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Posts Tagged ‘Goblins’

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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794 Here at Wood’s Edge, the night is dark and rainy – a most fitting evening for ghosts and spirits to wander. “It was night, and the rain fell; and falling, it was rain, but having fallen, it was blood.” — Edgar Allan Poe [Silence – A Fable]

There was a scrap of sun this afternoon, and stars winked in the sky earlier in the evening, but it seems the moon and stars have vanished on this All Hallow’s Eve. “And they put out the star-light/ With the breath from their pale faces.” — E. A. Poe [Fairy-Land]

This past weekend, I participated in HallowRead, a delightfully ghoulish celebration of dark fantasy, horror, and paranormal romance writing. Each of the Ellicott City locations for writers’ panels were supposedly haunted – and talk of vampires, werewolves, ghosts, and other paranormal creatures (contemporary or ancient) certainly added to the spooky vibe. “Horror and fatality have been stalking abroad in all ages. Why then give a date to the story I have to tell?” — E. A. Poe [Metzengerstein]

Plus, I’ve been participating since October 23rd in a Halloween blog tour with other members of Broad Universe – a wonderful organization which supports women who write speculative poetry and prose. “And then, hour after hour would I linger by her side, and dwell upon the music of her voice – until, at length, its melody was tainted with terror…” — E. A. Poe [Morella]

So I encourage you to read all the posts (some here on my blog) and especially to check out my guest blogs on the other sites. See what day dreams (or nightmares) I write about – for “They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night.” — E.A. Poe [Eleonora]

Check out: Ogerhunches and Other Goblins at TJ Wooldridge’s A Novel Friend, Hedge Witches at Elizabeth Black’s blog, Were-Beasties at LC Hu’s blog, and Ravens at Justine Graykin’s blog.

IMG_2395 And as the witching hour draws closer, the rain raps on my window pane like a lost soul, and I wonder where the murder of crows which visits my yard daily are roosting tonight – I wish a Happy Halloween to all, and to all a haunted night!

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Hooray! The Enchanted Skean is now available from Amazon.  The 7-year journey from first words jotted on paper to completed novel has finally yielded a published book!  And I hope you like the cover using my painting and the art director skills of Jamie Johnson. Below is the cover blurb:

Skean copy “The Enchanted Skean – Book I of The Chronicles of Lifthrasir is a YA coming-of-age adventure novel filled with magic, miracles, and mystery. 14-year old Beck Conleth is living a quiet life in the seaside town of Queen’s Weather when his grandmother sends him on a journey to Ulfwood to retrieve his father’s bones and a family skean (dagger). After reaching Ulfwood, Beck discovers the skean is magical, and that it answers only to him. Soon the enchanted skean and its owner attract the attention of dark mages, goblins, and worse. Helped on his journey home by Wisewomen, warriors, shape-changers, and the other good folk of Lifthrasir, Beck faces death, danger, and the theft of his skean.

Accompanied by his best friend, Beck stows away on a ship, takes back his skean, befriends a dragon, and escapes with a troop of thieves. After reaching a dock in West Arnora, the company heads for the fortress of Ravens Haunt. As Beck and his companions face a hideous Skullsoul and an army of ogerhunches, he realizes there is a developing confrontation between good and evil, and he and his enchanted skean have a role to play.”

Thank you to Mockingbird Lane Press & Editor Regina Williams for not only believing in my novel, but helping me make it a better book with their invaluable input. And thanks to friends, family, and fans who’ve helped me on this journey.

Now, the success of The Enchanted Skean rests with you – the readers. So if you enjoy adventure tales filled with magic and epic fantasy, please visit Amazon,  “Like” The Enchanted Skean – Book I of the Chronicles of Lifthrasir, buy a copy, and post a review. If you’re on Goodreads, please post a review there, also. Thanks so much. – Vonnie

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 At the recent FaerieCon, I attended a clay sculpting workshop led by the delightful, Patricia Hedegaard. (Shown to the right of text). Ten attendees were each given a lump of clay and 2 black beads. We borrowed Patricia’s ceramic tools, and with her patient instruction — 10 strangely different goblins were born.

 And though the medium is different (words instead of clay), creating a goblin character for a story is much the same. The writer begins with a heap of words and possible ideas in her head. She begins to separate the words, stringing a few together at a time, and eventually shapes them into sentences.

 Next, the writer gathers the sentences into paragraphs. She edits her descriptions, reveals the goblin through its actions (rather than telling), double-checks her folklore and legend references for accuracy, and tosses the faery creature into a plot with a few twists and turns.

 And if the writer is lucky or skilled or a little bit of both — a well-rounded goblin character appears. Whether the nasty, nose-picking spriggans of “Tootsie’s Swamp Tours & Amusement Park” or the mischievous gremlers of “Waiting for More” or the shape-shifting bogle and goblin from “Appleheads,” I had fun creating an assortment of goblins and their kin for my new book, The Greener Forest, due out in March 2011 from Cold Moon Press: http://coldmoonpress.com  And I also had fun creating the little goblin to the left.

My challenge to you: Take time out of your busy schedule to create something magical whether in words or clay or the medium of your choice. And check out the brand new publishing company – Cold Moon Press.

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For those of you who like Egyptian myth and lore, a poem of mine called “Immortality” is now up at EMG-Zine, an online science fiction/fantasy magazine: http://tinyurl.com/vonnie-immortality  This magazine always has interesting art, non-fiction articles, poetry, and stories. Check out their archives for many of their past themed issues. (I have a poem in their Raven, Dragon, and Spider issues).

And speaking of poetry, I’m busy writing a few more poems to compliment the short stories in my soon-to-be-published collection of fantasy work called: The Greener Forest. The titles of some of the finished poems: Goblins, Dark Fairy, The Greener Forest, and On the Edge. Well, I guess you get the idea – there are fantastical creatures of all sorts mingling with the regular folks in these poems and short stories.

 Also, get ready for several posts with pictures and information from this fall’s FaerieCon. I met some wonderful artists and writers, and sculpted my own goblin.  And speaking of poetry and FaerieCon — award-winning writer, Jane Yolen, read a number of her marvelous poems. Not only did many of the audience members (me included) have tears in their eyes when Jane read her poetry — but facilitator, Wendy Froud, was on the verge of crying, too.

Good writing is a powerful thing indeed!

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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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 The saying goes: Faeryfolk live in old oaks. And I love faeryfolk. Maybe it’s because I adore oak trees and made tea party place-settings from acorn tops when I was little. Maybe it’s because I wove huge daisy chains and danced every chance I got in mushroom rings. But ever since I was old enough to hold a book, I’ve been fascinated with fairy and folktales and the creatures who populate those stories. And though I adore the butterfly-winged fairies that sail the breezes and ride mouseback to great celebrations in the deepest parts of the forest, I like lesser-known and darker members of Faerie, too.

Trolls are one of my favorites. The under-the-bridge troll of The Three Billy Goats Gruff is fearsome indeed, but the trolls of the northern woods of Scandinavia are often viewed as nature-helpers. These trolls are responsible for tending plants and animals. I decided to make the trolls in the fourth tale in my children’s book, Leprechaun Cake & Other Tales, non-threatening. In fact, they’re comical in appearance and quite fond of snow, unicorns, and playing chess.

Another one of my faeryfolk favorites are stray-sod pixies. Stray-sods have grass growing from their backs. They settle in a meadow or other grassy spot and wait for the unwary pedestrian to step upon them. As soon as a person steps on its back, a stray-sod twists, turns, and confuses the careless hiker. Stray-sods are one of the faeryfolk I’ve included in a novel-in-progress I’m working on.

I’ve included a kelpie in a poem. A kelpie is a waterhorse who waits in moving water for a foolish or curious person. Climb onto a kelpie’s back and you’re likely to be at least dunked if not drowned and eaten. But there’s also something touching about a horse with a shaggy forelock partially hiding its wide set eyes poised at the edge of a stream begging to be petted. Perhaps the kelpie is truly lonely and not just hungry.

And what of the swan-maidens of Celtic tales? Healers and were-creatures of great beauty and shyness, I’ve often wondered under what circumstances would they be bold and vengeful. That bit of speculation resulted in my short story, Blood of the Swan, due to appear in a soon-to-be-printed anthology.

Even goblins make appearances in my writing. I have several varieties of the much-hated goblin race in my looking-for-a-publisher YA novel, The Enchanted Skean. Though there seems to be little to love about them, the main character, Beck, wonders if the goblins also have names and families. And spriggans, rude and obnoxious cousins of goblinkind, appear in one of my short stories currently “out” awaiting a publisher’s decision to accept or reject.

Mermaids are sometimes portrayed as sirens luring men to their death. I played against that type in my eShort, Sideshow by the Sea. Still, I didn’t discard the death-by-merfolk idea all together. Though the protagonist, Dusana, is a sweet girl – the mermen in the story carry knives with sharp, curving blades.

So as spring arrives, sit under an oak, read a fairytale, and look for the lesser-known faeryfolk. Perhaps they’re peering at you from behind a shrub, dangling from a branch above your head, or skulking in your cellar way. Just beware, all fairies are tricksy!

Learn more about Vonnie’s writing at www.vonniewinslowcrist.com

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