Archive for March, 2011

I’m delighted to announce that Volume 2 of Enchanted Conversation: A Fairy Tale Magazine has launched today, and includes my story “Little Rattle Belly”.   Go read it, and the other stories and poems.

Each quarter this year, the magazine will feature another fairy tale.  The current issue is all variations on Rumpelstiltskin, and includes ten pieces.  There are short stories, poems, and an interesting non-fiction piece by Elizabeth Creith on the history of making linen from flax.  Next is Snow White (poetry only), then Cinderella, and then Little Red Riding Hood.

As I’ve mentioned before, I very much enjoy writing stories inspired by fairy tales and folklore.

For this story, I re-read the fairy tale several times, and tried to imagine how to write something new about it, that still felt authentic to the original.  I began to research ways to use straw — to turn it into something valuable, if not gold itself.  I chased a lot of dead ends until I ran across corn dollies.  Now, most folks forget that “corn” used to mean any type of grain.  I couldn’t believe how intricate the straw work could become, and how much folk history revolves around straw craft and harvest.

If you enjoy my short story about corn dollies and Rumpelstiltskin (and I’ll avoid saying much more about the story itself to avoid spoilers), go do a google image search on “corn dolly” and you’ll be able to see how marvelous they are.  Another good site if you are interested in researching the craft is The Guild of Straw Craftsmen.

Lastly, if you enjoy the Enchanted Conversation web-site, consider becoming a “google friend” of the site.  You need to be a follower (a google friend) in order to submit stories or poems for future issues, and it helps show Editor Kate Wolford how much appreciation there is for a venue for fairy tale variants.   For writers, note that the site pays 10 cents per word, so it is well worth checking out!

I’ve certainly found the site inspiring.  I’ve already written a Snow White poem, two Cinderella short stories, and one Little Red Riding Hood in eager anticipation of the upcoming deadlines!


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I spent a long weekend at the Rainforest Writers Village.  I can’t say enough about what a positive experience it was to get away, socialize with other writers, and focus on writing.

I wrote seven new short stories.  About 18,500 words in total.

Everyone at the retreat was friendly and encouraging.  It was a real pleasure to get to spend more time with folks on the same path.  I’m in awe of the talent, and honored to get to spend time with such an interesting, inspiring group.

I read one of my short stories to a group of writers, for the first time.  I read one that I wrote this weekend.  Of note, my first public reading of a short story is coming up this week on March 17th, so that’s another big milestone.

Finally, I learned this weekend that my story, “Little Rattle Belly”, is going to be published by Enchanted Conversation: A Fairy Tale Magazine.  This is an incredible thrill for me.  I love this story, and a market dedicated to fairy tale variants is very exciting to me.  I believe the story will be available on-line on March 20.  I can’t wait for folks to have the opportunity to read it.  All the stories for this quarter will be variations on Rumplestiltskin. 

All in all, I could not be happier!  🙂

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