Posts Tagged ‘Witches’

Let us revisit Tell-Tale Press, who we may remember for publishing my reprint novelette “The Bala Worm” in THE BLOOD TOMES VOLUME TWO, CREATURES, NOVELETTES EDITION (cf. March 2; June 11, May 23 2019, et al.).  Subsequently last September they put out a call for a “Festivals 2020 Anthology” to be titled NABU CARNEVALE and, reprints still being fair game at the time, I sent a 4400-word story, “Ballet of the Dolls,” originally published in the CD ROM anthology CARNIVAL (Lone Wolf Publications, 2004), and later in print in my second collection, DARKER LOVES.  Then things started to get a bit complicated with enough stories having come in to make the main publication a wholly original one, but with the possibility that some of the best of the reprints might still be published online as a sort of NABU CARNEVALE promotion.  So okay, why not?

Today the email arrived from Editor/Publisher Andrea Dawn:  . . . I read “Ballet of the Dolls”, which you had sent to me as a reprint.  I absolutely loved it, and I would love to publish it in the online Fantasy library to help promote NABU CARNEVALE.  Details followed, the gist of which is this and the other selected reprints will be online on May 4, but I will post them on Facebook and Instagram on specific days throughout the month, try to spread them out by genre.  I’ll have both schedules to everyone by May 3.  Mine presumably will be in the “Fantasy” section, something I had okayed before to help avoid the horror part becoming overburdened (and anyway “Ballet of the Dolls” has a sort of witch in it, and witches are fantasy creatures, yes?).

Anyway I sent back my agreement this afternoon, with more information to be reported here in early May.

Traditional silhouette animation as invented by Reiniger is a subdivision of cutout animation (itself one of the many forms of stop motion).  It utilises figures cut out of paperboard, sometimes reinforced with thin metal sheets, and tied together at their joints with thread or wire (usually substituted by plastic or metal paper fasteners in contemporary productions) which are then moved frame-by-frame on an animation stand and filmed top-down with a rostrum camera – such techniques were used, albeit with stylistic changes, by such practitioners as Noburō Ōfuji in the 1940s and Bruno J. Böttge in the 1970s.  (Wikipedia, “Silhouette Animation”)

Say what?  The “Reiniger” is German director Lotte Reiniger, in whose entry Wikipedia also has to say:  In 1923, she was approached by Louis Hagen, who had bought a large quantity of raw film stock as an investment to fight the spiraling inflation of the period.  He asked her to do a feature-length animated film.  There was some difficulty that came with doing this, however.  Reiniger is quoted as saying “We had to think twice.  This was a never heard of thing.  Animated films were supposed to make people roar with laughter, and nobody had dared to entertain an audience with them for more than ten minutes.  Everybody to whom we talked in the industry about the proposition was horrified.”  The result was THE ADVENTURES OF PRINCE ACHMED, completed in 1926, one of the first animated feature films, with a plot that is a pastiche of stories from ONE THOUSAND AND ONE NIGHTS.  Although it failed to find a distributor for almost a year, once premiered in Paris (thanks to the support of Jean Renoir), it became a critical and popular success.  Because of this delay, however, THE ADVENTURES OF PRINCE ACHMED’s expressionistic style did not quite fit with the realism that was becoming popular in cinema in 1926.  Reiniger uses lines that can almost be called “colorful” to represent the film’s exotic locations.  Today, THE ADVENTURES OF PRINCE ACHMED is thought to be one of the oldest surviving feature-length animated films, if not the oldest.  It is also considered to be the first avant-garde full-length animated feature.

Or in other words Saturday afternoon’s Indiana University Cinema feature was not exactly your average, Disney-style kiddie cartoon.  It was okay for the kiddies though who, brought with their parents, could get in for free.  In silhouette the prince and his rescued-from-the-demon-isle girlfriend were likely just kissing, as were, later on, Aladdin and the prince’s sister.  Of the latter, in fact, with the father of the prospective bride looking on, it may not even have been quite that sultry — especially what with pop being the Caliph!

But then again maybe that was the point, with the limitations of the technique deliberately used with its also suggested exotic backgrounds to force one to exercise imagination. The two stills with this post perhaps will help give an idea. To give the IU Cinema program blurb the final word, I’ll only add that the latish afternoon presentation was different — and fun.

When THE ADVENTURES OF PRINCE ACHMED premiered in Germany on September 23, 1926, it was hailed as the first full-length animated film.  More than 75 years later, this enchanting film still stands as one of the great classics of animation.  Taken from THE ARABIAN NIGHTS, the film tells the story of a wicked sorcerer who tricks Prince Achmed into mounting a magical flying horse and sends the rider off on a flight to his death.  But the prince foils the magician’s plan and soars headlong into a series of wondrous adventures.  This cinematic treasure has been beautifully restored with its spectacular color tinting and with a new orchestral recording of the magnificent 1926 score by Wolfgang Zeller. 

This is another “anthology coming out from the cold” episode, for which we go back to late October last year (cf. October 29, 6, et al.).  The project, BEER-BATTERED SHRIMP FOR COGNITIVE RUMINATIONS, the “witty and wacky all-illustrated micro-story and saying compendium,” including my own 75-word fairy tale epic “As Fine as Frog’s Hair.”  An ambitious attempt, it didn’t fare as well at its kickstarter as it might have, and production costs (“all-illustrated,” remember?) were apt to be high.  Well, these things do happen, so. . . .

So yesterday (still late “today” as I write this) word came from Editor Jaleta Clegg:  Yes, I am still working on this project.  I hope to have it ready to send out within a few months.  I’m still waiting on most of the art.  I’ve started pulling together the pages that I have everything for.  Once I have most of the art, I will start sending proofs to authors and artists. . . .  Or in other words, the battered-not-beaten Shrimp is still a “go.”

Of all these, I find this especially heartening, BEER-BATTERED SHRIMP being one of those quirky projects that’s hard to describe, but promising to be a delight when it’s finally realized.  More to be announced here as it becomes known.

It’s BEER-BATTERED SHRIMP FOR COGNITIVE RUMINATIONS, the witty and wacky all-illustrated micro-story and saying compendium (cf. October 6, 2, et al.), now into the final stretch of its kickstarter.  Plenty of bargains (with two levels of pledges including a mini-ebook by me, A JAMES DORR SAMPLER, for those who indulge in the “Shrimp Platter” and/or the “Mantis Shrimp Ninja”).  Also artists and writers are listed on the site for all to see, including again on the author list, me.

Or to quote Editor/Publisher Jaleta Clegg:  BEER-BATTERED SHRIMP is a collection of extremely short things that will hopefully bring a smile to your face or make you stop and think for a moment, or just entertain and amuse.  My vision is a colorful, quirky little book, a very short story on each page.  The authors range from best-selling authors to some just breaking in to some never-before-published authors.  The youngest is four.  The oldest isn’t telling.

Authors appearing in this collection include:

Deborah Drake • William J Joel • Jaleta Clegg • C H Lindsay • James Dorr • Michaelbrent Collings • Tricia Lowther • Karen Thrower Walker • Juleigh Howard-Hobson • Scott Huggins • Diane Clark • C Michelle Jefferies • Dianne Arrelle • Stephan P Mount • Rowan Ray Eve • Jacek Wilkos • Lena Ng • Yrik Max Valentonis • Jude-Marie Green • Rose Blackthorn • A Collings, Age 4 • D J Tyrer • Andrew Wilson • Nemma Wollenfang • Jeffrey G Roberts • Jennifer D Lerud • Karina Fabian • Edward Ahern • Abra Staffin-Wiebe • Jenna Eatough • Stephen Coghlan • Wm Henry Morris

Anyone you know there?  My part, I should add, is a mega-story (by BEER-BATTERED standards) of 75 words called “As Fine as Frogs’ Hair,” a fairyland epic of glamor and magic — but it won’t be seen unless pledges are gathered before Thursday, October 31, at 1:20 p.m. EDT.  That is to say, Halloween just after lunch.

For pledges (and more information) press here.

The word is just out:  the kickstarter is up.  This is for the micro-fiction anthology BEER-BATTERED SHRIMP FOR COGNITIVE RUMINATIONS (the official full title — cf. September 26, August 21, 4, et al.) and can be found here.

To quote Editor/Publisher Jaleta Clegg:  Beer-Battered Shrimp for Cognitive Ruminations came about because of a chance comment on a Facebook post.  I had a friend post a short, weird little thing that made me laugh.  I mentioned that it would be fun to have a book of quotes and sayings like it — strange, quirky things that just don’t fit in the normal publishing pigeonholes.  The idea started snowballing from there and before I knew it, I had a pile of submissions. And wouldn’t it be fun if it were a short book with fun illustrations?  However now it must be funded, for which you can help by, again, pressing here.   It costs money to pay authors and artists.  It costs money to print and ship books.

To quote some more:  Beer-Battered Shrimp is a collection of extremely short things that will hopefully bring a smile to your face or make you stop and think for a moment, or just entertain and amuse.  My vision is a colorful, quirky little book, a very short story on each page.  The authors range from best-selling authors to some just breaking in to some never-before-published authors.  The youngest is four.  The oldest isn’t telling.

My part in this is the 75-word fairy-tale world epic “As Fine as Frogs’ Hair,” originally published in MISCELLANEA:  A TRANSDIMENSIONAL LIBRARY (Eggplant Literary Productions, November 14 2013), and is (as the guidelines had suggested) “silly and weird.”  And possibly at most a little disturbing.  But then, with the others, it’s only a “little” story as well.

Let us go back toward the end of August, and BEER-BATTERED SHRIMP (see August 21, 4, et al.).  Remember?  This was the anthology of super-short stories of which [s]illiness and weirdness will abound.  Moreover it’s to be illustrated — in color, no less — but these things all take time.  A kickstarter had been planned for the start of September.

Well, we know the story.  Delays breed delays.  But now we do have a new starting date (or thereabouts).  From Editor/Publisher Jaleta Clegg:  The Kickstarter package is finally finished and under review.  I’m hoping to be able to go live October 1st.  I’ll be putting together something you can share once I get approved and have a url for the project.  Please start talking this up on your social media.  Let’s get people excited!  More will be reported here when it’s ready.

My part in the porpourri, incidentally, is a tale called “As Fine as Frogs’ Hair,” a 75-word saga of beauty and magic (and perhaps with an ilustration primarily in green — we shall see when we see).  The book’s full title is BEER-BATTERED SHRIMP FOR COGNITIVE RUMINATIONS (or words of that sort, at least last I’ve heard), and despite production problems it is still on the way.

No, not this update, but the BEER-BATTERED SHRIMP anthology itself (see August 4, et al.) will be illustrated according to an email today from Editor/Publisher Jaleta Clegg.  Also, yes, things have been somewhat delayed for various reasons, but a promised kickstarter is expected to be ready on or about September 1.  More will be here as it becomes known.

We may remember that the full title (I think) is BEER-BATTERED SHRIMP FOR COGNITIVE RUMINATIONS, or words of that sort, and the guideline description:  You were expecting it to be a NORMAL book filled with NORMAL stories?  Nope.  Silliness and weirdness will abound.  Also my part in the potpourri is an all of 75-word saga (possibly long, BEER-BATTERED SHRIMP is to be a book of *very* short stories) of magic and beauty called “As Fine as Frogs’ Hair.”

The full title (I think) is BEER-BATTERED SHRIMP FOR COGNITIVE RUMINATIONS (cf. June 26, 14), but we’ll just call it BEER-BATTERED SHRIMP, and the guidelines had been:  You were expecting it to be a NORMAL book filled with NORMAL stories?  Nope.  Silliness and weirdness will abound.  All I ask is that submissions be happy and silly and hopeful. 19c833ca0d9c9bffc7e51c87a05445d5--wild-and-free-shrimp Not dark or scary or disturbing. Well, maybe a little disturbing.  Also that stories had to be *short*, as in 125 words or less.  So (the Writing Life, natch?) an email came today from Editor Jaleta Clegg, to request a VERY short bio, like 2-3 sentences and maybe 50 words total and with a note that the resulting book would be illustrated and what would be my “favorite” color.

The story I have in it is set in a fairy-tale world of witches and glamor — as well as takes only 75 words — called “As Fine as Frogs’ Hair” so my favorite color for it would be green.  Also there was some kickstarter information (see also June 26), now expected in perhaps as soon as a week or so.  More on that will be here as it becomes known.  But to the point, a bio went back with my frog-color choice as the wheels of publication grind on for what’s looking to be a very interesting book indeed!

The marvelously named Snallygaster is first:  Dating back before the Declaration of Independence, snallygasters were rumored to have terrorized the surrounding hills of Washington, D.C. and Frederick County, Maryland.  German settlers in the 1730s first described the Schneller Geist (“quick spirit”) as a metal-beaked, half-bird, half-reptile that soared through the air and swooped down without a sound to capture its prey.  When it did utter a noise, the snallygaster let out a blood-curdling screech.  Seven-pointed stars were painted on barns to ward off the creature, though sightings continued into the 1900s.  The Smithsonian Institution once offered a reward for the Snallygaster and President Roosevelt is rumored to have delayed an African safari to hunt the beast on American soil.

The heck of it is, it’s native born so walls or better border enforcement won’t keep it away (current Presidents take note).  But there are six more listed in today’s email offering from THE-LINE-UP.COM, “7 Creepy Folklore Creatures from Around the World” by Stephanie Almazan.  For instance the original “Night Mare,” from Northern Europe, doing its best to disturb one’s sleep or, if that doesn’t work, going out to the stable and riding the horses until they’re exhausted.  Or China’s famous (at least if you watch certain Hong Kong movies) Jiang Shi, or hopping vampires.

And south of the border there’s Argentina’s own will-o’-the-wisp, a.k.a. La Luz Mala, or if one should visit the Dominican Republic . . . well, beware of wild women who wear their feet backward, more on whom along with the ones described above, plus one or two others, can be discovered by pressing here.

By any other name. . .  On the contract the book is called BEER-BATTERED SHRIMP FOR COGNITIVE RUMINATIONS; on at least one set of guidelines, THE FAR EDGE OF NORMAL; on another BEER-BATTERED SHRIMP FOR THE SOUL.  The description:  What?  You were expecting it to be a NORMAL book filled with NORMAL stories?  Nope. Silliness and weirdness will abound.  All I ask is that submissions be happy and silly and hopeful.  Not dark or froggie1scary or disturbing.  Well, maybe a little disturbing.  And one more thing, that the cut-off for length was 125 words.  So, as it happened, I had such a story, “As Fine as Frogs’ Hair,” a tale of fairyland witches and magic.  And also beauticians.

So late last night, possibly while I was still at the movies (see post just below), came the reply from Editor/Publisher Jaleta Clegg:  I would like to publish “As Fine as Frogs’ Hair” in the collection.  Attached is a contract.  Please fill it out and send it back to me as a doc attachment.  If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.  And that is that.  “As Fine as Frogs’ Hair” was originally published in MISCELLANEA:  A TRANSDIMENSIONAL LIBRARY (Eggplant Literary Productions, November 14 2013) and is exactly 75 words long, but more to the point it is silly and weird.  And maybe only a little disturbing.




  • My Books

    (Click on image for more information)
  • Chapbooks

  • Poetry

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 1,577 other followers