Tag Archives: fairy tales

Writing prompt: Tell a fairy tale

Time: 10 minutes. Click here to go to my list of prompts.

“Tell a fairy tale” (This list is an awesome source of completely silly prompts.)

 

“Daddy, what’s your favorite fairy tale?”

Karl thought for a bit. “You know, I don’t remember. It’s been a long time since I was little.”

Inga frowned. “I want a fairy tale. What am I going to do if you can’t remember any?” She sat up in bed. After seven was his precious quiet time. He needed to get Inga to sleep.

“I’ll make one up, how’s that?” Inga looked skeptical. “One just for you, a special one.” Flattery began to melt the skepticism.

“Once upon a time there was a scientist,” Karl began.

“There weren’t scientists in fairy tales.”

Karl held up an admonishing finger. “That’s only because they weren’t invented yet when the old ones were written. Just think of a scientist as a wizard, but with more numbers.

“The scientist worked many hours toiling with magical substances and arcane laws. He worked on lubrication systems for automotive engines.”

“Daddy, this better be going somewhere.” He needed to find the balance between interesting enough to engage Inga, but not so interesting as to keep her up.

“His world was full of discipline and certainty and steady income. One day, though, the scientist woke up in a different world. There were no cars and no lights and no tvs. He looked out his window and saw pigs and horses and a dragon flying through the sky.”

“A dragon?” Inga squealed. Karl cursed himself. Too exciting!

“Yes, a dragon. And the scientist was worried because his skills weren’t going to translate well to the employment prospects of this world. He would have to learn how he got there, and how to return.”

Another Fairy Tale at last

 

When I released my collection of science fiction fairy tales, it was the start of a push to creatively engage with the world. I finally finished a project and put it out there, doubtless non-perfect like everything. Since then, I’ve submitted my short works nearly 90 times (with 3 acceptances). I’ve joined a writing group and participated in critiquing groups to work on my writing. I’ve studied Adobe’s Photoshop and illustrator, and recently painting, to improve my artistic skills. I’ve studied Indesign and book layout. I started posting regularly on this site, as I have for nearly two years now. The first set of fairy tales started all of this self-improvement.

I always intended to do another collection of fairy tales. I recently finished the first story, “The Lonely Man on the Ship”, about a man trapped alone for years on a spaceship during  terrible storms. I did the art with Prismacolor color pencils (which I intend to use for the rest of the eventual collection).

Now I’m coding the fairy tale for the kindle. Once I do, “The Lonely Man on the Ship” will be available free on the kindle and on the iPad. Much of the last two years’ studies has gone into this work. I used Indesign and illustrator for layout work. I used Photoshop to make sure my scanned art work was as attractive as possible. I think the writing is stronger than in the first fairy tales. As the first fairy tales inspired new studies, to release this work properly I’m learning CSS and HTML coding.

So until I finish this last step, enjoy a couple of illustrations!

abenn_ghost-small letterhead-small

February Reading Review

Every day, new, wonderful works of fiction are published, more than most could ever read. Lately, I’ve tried to read a couple of science fiction or fantasy stories each day. It’s a good way to learn about the magazines, and the state of the genre today. It’s also a way to read some great fiction. In this post, and in the ones like it in following months, I’ll list some of my favorites.

Short fiction:

Longer stuff:

  • Beyond the Glass Slipper: Ten Neglected Fairy Tales to Fall in Love with by Kate Wolford (2012): In this book, Kate Wolford, editor of the fairy tale magazine Enchanted Conversation and teacher of fairy tales at Indiana Southbend, presents ten unusual fairy tales. All are historical, but told less commonly. She offers commentary and discussion about each. I bought this on a whim rather than a purpose, but I absolutely loved it. Her discussions pointed out things I hadn’t considered about fairy tales, and gave me a whole new angle on them. I found it both fascinating and very inspiring.
  • Wonderbook by Jeff VanderMeer (2013): I am still working my way through this book, but thus far I am very pleased with it. This is a guide to writing that actually inspires while you read; I find myself jotting down notes about things to try or aspects of old things to revisit. Often, I find myself feeling somewhat self-conscious and discouraged, no matter how kind the tone of a writing book, so I really found it noteworthy. It is packed with quirky or even absurd illustrations, and lots of visually based diagrams. It is also not only by VanderMeer, who has taught at Clarion workshop, but features essays by writers both super famous (Ursula Le Guin and Neil Gaiman, for two) and unfamiliar to me. I have read 3.5 chapters of 7, so I will have to report as to my final reaction, but so far, so good.

Fairy Tales FREE on iTunes!

My illustrated collection of science fiction themed fairy tales, Vironevaeh: Science Fiction Fairy Tales, is now free to download for the Apple iPad. Click HERE to go to the iTunes page.

Vironevaeh: Science Fiction Short Stories

 

Happy reading!

Fairy Tales available on Gumroad

Vironevaeh: Science Fiction Fairy Tales are now available here through Gumroad. For $3.50, you can purchase drm-free PDFs of the fairy tales in both portrait and landscape. These pdfs can be transferred to tablets, printed out, or whatever. Gumroad is a relatively new site that facilitates distributing documents online.

On a totally different note, I’ve started working on an idea for a board game. I have been wanting to make a board game for a while, since the production is pretty similar to bookbinding. Over the next few months, I will work on the game play, and hopefully I’ll have something to put on here before too long.

Hand-Bound Fairy Tale Collection Now Available on Etsy!

The hand-bound edition of Vironevaeh: Science Fiction Fairy Tales is now available for purchase at the Etsy store, ViroBooks.

A preview chapter is shown in a previous post. Additional pictures can be found at the Etsy shop.

The book is printed with pigment inks; this gives more vibrant colors that will not fade. Linen tape and fabric are incorporated into the binding, for additional strength. The paper is 32 lb (copy paper is 20 lb). All materials are acid free. This is a book that is made to last and last.

“Vironevaeh: Science Fiction Fairy Tales” is a collection of 10 science fiction themed stories with 65 original color illustrations, including 9 full-page illustrations. All of the stories take place near the alien city of Vironevaeh several centuries in the future. Enjoy stories about a stained-glass image coming to life, the relations between humans and other inhabitants of the planet, and how children of a new world might remember an Earth they never experienced.

Coming soon

I have three steps forward for the Fairy Tales coming soon:

  • I will be posting a PDF of Vironevaeh: Science Fiction Fairy Tales to Gumroad. This way people can get the PDF without the personal handoff Etsy requires.
  • Hand-bound copies of the book will be available soon on Etsy. Two copies are fully printed. I have also sourced all the materials required so I can work more quickly.
  • I will post a video of me reading one of the Fairy Tales on YouTube. This will also show what the hand-bound edition looks like.

Stay tuned for all these wonderful updates! I will post them here once I complete them.

Sample chapter from Vironevaeh: Science Fiction Fairy Tales

A sample of Vironevaeh: Science Fiction Fairy Tales is in the slideshow below. This story is about a stained glass window that comes to life, but only for two children. This sample chapter is also available through Apple iTunes. See the Vironevaeh: Science Fiction Fairy tales page to learn more about availability.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

Fairy Tales now available on Etsy

Vironevaeh: Science Fiction Fairy Tales” is now available for purchase through Etsy as a digital PDF:

Vironevaeh: Science Fiction Fairy Tales on Etsy! 

I hope to expand the Etsy store in the near future to include hand-bound copies of the book. First I wish to make a few for inventory. Stay tuned!

I also hope to add the collection to the Amazon store in the near future. I plan to add any future ebooks to these three locations.