Blog · book club · Reading

Happy Women’s Day!

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Photo: Daria Głodowska

March is Women’s History Month, and today is International Women’s Day. This month we will #readmorewomen!

Right now, I’m alternating between Julie Dao’s darkly sparkling fairy tale Forest of a Thousand Lanterns, and Martha Hall Kelly’s The Lilac Girls, inspired by true stories of the horrors of Ravensbruck. Both are tales of strong women learning and navigating that strength, and finding their way in a world that seeks to overpower them.

If you’re looking for a shorter read, these are some of my favorite short stories that I’ve discovered in the last few months, all by women!
You can find more great reads at Enchanted Conversation!
Happy reading!
Kiyomi
I have a newsletter now! If you enjoy my stories, if you want to support my writing, please sign up. If you subscribe to my Tiny Letter, you’ll stay with me, wherever I end up writing in the future, and I’ll send you previews of what’s coming up here.
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Reading · Writing

Happy Tell a Fairy Tale Day!

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Happy Tell a Fairy Tale Day? While the origins of this holiday are not very clear, any reason to reconnect with our favorite stories and share them with others, is good in my book!

Today is also my birthday! In honor of both, I’m asking you to share one of my stories with one other person.

Find a complete list of my published stories on the blog here. But if you’re not sure where to begin, I’ve got some suggestions for you!

Like the tale of The Pied Piper? Read Hamelintown.

Here’s Snow Fell, my version of Snow White.

In more of an Anderson than a Grimm mood?

Check out my tale inspired by The Steadfast Tin Soldier and Frankenstein, John Soldier; or if you’re more in a listening than reading mood, you can play the audio version here.

Or my take on The Emperor’s New Clothes, Re-covered.

For stories from the perspective of the princess try:

How He Found a Wife, which tells the story of Godfather Death,

Or Moon Rising, a new story of Aladdin.

For a thoroughly American tale, read my take on The Prince and the Pauper, The Complications of Rule.

The Tale of Anchin comes from Japanese fairy tales, and Like a Preyer was inspired by the Mr. Fox story.

Check here for other ways to celebrate!

And be sure to check out Enchanted Conversation for many more stories, interesting articles, and to watch for my forthcoming tale, Travelers’ Sickness, inspired by the Thai myth of the krasue.

Thanks for reading!

Kiyomi

 

I have a newsletter now! If you enjoy my stories, if you want to support my writing, please sign up. If you subscribe to my Tiny Letter, you’ll stay with me, wherever I end up writing in the future, and I’ll send you previews of what’s coming up here.

Blog · book club · Reading

On 200 years of Frankenstein

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The story of Frankenstein is arguably the first science fiction novel, and was written by a teenage girl. Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, nee Godwin, had eloped to Europe with her lover and their friends – notably Lord Byron – in that mythic Year Without a Summer. In 1816 Mt. Tambora erupted and filled the atmosphere with thick volcanic ash, blotting out the sun, and leading to massive crop failures. As Mary and her group traveled around Europe, they couldn’t fail to notice the tens of thousands of people displaced that year by famine, seeking refuge from town to town.

The story goes that, once they settled in a chateau in Switzerland, Byron challenged the group to come up with ghost stories to alleviate the boredom of being trapped inside by the unseasonably cold and wet weather.

One of those stories, Frankenstein; or The Modern Prometheus, has come down to us as one of the most widely read and recognized horror tales of the modern era. It’s impact lies not in the body horror hidden in some mysterious process of imbuing inert matter with life, but stands as an example of the Other and Outsider in society. Frankenstein’s monster, left unnamed, represents the unknown and unfamiliar of which we are afraid.

We don’t necessarily fear the different, as long as it remains “over there,” but pressed up against our “right here,” it means change, instability, and threat to what we have known and held dear. Whatever comes after, we know for certain that our lives as they have been until now are ended. The monster seeks aid, mercy, shelter, simple human kindness, and is shunned. He does terrible things, and has terrible things done to him.

If he had been welcomed, cared for, loved instead…

But we’ll never know. Everyone dies in the end, and Mary leaves it to us to decide where the lines of right and wrong may fall. Yet she points to the possibility of other outcomes, had circumstance shifted in one way or another.

What are the responsibilities of society to the unloved and the unlovely? Should we – must we – care for the poor and broken and abandoned? The ugly and stupid and friendless? And what responsibility do we bear for the consequences of ignoring them? Left without resource or recourse, what do we expect to become of societies monsters?

Monster comes to us from the Latin monere, which means “a warning.”

Mary Shelley’s turn of the century brought her into the 1800s, the era of Victoria; an era of dramatic social change, technological advancement, population explosion, food shortage, unemployment, political upheaval, strange climate behavior, question, challenge, and doubt. What could an eighteen year old girl have to say to us from a book written two hundred years ago this month?

 

You can read my story, inspired by Frankenstein, here.

Happy reading!

 

I have a newsletter now! If you enjoy my stories, if you want to support my writing, please sign up. If you subscribe to my Tiny Letter, you’ll stay with me, wherever I end up writing in the future, and I’ll send you previews of what’s coming up here.

Blog · Reading

Keep Enchanted Conversation Going

As you know, I love Enchanted Conversation!

This publication is full of wonderful stories and poems – twists on all your old familiar favorites that surprise and delight! EC also provides a place for new, and not so new, writers to share their work and be paid for it, which many publications are not able to do.

My first published piece appeared on its pages back in March, and when the second one appeared in August, it gave me the encouragement I needed to launch my blog and pursue my writing with greater focus! Now they are trying to expand the number of such opportunities they can offer with each issue, and increase the amount their writers are paid.

If you have enjoyed my stories, or the others published there, and if you can, I hope you’ll consider supporting them, and continue putting magic into the world, which desperately needs it right now!

KAG

 

Hi All:The campaign to raise funds to keep EC going has officially started! Amanda Bergloff (contributing editor and art director) and I have worked hard to make this campaign as easy and rewarding as we possibly can, so we hope you’ll donate. The fundraiser is open until October 24.The donations are one-time, and they start…

via EC Fundrazr Campaign Kicks Off! Please Donate! — Enchanted Conversation: A Fairy Tale Magazine