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Posts Tagged ‘Faerie Magazine’

Wendy Froud Wendy Froud is the designer-creator of wonderful fantasy soft sculptures (and is married to illustrator, Brian Froud). I saw her intricate creations at an East Coast FaerieCon (where this photo was taken), and found a wonderful quote from her on the World of Froud website: “I feel that my work is a sign post to the half forgotten world that we all carry inside of us.”

I think all writers and illustrators whose roots are sunk deep in folklore, myth, and legend feel this way. For us (yes, I count myself among those legend-myth folk), the stories and art we create, harken back to a time when the world was steeped in magic. Sometimes, I feel like I’m just reminding my readers of something they already know in the marrow of their bones.

And thanks again to Faerie Magazine for having me as their guest at FaerieCon.

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Brian Froud English illustrator, Brian Froud, is known for his fantasy illustrations of fairies, trolls, goblins, and other magical beings. A great quote from him which appears on his website: “I paint the spirit and soul of what I see.”

I believe illustrators and writers alike should strive to paint the spirit and soul of what they see – whether through words or watercolors. I know I do.

By the way, I took this photo of Brian at an East Coast FaerieCon. (Thanks Faerie Magazine for inviting me to attend). And I must mention, I’ve been collecting work illustrated by Brian Froud for years. While at FaerieCon, I asked him to sign a book or 2. He saw my bulging knapsack, and realized all books in the bag were illustrated by him – so he told me to leave the knapsack and stop by later. I did so, and much to my amazement, in each book was a small goblin drawing by Brian beside his signature.

I hope I will always treat my fans as kindly.

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Yes, I know the title of this blog is cheesy. But some days are cheddar & gouda days. I decided to add a couple of fun links that are related to The Greener Forest to my blog.

First, I’d mentioned earlier that I’d drawn a maze which was included in the Balticon 2011 BSFAN book. For those of you who weren’t at that convention, my publisher has kindly scanned the maze, and it can be downloaded for FREE at the Cold Moon Press website: http://www.coldmoonpress.com/forreaders.html

 Second, I participated in a Broad Universe podcast. I must admit to being very intimidated as I stared at the microphone on my computer and tried to confidently read an excerpt of “Birdling.” I had to keep my reading, including intro & sign-off, to about 5 minutes. I “motor-mouthed” through a chunk of the text, then realized that if I wanted listeners to understand what I was saying, I needed to s-l-o-w d-o-w-n. After editing the story and stumbling through multiple read-throughs, I finally managed an agreeable reading of a snippet of the 1st story in The Greener Forest (which also appears in Faerie Magazine Issue 22).

If you’d like to take a listen, I start reading a portion of “Birdling” about 1 minute & 51 seconds into this podcast: http://broadpod.posterous.com/may-2011-celebrating-motherhood

If you’d like to meet me & hear what I have to say about submissions to The Gunpowder Review 2011, I’ll be participating on the editors panel on Weds., Aug. 17, 2011 at 6:30 PM in room 205, Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts, Annapolis, MD. This event is sponsored by the Annapolis/Anne Arundel County Chapter of the Maryland Writers Association: http://www.marylandwriters.org  I’ll also have copies of my book & the literary magazine available for purchase that evening.

And finally, take a few moments this week to step outside one night and listen to the cacophony (gosh, I love that word!). Summer is drawing to a close at Wood’s Edge (and in many other parts of the USA & elsewhere). The cicada, katydids, crickets, frogs, night birds, and a few unidentified critters are making quite a racket beneath the blanket of stars.

My advice for today: Do something fun (a maze perhaps?), do something outside your comfort zone, get out and meet people with similar interests, and enjoy the magic of a summer night.

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I’ve been taking time out from writing to do some drawing & painting. I finished a fantasy watercolor painted in various pinks, blues, and purples called Poet’s Moon, then sent a bit of it off to an editor for cover art consideration. That bit will be the cover of the February 2012 Scifaikuest.

I drew a pen & ink, faeriefolk-infested maze for BSFAN, Balticon’s souvenir book to promote my book from Cold Moon Press: The Greener Forest. (I’ve received positive feedback from a number of attendees on the maze). I painted a sweet little fairy, “Crocus,” for an ad in the next Faerie Magazine. Plus, she’ll be matted & framed for an upcoming art exhibit – I’ll have to let you know after it’s published what folks think.

I painted 2 gouaches “on spec” for the cover of an upcoming speculative fiction anthology: Rush of Wings. (Hmm, I’m not sure if that’s the true plural for more than 1 gouache — that strange child of watercolor & acrylic paints). One painting, “Rush of Wings,” was declined, and I’ve since sent it out to another editor for another project. The other, “The Golden Egg,” is still being held by the RoW editor. Both speculative paintings just sold from an art exhibit I have at Bel Air Barnes & Noble (MD) for June 1-30, 2011.

Two other paintings have also just sold “off the wall” of my local Barnes & Noble: “Mermaid & Friends,” the cover art for my eShort Sideshow by the Sea, (soon to be included in my new book) and “Three Dwarves,” a watercolor used as cover art by the now defunct Lite – Baltimore’s Literary Magazine. For those interested, you can see the mermaid painting and also, “Acorn Sprite,” a small painting that another buyer has expressed interest in purchasing when the B&N show ends — at the art-gifts on this blog: https://vonniewinslowcrist.wordpress.com/art-gifts/

 I sent the 2 gouaches (mentioned in paragraph #2) plus a watercolor called “Strawberry Dragon” off to my local Society of Book Writers & Illustrators annual Jack Reid Scholarship for free tuition to their July conference. And, gulp, I won the illustrator’s scholarship, so my $195 tuition is being waived!

So what does this “sudden” artwork success mean? Should I stop writing and devote myself to illustration? I think not! I believe these positive responses to my artwork tell me the hours, days, weeks — actually years — that I’ve spent painting and studying art are being acknowledged. Practice has helped me to get better.

I’ll continue to practice my painting and my writing this summer. Hopefully, I’ll have good news in both disciplines. But most importantly, I hope to grow and improve so I can bring my readers better stories and more powerful art in the future. And I encourage all of you to practice whatever it is that you enjoy doing — and I bet you’ll see an improvement in your skill-level, too!

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Networking, that ambiguous term that means a friendly chat that may or may not result in a career opportunity, works. I’ll give you a few examples to prove my point.

About 10 years ago, I was selling my books at the now non-existent Bel Air (MD) Book Festival on a sweltering day that ended in a cloud-burst. A woman looked at my illustration & book display, asked for contact information, and said she was thinking about starting a magazine. I smiled, chatted with her briefly, handed her my number, and never gave the conversation a 2nd thought. Several years later, I got a call from that woman, Fran Johnson, who was now editor/publisher of Harford’s Heart Magazine, and she offered me the chance to write the magazine’s book review column. And how I even came to be at that book festival is another tale of a friend of a friend suggesting the festival organizer contact me.

 Nearly 30 years ago (yikes, I’m dating myself here), I was standing next to a woman in an aerobics dance class and she was complaining about the illustrator she was using for a cookbook she’d written. I said I could do the job. She asked to see samples. And that was the start of not only a multiple-book working relationship with Bobbie Hinman & Prima Publishing, but the opening of a door that led me to The Vegetarian Resource Group. And  in addition to doing design & illustration work for VRG books and pamphlets, I’ve been illustrating The Vegetarian Journal for 25 years now. Perhaps most importantly, my children’s book, Leprechaun Cake & Other Tales, was published by the VRG.

 In 2009, as President of the Maryland State National League of American Pen Women, I was putting together an Arts Day. I needed women editors for a literary panel. Fran (see above) was busy, but I called a few women I knew who edited literary magazines and a friend who was working for an e-publisher, and had a wonderful group of women for the panel. (All of whom I met through networking). But I still needed a woman editor from a commercial publication to round-out the panel. I looked at the magazines on my shelf, and with little hope of a “Yes,” called Kim Cross of Faerie Magazine. To my delight, Kim agreed to come to the Arts Day and participate on the Women Editors panel. We amicably chatted that day, and have since developed a friendly relationship.  And because of that networking opportunity, I’ve contributed both fiction and nonfiction to Faerie Magazine.

 Which brings me to the newest bonus of networking. For years, I’ve help lead Balticon’s Poetry Workshop (Balticon is the Baltimore Science Fiction Society’s Annual Convention). There, I met author & editor Danielle Ackley-McPhail. Danielle was editing an anthology of short stories about dragons for Dark Quest Books, and agreed to let me submit a story. The story was selected, Dragon’s Lure was published, and then the book was reviewed by Professor C. of BSCReview — now, BoomTron. Professor C. loved my story, so when my new book, The Greener Forest, was published, I asked him if he’d be interested in reviewing it. He said, “Yes.” And the resulting review and interview can be found on the wonderful BoomTron site: http://www.boomtron.com/2011/04/the-greener-forest-by-vonnie-winslow-crist-review/  and http://www.boomtron.com/2011/04/vonnie-winslow-crist-interview/

Would any of these things have happened without networking? Maybe. But I think writers, illustrators, and anyone looking to expand their professional opportunities need to keep their eyes and ears open to networking possibilities. You never know who might be next to you in line at the grocery store or where that conversation at a meeting might lead.

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I’m a great fan of ravens – whether the Baltimore football team or the darkly feathered bird of Edgar Allen Poe’s poem. I’ve visited Poe’s grave and attended football games. One of my poems about both the Ravens football team and Edgar Allen Poe was published in The Baltimore Review and released as part of a poetry CD. Another one of my poems, Raven, is competing until midnight Jan 26th on the Preditors & Editors Poll.

I challenge Baltimore Raven fans and Poe fans to vote for my poem, “Raven,” until Jan. 26th midnight at: http://www.critters.org/predpoll/poem.shtml Let’s put the word RAVEN at the top of the poll!

And for those who’d like to read Raven, along with my nominated Short Story-Science Fiction, Weathermaker (pub. in Dragon’s Lure); NonFiction article, Tussie-Mussies (pub. in Faerie Magazine); and view my nominated artwork, Wizard (pub. in Aoife’s Kiss), – check out a temporary page on my website: http://www.vonniewinslowcrist.com/preditors__editors_nominated_work

 If you’re so inclined, you can also vote for me, Vonnie Winslow Crist, as author, poet, and artist in the Preditors & Editors Poll. Here’s the link for Artwork to vote for Wizard – you can easily get to the other categories from here: http://www.critters.org/predpoll/artwork.shtml

So thanks to all you who decide to vote. Hooray for Edgar Allen Poe, whose birthday is later this month. And Good Luck, Ravens in tomorrow’s game!

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 The appearance of my article, “Tussie Mussies – Victorian Talking Bouquest,” in the newest issue “Faerie Magazine” was a thrill for me. But it isn’t the only exciting faery thing happening in my life.

At the moment, I’m awaiting the publication of my story, “Tootsie’s Grass River Tours & Amusement Park,” in Sam’s Dot Publishing’s “Sideshow II.” This strange story features a gang of spriggans. And they’re not the smiling, clumsy spriggans of some tales. No. No. My spriggans are growling, spitting, nose-picking fellows with evil in their hearts.

As I was writing the story, I asked on Facebook  for the input of my friends: “Who should my evil faerieworld race be– goblins or spriggans?” Spriggans won, hands down.

Which brings me to a new question, asked here and on Facebook. I’m busy writing several stories for themed anthologies and I want to put some faerieworld creatures in them. I’ve already chosen a Japanese water spirit, a Ningyo, for the protagonist of one tale, but I want to feature another lesser-known faery creatures in each of the other stories.

 So readers, what is your favorite creature or race of creatures from the world of Faerie? Giants or trolls or merrow or…

And if you happen to be in a bookstore or want to visit their website: www.faeriemagazine.com , why not pick up a copy of Issue #20 and read my article which concludes with: “There’s no better way to communicate with nature spirits than in the language of flowers. So gather some herbs and flowers… leave … in a sheltered garden spot or nestled amongst the roots of an oak tree. Nearby fairies, elves, and sprites are sure to send thank you blessings your way.”

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