If you’re looking for an awesome activity to help you get through the doldrums of winter, I have just the thing! Expert folklorists and authors Sara Cleto and Brittany Warman have thrown open the doors to their online academy of folklore, the Carterhaugh School, and their next offering will be a (incredibly reasonably priced) long course called “The Fairy Tale.” It begins this January and runs into February and will include tangible beautiful objects as well as knowledge.
Tentative Schedule for the Upcoming Fairy-Tale Course!
I’m so, so, so excited about this. I got to see Sara and Brittany present on folklore in the movie Labyrinth this past FaerieCon, and it was amazing. They’re smart, funny, and know how to present their material in an accessible way. I can’t wait to go back and rewatch the movie with all the things I learned in mind.
So I was already incredibly excited when they announced they would be doing this course, but then they asked me to help with one of the lessons! I’m over the moon to tell you now that I’ll be presenting a portion of lesson four, the Beastly Bride.
Lesson Four: January 26th, 2017
Beastly Bride Day – The Swan Maiden / The Crane Wife / The Loathly Lady / The Story of Uloopi and Arjuna
There’s still time to sign up for the course, and it makes a great gift, whether for you or a fellow lover of fairy tales, folklore, and all things enchanted! I hope to see you there in the mysterious, moon-silvered halls of the Carterhaugh School.
My prize package for my tiny story in Katherine Harbour’s Hallowe’en contest just arrived. If you haven’t read her work, Katherine writes deliciously dark folklore-infused books, and I won a signed set along with some other goodies. Pictures below!
I wrote a hundred-word story about a painting she did using the five terms she stipulated, and I’m posting it here. (Writing that short was a fun challenge!):
When the poison sank into his bones, he gasped at the mirror. She had drawn on him, scrawled secrets, all graceful loops and fine lines. Hers was a venom no less deadly than truth; she’d shaded and cross-hatched until half his skin dissolved, revealing another’s rich brown flesh.
Another time, another life. Him. He remembered now—her virtuous nature, his restless heart. Hands knotting, he collapsed onto the cold checkered floor.
Across the hall, the Scarlet Scourge smiled. “You wanted to know who you are. Once you loved me. Then you left me. Now? Now you, too, break in half.”
(picture by Katherine Harbour)
(a sparkly butterfly mask, a Fata flower wreath headband, an original art print, a fortune-telling game, a complete signed set of the Night and Nothing trilogy, and a lost short story/chapter from the first book, Thorn Jack)
What a lovely pick-me-up on a gray, cold day! Thank you, Katherine. 💖
By “my,” I mean my commission from the extremely talented Divya Gupta of Sapphire Fantasy Arts. Divya is a sculptress living in India who is inspired by all things fantasy and creates one-of-a-kind dolls in incredible detail. So of course I turned to her for a nagini doll to shine inspiration through my dreaming room/writing space.
And just look at what she came up with! I remain in utter awe.
Even better, Art Doll Quarterly accepted Divya’s nagini sculpt for its mythological creatures challenge, and now this beautiful doll beams out from the winter 2017 issue (currently available in bookstores).
Isn’t that amazing? I love her so, and I’m delighted so many other people get to meet my nagini, too! Thank you, Divya, for such a gorgeous piece!
This time, it’s from Publishers Weekly. “Sophisticated yet entirely accessible, the collection is valuable both for the breadth of thought and perspective it represents and for the support it directs toward readers.”
Here We Are, an anthology aimed at teens, is chock-full of diverse voices speaking about intersectionality and why feminism matters in a really accessible way. I’m proud of my essay, I’m delighted by the pieces from the other contributors, and I’m thrilled by the work editor Kelly Jensen has done overall. Check it out!
(And Goodreads is currently hosting a giveaway of an advanced reading copy!)
⭐⭐⭐Starred review, starred review, starred review!⭐⭐⭐ Look what Kirkus has to say about Here We Are: Feminism for the Real World (the anthology I have an essay in)!
“Jensen here assembles a stellar collection of writings—prose, illustrated pieces, and poetry—that showcase contemporary expressions of feminism: what it is, what it isn’t, and what it can be, as defined by each writer. [ . . . ] An embarrassment of riches.”
(Click through for the full review.)
I’m so, so, so proud, and I hope you’ll preorder the anthology. I’ve seen the ARC, and it’s amazing.
In light of what’s happening in America right now, I think this conversation is a little too timely. But please give it a listen. It’s about twenty-five minutes long.
11.46: Colonialism, with Steven Barnes, Tempest Bradford, Dongwon Song, and Shveta Thakrar
I am so thrilled to announce I’m now represented by Beth Phelan of the Bent Agency! 😀
This was the second time I submitted to literary agents, and unlike when I queried my first novel (a horrible year or so of rejections that really washed the stars from my eyes), I was lucky enough to have referrals from wonderful people. So starting in mid-August, I had five amazing agents looking at Star Daughter, my young adult fantasy about a girl whose mother is a star, and I got both R&Rs (revise-and-resubmit requests) and offers. I’m just going to say that this was the hardest decision of my life. (People who were at Sirens with me can confirm this.)
So I won’t say the stars are back in my eyes–I’m looking at everything from a business standpoint this time around–but I am deeply, incredibly grateful so many people believe in me and my work and want to see me succeed, and I feel so loved. Instead, the stars will stay in Star Daughter! (And occasionally in my hair.)
(Honestly, I’m still in shock that any of this actually happened.)
I’m sooooo excited! 😀 Now to get revising . . .
Hi! I just returned from another gorgeous Sirens Conference (and was too swamped beforehand to remember to announce it here), but it’s already time to share more scheduling news! I’ll be at FaerieCon with some of my favorite people (including Sara Cleto, Brittany Warman, Grace Nuth, and Holly Black). This year’s event will be honoring the thirty-year anniversary of Labyrinth, and Wendy and Toby Froud will be in attendance. I hope you’ll come out and play, too.
Saturday, 5 November
11:00–12:00 Panel: Folklore and World-Building feat. Danielle Ellison (mod), Sara Cleto, Brittany Warman, Holly Black, Shveta Thakrar, Diana Peterfreund
Sunday, 6 November
11:00–12:00 Shveta Thakrar: Magical and Monstrous Female Beings in South Asian Myth and Folklore
So after a lot of hard work, the scroll stories have been finished and mailed out in the Sihaya and Company autumnal quarterly box. (Lisa Gill, art director of Faerie magazine, arranged my words in a gorgeous layout, and I painted, glued, repainted, reglued, and otherwise assembled. And then did emergency dowel cap paint repair.) I’m incredibly proud of the result and thought you might like to see how they turned out, both story-wise and as objects, so here you go! Notice they’re appropriately illuminated by my new moon lamp and ringed by my blue pumpkin collection. (The speckled one in the center is a gift from my dear friend and fellow authoress Cindy Pon, whose husband made it.)
(Also pictured are the other contents of the box: tea, sugar skulls, a scented candle, perfume oil, soap, eye shadow, and a enamel bat pin.)
(“Autumn Jewels” is a flash story about autumn leaves, stories, witchy creatures from Hindu lore, and moons.)
(A close-up of Lisa’s gorgeous graphic design work. I adore it.)
(The completed scrolls ready to be sent out to Sihaya and Company.)
(My scroll hanging on the side of a pink-and-purple-and-turquoise bookcase in my dreaming room.)
I mentioned awhile back that I was invited to submit an essay to a really important and exciting feminist anthology for tweens and teens, Here We Are: Feminism for the Real World, edited by the fantastic Kelly Jensen, and now the cover is live! Go have a look (and you can preorder it here!). It’s got some amazing contributors, and I’m so proud to be a part of it.
The cover and introduction at Book Riot.