“Angry Kings”

I’ve got a novelette up at Beneath Ceaseless Skies today.

This one is called “Angry Kings” and was inspired by all the fairy tale stories of kings and their daughters and how terribly those daughters are often treated. I wanted to explore the psyches of such kings without offering forgiveness for their terrible behavior; the gap between understanding and forgiveness has been something I’ve been interested in for a good while. Analyzing someone’s motives and empathizing with someone’s troubles doesn’t necessarily mean that we are condoning or accepting their behavior. And I’ve always felt a pull between these two states.

In “Angry Kings,” Magritte escapes her evil king father. When she discovers that her father’s ghost has long been separated from his body, she returns to the kingdom to try to bring back the kind father she barely remembers from her childhood.

Read the full story here.

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Art: surreal image of a ballerina with an open face placing a rose inside her head

Art & Words Announcement 2018

I’m thrilled to announce that all the Art & Words participants for 2018 have been chosen! We received about 200 submissions, more than we’ve received in any other year. In the end, my readers and I whittled it down to a mix of writers and artists from near and far, new to Art & Words and old pros at the process.

The Art & Words Show will be on Saturday, September 29, 2018 at Art on the Boulevard in Fort Worth, Texas. I hope to see you there.

For updates on the show and other projects, please subscribe to my monthly email StuffleLetter here: http://eepurl.com/bjbsLj.

2018 Participants

Writers

William Ledbetter
Sean Robinson
Holly Lyn Walrath
Karen Bovenmyer
Oluwaseun Fakoyede
Deborah L. Davitt
Shane Halbach
Renee Hall
Raina Joines
Leah Tieger
Nadia Wolnisty

Artists

Art: sculpture featuring fabric stretched over red "eye"-type balls, growing out of a grey bowl
Stacy TompkinsPolyplasmic Lingam
Art: yellow and blue pastel abstract
Gloria SeppMotherhood
Art: mass of dark grey and black faces rising out of the earth
James RosinStrange Fruit
Art: woman with ram horns holds a staff and a lantern
James KurellaThe Hermit
Art: watercolor of tree roots
Gale Johnston–Roots
Art: wooden sculpture with wires stretching over it
Etienne IllyBound
Art: trees blowing in a wind
Laura HuntPrevailing Winds
Art: sculpture of a papier mache face with sun-like eyes holding a red telephone
Kimmie Hamm–The Call
Art: collage of woman in pink dress walking into a sunset with a tiger perched on top of a circle
Isabel CrespoInto the Yellow Room
Art: surreal image of a ballerina with an open face placing a rose inside her head
Marco Zavala–Naia
Art: full image and close-up of coral bean, and upon the bean there is an image of building
Elizabeth R. WilsonCoral Bean

Exploring Grief in Fairy Tales

A few years ago, after the death of my beloved uncle, my family and I traveled to be with my aunt and her daughter. Since my uncle’s death, my aunt and her daughter had taken to spending every day and night together. Their renewed connection through shared grief struck me as one of the most poignant connections I’d ever witnessed. I went home and, in my own grief for my uncle, wrote a story exploring grief of many kinds.

Not much later, my aunt died. And I went back to this story and found in it even more balm for the pain of losing someone I loved so much. Literature allows us to explore our emotions as metaphor. For someone like me, who for so many years kept a distance from her emotions, this ability to immerse myself in painful emotion slowly but honestly has been integral to healing and to breaking through that distance.

The story in question has now been published on the website of one of my favorite journals, Fairy Tale Review. And I can’t think of a better home for it.

Read “Sleeping Beauty’s Daughter” here: https://fairytalereview.com/2018/03/14/sleeping-beautys-daughter/

Syfy’s The Magicians Short

When I first read Lev Grossman’s The Magicians, I was psyched; it had all the charm of the Harry Potter novels but with an adult realism and a nuanced exploration of mental illness. Plus, the meta-fictive Fillorian element. It was the wizard book I’d always wanted.

When the show came out, I watched the whole first season in two evenings; though it was different, I liked where it went with the source material.

When I learned about the #BattletheBeast contest, sponsored by Syfy on the writing platform Wattpad, I knew I had to enter. I love writing within restraints; the contest called for a 1,500-word short that told the story of one of the undocumented times that Quentin and company battled the Beast of the first book and the first season. The winner would have their story turned into a digital short.

I worked out a plot with my partner, Peter Brewer, who has an awesome memory for the details of his favorite stories’ worlds. I wrote the story in one evening. I won the contest.

I was ecstatic.

That excitement was tripled when the digital short came out; they’d asked me to be the model for the character I created, Tara. Not only did I get to see my story brought to life by talented illustrator Miss Tak, narrated by Hale Appleman, the actor who plays Eliot, but also I got to see myself in the world of The Magicians. Which is just so very cool.

Art & Words 2017

I’m thrilled to announce that all the Art & Words participants for 2017 have been chosen! We received a huge number of submissions, most of them great, most of them (surprisingly) poetry (which is fine with me!). In the end, guest Editor Isabel Crespo and I whittled it down to 12, with a significant focus on local writers.

The Art & Words Show will be on Saturday, October 7, 2017 at Art on the Boulevard in Fort Worth, Texas. I hope to see you there.

For updates on the show and other projects, please subscribe to my monthly email StuffleLetter here: http://eepurl.com/bjbsLj.

2017 Participants

Writers
Courtney Marie
Logen Cure
Layla Al-Bedawi
Gayle Reaves-King
William Ledbetter
Michelle Muenzler
Cassandra Rose Clarke
Nyri Bakkalian
Holly Lyn Walrath
Jean Roelke
T.D. Walker
Jose Trejo Maya

Artists

Kimmie Hamm--nameless re take
Kimmie HammNameless Re-take
Laura Hunt--Birds On A Wet Lawn
Laura HuntBirds on a Wet Lawn
Tompkins_Sculpture_Mixed_Media_Architeuthis8feetX3FeetX6inches
Stacy TompkinsArchiteuthis
Etienne Illy--Separation Anxiety
Etienne Illy–Separation Anxiety
Emilee Koehler--Desolate
Emilee KoehlerDesolate
James Rosin--Paradise Lost
James RosinParadise Lost
Jackson Zorn--April Got No Light
Jackson ZornApril Got No Light
Paul Wolff--Debitum Naturae
Paul WolffDebitum Naturae (Nature’s Debt)
TheMagician(smaller)
Allester VinteersThe Magician
Alex Stock--Realms of the Fourth Eye Deer
Alex StockRealms of the Fourth Eye
Gabe Hales--Looking In
Gabe HalesLooking In

The following artist’s work will be included in the show; we are still awaiting permission to post photos of their pieces:

Megan Najera