. For poetry, no more than five poems and/or ten pages per entry. Simultaneous submissions are acceptable, but please withdraw your manuscript immediately upon acceptance elsewhere, and note that the reading fee is nonrefundable. Multiple submissions are acceptable, but please note that you will need to pay a reading fee for each submission.

Submit to the Poetry Contest.
Submit to the Prose Contest.

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19. Philip Pullman, Shaun Tan, and Grimm Fairy Tales

9783848920013_grimm

Last summer, at a wonderful international children’s literature conference, I met Klaus Humann of Aladin Verlag at which time, among other things, we chatted about his publishing a German edition of Philip Pullman’s Grimm fairy tales retellings. It was interesting to talk to him and later to Philip about the interesting situation of translating a British retelling of what was, after all, originally a collection of stories written and published in German.

I think I also did vaguely know, but forgot until now that Shaun Tan was to do the cover. But now I just learned that he did much more than that, he did illustrations too, small sculptures for each of the stories, no less!  Of course, I ordered it immediately.  You can see a few of them and read about Shaun’s thinking about the creation of them here.  

 


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20. Coming Soon: Karen Foxlee’s Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy

Poking around Netgalley I came across Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy and, intrigued by the description, began reading it and was quickly hooked. It is a lovely, moody contemporary reworking of Anderson’s “The Snow Queen” set in a museum, no less. I find books set in museum to be tricky things — sometimes the setting seems more important than the rest of it. Fortunately, in this case, it totally works. Our heroine, Ophelia, has arrived in the never-identified city with her older sister while their father works on a blockbuster exhibit of swords. They are all mourning the loss of the family’s mother in their own ways: the father throws himself into work,  the older sister becomes eagerly distracted by the exhibit’s fashionable female curator, and Ophelia gloomily wanders the museum, counting the days and hours since her mother’s death. In her wanderings she comes across the Marvelous Boy of the title and so her adventure begins.  Ophelia is a winning heroine as she fights fear to do what needs to be done (just…you know..saving the world and stuff),  the Boy sad and stalwart (his own back story meanders through the larger story taking place in the museum), the writing elegant, and the plot compelling.  There are creepy creatures, ghosts, a deliciously evil villain, magical things, and plenty more to keep middle grade readers engrossed. 

Recently the publisher sent me a print ARC along with a key and a tiny tube of super glue (a particularly clever, if for those who haven’t yet read the book, especially enigmatic touch), all of which made me smile.


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21. Call for Submissions: Dead, Mad, or a Poet

Call for submissions for re-launch of Dead, Mad, or a Poet. Fiction, poetry and articles for a Pagan literary magazine. Submit by January 15. Guidelines here.

Our focus is on fiction, poetry and art by a certain subset of modern Pagans, but we will happily accept work from other folks, Pagan or no, if it suits our sensibilities and aesthetic. We do not publish oathbound material, nor do we support the proliferation of fake “traditional” material which actually has a known or knowable source. We may publish liturgical poetry presented to us by the original author, but we do not publish spells or rituals unless they have independent literary merit.

We print previously unpublished work, except by arrangement. Previous publication includes the Internet, so if you have posted your work in your personal blog or other fora, please remove it before you submit it to us.

Poetry: Image-rich, sensuous, and strange. It should sound like the fairies would like it. Send 3-5 poems per submission.

Fiction: Fiction by or about Pagans, re-tellings of myth or fairy tales, original work in a mythic or fairy tale style, or anything that wouldn’t look out of place with them at a party.

Art: Digital formats, please. More specific information forthcoming.

Non-fiction: Craft (as in writing) essays, Craft (as in witch) essays, folklore, mythology, history relevant to our other interests, or any combination of the above. We welcome solid scholarly work with cries of glee, but personal musings are also perfectly acceptable.

Poetry may be any length; fiction should be less than 10,000 words. Microfictions are delightful. Send as an attachment (.doc, .rtf, or .odt file) to an e-mail with the genre, your name, and the title(s) of your work in the subject heading to:

submissionsATdeadmadorpoetDOTcom (Change AT to @ and DOT to .)

You may submit as many times or in as many genres as you like, but please wait until you receive a response before sending your next submission. We do not accept simultaneous submissions.

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22. Tell a Fairy Tale Day is February 26th

Fairy tales are a beloved and meaningful part of the lives of many people, across many languages and cultures, and so surely it comes as no surprise that there's a Little Known Holiday dedicated entirely to those time-honored tales:


Tell a Fairy Tale Day


Celebrated annually on February 26th, it's a day to have some fun and tell some fairy tales in whatever way suits your fancy. And just in case you're stuck for ideas, we've collected a few suggestions to get you started:



Make Up Your Own Fairy Tale to Write or Tell or Act Out

You can have a ton of fun creating your very own original fairy tale. Need help getting started? No problem. Here are a few basic guidelines on what makes a fairy tale...a fairy tale:
  • The story begins at a non-specific point (such as: "Once upon a time..." or "A long, long time ago, in a kingdom far away..."). 
  • Things tend to happen in threes.
  • There is usually some type of royalty involved.
  • Some sort of good vs evil theme is always a good bet.
  • Some sort of magic is typically included (say, a talking animal, perhaps, or a magic sword).
  • Often, there is some type of quest to be embarked upon, or a difficult task to be completed, before the hero/heroine can accomplish their goal.
  • A lesson is usually found at the end.
  • Most endings are of the "Happily Ever After" sort...but not always. There could instead be a "cautionary tale" aspect to the ending.

Find Some Ready-Made Fairy Tales to Share
  • Visit your local library and check out some of your fave fairy tales to share with your loved ones, no matter their ages. Or look for fairy tales that are new-to-you. Children, or adults, or preteens...even teens* love a good fairy tale. (*Yes, you do. You know you do - especially if that fairy tale is of the Fractured Fairy Tale type, or maybe even a picture book with some really awesome illustrations.) 
  • Wander the aisles of your local bookstore, browsing their fairy tale collections, until you find a couple of fairy tale books that you just have to have. Stories so powerful that they've stayed in people's hearts and minds over so many, many years must certainly be worth adding to your own collection of books, right?

Go Online
  • Visit this Pinterest Tell a Fairy Tale page for a fun, informal game of "Guess the Fairy Tale."
  • The World of Tales web page has a large collection of fairy tales you can read online for free. The tales are from a variety of cultures, and also include folktales and fables.

Watch Some Videos


* * *

However you choose to celebrate Tell a Fairy Tale Day, we hope the fairy tales you enjoy today live on in your heart...happily ever after.



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23. My Favorite Art Prompts (Great for Writing, too!)

Deciding what to draw or paint every day can be just as worrisome as wondering what to write. That's why I rely on my grab-bag of prompts for both activities, whether they're from magazine cut-outs, art history books, or my handy pile of themed index cards. 

Today I thought I'd share some of my favorite idea-starters, ones that can be used for artwork or sketching practice as well as steering clear of the writing doldrums:

  • Illustrate a fairy tale. It helps to choose a story you truly love, but if, on the other hand, you feel that "Sleeping Beauty" or "Little Red Riding Hood" have been over-done, or are too iconic, try choosing an unfamiliar tale, one from a culture foreign to your own, or one you've made up!
  • Collage your current goals. Magazines are a great way to find your initial pictures, but don't overlook the hidden gems you might discover in junk mail, retail catalogs, or business brochures.
  • Last night's dream. Although it can be fun to reproduce the objects and scenes from a dream, I personally find it more evocative to paint the mood of my dreams. Fortunately, I have always dreamed in color, but even if you're a person who dreams in black-and-white, you can still explore what you think the colors of your dream would be if they appeared on paper.
  • A still life of five random objects. Don't think--just gather items without judging or evaluating their artistic worth. Your job is to arrange the items in such a way that they take on a whole new life and meaning. Aim for, "Wow! I never thought of that before!"
  • Copy an Old Masters painting in pencil. Don't be overwhelmed if the painting you've chosen to copy is too big, too detailed, or just plain old "too good." Instead, play with line work, blocking out the composition, or a portion of the picture, e.g., a section of drapery, the trees in the background, the hands in a portrait.
  • Cut up or tear a reproduction or photocopy of an Old Masters painting and turn it into a collage. Pay special attention to the colors and themes of any materials or ephemera you add to your composition. Try some startling contrasts or harmonious blending. 
  • Your hand holding an object. Sometimes when I'm really stuck for subject matter I'll simply draw my hand and wrist. To make the exercise more lively, I've started adding objects to the mix: my pen, a toy, a cup of tea. Often these drawings can be the equivalent of a complete, but much-less complicated, self-portrait.
  • Draw or paint a landscape with only two colors. Limiting yourself to a two-color palette can be a fun and inspiring choice. Will you use complementary colors (say, red and green), warm vs. cool colors, or two shades from the same range, for instance a light violet paired with a darker purple? It's interesting to note how the colors you pick can often speak more loudly than an entire rainbow of color.
  • Collage with black-and-white photos. Make photocopies or prints of vintage photographs, whether from your own family or those found in used bookstores or thrift stores. Tell a visual story; then add writing or calligraphy to embellish the composition. Alternatively, you can use the pieces to make a strong and surreal abstract.
  • Cut shapes out of various colors of construction paper. Then arrange them into interesting designs you either glue to paper and paint over, or use as a reference to copy and turn into a separate, and original, piece.
  • Draw to music. Never fails. Whether you're doodling or painting a masterpiece worthy of gallery space, listening to music while you work is a great way to loosen up and fully express yourself.
  • Read a poem. Then paint your feelings, or illustrate your favorite line(s).
Many, if not all, of these ideas can easily be turned into writing prompts. For instance, rather than painting a fairy tale, try rewriting one like I did with "Little Goldie"-- my take on "Goldilocks and the Three Bears." Happy creating!

Tip of the Day: Write these and any other prompts you can think of on scraps of paper. Fold each one into a square, then place it into a jar or bowl to select at random each day. Be sure to keep the prompts when you're finished; repeating the exercises with new subjects, mediums, and approaches is a valuable practice in itself.

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24. Call for Speculative Flash Fiction: Lightning Cake

Lightning Cake is a tiny zine of illustrated speculative flash fiction. New electrifying bites posted weekly—cut yourself a slice and chomp in. Lightning Cake wants speculative stories—stories that are fantastic, strange, idiosyncratic. Science fiction, fantasy, magical realism, slipstream, weird, new weird, futuristic, surreal, mythic, fairy tales—Lightning Cake likes them all. Lightning Cake will fall for the stories that scared you to write, and will love the stories that you loved writing.

Submit previously unpublished speculative flash fiction up to 500 words.

Lightning Cake pays $5 ($0.01-$0.04/word) for accepted stories.

Upcoming reading period: April 1 - July 31, 2014.

Follow @LightningCake on Twitter for updates.

Read our guidelines here.  Our website.

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25. Grimmtastic Girls by Suzanne Williams & Joan Holub | Book Series Giveaway

Enter to win autographed copies of the first two books in the brand new series, Grimmtastic Girls, written by Joan Holub & Suzanne Williams. Giveaway begins March 18, 2014, at 12:01 A.M. PST and ends April 17, 2014, at 11:59 P.M. PST.

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