A Short Story Sale & A Celebration of Fairy Tales

As a fan of fairy tales and myth, I’m always on the lookout for new takes on old narratives. Last year, specialty publisher Air & Nothingness Press captured my attention with a lovely book filled with fairy tale mash-ups that had been retold in a variety of genres. I was hooked.

I backed the Kickstarter for the first anthology Upon a Once Time and delighted in the variety of stories and genres. In fact, I loved it so much that I included it in my top reads of 2020. (You can read my review at Vernacular Books.)

And then I heard whispers about a second volume in the works, and I knew I had to take a stab at my own fairy tale mash-up.

I’ve been thinking about retelling the murder ballad “The Twa Sisters,” so this seemed like the perfect opportunity to twist this particular tale in a different direction. My retelling incorporated “The Water Nixie” along with a few nods to some of my favorite folklore. I thoroughly enjoyed writing it.

Luckily, publisher and editor Todd Sanders liked it as well. I’m proud to announce that “Twice in the Telling” has joined the line-up of what is proving to be yet another successful anthology.

The support for these beautiful books continues to be strong. In fact, the Kickstarter for Upon a Twice Time funded in the first day! Six days into the fundraiser, and this second volume has reached its stretch goals. Isn’t that marvelous?

The support of small publishers is more important now than ever, and I can’t wait to see what happens as new stretch goals are added. Have you reserved your copy yet?

New Release & Stoker News

I’m thrilled to announce that my story “The Certainty of Silence” was released in the Sci-Fi & Scary charity anthology Twisted Anatomy: A Body Horror Anthology. This story was written as a protest against domestic violence. This fairy tale mash-up of “Bluebeard” and “Little Mermaid” also includes nods to the sirens found in mythology, Edgar Allan Poe’s “Ligeia,” and Angela Carter’s “The Bloody Chamber.” Best of all, the proceeds from this anthology benefit the Pulmonary Hypertension Association and the National Domestic Violence Hotline.

February has been a banner month and a great way to start the year. I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to talk about horror with an incredible group of women at Females of Fright!–an online panel hosted by HWA and WiHM. You can watch it at the HWA’s YouTube channel HERE.

In other news, the anthology Arterial Bloom made it to the Bram Stoker Award final ballot for Superior Achievement in an Anthology. My story “Rotten” is the last story in this beautiful book, which was edited by award-winning author Mercedes M. Yardley. This is the first time one of my stories has been included in an anthology under consideration for a Bram Stoker Award, and I couldn’t be more excited about it!

It’s wonderful to see so many women writers and diverse voices on this Stoker ballot! I think it’s simply marvelous, and I’m proud to be a member of an organization that works so hard to support all writers.

Registration Open for Spring 2021 Workshops

Registration for the Spring session of Intersections: Science Fiction, Fairy Tales and Myth is open! There will only be two sections available; time and day for workshops will be determined according to participant availability.

One of these has already been filled. There are only five seats remaining to be claimed.

Workshops will begin the first week of March and will run through the end of April (3/1/21-5/2/21).

The Spring workshop will be ten weeks long and include six modules. The maximum word count will be 3,000 words for each module. The portfolio will include 2-3 revisions (10K max) and these sessions will take place over the course of two weeks. The price is $500 with a 10% discount for returning participants. Email Carina Bissett at cmariebissett@gmail.com or The Storied Imaginarium at thestoriedimaginarium@gmail.com for more information.

The modules for Spring 2021 will be:

MODULE 1: “East of the Sun, West of the Moon” & Cartography
MODULE 2: “Rumpelstiltkin” & Alchemy and Transmutation
MODULE 3: “The Flayed Old Lady” & Anti-Aging Research
MODULE 4: “The Wild Swans” & Social Isolation
MODULE 5: “Rapunzel” & Foraging
MODULE 6: “The Story of Urashima Taro” (Japanese Fairy Tale) & Underwater Realms and Sunken Cities

You can find the complete schedule and registration information HERE.

Fairy Tale Salon-Open Registration

Things are changing at The Storied Imaginarium! In addition to new self-paced courses and upcoming workshop opportunities, we are launching the new Fairy Tale Salon series in October Friday (10/9) in the U.S. & Canda/Saturday (10/10 in Australia). The first salon features author and artist Kathleen Jennings, who will be joining us online for two glorious hours in a discussion about fairy tales and magic.

Kathleen has been shortlisted four times for the World Fantasy Awards, once for the Hugos, and once for the Locus Awards, as well as winning a number of Ditmars. As a writer, she has won two Ditmars and been shortlisted for the Eugie Foster Memorial Award and for several Aurealis Awards. She will be discussing her gorgeous debut novel Flyaway and the upcoming release of her travel memoir Travelogues: Vignettes from Trains in Motion.

In addition to the discussion facilitated by myself and Nike Sulway, there will be a chance for attendees to talk with Kathleen in the Q&A session as well as an opportunity to stretch the creative muscles with a writing game. The salon is strictly limited to 20 guests. Come join us!

August News

Hath No Fury coverMy birthday is right around the corner (August 31), which makes all the good news I’ve received lately even more enjoyable. On August 23, Hath No Fury was released into the world. This gorgeous anthology hold special meaning for me as it contains my “Jack and the Beanstalk”/”Rappaccini’s Daughter” mash-up “A Seed Planted,” which was one of the first manuscripts I workshopped with Liz Hand during my time at Stonecoast. I received the acceptance letter while I was in Puerto Vallarta celebrating the fact that I’d survived the first year of my bicycle accident in June 2016. It seems a lifetime ago now, but it was worth the wait. It’s a gorgeous books and an incredible line-up.

In other news, my poem “Blood Work” will be included in the HWA Poetry Showcase Vol. V, edited by Stephanie Wytovich. I worked on this particular piece with Cate Marvin, an extraordinary poet who took the time to really help shape the way I approach poetry. In the past, I had a fascination with Anne Sexton’s Transformations–a collection I still admire–but, I am not Anne Sexton, and with Cate’s help, I’ve been able to find my own path.  I still have a fascination with fairy tales and myth, but my poems have started to evolve into pieces with more concrete connections. It’s an interesting journey, and one I hope to continue.

During my time at Stonecoast working with Cate, I also wrote an academic paper on the brides of Frankenstein’s monster. Body horror tends to crop up in my creative work, so this felt like a natural transition. I ended up presenting that paper at the International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts in March, and I ended up with some interest in an essay adaptation on my research. I recently had the opportunity to view the final draft of  Birthing Monsters: Frankenstein’s Cabinet of Curiosities and Cruelties, which will include my piece “Mapping the Collective Body of Frankenstein’s Brides.” Firbolg Publishing will be hosting a book signing on October 28 at Dark Delicacies (3512 W. Magnolia Blvd, Burbank, CA). Unfortunately, I won’t be able to attend because of a prior commitment at Sirens; however, you can be sure I’ll be watching the festivities remotely. It looks like it will be an incredible event.

gorgon-emergenceMy last bit of news was just announced today–I have a story coming out in the stunning Pantheon Magazine anthology Gorgon: Stories of Emergence“Burning Bright” is the result of an experiment in literary style. I started with a flash piece written about an abused girl hidden in the skin of a circus tiger, which was originally inspired by Angela Carter’s short story “The Tiger’s Bride,” collected in The Bloody Chamber. When I decided to expand it in order to take a look at the cycle of abuse, I settled on the opening reference to Frank R. Stockton’s short story “The Lady or the Tiger?”, which was originally published in magazine The Century in 1882. The story has come to represent an unsolvable problem, which I feel reflects the emotional state of victims trapped in relationships ruled by domestic violence.

I also borrowed the spelling of “tyger” from the William Blake poem “The Tyger” to indicate the shift from beast to woman, and the fierceness of the human soul once it is freed from the conventions that bind it. Other references include instructions on how to sew a lining, a circus calliope driven by a steam-driven carousel, the children’s counting rhyme “Eeny Meeny,” depictions of children’s string games, and hints of resurrection through the connection symbolized by the red thread of fate. This piece is meant as an acknowledgment of the fact that many victims return to their abusers, often several times. That final act of separation is a brave one and it often comes at a high cost. “Burning Bright” is a reminder that there is hope. The uncanny connection between a victim and an abuser can be severed. Freedom can be attained.

 

 

Hath No Fury! Story Announcement!

It has been a year since a traumatic twist of fate sent me hurtling 20 mph, face-first into the gravel-strewn asphalt near the Broadmoor in Colorado Springs. Just days after celebrating the fact that I survived that cycling accident and all of the related complications, I received notice that my short story “A Seed Planted” had been selected for inclusion in the Ragnarok Publications anthology Hath No Fury. Nearly 400 submissions were received, all competing for the one coveted slot left open in this curated collection. I’m overjoyed to report that “A Seed Planted” has been awarded that spot and will be published alongside stories written by some of my favorite writers including Seanan McGuire, Carol Berg, Nisi Shawl, Delilah S. Dawson, and Lucy A. Synder.

hath no fury.jpgI couldn’t be more thrilled with the acceptance issued by co-editor Melanie R. Meadors (science fiction and fantasy author, blogger at The Once and Future Podcast), and the realization that I will be joining the incredible line-up of talented authors and artists associated with the project. The anthology description is as follows: “Hath No Fury contains…meaningful stories that defy the stereotypes. In this anthology, readers should expect to find super-smart, purpose-driven, ultra-confident heroines. Here, it’s not the hero who does all the action while the heroine smiles and bats her eyelashes; Hath No Fury’s women are champions, not princesses in distress. Embracing the strong warriors to the silent but powerful, to even the timid who muster up the bravery to face down a terrible evil, the women of Hath No Fury will make their indelible marks and leave you breathless for more.”

Sign me up.

Hath No Fury will include an introduction by Margaret Weis and nearly two dozen stories written by such speculative fiction authors including Seanan McGuire, Lian Hearn, Elaine Cunningham, Carol Berg, Gail Z. Martin, William C. Dietz, Nisi Shawl, Dana Cameron, Django Wexler, Delilah S. Dawson, Philippa Ballantine, Anton Stout, Elizabeth Vaughan, Bradley P. Beaulieu, M. L. Brennan, Michael R. Underwood, Erin M. Evans, Eloise J. Knapp, Marc Turner, S. R. Cambridge, and Lucy A. Synder. How incredible is that?

In addition to the stellar story selections, Hath No Fury will also include short essays by Robin HobbSarah Kuhn, Diana Pho, Monica ValentinelliK. Tempest Bradford, and Shanna Germain. But this anthology is not just a collection of stories and essays, it will also be filled with original art. Each piece of fiction will be individually illustrated, with the majority of the illustrations completed by Oksana Dmitrienko. However, the collection will also feature art by Wayne Miller and Keri Hayes, who were selected from the open art submission window offered as one of the project’s Stretch Goals.

The acceptance of my story also hinged on the open submission window made possible by all of the people who backed the anthology’s Kickstarter campaign. “A Seed Planted” is a tale about family, justice, and revenge. It was one of those stories that surprised me even as it was being written and I’m so glad I will be able to share it with you all soon. Hath No Fury is looking at a publication date in August. Stay tuned!

Poetry Publications

NBR Grimms Fairy TalesSo far, 2016 has been all about poetry. NonBinary Review has released all of the content for Grimm’s Fairy Tales (Issue #1), which includes my poem Wild Girl. This piece was nominated for Sundress Publications Best of the Net Award and the Pushcart Prize. It also marked the beginning of a wonderful relationship with the editors and publisher of NonBinary Review, a relationship that has resulted in the inspiration for of some of my favorite creative work of all-time.

womaninwhite_nonbinary6MEDNonBinary Review is a digital magazine with each issue publishing a well-known work in the public domain. The platform then provides a unique way of reading the content, which has been expanded with new works relating to the theme.

The current issue at NonBinary Review is The Woman in White (Issue #7), one of the first “sensation” or mystery novels, which was written by Wilkie Collins in 1859. My poem Tabula Rasa is included in this issue, which was released earlier this month.

Horror Zine 2016I am also pleased to announce that The Horror ‘Zine has published three of my poems – Figura Serpentinata, Paper Shadows, and Tinder— in The Horror Zine Magazine Summer 2016, which was released on January 29 at Amazon. Figura Serpentinata is a piece about the 13th hour, a creepy little wonder tale influenced by Edgar Allan Poe. Paper Shadows walks the edge of anorexia with expectations of cardboard cut-out women. And Tinder is a rendition of the fairy tale The Steadfast Tin Soldier, which I’ve imbued with elements of romantic obsession. These pieces will also be available to read online in the future.

Mythic DeliriumMy last bit of news is the release of the Table of Contents in the upcoming release of Mythic Delirium Issue 2.4. I’m exceptionally pleased that my poem Swimming with the Shark Boys will be in this issue along with work by some of my favorite authors including the fabulous Theodora Goss.

Stay tuned for the release date of Mythic Delirium Issue 2.4 in April. Happy reading!