April 12, 2021

Authors Chosen for May 2021


It’s been a very difficult week in terms of selecting works to publish in May. The only way I can explain it is to say that by rejecting many of the stories and poems, I feel like I was giving F’s to A+ students. In the end, I wanted to use an excellent nonfiction submissions, and three other works that feel like delightfully detailed fables. All of the works caused joy in my heart. 

The authors are:

Daniel Allen

Marcia Sherman

T.C. Zeddies

Tamkinat Tariq

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Image is of Cinderella from an unknown author of The English School. She looks how I feel! 

April 11, 2021

Please Give, by Kate Wolford


It’s Sunday afternoon as I write this, and I’ve spent days trying to cut submissions that absolutely deserve to be published. It’s a terrible situation. I’m literally cutting stories and poems that would be suitable for a “best of” edition of EC—which will eventually happen. And by best of, I mean best of all time, not just this year.

And why am I in this dreary situation? Money. Plain and simple. 


I recognize that appeals for money are considered unseemly, something that shouldn’t be discussed by decent people, but the money is essential to EC’s success. (If my parents were still alive and reading this post, they would be horrified by my bad manners. Asking strangers for money! They’d also have sent me a check. But I wouldn’t have cashed it. That’s a lie. The way I feel today, I would have cashed it.)


It’s absolutely true that I could pay way less per work—say, $25 instead of $50. But here’s the catch with that approach: Talented people work harder for more money. The quality of submissions we’ve received this year is tremendous. Money talks. Yes, some of them are now choosing to voluntarily take less for their work, say, $25 rather than $50, but that is not their obligation! (EC has contracts now with that option.) And the vast majority of the people who are published are getting full price, which I 100 percent think is a good thing to do. Anyway, they don’t submit expecting less than $50! That’s the point. And they deserve the full $50. They deserve at least double that.


Edited to add: I’m not suggesting that poets and writers who were paid less in the past didn’t produce great work. They sure did! But it was in spite of what we paid, not because of it. I also do not look down at all on publications that pay less than EC does. I’m a patron of a lot of those sites!


Please consider becoming a patron on Patreon. If we can get 10 more patrons at the $5-$7 per month levels, I’ll start publishing six works per month rather than four. I’d love to publish eight per month! (Those of you who can give $1 or $3, thank you! The higher amount requests will fill the gaps faster, that’s all. You are very much appreciated.)


As a one-time event, for the next month, people who want to give a one-time donation can email me at katewolford1@gmail.com. I’m offering the option of sending a donation of any amount through PayPal or Venmo, just for the next 30 days. Patreon will continue to be the main way to support. And great rewards will be sent through Patreon in this month, May and June, including the official launch of our Facebook group, for Patreon supporters only.


Please give!


April 9, 2021

Chosen Works Announced on April 12



The works for May will be announced on April 12. Once again, the competition is fierce. It would be great if we could afford more stories and poems!

April 8, 2021

Throwback Thursday: 4 Cinderella Films We Can Watch Over & Over, By Amanda Bergloff

Editor's Note: We here at Enchanted Conversation love fairy tale films, and this article from 2018 celebrates the heroine who can wear glass slippers in four films we can watch over and over!

Hi all! Not only does EC love reading fairy tales, but we also love the many films they inspire. So, we put the call out on Twitter for people to share some of their favorite fairy tale movies, and we want to thank everyone who responded!

This month, we're featuring live-action CINDERELLA FILMS based on the recommendations of:

The classic tale of the kind-hearted girl of the cinders, her fairy godmother, glass slippers, a ball, and a happily ever after has been adapted many times in both live-action and animated versions. 

So, here's four live-action flicks 
we can watch over and over...
Ever After: A Cinderella Story (1998)
This adaptation of Cinderella treats the tale as historical fiction set in Renaissance-era France, and uniquely includes some real-life historical figures of the time.

After the death of her French nobleman father, Danielle de Barbarac (Drew Barrymore) is treated as a servant by her cold and unloving stepmother (Angelica Huston) and stepsisters. However, Danielle remains strong, kind, and resourceful, and the intellectual equal of any prince, including the philosophical Prince Henry (Dougray Scott.) 

In this story, the fairy godmother is replaced by artist/inventor Leonardo da Vinci (Patrick Godfrey) in Danielle's life. But, even though magic is replaced by science, isn't falling in love, in and of itself, magical?

And everything about this film is magical...

FILM CLIP
Contradictions
Cinderella (2015)
Inspired, in part, by Disney's animated classic, Cinderella, this live-action reimagining of the fairy tale stays true to the core of the story. 

Although this is not a musical, like its animated counterpart, it has all the characters you loved or loved-to-hate from the 1950 film: Ella (Lily James,) Lady Tremaine (Cate Blanchett,) Drisella (Sophie McShera) & Anastasia (Holliday Grainger,) the Fairy Godmother (Helena Bonham Carter,) the Prince (Richard Madden,) and of course, Jaq and Gus Gus, along with glass slippers, a pumpkin carriage, a magical ball, and the girl with the pure heart who gets her happily ever after.

This gorgeous production is pure fantasy fun. 
FILM CLIP
The Royal Ball
The Slipper and the Rose (1976)
Why is it that the story of Cinderella lends itself so well to musicals? This musical adaptation also has all the main story points of the fairy tale, with Cinderella (Gemma Craven) serving her stepmother and stepsisters, but this film also focuses on the prince's side of things.

In the kingdom of Euphrania, Prince Edward (Richard Chamberlain) must marry, but he wants to marry for love, not merely a political alliance to avoid war in the future. A bride-finding ball is organized, and after Cinderella's Fairy Godmother (Annette Crosbie) gets her ready with a new dress and a song, the Prince and Cinderella meet...and music fills the air.
FILM CLIP
Cinderella's Transformation
Rodgers & Hammerstein's
Cinderella (1997)
This made-for-TV movie musical broke viewership records when it debuted on The Wonderful World of Disney in 1997. So many girls grew up with this version of Cinderella on video, and it is still just straight up fun with it's memorable score by Rodgers and Hammerstein. 

Cinderella (Brandy Norwood,) works tirelessly for her cruel stepmother (Bernadette Peters) and stepsisters until her Fairy Godmother (Whitney Houston) sings the catchiest Fairy Godmother song ever in "Impossible/It's Possible," and helps Cinderella get to the Royal Ball, where the prince of her dreams will change her life.

Wonderful music and performances to remember. A magical film all the way around.
FILM CLIP
Impossible/It's Possible
What Cinderella films do you like? 
Leave a comment below!
Enchanted Conversation's contributing editor, Amanda Bergloff, writes modern fairy tales, folktales, and speculative fiction. Her work has appeared in various anthologies, including Frozen Fairy Tales, After the Happily Ever After, and Uncommon Pet Tales.
Follow her on Twitter @AmandaBergloff
Check out her Amazon Author page HERE
Also, join her every Tuesday on Twitter for #FairyTaleTuesday to share what you love about fairy tales, folktales, and myths.
If you’d like to see even more stories, poems, and articles in EC, please consider becoming a patron. We have cool rewards and every penny we receive goes to EC.
And check out
Enchanted Conversation's
and listen to the
Classical Music to Write Fairy Tales By
playlist for some writing inspiration!

April 6, 2021

I Offer You This Counter Curse, By Christine Butterworth-McDermott




Editor’s note: This poem’s mystery and imagery grabbed my attention and kept it. There’s so much to think about, and the poem keeps you in the land of enchantment long after you finish reading it.

 

Beautiful boy, with the limpid eyes, you blink:

Shh, I have a secret I cannot tell—how the witch 


cast a spell, put shards of mirror into my tongue. 

I can’t tell you how she did it to me. What it meant. 


Now, I am afraid my words would drop like toads, 

slither like snakes to the ground. I can’t open my mouth 


without filth spilling out.  The story hangs, knifesharp, 

your voice so low it barely registers. A growling animal, 


you jerk your head to look me eye to troubled eye. 

Beautiful boy, let me cradle you here near my heart. 


You are so young you cannot know I hold vats 

of watery whispers. I will not drown. I will not tell. 


Just speak here, in the bud of my ear. Tell me how—

I hid all my treasure, jewels sharp and pointed, I hid them


Let your lips move, push those diamonds through the wounds. 

Let sparkling shards tumble from your mouth—the truth, 


child, is as soft as tinsel. Let me gather it in my hands.


***

BIO: Christine Butterworth-McDermott is the author of the poetry chapbooks, Tales on Tales: Sestinas (2010) and All Breathing Heartbreak (2019) as well as the full-length collections, Woods & Water, Wolves & Women (2012) and Evelyn As (2019). Her poetry and fiction has been published in such journals as Alaska Quarterly Review, The Massachusetts Review, and River Styx, among others. She is the founder and co-editor of Gingerbread House Literary Magazine, an online magazine of speculative poetry and flash fiction, established in 2013. Learn more about her and see her gorgeous artwork here.


***
Altered image from Pixabay.

April 1, 2021

Throwback Thursday: Little Mermaid's Big Sister, By Jude Tulli

 

Editor's Note: This mermaid story by author, Jude Tulli, was the first winning entry for EC's January 2012 writing contest. Enjoy!
My little sister wrestles with killing her beloved prince, and that could be her undoing. Her other sisters and I bargained away our hair for one last chance to save her and brought her the sea witch's knife. We told her she could live if only she killed this one man. One man who does not love her as she deserves. We begged her to save herself.

She has legs to walk. She can do it easily. We have but flippers and fins and scaly tails beneath our bellies. But we shall try to finish it for her if (Adelaide says when) she fails.

There she is now. See how her knife hand trembles. It's just as her tail would waver against a tide pool back when she had sense enough still to have a tail.

She's thinking about it as she pulls back the curtain of the tent where he betrays her with another. Thinking as she hesitates of the nights they might have spent tangled up in laughter and caresses; of the mutant offspring she might have borne with him.

She puts the thoughts, lovely as they're sure to be, out of her naive little mind. Her hand grows steady as the waveless night. She holds the dagger up close to the sleeping prince's heart.

She is poised to break the sea witch's spell! Yet I dare not hope any harder; it is not in her to commit murder. Always a dreamer, she.

Throwing the knife overboard makes your point quite nicely, dear sister, but did you have to heave it so far and make it harder for us to protect you from yourself?!

I told the others we should have included Father; he swims far faster than we. Like lightning.

Even as a merling little sister preferred plankton to shrimp, any tide of the week. While the rest of us were busy breaking crab shells open with our teeth to suck the sweet meat out, she'd follow the whale families and catch their filthy spillovers.

The same barb schools that darted out of view from me (and rightfully so) would dance around her as if she was their teacher. I swear, a mermaid like her is worth far more to the world than any human prince.

I catch a cluster of red seaweed. It scratches my palm and seeps its burning salt into my hand as I hold the squiggly mass above my head to drip dry.

I drape it over my bald scalp and tie the longest tendrils around my waist as little sister does with her hair. My face looks much like hers though she was blessed with a better endowment than I. Still, the sea witch can't trifle over who does the dirty work, just so it gets done. Can she?

My little sister is so pure. Too pure.

I find the dagger first in the blood red water. We sisters agreed whomever found it would finish the story for our little mermaid the right way. The only way Father and the rest of us can endure.

I dive into the air and spin so my tail breaks my landing on the boat. It hurts but I've no time to entertain the throbbing now. I draw back the same curtain my sister parted. Though the dawn is rising, it is too dark inside to see.

"Prince," I lull, "If you're awake, I have a present for you, my dear. If you're asleep, all the better to deliver it."

"Dumb foundling? You can speak!"

It's working! He thinks I am she!

The ocean splash is sudden. Its foamy droplets extinguish the last fading embers of hope from my heart.

"No!" I jump in after her. The shock of my body against the water is but a distant shadow of the horror that has flooded my soul. The sense that I am trapped inside a nightmare from which I shall never wake drowns every drop of pain I should be feeling.

I am too late. The sharp knife falls to the ocean floor. Dear little sister would have worried it might hurt some poor unsuspecting creature. But I am far more concerned with the ill fate that has befallen her. Let it slash a shark or an angelfish or giant squid. Nothing matters now.

I look up through the water and the morning sun shimmers solemnly. My surviving sisters' tears appear silver in the golden light. I know what they're thinking, because I am thinking it too. Why couldn't the sea witch have accepted our offer to take us instead of the sweetest mermaid who ever delighted to situate shell-less hermit crabs?

A tear of my own trickles down my cheek and settles between my lips. I am too forlorn to care but the torturous tickle makes me lick and, licking, taste. Salty.

Salty like the sea foam; all that remains of the dearest, littlest mermaid I have ever loved.
Jude Tulli lives in the Sonoran Desert with his beloved wife Trish and a small pride of housecats. For quick links to his other works published with EC (including the recent Krampus anthology), his novelette Faegotten and more, you can visit him on Goodreads. 
Cover Painting: by John William Waterhouse
Cover Layout: Amanda Bergloff @AmandaBergloff

March 30, 2021

Window For This Month Closed

The window for submissions has closed. It opens again for three days in May 1.

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Image by Kinuko Craft.

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