Saturday, October 22, 2016

Issue 02 of the AFTS Ezine: 'Frog King, or Iron Henry' Sneak Peek!

It may have been a little quiet on the fairy tale news front from our newsroom this week, but that doesn't mean we're not working our tails off (take that to mean what you will).

We're in the final pages of layout for the Member Exclusive ezine for The Australian Fairy Tale Society, and this one is packed with excellent new fairy tale works by members on the theme of The Frog King, or Iron Henry.

Above is a sneak preview of the cover and though we don't want to give too much away, we can tell you we are going behind the scenes of two internationally acclaimed artists to see their process of 'transformation', we have new short stories, essays, froggy fairy tale history, a never-released frog king song and much, much more.

Going to miss out because you're not a member? Now is the perfect time to sign up and get exclusive access to our 30-ish page unique fairy tale magazine! You don't need to reside in Australia to join - you just need to support the research, use and creation of fairy tales and folk who love them, in Australia.

For $25 annual membership you receive the 20+ page ezine every second month (6 issues a year), discounts to fairy tale events, exclusive fairy tale reference and research lists (put together by our qualified librarian and historian), many opportunities to network with professional writers, artists and scholars, all of whom love and work in fairy tales, and opportunities for publication of your work.

We think that's a pretty good deal.

Much magic is happening in fairy tale realms Down Under these days! Join HERE today and Issue 02 will be winging your way shortly.

In the meantime, posts may be a little sparse as our key personnel are in crunch time, but we should be returning to our regularly scheduled - and more - fairy tale news posts in a few days.

Disclaimer: Our resident Fairy Tale News Hound, Gypsy Thornton, is a founding member of the AFTS, Committee Member, and Editor and Designer for the AFTS Member Ezine. She receives no remuneration for her work and no profit is made on this publication. All work is done in the aim of supporting AFTS members in their fairy tale journeys.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Our Fairy Tale Mixtape

The soldier lifted the dog down on the floor and opened the chest. Hans Tegner
Adam of Fairy Tale Fandom had a great post quite some time ago now, on Andrew Lang, whom he describes as a sort of (slightly rebellious) "mixmaster", putting together mixes of tales that, at the time, went against trends and sensibilities and crossed many countries and boundaries and even strayed over into myth and legends in some of his color books. (Go see HERE for the whole recap on Lang's contribution to fairy tale book and collections.)

To quote Adam,
If the books of other fairy tale collectors are essentially albums, then Lang is the guy who takes tracks from all these different albums and puts them together into epic fairy tale playlists.  Sometimes it’s familiar hits you know.  Other times it’s stuff you’ve never heard of.  Sometimes he’ll just surprise the heck out of you by including something crazy like Gulliver’s Travels.  Every color fairy tale book is the equivalent of a fairy tale mixtape (or mix CD or Ipod playlist depending on your generation) all set to rock your weekend.
Charles Mikolaycak - Green Mantle
With this image (of Andrew Lang, fairy tale DJ) in mind, Adam created his own epic fairy tale anthology-mixtape and asked us to think what we would include if we made our own.

We've made lists before of favorite fairy tales we'd want to include in a book, but not one based on the "little bit familiar, little bit not, little bit surprising" premise, so we thought we'd have a go.

Predictably, we instantly had over 50, but even our best whittling only got down to 20. At this point it became painful and like the punushment of Sisyphus, edit, add, edit, repeat, so we called a halt and decided we'd just admit defeat and post 20. (After all, who makes a mixtape with only 10 songs?)

In no particular order (we are still sweating from editing this monster down. No way we're up to managing some sort of order of favorites):

1. Baba Yaga and Vasilisa the Brave (Afanasyev)
2. The Wild Swans (HCA)
3. Jack and the Beanstalk (Jacobs)
4. The Boy Who Drew Cats (translated by Hearn)
5. The Tinderbox (HCA)
6. Tam Lin (Childs Ballad)
7. Lady of the Green Kirtle (tale akin to the legend of Morgan Le Fey from the Narnia series)
8. Sweet Porridge (Grimm)
9. Diamonds & Toads (Perrault)
Sidone in the Forest - Kinuko Y Craft
10. Little Snow White (Grimm)
11. Cap O' Rushes (Jacobs)
12. The Pied Piper (Legend, Grimm, Browning)
13. The Day Boy & The Night Girl (MacDonald)
14. Hansel & Gretel (Grimm)
15. Boots That Made the Princess Say "That's A Lie!" (Asbjørnsen and Moe )
16. The Black Bull of Norroway (Chambers/ Jacobs)
17. Jorinde & Joringel (Grimm)
18. The Heart's Door (Finnish fr Scandinavian Folk & Fairy Tales - Ed. Claire Booss)
19. Swan Lake (Russian & German tale hybrid)
20. The Boy Went Forth To Learn What Fear Was (Grimm)

Ta da!

We have a feeling, that as soon as we post it, we're going to want to do a PART II of this post. You know, for the flip side... of (Album I of the Box Set).

We'd love to see your mix of 10-20 (some classic, some lesser known, some other stories altogether) as would Adam, of course. It's a good exercise in making you think about why you like certain tales too. Give it a go!

Reflecting on the rumblings in the newsroom here, wouldn't it be awesome if we had a "new millenium fairy tale bloggers collective mixtape-anthology" of fairy tale must haves? (With pictures please!) There'd be some overlap for sure (at least one of ours is on Adam's list too because it's also a "must" for all here) but there'd be a really interesting variety and cross-section of tales too.

We can dream...
Rima Staines

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Ask Baba Yaga: How Do I Stop Hating Everyone?

Baba Yaga by Audra Auclair
Here's today's question and answer (via poet and oracle Taisia Kitaiskaia* of The Hairpin):
(Originally posted at The Hairpin HERE)

Time seems to be the answer to so many questions. The question, then, is how much? And where do you find the patience to last that long?

What do you think of Baba Yaga's advice?

Want to ask Baba Yaga a question of your own?
You can!
This is the email address where you can send your questions
directly to Baba Yaga herself.
AskBabaYaga AT gmail DOT com
To encourage Baba Yaga to continue imparting her no-bones-about-it wisdom (ok, there may be some gristle in there... bones too), I suggest we not to leave her box empty... 

Thank you Baba Yaga (& Taisia).

Taisia Kitaiskaia is a poet, writer, and Michener Center for Writers fellow. Born in Russia and raised in America, she's had her poems and translations published in Narrative Magazine, Poetry International, and others.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

LACMA & Disney Team Up To Tell 'Beauty and the Beast' Tale on Snapchat

It seems an unlikely pairing, but if you've seen any of LACMA's Snapchat posts (Los Angeles County Museum of Art), you'll know they are the kings of bringing fine art into pop consciousness by way of pithy commentary, a healthy sense of humor and internet memes. (In other words, LACMA's bringing art history to the streets.) LACMA were an early adopter of the Snapchat app and their social media team are constantly seeking imaginative ways to bring art into people's lives by such methods as encouraging people to "catch all their Pokemon" (using Pokemon Go), while retaining their museum's world wide respected fine art status.

For Disney to team up with these unlikely-yet-brilliant social media savvy folk is just smart and we must admit, now that we've seen a preview of what's about to be shared, we're seriously thinking about downloading Snapchat for the OUABlog newsroom.
The four-part series will kick off on LACMA’s (@lacma) Snapchat account tomorrow, October 19th, and conclude on Oh My Disney’s (@OhMyDisney) account on Thursday. 
If this is a taste of what's to come, we are happy to trust LACMA on this one and get on board. Take a look at the tale preview!

But the fun doesn’t stop there — beginning this month, LACMA, the largest art museum in the western United States, will launch the digital collaboration on the Oh My Disney Snapchat account. Drawing from over 130,000 works in LACMA’s encyclopedic collection, which spans thousands of years and from all around the globe, the teams will use references from pop culture, filters, memes, and whimsical hand-drawn Snapchat overlays to retell some of Disney’s most iconic stories in a lighthearted and contemporary tone. The collaboration will continue on a bi-monthly basis. 
“LACMA’s intentionally humorous Snapchat account not only has made important artworks from our collection vastly more accessible to new audiences, but it has also allowed us to explore these artworks from new points of view,” said Michael Govan, LACMA CEO and Wallis Annenberg Director. “Partnering with Disney—one of the most influential and dynamic storytellers of our time—is a perfect marriage of two Los Angeles institutions that love to engage the public with images.” (source)
And from Disney:
“Our Snapchat campaign with LACMA opens up new ways for our audiences to experience art and their favorite Disneystories,” Dan Reynolds, VP of Content and Audience Development, Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media, said in a statement. “The LACMA Snapchat account already captures that contemporary and culturally savvy voice and tone that our OhMyDisney Snapchat audience loves, and this collaboration is a natural way to add a little magic to art and storytelling to reach a new generation of art and Disney fans alike.”  (source)
And just because it's fun, here are some more of LACMA's Snapchat hits. 
Can you guess the reference?

 There's a more complete version of "LACMA drops Bohemian RhapsodyHERE.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Untapped Treasures: Art Installation "Forest Fruit" (Please DO Touch the Display)

Note: This article is from our giant store of almost-complete-but-unpublished posts. We've been cleaning up our bedraggled drafts, archived images and incomplete stories that were never quite posted due to the constant deluge of fairy tale news (it's a good problem to have) and are finding a treasure trove of un-shared things! We can't bear to hit the delete button on these awesome nuggets and are choosing, instead, to share, so are beginning a new semi-regular column titled Untapped Treasures. The stories posted under this title are all new, not re-posted or from our archives, so it's still news to many people. It's just not as current as our usual content, though we will endeavor to post any updates to the story at the bottom of the article, should there be any current news on the subject.  Enjoy!
Described as "following a Hansel and Gretel style trail" this textile installation, which showed at the Norfolk and Norwich Art Festival in 2015, and exhibited in February this year as well, encouraged children to play and feel, find the stories hidden in the installation and to also create their own.

From the Norwich Evening News:
The installation - called Forest Fruit - is by Belgian artist Naomi Kerkhove.
It is described as an installation where “a child’s imagination is king,” and people are invited to follow the threads of Ms Kerkhove’s intricately woven textile landscape and untangle their own unique patchwork of stories.
From WP Zimmer:
In her performances Naomi Kerkhove invites the audience on a poetical trip through a black and white miniature universe stitched together with a sewing-machine. In her youngest interactive installation, the audience can enter this world of wonders by themselves. With Forest Fruit Kerkhove assembles elements out of old and recent work, touring the audience around a world that reminds us of a workshop and a playroom, towards a place where your own imagination becomes tangible. You activate the different installations yourself and disentangle a patchwork of impressions and stories by following a thread which inevitably leads back to you.
Sounds pretty neat we think!

Here's a little explanation from the artist and a festival coordinator.
You can see the full trailer for Forest Fruit art installation HERE.

Update October 2016:
From the February 2016 Exhibition in Holland (via auto-translate):
Naomi Kerkhove
Embroidery is hot and sewing is not only home industry. It may also be art. That shows the installation of the young artist Naomi Kerkhove.Naomi discovered one day that you can draw with a sewing machine. Meanwhile, she sews smooth miniature worlds.'Forest Fruit' is the place where you can see and feel all sewn stitching her wonderful white miniature world. If you are in her black and white world enters you fall from one surprise to another. 
You will be guided in a world that is a cross between a workshop and playroom. In this universe walk shapes and thoughts together and your imagination is slowly taken in tow. You can also get to work with many construction and gently unravels a patchwork of impressions and stories, along a thread which inevitably leads to yourself.An interactive, poetic and playful installation for all ages.

Naomi Kerkhove is currently an artist in residence at wpZimmer in Antwerp.

Monday, October 17, 2016

October is Fairy Tale Studies Month at Wayne State University Press! (aka SALE!)

Ho-ly cow, Batman!*

Wayne State University Press is having a 30% off their entire fairy tale studies series for the whole month of October!
Series in Fairy-Tale StudiesSeries Editor: Donald Haase, Wayne State University
This book series is devoted to works that significantly advance our understanding of the fairy tale as it has taken shape across history and a broad range of media. The series illuminates both the production and reception of the fairy tale as it has appeared in print, film, modern media, the visual and performing arts, and other cultural forms.
If you are interested in fairy tale studies, you know these books are on the pricey side. While they're worth every penny, it does make it difficult for the average worker bee to add volumes to their personal library, so a chunky 30% reduction in price is a little like Christmas-come-early (if you're buying for yourself that is).

Take a look at the awesome variety of titles available:

        Examines director Jacques Demy's
use of the fairy tale as a means
to explore issues of gender, sexuality,
and class
But wait there's more!

With each book you get these set of free steak knives...

Just kidding.


Fairy tales and knives would actually be a great promo!

But there's something better.

The 30% off is extended to:

  • All the Marvels & Tales journals (swoon!)
  • All the Fairy Tale Review collections (double-swoon!)

What a bad time for the Once Upon A Blog kitty to be empty! And what are our chances of finding a winning lottery ticket in the local mall parking lot..? (The last question is directed at our fairy godmother, should she happen to not be too busy this month. Tall order, we know. It is, after all, Halloween month and fairy godmothers get unusually busy the closer it gets to midnight on October 31st.)

Go HERE to start filling your cart and exercising your fairy tale brain muscles - and don't forget to add code FT16 at the checkout!

* We're guessing Batman gets extra mentions during Halloween month and if there are points to be had for doing so, we're in.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

This Adaptation of Paul Gallico's "The Snow Goose" Is Magical & Haunting

Today we're sharing magic from the past, made accessible again via the wonder that is the internet.

We will admit, straight away, that given something to watch or listen to that's longer than a couple of minutes feels like a chore and "yet another thing to fit in" to our already busy days, but we urge you to at least try. Even just 3 minutes of this presentation will give you an idea of the magic of this production, even though it is barely the introduction to the story.
This incredible storytelling adaptation of the novella The Snow Goose: A Story of Dunkirk, by Paul Gallico, and was written by Spike Milligan and Ed Welch. It seems impossible to explain just how haunting and wondrous it is. Everyone we know introduced to it has marveled at how "fairy tale like" it is, yet it isn't, strictly, a fairy tale, though there is, most definitely, magic in this story, as well as the presentation.
Spike Milligan is known largely for his humorous writing, both for children and adults, but this narrative adaptation he wrote for recording is sensitive, transporting and haunting, as is his storytelling.
The music is, for the most part, a perfect match. Performed by the London Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Ed Welch, the music sets the scene, the atmosphere and contains some of the most beautiful music you are likely to hear.
In short, it's a masterpiece of wonder-storytelling that combines the arts of narrative and music while accessing the individual's imaginative sense in the most immersive way. More than that, it stands up to the test of time. You'd never believe this was released in 1976. It feels timeless and classic.
We hope that, being the weekend, you will have the opportunity to make the time to listen, in a quiet place, with no distractions, where you can be transported and be able to smile, cry and look to the skies for a glimpse of the sky princess.

The illustrations in this post are by Angela Barrett, who is well known for her fairy tale work, particularly Beauty and the Beast and Snow White.