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Posts Tagged ‘Little Patuxent Review’

“If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales.” – Albert Einstein

A fan of fairy tales since I was three, I agree with Einstein! I read fairy tales along with lots of other books to my kids when they were small, and now read to my grandkids. Fantasy, whether fairy tales or other corners of the genre, encourages readers to lose themselves in another world where tough moral issues can be dealt with and not seem too “real.”

I wrote an essay, Fairy Stories, Magic, and Monsters, published in the Little Patuxent Review, on why we like make believe worlds. I’ve posted the entire essay on my website for you to enjoy.

How do you feel about fairy tales?

I hope you’re enjoying my blog posts and links. Want to show some love? Visit my Amazon page and consider buying a book. 🙂

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 2012 has started off with a bang! Tomorrow, I’ll be part of a Cold Moon Press presentation at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC at 12 noon. Besides reading an excerpt from my zombie love story, I’ll be discussing how to use traditional creatures/ characters from myths & folklore in creative writing. The public is invited if any of you are in the area and interested.

Again this year, my art work and writing are nominated in the Preditors & Editors Readers’ Poll (which closes at 12 midnight, Jan. 10, 2012). For those who’d like to read the story- Blood of the Swan (published in “While the Morning Stars Sing”); the nonfiction piece originally published in Little Patuxent ReviewFairies, Magic & Monsters; or the poem published this December in EMG-ZinePenelope for free until Jan. 20th, you can go to: http://vonniewinslowcrist.com/preds__eds_nominated_work

 Also nominated are my magazine cover for September 2011’s Aoife’s Kiss, the cover of my book The Greener Forest, and one of the illustrations from that book: Ningyo (reprinted here).

I just finished designing 2 logos for new imprints at Cold Moon Press – and they’ve been emailed to the editor for approval. (When approved & with the editor’s permission, I’ll give you a peek at them later.)

The end of 2011 featured a guest blog, Holiday Traditions for the Writer, on Tracy S. Morris’ website: http://tinyurl.com/holiday-traditions-VWC-blog and 2 interviews. The 1st is about being an illustrator: http://tinyurl.com/eraserburns-interview-vonnie   and the 2nd about being a fantasy writer: http://tinyurl.com/funzone-interview-vonnie

And for those interested in reading what I have to say about what goes into choosing a cover for a book, you can check out my guest blog at Morgen Bailey’s Writing Blog: http://wp.me/p18Ztn-1Fa

And now, I need to focus on completing several stories for my next book. Title and other details will be announced shortly. Till then, here’s a hint: Dusk, darkness, and owls are involved!

Here’s hoping that each of you has a healthy and prosperous 2012.

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 Sending The Greener Forest out to reviewers wasn’t easy. What if the reviewers hated my beloved child? The Greener Forest is a collection of short stories (with a few fantasy poems & illustrations tossed in for good measure), and it’s therefore harder to find reviewers willing to read the book. What if reviewers begrudgingly skimmed the pages of the collection, then jotted down mean-spirited words? Yikes!

But an author must push aside her doubts, and send review copies out into the big, wide world. If she’s worked hard enough on her craft, edited judiciously, and listened to her editor — maybe, just maybe, the readers and reviewers will say positive things. And if the reviews are dreadful, then she must slip on her rhinoceros skin, ignore the critical jabs, and keep on writing.

Why bother with reviews? Because readers from Amazon to Goodreads to hundreds of other sites look for reviews to help them make their reading choices. And, as much as writers like to deny it, we need to hear from our readers so we can write better.

The Greener Forest has been well-reviewed to date. (She wipes the sweat from her brow and smiles tentatively). Thanks to the reviewers who took the time to read, then write a few words about my book. If you’d like to read a few reviews of The Greener Forest, check out the excerpts below, then follow the links.

Valentina at Carabosse’s Library wrote: “I highly recommend this collection.” http://tinyurl.com/carabosses-library-review-GF

Lindsay of Lindsay & Jane’s Views & Reviews wrote: “5 Stars. This book is filled with beautiful poems, magical fantastical stories and stunning illustrations.” http://tinyurl.com/lindsay-review-greener-forest

Natalie of Besotted with Books wrote: “There are so many great little stories throughout, some stories are beautifully magical and others sent a chill down my spine.” http://tinyurl.com/besotted-with-books-review

Laura Shovan, ed., Little Patuxent Review wrote: “Crist is a master of metaphor. In The Greener Forest her modern fairy tales stand out.” http://tinyurl.com/little-patuxent-rev-review

Fran Johnson, ed., Harford’s Heart Magazine wrote: “Crist has created believable characters, including some who are not-quite-human.” http://tinyurl.com/harfords-heart-review

And remember, after you read The Greener Forest to post on Amazon, Goodreads, etc. your feelings about the book.

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I’m back from a week in the mountains of West Virginia, and I’m filled with both longing for the quiet of the deep forest and eagerness to resume my “normal” life. Coming home after a trip is always like that. I miss the excitement of adventure and travel, but relish the familiarity of Wood’s Edge.

 I think my writing is like that, too. As a writer, I was first a poet. This spring/summer, I worked hard on an essay, “Fairies, Magic & Monsters,” that appears in the latest issue of “Little Patuxent Review,” and on a number of short stories for various magazines and anthologies. By tomorrow noontime, I need to finish my next column for “Harford’s Heart Magazine” and get it emailed to my editor. And before next weekend, I really need to complete an article promised to an editor ages ago. Then, I suppose I’ll write a poem or two. You see, poetry for me is like a faded, well-worn pair of jeans — comfortable and easy to slip into.

 For those who might like to read a couple of my poems, the fabulous new anthology from Maryland Writer’s Association, “Life in Me like Grass on Fire,” contains “Harpers Ferry” and “Venus.” Per usual, I used myth, folklore, and legend in both poems. As a bonus for being part of the book, I got a chance to share “Harpers Ferry” and chat about contributing to anthologies at a meeting of the Howard County Branch of MWA in July. It was lovely to spend an evening with a group of enthusiastic readers & writers.

And isn’t that what it’s all about? Sharing the love of words with like-minded individuals. So thanks, MWA for including my poems and inviting me to participate in several special presentations based on “Life in Me like Grass on Fire.”

Now, back to my column…

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J.R.R. Tolkien wrote: “Little by little, one travels far.”

I believe Tolkien got it right, whether you think about a real trip, or one of life’s journeys. As for me, I’ve been on an interesting journey lately — embracing my love of myth, legend, and folklore, and pursuing publication opportunities in those genres.

Besides my “Fairy Stories, Magic, and Monsters” essay in the forthcoming “Make Believe” issue of  The Little Patuxent Review, I have 2 poems, “Harpers Ferry” & “Venus,” due out in the Maryland Writers’ Association anthology, Life in Me Like Grass on Fire. Both incorporate myth.

Paper Crow magazine just accepted my poem based on a fairytale villian, “A wolf is kept fed by his feet.” My story which features the Daughter of Winter called “On a Midwinter’s Eve,” was just accepted by Tales of the Talisman. And the anthology, In the Garden of the Crow, accepted, “Kingdom Across the River,” a poem of mine that is filled with nursery rhyme and fairytale references.

As part of the process of promoting my collection of fantasy stories, The Greener Forest, I’m attending SynDCon in Rockville, MD on Sat., April 2. And I just attended Mythic Faire a couple of weeks ago where I not only sold a few books, but I got to meet British folklore expert and author of 150 books, John Matthews.

And yes, my geekiness was on full display as I asked a pleasant John Matthews to sign 5 of his nonfiction books for me. I could have lugged along several more, but the volumes were so heavy I risked injury if I loaded them in my backpack. John seems to have happily written about folklore and myth for decades. Me? I’ve just recently gotten brave enough to listen to my heart, and pursue my passion for writing and painting work rooted in myth, legend, folklore, and fairytales.

Finally, I’m taking those little steps with the hope of journeying far, and I encourage each of you, writer or not, to find your passion and pursue it. Deepak Chopra writes: “Listen to our heart, your heart knows.” I believe he’s right.

For those who’d like a peek at the opening poem of The Greener Forest, you can visit poet, editor, educator & mom, Laura Shovan’s March 25th Poetry Friday blog:  http://authoramok.blogspot.com/2011/03/poetry-friday-make-believe.html  Thanks Laura for featuring my poem, and for your kind words about my book.

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The theme of the upcoming issue of the Maryland-based literary magazine, Little Patuxent Review, is “Make Believe.”  I’m delighted to say I’ll have an essay titled, “Fairy Stories, Magic, and Monsters,” in that issue.

Though I need to address Editor Laura’s suggestions, the essay will remain much as I first wrote it. In examining our enduring fascination with fantasy, I was able to use examples from stories by J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, L. Frank Baum, J.K. Rowling, the Brothers Grimm, Hans Christian Andersen, Neil Gaiman, Marion Zimmer Bradley, Nancy Werlin, March Cost, and Charles Dickens. But I could have written a much longer, more involved essay which included the work of dozens of other authors who’ve given readers magical worlds to inhabit as they turned the pages of a book.

 In my new book, The Greener Forest, I tried to bring a bit of that magic to my readers. Have I succeeded? Only time will tell. But I did receive my first email from someone who bought a copy of The Greener Forest, reprinted here with permission:

“Hello! I bought a copy of your book at the Mythic Faire in Maryland.  I finished it in one sitting–I couldn’t put it down.  Thanks for an enjoyable read; your stories were sincere &  full of wonder and joy. Keep up the great work! — K. Masters”

And thank you, K. Masters, for your note. Writing is a solitary passion and it’s nice to know that someone besides your editor enjoys the fantasy worlds you’ve created. Want your copy of The Greener Forest? Visit: http://coldmoonpress.com/quickbuy.html  And remember, the world is full of mystery & magic. We just need to look, listen, and believe that wondrous things are still possible.

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