November 24, 2017

Changes at Enchanted Conversation, By Kate Wolford

I’m not precisely sure how long ago I started Enchanted Conversation at I do know we’ve been at the current EC site for about seven years. 

Before that, there was for a couple of years. And before that was for a year or two. It’s safe to say that I’ve been in the online fairy tale business for around 10 years.

I’ve enjoyed the time at EC immensely. Seeing wonderful writers reimagine the world of fairy tales and fae has been one of the greatest rewards of my professional life. I’ve seen new authors flourish, seen tired old tales made thrillingly new, and I’ve positively wallowed in the joy of finding exquisite art for posts on the site.

Since Amanda Bergloff came along this year, the site has been reinvigorated. She’s brought custom art, fresh ideas, and terrific editing skills to Enchanted Conversation. In fact, in the last few months, Amanda has been doing most of the work at EC.

It dawned on me halfway through the Fundrazr Campaign (thanks again to all who gave!), that I was fully ready for something new. In truth, I’ve almost shuttered EC twice before, but couldn’t face doing it. I’ve put too much time, money, and effort into it. But I also had to face the fact that I want to do something else, and have wanted to for a long time. That “something else” will be called Cinderella’s Hearth.

Because I can’t get the new site off the ground and be Editor and Publisher of EC, Amanda will take over both roles starting January 1. It will be her site. I will remain as Founder and Contributing Editor. I’m not going away!

All money raised in the campaign will be used as promised. I really didn’t decide to make this change until midway through the campaign. I literally woke up one day and realized that I was going to do the new site. Period. I was positive about the decision and haven’t wavered from it at all.

Here are some other things you might like to know:

Amanda will be letting you know about her vision for EC sometime soon.

The money raised stays with EC. Not one cent goes to the new site. Or anywhere else.

I’ll be writing a monthly column at EC.

EC will definitely remain a paying market for writers and poets.

Cinderella’s Hearth will focus on fairy godmothering people’s everyday lives, practicing mindfulness, and providing motivation to help people realize their goals. While the site will largely focus on practical advice, references to fairy tales and folklore will be sprinkled throughout the the site, and, through podcasts, visitors can enjoy listening to classic fairy tales.

Why life and mindfulness and fairy tales? First, people often come to me for advice. This has been true since my childhood. I must have a face that says, “Go ahead and ask me for help.” Teaching only enhanced this trait. Second, mindfulness meditation has radically altered my life—so much so that I’m in the process of being certified as a meditation coach. Last, I’m pretty good at getting people motivated. If you’re down in the dumps, I’ll do my best to get you out and back into forward momentum. I don’t lie when I motivate people, but I can usually help people see what’s brilliant and beautiful inside themselves. As for fairy tale podcasts, well, I still love fairy tales. That’s all.

I’ll be posting a help wanted announcement for CH soon. Until then, I hope you’ll all be as excited by these changes as I am.


November 21, 2017

Disobedience by Lissa Sloan

Sleep in the ashes. Do not touch the spindle. And always do what you're told...
I must not touch a spindle.
I must not leave the path.
Or talk to strange wolves.
I must not use the littlest key.
Or visit my lover’s house when he is not home.  

I must not discover the pot full of cut-up women or the poor girl’s finger, ring still on.

I must do as I am told.

I must sleep in the ashes.
I must flatter the king.
I must marry my father.
I must stay in the wood and starve.

I must go with the devil when he comes to take me.

I must do as I am told.

I must not hide.
I must not escape.
Or cheat my way out of a bad bargain.
I must not discover murderers or expose usurpers.
I must not grow back my severed hands.
Or bring anyone back to life.

I must not break enchantments.

I must do as I am told.

For if I don’t
If I am not master of my curiosity
Or my desire
Or my sheer stubborn will
Who knows what might happen?

Perhaps everyone
Poor tailors and forgotten soldiers
Downtrodden goose girls and stunted kitchen wenches
Murderous husbands
Scheming maids and lazy stepsisters
Tyrant kings and jealous queens

Would get what they deserve.

What they deserve.

Lissa Sloan's poems and short stories are published in Enchanted ConversationNiteblade Magazine, Krampusnacht: Twelve Nights of Krampus, andFrozen Fairy Tales.  “Death in Winter,” Lissa's contribution to Frozen Fairy Tales, has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize.  Visit her online at her website,, or on Twitter: @LissaSloan.

Read Lissa's poem, "Hide," from EC's Donkeyskin Issue HERE.

Poem ART by: Amanda Bergloff

FAIRY TALE FLASH - Three Wishes by Amanda Bergloff

By the light of the moon 
and a net of golden stitches,
if you capture a witch, 
you will get 3 wishes...
“I would like my three wishes now.”

“That’s not how this works.”

“Yes, it does,” Lissa insisted. “My Grannie Eikamp taught me the rhyme, and it was very specific:
By the light of the moon
and a net of golden stitches;
if you capture a witch,
you will get three wishes.

The witch shifted her position in the net. “I’m telling you,” she said, “your Grannie Eikamp got it wrong.”

“No, she didn’t. I’ve done everything correctly. The moon is out, you’re a witch, and as hard it was to find golden thread to make a net, I did, and you are now in it. So, I want my three wishes.”
The witch sighed. “The rhyme isn’t:
if you capture a witch,
you will get three wishes
It is:
if you capture a witch,
you will get three...witches

Lissa’s eyes grew wide and her mouth dropped open when the three witches stepped out from the shadows.

“Greetings, sister,” the three witches called out. “We told you not to pick nightshade so close to the village.”

“Aye, that you did,” the witch in the net replied.

Lissa put her hands on her hips. “Well, whether my Grannie Eikamp got the rhyme wrong or not, I’d like my three wishes now.”

“Oh, there’ll be a wish, but it won’t be yours, girl,” the tallest of the three witches said. “Aren’t you in need of a new familiar, sister Hagadorn?”

The smallest of the three witches smiled. “That I am, and this girl already has such lovely green eyes.”

The three witches pulled the golden net off their sister and helped her up.

Sister Hagadorn picked up the silken black cat with the green eyes at her feet and nuzzled it--and a hearty laugh was shared as the witches walked back into the night.

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

Follow Loie on Twitter @loiedunn
and check out her blog HERE

Please help keep Enchanted Conversation 
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Father of the American Fairy Tale by E.J. Hagadorn

In recent years, visiting the graves of famous authors has become my favorite pastime. One particular grave that I think fairy tale lovers would most appreciate is that of L. Frank Baum, author of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, and all its relevant literature.

When it comes to fairy tales, readers agree that Baum was to the United States what the Brothers Grimm were to Germany and what Charles Perrault was to France. Baum was a reader of European fairy tales, and when he chose to pen his own, he approached the task hoping to appeal specifically to American children. The result was an unforgettable mythos of magical characters, idealistic fantasy, and all-around fun.

The following is an account of my pilgrimage to Baum’s grave, as documented on my website
L. Frank Baum
(May 15th 1856 - May 6th 1919)
Brief Bio:
Lyman Frank Baum was born in New York, the seventh of nine children. As a boy he was attracted to writing and created several amateur publications. He had a flair for the theatrical in both his professional and home lives.  As an adult, he tried his hand at numerous professions, including acting, shop keeping, and journalism, with wavering success. In 1897 he began writing novels for children. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, published in 1900, became an immediate and lasting success, which created a new cultural zeitgeist in American folklore, and came to dominate Baum's career for the rest of his life; he wrote numerous sequels, short stories, and stage adaptations about the Land of Oz. The financial failures of his other ventures proved to be a problem for his health, and in 1919, Baum suffered a stroke and slipped into a brief coma before dying in Hollywood.
Notable Works:
  • Mother Goose In Prose (1897)
  • 16 Oz Books (1900-1919)
  • American Fairy Tales (1901)
  • Queen Zixi Of Ix (1905)
  • Sky Island (1912)
The Grave:
Baum is buried in Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, CA. His grave is in Section G, as indicated on the maps available at the front entrance. He is right next to the road in the shade of a large tree, surrounded by his family.
Surrounding Area:
Forest Lawn Memorial Park is mostly surrounded by residences, so there's very little to do outside the cemetery. However, because Forest Lawn is so large and beautiful, one can easily spend an entire day exploring it. It contains a church, a museum, and dozens of freestanding sculptures. Though many famous people are buried here, such as Clark Gable, Walt Disney and Michael Jackson, many of their graves can only be visited by family members. Others are open to the public, but carefully protected by security.

Baum’s contribution to the world of fairy tales was monumental, but what’s truly remarkable is that the stories didn’t die with him. Dozens more Oz stories have been told since his passing, fueled by the childlike wonder and the love of thousands of readers and writers and artists. The Land of Oz and its inhabitants hold a special place in people’s hearts, just as they did when Baum was alive. At the end of the day, that’s all any writer wants, and I think Baum would be pleased to see how far his influence has reached.

If it’s within your reach to visit L. Frank Baum, I highly recommend you do. There’s no better way to reassure Baum that he, like his works, will never be forgotten.

Further Reading:
E.J. Hagadorn is an independent author of fiction and poetry, whose works include "Sing A Song Of Yellowstone" and the award-winning "Spring-Heel'd Jack."  When not writing, he can occasionally be seen traversing mountains, lurking in graveyards, or sleeping at his desk.

Read E.J.'s poem, "All That Glitters," from EC's Diamonds and Toads Issue HERE.

FAIRY TALE FLASH - Beerwood Stew by Amanda Bergloff

What is this 
beerwood stew you speak of...
Have you ever smelled a stew this good, Tulli?”

“Come to think of it Hopson, I have smelled better. Nothing beats the beerwood stew I had with the giants of the north.”

“Ah yes, the legendary beerwood stew. Didn’t those giants teach you how to make it, Tulli?”

“Why yes, Hopson. I only wish I were able to reach my pocket, for I have some beerwood root they gave to me as a parting gift.”

The giant, sharpening his knife by a pot of stew the size of a house, stopped to look at the two men tied up next to him.

The giant grunted and waved his knife at them. “What is this beerwood stew you speak of?”

“Only the finest stew in all the land, right Hopson?”

“Yes, Tulli. But everyone knows the giants of the north are the best stew makers and you, mighty giant, are from the south.”

The giant stood up with his head above the trees and thundered, “The giants of the south are the best stew makers!”

“They would be if they made beerwood stew.” Tulli replied.

“Then you will give me your beerwood root, and teach me how to make this or I will eat you both right now.”

“First, you have to untie Tulli so he can get the beerwood root out of his pocket,” Hopson said.

The giant did as he was told. Tulli pulled something out of his pocket and handed it to him.

“This looks like an ordinary root,” the giant noted.

“Yes, but it has magical properties. You must cut beerwood root sitting inside the cooking pot to release its magic and make the best stew possible.

The giant wanted to make a stew better than the giants of the north, so he readily climbed into the pot that was the size of a house.

Once the giant was inside, Tulli untied Hopson.

“You must sit in there, cutting the beerwood root while we get more wood for the fire to properly cook the stew.”

Tulli and Hopson ran off into the forest with no intention of getting more firewood, but at least the giant did get a good, long bath.
Story & Art: 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
Please help keep Enchanted Conversation 
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The Golden Age of Illustration: The Red Rose Girls

The Golden Age of Illustration is a term applied to a time period (1880s - 1920s) of unprecedented excellence in book and magazine illustrations by artists in Europe and America. Advances in technology at the time allowed for accurate and inexpensive reproductions of their art, which allowed quality books to be available to the voracious public demand for new graphic art.

In America, illustration of this period was rooted in the Brandywine Valley Tradition begun by artist, Howard Pyle, and carried on by his students who included N.C. Wyeth, Maxfield Parrish, and Edwin Austin...along with a special group of women known as The Red Rose Girls.
(1901) Violet Oakely, Jessie Willcox Smith,
Elizabeth Shippen Green, Henrietta Cozens

From 1906-1911, Elizabeth Shippen Green, Violet Oakley, and Jessie Willcox Smith, rented the Red Rose Inn in Villanova, Pennsylvania, where they lived together and supported one another's artistic careers.

Their nickname, The Red Rose Girls was given to them by Howard Pyle, who taught the three artists in his first illustration class at Drexel Institute.

Green, Oakley, and Willcox became successful, prolific artists who helped establish Philadelphia as a national center for book and magazine illustration. Their unconventional life style at the time, of a group of young female artists living together, demonstrated that women could become successful professional artists and served as a model for later women.

Their style of Romantic realism still inspires me today...So cheers to The Red Rose Girls and all their amazing work!
(1901) Violet Oakely, Jessie Willcox Smith,
Elizabeth Shippen Green, Henrietta Cozens

Read more about them below:
Elizabeth Shippen Green
Elizabeth Shippen Green (September 1, 1871 - May 29, 1954) was an American illustrator who illustrated children's books and worked for publications such as The Ladies Home Journal, Harper's Magazine, and The Saturday Evening Post.

In the late 19th century and early 20th century, the majority of subscribers to magazines and periodicals were women, so as women entered the artist community, publishers hired them to depict the world through a woman's perspective. During this time, Green became a commercially successful artist who was part of the emerging image of the educated, modern and freer ideal of the "New Woman."

Her art, to me, is timeless and classic. Check it out below:
Illustration from Tiphaiine la Fée
Harper's Monthly Magazine April 1906
Elizabeth Shippen Green
Jehane – The Constant Lover
Harper's Monthly Magazine Sept.1907
Elizabeth Shippen Green
from The Navarrese
Harper's Monthly Magazine Sept.1907
Elizabeth Shippen Green

Elizabeth Shippen Green
Special thanks to our guest art editors:
Marcia Sherman
and Nancy Clark

Violet Oakley
Violet Oakley (June 10, 1874 - February 25, 1961) was an American artist who was the first American woman to receive a public mural commission. In a field that had been exclusive to men, Oakley's Rennaissance-revival style stood out in murals and stained glass designs that addressed themes from history and literature. She also had success as a popular illustrator for magazines including The Century Magazine, Collier's Weekly, and Woman's Home Companion.

Oakley was a member of Philadelphia's The Plastic Club, an organization established to promote "Art for art's sake." Other members included her friends, Jessie Willcox Smith, and Elizabeth Shippen Green, and the club provided a means to encourage one another professionally and create opportunities to sell their works of art.

Like the other Red Rose Girls, Oakley personified the ideal of the modern professional "New Woman" through her art and throughout her life.

Her art is truly lyrical and inspirational. Check it out below:
cover of Everybody’s Magazine 1902
Violet Oakley
The Encouragement of Reading
Violet Oakley
A Roadside Encounter
Violet Oakley
Study for portrait of Edith Emerson
Violet Oakley
Special thanks to our guest art editors:
Kiyomi A. Gaines
and Nancy Clark

Jessie Willcox Smith
Jessie Willcox Smith (September 6, 1863 - May 3, 1935) was an American illustrator and was known as "one of the greatest pure illustrators" of her time. Her art is in more than 60 books and she illustrated stories and articles for magazines such as Century, Collier's Harper's, and The Ladies' Home Journal. Her Mother Goose series of illustrations was a long-running feature in Good Housekeeping where she also created all the covers from December 1917 to 1933 (and became the artist with the longest run of illustrated magazine covers.)

Smith is also known for her illustrations for books such as Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, A Child's Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson, Evangeline by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, among others. Also, her illustrations and advertising posters of children and women appealed to the public, and she became popular as a "media star," like Norman Rockwell.

In 1991, Smith became the second woman to be inducted into the Hall of Fame of the Society of Illustrators. Of the small group of women inducted, three were members of The Red Rose Girls: Jessie Willcox Smith, Elizabeth Shippen Green (1994) and Violet Oakley (1996.)

Smith's art exemplifies pure beauty and heart to me. Check it out below:
from At the Back of the North Wind 1919
Jessie Willcox Smith

from The Water Babies 1916
Jessie Willcox Smith
from At the Back of the North Wind 1919
Jessie Willcox Smith
Mrs. Bedonebyasyoudid
from The Water Babies 1916
Jessie Willcox Smith 
Special thanks to our guest art editors:
E.J. Hagadorn
and Ursula Barshi
Let us know your favorites 
in the Comments section below.

EC's editor-in-chief, 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
Check out Karen's book
Edgar Allan Poe and the Jewel of Peru HERE

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