June 21, 2017

Fairy Tale Roundup Issue Two Out Today

 

The second issue of Fairy Tale Roundup comes out later today. It's packed with potential reading material for fairy tale fans, so I know you'll love it.

If you have signed up, please make sure that you opened the email you received after the sign up. You need to click on a button to do a final agreement that you really want to be on the list. 

Also, if you can't find an issue email, check your promotions or junk or spam folders. A lot of mail I want actually ends up in those folders and that might be the case for you as well.

If you haven't signed up yet, just go HERE: 

It's easy!

Image from "Snow White" is by Charles B Falls.
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June 19, 2017

London, We Are With You

 

London, Manchester--the U.K. has been suffering terrible bombings and other public attacks in the last few days. And that recent tragic and terrible Grenfell fire is so unutterably sad.

Today, I woke up to find that it looks like some lunatic creep drove a van in a crowd of people just leaving Ramadan services.

All I have to say today is that no matter how crazy the US may seem these days, the overwhelming majority of us send love and compassion to our great ally and friend.


 
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June 16, 2017

Book Reviews Help EC

 

Hi All:
Did you know that one of the best things you can do to help Enchanted Conversation is to review one or more of the books I've written or edited on Amazon? That's because the more reviews I have, the more books I might sell.

But the reviews must be unbiased. Amazon is pretty smart about reviews, and blatantly asking for positive reviews is a definite no-no, and that's understandable.

Right now, there is a great deal on Amazon for Frozen Fairy Tales. It's only 99 cents for the ebook! You won't  get a better price than that. And if it's as hot outside where you are as it is where I am, winter fairy tales may especially appeal to you right now.

The other titles of mine (all from World Weaver Press, a great publisher!) are also at discounted prices for ebooks. Beyond the Glass Slipper costs $3.99 in Kindle form. Krampusnacht: Twelve Nights of Krampus, is $5.99, as is the latest Krampus collection, He Sees You When He's Creepin': Tales of Krampus.

If you are a blogger or have another form of social media in which you have reviewed any of these books, please let me know by contacting me at Enchantedconversation@gmail.com.

If you've already read any of the books and have meant to review them on Amazon, please do so. In the world of publishing, Amazon reviews are essential, more than Goodreads or anything else. And, all of my books are inextricably linked to the success of this site. 

So if you have been wondering about easy ways to support the site, here you go! And know that Beyond the Glass Slipper is especially close to my heart. It was a labor of love!

Yours in enchantment,
Kate

P.S. There's a wonderful story by EC's  very own Amanda Bergloff in Frozen Fairy Tales.
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June 15, 2017

Neil Gaiman's Norse Mythology Review, By Amanda Bergloff

 

Norse mythology has been enjoying a pop culture revival lately both in theatrical films and on television. Marvel Studios movie,
Thor: Ragnarok, (to be released in November of this year), the History Channel’s, Vikings, (now in its sixth season on television), and the critically acclaimed cable TV adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s book, American Gods, (featuring an incarnation of Odin, the All Father) are examples of these tales working their way into our modern storytelling narratives. When I saw Neil Gaiman’s latest book, Norse Mythology, at Barnes and Noble, I thought it was a good time for me to familiarize myself more with these myths.


The book was not what I expected, but that’s not a bad thing. Quite frankly, I thought Norse Mythology would be all new stories, featuring Gaiman reworking these tales into new takes on the characters in the Norse pantheon. What I found instead were straightforward, traditional retellings of the original myths. Gaiman notes that he went back to the oldest source material for Norse myths, contained in Snorri Sturluson’s Prose Edda and Poetic Edda, which were compiled and written in the 13th century. Using different translations of these, he blended the prose and poetic versions to create the tales in the book.


 


The style of writing seemed odd at first, since it contrasted with books I’ve recently read, but once I got used to Gaiman’s traditional storytelling style with a light sense of humor, I found myself caught up in the Norse world of Odin the All Father, his son Thor, and Odin’s blood brother...the predecessor of all modern anti-heroes and my personal favorite, Loki, along with the other gods and goddesses that cross paths.


Norse Mythology contains the tales of the gods ranging from their origins to their final end at Ragnarok. It’s a world of gods with weaknesses and strengths, light elves, dwarfs who know how to make ever-growing perfect golden hair, and giants. So many giants. I had no idea giants played such a part in Norse myths. Sometimes these giants trick the gods, but many of them unfortunately fall under Thor’s hammer.


And then, there’s Loki, the one god that cannot be easily defined. Here are stories that show his great intelligence, wit, sense of humor, and fallibility. He’s a catalyst in these myths for both good and evil.


All the iconic symbols are also here and how the gods got them: from Thor’s hammer to Sleipnir, Odin’s eight legged horse, to the mead of poetry and the reason why there are bad poets in the world.


I particularly enjoyed any mention of the Norse goddesses in stories, such as Loki’s daughter, Hel, ruler of the realm of dead that did not die nobly in battle. I wished the book contained more about them, but Gaiman himself laments this in the introduction by pointing out that although their names and powers are known, the actual tales have not been passed down and are lost. He did what he could with the fragments he had.


And thank the gods there was a glossary at the back of the book, which I found extremely helpful in keeping track of all the different, strange Nordic names, places, and relationships that are woven throughout the tales.


By the end of Norse Mythology, I felt a twinge of sadness at reading of the gods’ deaths, but with that came a specific Gaiman twist, that I won’t give away here, but I especially liked.


It was clear that Gaiman has a true love and understanding of these myths and a joy in telling them. In fact he encourages us, as the readers, to find our own joy in these myths by retelling them ourselves “on a summer night when the sun will not set...tell your friends what happened when Thor’s hammer was stolen, or how Odin obtained the mead of poetry for the gods.” After all, sharing folklore and myths with others in our present day is what connects us with all the storytellers of our past...


“And the game begins anew.”


(By the way - I did picture Tom Hiddleston from the Marvel Thor films as Loki in my mind whenever I came across the character in the book.)


 


Amanda Bergloff is the contributing editor and art director here at Enchanted Conversation.


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June 7, 2017

Authors for 'Donkeyskin' Issue

 

Before I announce the authors chosen for the "Donkeyskin" Issue, I want to point out that just below this post is an excellent post about "Fairy Tales For Resistance." Don't miss it!

Here are the authors:

Angie Dickinson 
Lissa Sloan
Laura Diaz de Arce
Dusty Thorne
Michael Delaney
Debbie Zigenis-Lowery
Jeana Jorgensen 
Cara L McKee

Thank you to all who submitted. It was a tough issue to decide upon. Definitely need to get the budget up, because I'd have been glad to go to 10 or 11 works for the issue.

The image is just something I found and liked on Pinterest. I think it's from The Disney Princess Tumblr. 
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Fairy Tales For Resistance #RRR, By Gypsy Thornton


In fairy tales, wolves show their insides are the same as their outsides (despite their silver tongues), beanstalks prove to their climbers that greed is the true giant (though other big troubles may appear on the way) and flowers speak up to protest their plucking (even as they sink in their thorns). When impossible things happen, you begin to question reality. It's one of the reasons fairy tales are so very needed. Sometimes that Wonder, that impossibility, is the very thing that wakes us up and invites us to challenge the norm.

You've probably heard "Fairy tales are important, not because they tell us that dragons exist, but that we can defeat them,"  however GK Chesterton* wasn't just talking about getting past our fear of the dark of finding our way out of our personal woods, or of choosing the right path. He was telling us that fairy tales can be a tool--and not just any tool. Fairy tales have the ability to be very versatile, transformational, 'pocket survival guides' for life.

Most obviously, fairy tales are tools for expression: we can share the discovery of a monster, express that fear we suddenly feel, describe those problems we now realized we have, and in doing so we show others (and realize ourselves), that we are not alone in this. 

But there is more too. 

Fairy tales communicate: not just that these overwhelming, difficult, seemingly impossible-to-survive things, exist, but that something can be done about them. We can read fairy tales past, which tell us of history repeating, and the choices - good and bad - that people made, so we are better informed. We can retell them, bring a contemporary context to an old tale, or/and to change a perspective so something hidden is revealed. We can tell new ones, exploring our dragon-fighting strategies before facing the monsters in real life. Fairy tales provide hope, and they do this by giving us a voice, especially when we don't feel we can use our own.

At a time when people are feeling unheard, not able to communicate with their families and neighbors, and feel powerless as their way of life is changing and threatened, fairy tales challenge this new 'reality'. By their use of Wonder, fairy tales resist getting sidetracked by distracting details of reality, and get to the true heart of things, show us our choices. Fairy tales, by their nature, are allies in resisting an overwhelming and frightening state; of mind, of society, of the world. 

Just because we blindly traded in our tail and no longer feel we have a voice, doesn't make it so. Just because we feel powerless, doesn't mean that is how it has to be. We can challenge that. Fairy tales can tell us how, and why we should.

What we do about our every day is still up to us. But having a choice, and a voice, and a chance to change our collective tales, reminds us we are not powerless in our lives. It reminds us, that no matter how different our feathers, how peach-pit small in the big-giant world we are, that we can still change that world. It reminds us that we have options and what seems impossible is, quite probably, possible indeed. When fairy tales are your voice in the resistance, you realize you are not alone, that you don't have to conform, that your choices are still yours, that your tale is not yet complete. 

So go ahead and plug your ears (and those of your children) against the luring tunes of the Pied Piper, flatter the Ogre until his pride becomes vulnerable to legal paws, stand with briars to protect young dreamers, yell that the Emperor is walking around naked and hear the mutterings around you taking courage from your truth.

Read - or tell, or write - a fairy tale, and know that you are not climbing this glass mountain alone.

* The original full quote by GK Chesterton (that Neil Gaiman admittedly misquoted), originally printed in Tremendous Trifles is: "The timidity of the child or the savage is entirely reasonable; they are alarmed at this world, because this world is a very alarming place. They dislike being alone because it is verily and indeed an awful idea to be alone. Barbarians fear the unknown for the same reason that Agnostics worship it—because it is a fact. Fairy tales, then, are not responsible for producing in children fear, or any of the shapes of fear; fairy tales do not give the child the idea of the evil or the ugly; that is in the child already, because it is in the world already. Fairy tales do not give the child his first idea of bogey. What fairy tales give the child is his first clear idea of the possible defeat of bogey. The baby has known the dragon intimately ever since he had an imagination. What the fairy tale provides for him is a St. George to kill the dragon."

The image is by Cuban artist Hernandez Guerrero (known as "Ares"). The unofficial title of it is "We Are All Red."

(If you'd like check out some Recommended Resistance Reads, Once Upon A Blog, our fairy tale news site, has a searchable hashtag #RRR, being added to regularly, and we always welcome suggestions too.)

Gypsy Thornton is Fairy Tale News Hound and Editor/Designer at Once Upon a Blog.
read more " Fairy Tales For Resistance #RRR, By Gypsy Thornton "

June 6, 2017

Fundrzr Campaign to Kick Off Soon

 

This will be a busy week at EC. Tomorrow I'll announce the selected authors for the "Donkeyskin" Issue, and we'll have a guest post by Gypsy Thornton. By week's end, there should be a a book review by Amanda on Neil Gaiman's latest book here on EC.

I also want to give you a heads up that a fundraising effort, using Fundrzr will be starting soon, with plenty of rewards for donors! So keep checking back!

Illustration by Kay Nielsen.
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May 25, 2017

Zazzle Sale This Holiday Weekend

 
It's Mermaids and Moonlight May at EC's Zazzle store. And there's also a sale for 25 percent off everything through Monday! Check it out HERE:

Some merchandise is pictured here, and there really is a great variety of products!

Remember, every sale benefits EC.

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May 23, 2017

One Week Left to Submit for 'Donkeyskin' Issue

 

There's just one week left to submit for the "Donkeyskin" issue. Learn more HERE:

The image here by Katharine Pyle is from the tale "The Three Spinners." It's not connected to "Donkeyskin," I just like it.

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May 14, 2017

Fairy Tale Roundup Debuts Wednesday

 
There's still time to sign up for Fairy Tale Roundup, the newsletter for six fairy tale/fantasy sites! Of course, you can sign up any time, but to get the first issue, sign up by Wednesday. There are lots of links to great fairy tale material and a few writing opportunities as well! You'll find the sign up page if you scroll down the menu bar on your mobile or look to the right sidebar on the full website view. 

The image here is by Maxwell Armfield. I know it has nothing to do with fairy tales, but I'm nuts for vintage celestial art!

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May 7, 2017

Subscribe to Fairy Roundup ASAP!

 
The first issue of Fairy Tale Roundup, your source for great fairy tale and folklore posts and submission opportunities, will be sent out in about a week. Don't forget to sign up. The link is HERE: http://bit.ly/2nN75bZ

Subscribing to FTR counts as following EC!

Image by Maxwell Armfield, from "The Flying Trunk."
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May 5, 2017

Window for 'Donkeyskin' Issue Open

 
The "Diamonds and Toads Issue" is out. You can find it HERE: http://bit.ly/2puEaHu

The window for the "Donkeyskin" issue is now open and will remain open until May 30 at 11:59 p.m., EST.

Submissions for our next theme will need to be inspired by "Donkeyskin," which you can read more about here: https://tinyurl.com/mzpf4ut

However, "Donkeyskin," by Charles Perrault, is a tale not everyone wants to work with, for reasons which will become clear by following the link above, if you are unfamiliar with the tale. 

As a result, writers and poets interested in submitting for the "Donkeyskin," edition, but who aren't thrilled about the Perrault version, may use similar tales as inspiration, like "Cap O Rushes," "Catskin," or "Tattercoats." Please do let me know in your submission that you are using a similar tale to "Donkeyskin." 


Here are the submission guidelines: https://tinyurl.com/zb3ex9x 

And please don't forget that your story should show a thematic link to the the story for that issue.

Examples of work EC publishes are not only part of the guidelines, but you can also read the current issue. (I've been getting a lot of submissions lately from people who clearly have never visited the site.)

Image by HJ Ford

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April 30, 2017

Diamonds and Toads, Table of Contents


Here are the eight enchanting works that make the "Diamonds and Toads Issue" of Enchanted Conversation. I really enjoyed these works because all of them explore the emotions and difficulties that result from the fairy "gifts" the two sisters find bestowed upon them.

I hope you've noticed the artwork Contributing Editor Amanda Bergloff created for this issue. One of Amanda's many talents is creating digital art. So, what began with her creating one or two pieces for this issue ended in her creating all of them. I love the results, and hope that you do too.

Enjoy!

Table of Contents:













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