Showing posts from February, 2016

Rain Issue of EC Submission Window Opens March 1

At 12 a.m., on March 1, the submissions window for the rain issue of Enchanted Conversation opens. That's Eastern Standard Time.
I beg of you, read the guidelines. And please, do not assume I will consider any submission unconnected to the guidelines. Rain may be on the foreground or background of the story, but it must be present. And just sticking it in the work so you meet the most basic level of the guidelines won't work. I will notice.
Want to raise your chances of having works elected? Read EC. Besides reading the guidelines, reading EC is essential.
I look forward to reading submissions. The window closes at 11:59 p.m., EDT, Z March 30.
Go here for guidelines:
Eye candy:

EC Valentine Issue Table of Contents

It is the loveliest of pleasures to present the EC Valentine Issue. In it, you will find true love, twisted love, magical love, and even a wonderful cat. One of the stories was good enough to get paste my hatred of love triangles! I'm so proud of these authors.

Here are the works. Just click on the title to read them. And please comment! It means so much to creators, and to me.

"The Bird Marriage," Elizabeth Twist

"The Queen's Requiem," E.J. Hagadorn

"Pygmalion and Galatea," Ace G. Pilkington

"The Prince and the Cat," Enid Kassner

"I Give You My Heart," Gerri Leen

"The Heartless Haberdasher," C.Z. Wright

The Bird Marriage, By Elizabeth Twist, EC Valentine Issue

What do you want? Speak up, when you've caught your breath.
Never mind. I know what you want. You want to hear about the bird marriage. Yes. I'll tell you, since you climbed all the way up here to ask. Not quite sure how you managed that, by the way.
Technically, it's bird marriages. There was more than one. No one seems to remember that.
Let me guess. You want the story of the swans. It's always swans, isn't it? Romantic. Mate for life, don't they? Just so. 
The Swan Queen wasn't always the Swan Queen, but she became the Swan Queen, and searched for a mate. One day she found a secret pond in the midst of the darkest, most remote woods, all silver water and stillness. It was just after midwinter, and the thaw hadn't yet begun, and the fresh green of spring had yet to grow. The world was shadows and moss and new potential, waiting to burst from the earth. 
So long, she'd been seeking, she was tired in her body, and tired in her heart. She float…

Queen's Requiem, By E.J. Hagadorn, EC Valentine Issue

Roses are red, Snow is white. They think me dead, Lost in the night.
Upon the slopes, I kneel in snow. The water’s glass Shows me my foe.
The Feast of Love Sounds in my halls; I watch her through The mirror walls.
Carouse and jaunt The whole night through. She knows not love, The little shrew.
Such passion is A monstrous fate. I know too well All love ‘comes hate.
For on this day

Pygmalion and Galatea, By Ace G. Pilkington, EC Valentine Issue

Note: Venus, Roman goddess of Love and mother of Cupid, answered Pygmalion's unspoken prayer and brought his statue to life.

Breathless precision of stone melts to the bliss of flesh;

The sculptor's rapture creates a lover's discovery,

While the slow sweep of his hand keeps in its singleness

Both blade that cuts away and smoothing gentleness.

Almost his touch is a search for dust of ivory;

Almost her jumping pulse is his workshop's purpose.

But the moth-soft mimicry of internal passageways

Is incomplete. The summer-sweet susurrus at her mouth,
Though sent by Venus, is a tremble of wordlessness,
Their alabaster couplings her sole success.
He will turn philosopher when he learns her selflessness.

Ace G. Pilkington has published over one hundred poems, articles, reviews, and short stories in five countries. He is co-editor (with Matthew Wilhelm Kapell) ofThe Fantastic Made Visible, and co-editor (with his wife, Olga) ofFairy Tales of the Russians and Other Slavs.

The Prince and the Cat: A Fable, By Enid Kassner, EC Valentine Issue

Twas a fine spring day as the Prince ambled through the forest. His mind feasted on thoughts and was active as the birds that flitted from branch to branch in search of grubs. Light were his feet, moving automatically over boulders, crunching through last autumn’s leaves, and fording springs a-rush in clear waters. But the weight of his head was heavy, though it be small, for its contents were as gold: shiny and valuable. So absorbed was he in calculating the relative masses of stars, their distance from his planet, and their ability to support solar systems capable of nurturing intelligent life, that he nearly trampled a small cat, resting herself in a tiny patch of sunlight, and placidly licking her paws.

“Pardon me,” said the cat, “I meant not to obstruct your journey, fine Prince. I should have been more careful in choosing a resting place.”

“Well,” replied the Prince, “there is no harm done, and it is good that I, too, stop for a spell, as my head has filled so bountifully with tho…

I Give You My Heart, By Gerri Leen, EC Valentine Issue

y lovely little Gallina.  How she shines at court.  Her dresses so perfect, magic making them never wrinkle if she sits too long beside my throne on her smaller but still commendable chair.  Her gowns never stain, either, no matter how much wine she might spill during an intimate dinner.

She does seem determined to let the finer points of etiquette elude her.
Oh, why do I lie?  The finer points are not even in question.  I'm lucky if she chooses to use a fork.
When I rescued her from the evil witch, I thought I was getting the princess who had been stolen. Lovely as a child when she was taken and surely just as graceful now, twenty years later.
She was five when the witch stole her from a court where the concept of eating with some measure of dignity was apparently taught at age six.
Gallina is a barbarian.  There, I have said it.  Or thought it, at any rate.  I wouldn't dare say it.  I'm convinced she has bewitched everything in our bedchambers, setting them to spy on me…

The Heartless Haberdasher, By C. Z. Wright, EC Valentine Issue

Once upon a time, there was a wooden man who owned a haberdashery. Every day, he measured and fit fine accessories to the people of his town. The local barrister sent his beautiful daughter, Gavenia, to the haberdashery every month to make purchases. Month after month, Gavenia gazed longingly at the wooden man, who not once noticed or returned her attention.
One day, an old woman, bent and gnarled, entered his shop and requested he fit her with something that shone.
As he worked, the woman noticed the haberdasher wore a beautiful coat with hearts embroidered in silver thread. "You wear your heart on your sleeve," the woman said. "Are you not afraid it will be stolen?"
The haberdasher shook his head. "No, my lady. Being made of wood, I do not have a heart and so, I do not fear."
When he was finished, the woman wore a bright band of silver ribbons in her white hair. "It is quite beautiful," the woman said. "I would like to repay you for your exc…