Curiosities // Summer 2017

I want to post more guys, but often all I have time for is a collection of fun/interesting/etc things I’ve read/seen on the Internet that I think my readers might like too :P. This list, for example, has been developing since… April maybe? Ugh. I’m sorry. That said, I’ve been looking around at some of my favorite blogs, and many of them seem to solve the problem of not being able to post real updates too often by simply posting “link roundups” and calling it a day. So I’m going to try that instead of waiting for when I have time to sit down and really write a post :). Having a quirky-clever title for these things seems par for the course, so I’m tentatively calling mine “Curiosities” (to fit with my website theme!) Here’s my first stab at one for Summer 2017… which I’m finally posting today, the first day of Autumn ;). –

x. First, registration for the Carterhaugh School’s current course on “Witches in Folklore and Literature” closes in just 8 days!! If you’ve been on the fence about taking one of Sara’s and my longer courses, I would highly recommend getting your feet wet with this one. I don’t want to give too much away, but it’s going to be crazy cool!

Here’s a little ad/teaser I made for the class :).

x. Yes yes yes yes to this fantastic NYT op-ed “Why Authoritarians Attack the Arts” – if you’re wondering why #beautifulresistance is so necessary, so important, read this.

x. Kitten Witch and the Bad Vibes is probably my favorite thing on the Internet.

x. TeenVogue being awesome yet again – this time on cultural appropriation.

x. The Hjertefølgerne family is so inspiring to me. This is a beautiful video about their amazing home and the lives they’re building there.

x. Grimalkin, as frequent readers know, is the name of my sweet little girl kitten. It was also the Merriam-Webster Word of the Day this past April 17th! When witchy word nerds name cats… ;).

x. Speaking of cats, here’s Terri Windling talking about their folklore, their awesomeness, and their affinities with creative artists :)! <3

x. Pam Grossman made WITCH EMOJIS. Because she’s pretty much the coolest.

x. How to Become a Deadly Misandrist Fairy Vampire… because #lifegoals ;).

x. Lovely short NY Times video about all the supernatural stuff in fashion recently… I love the Autumn/Winter 2017 Alexander McQueen show they highlight in particular, and it’s not hard to see why: “[t]he collection is inspired by pagan landscapes, creative communities and ancient traditions of Cornwall particularly the “Cloutie” Trees. These spiritual trees are places of pilgrimage, their branches and twigs adorned with colourful ribbons and personal treasures representing the hopes and dreams of those who tied them” <3 <3 <3

x. At The Guardian, Meg Rosoff explain “What Richard Dawkins Could Learn from Goldilocks and the Three Bears” (hint: it’s kind of important! <3)

x. These guys are the wonder and awesome we need to see in the world <3

x. An excellent, *excellent* resource list for “critically engaged educators” compiled by the editors of the Journal of Folklore and Education. As they put it, “the field of folklore offers tools, strategies, and resources to help educators understand how culture influences ways of learning; creates and strengthens communities; and expresses itself in our schools, universities, museums, and community organizations.”

x. A seriously well-researched article on the Library of Congress’ American Folklife Center’s new web archive and memes as folklore in Slate.

x. This article on the subtle ways colleges discriminate against poor students is a really important read.

x. Del Toro’s Alt-Victorian fairy murder mystery Carnival Row is really happening!! I am ridiculously excited about this, obviously.

x. Becoming Dangerous: Witchy Femmes, Queer Conjurors, and Magical Rebels on Summoning the Power to Resist is a fabulous Kickstarter worthy of your support. While you’re there, you should probably consider backing the Last Unicorn Tarot too… just saying :P.

I hope you enjoyed this! Let me know what you think about this or any/all of the links above. I’ve been very sick for a while, and it cheers me to think I may have brightened your day :). Soon I hope to do a more in-depth post about actual news. I’ve been at awesome conferences, gotten some lovely writing news, and have been working crazily on the dissertation and other academic projects… but more on all that later. Where on earth does the time go…?

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In Which There Is Updating

Well, it seems I’ve fallen behind again, and though I really do have quite good excuses, I am quite sorry to neglect my little space on the Internet! A few catch up items…

* The biggest thing to mention is that Sara Cleto and I had our first long course for The Carterhaugh School of Folklore and the Fantastic, “The Fairy Tale,” and it went so, so well. So many people have said just phenomenally wonderful things, and I am so blown away by our students… I honestly can’t believe some of the amazing things that have come out of the course. For example, the incredibly talented Jenny Davies-Reazor crafted these gorgeous block prints for several of the fairy tales we discussed – you can see the pints and read about her process in this fantastic blog post she wrote. We’ll be adding more projects to our Final Project Showcase on the website soon, but do check out what’s up already… it really is incredible. We are SO excited to keep going with this project and hopefully expand it as well – we already have summer and fall courses coming up, so please do sign up for our newsletter and keep up with what’s going on over there!

I’m also thrilled to say that the amazing, endlessly inspiring Terri Windling has linked to both Carterhaugh AND Through the Twisted Woods on her “Mythic Resources” page for her redesigned website. The honor of her even knowing these things exist, let alone liking them enough to link to them, fills my heart with unspeakable joy.

* In academic news, work on the dissertation continues and I’ve attended a few conferences since I last posted: AFS in Miami, INCS in Philadelphia (where Sara and I cavorted with Shveta Thakrar!), and ICFA in Orlando (which my friend and colleague Jeana Jorgensen has a great write up about.) All were wonderful and helpful and inspiring as usual, but ICFA was particularly fantastic (ha) this year, as, due to the hard work of the Fairy Tales and Folk Narratives group (particularly Christy Williams), we now officially have a Fairy Tales and Folk Narratives division. As Jeana discusses in her post, this is huge break for our field and I am so honored to have been a small part of it as a board member for the group that worked toward the move. It’s an exciting time to be a fairy-tale scholar!

* In creative writing news, my story “C is for Catechism” was published in Rhonda Parrish’s D is for Dinosaur anthology, which seems to be doing quite well! A few reviews have called out my story in particular for praise, which of course makes me feel like dancing :). I also contributed a poem to Sihaya and Company’s Spring Box on the theme of “Persephone Rising” that has also been received really well – I designed the background for the poem and printed it on vellum paper, these sheets were then put in art cards by Vasilion Photography.

(Photograph of some of the Spring Box items, including my poem, by the fabulous jewelry designer Meenoo Mishra!)

The supremely talented Rachel Oakes created this perfect drawing in response to the poem too, and I really don’t know how to express how honored I am by it <3

She has also been kind enough to allow me to purchase the original piece… I can’t wait to hang it up when it arrives :).

* And lastly, a few things I’ve found around the Internet that have inspired and excited me:

More soon! Thanks for reading!

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Long Time, No Posts!

So I posted about the new site design… and meant to post again right after to address the fact that I haven’t posted in so long about anything that’s actually going on in my life… but clearly that didn’t happen promptly. Everything’s just been so busy… but there is so much news to share!

Academic News:

* I’ve been working like a fiend it seems… working on my dissertation (admittedly less than I wanted to this semester due to an unexpectedly busy start to the school year, but still), writing articles, attending conferences, being generally crazy with work (but a good kind of crazy?) I attended three wonderful conferences this past spring – the 2016 International Conference for the Fantastic in the Arts, which was even most fantastic than usual for a variety of reasons (including the ‘wonder tales’ theme and getting to hang out with people who inspire me in about a million different ways), the British Folklore Society’s “Reflected Shadows: Folklore and the Gothic” conference at Kingston University in the UK (which was, for obvious reasons, kind of like dancing on air for me), and the OSU/IU Student Conference in Folklore and Ethnomusicology, which I helped organize (more on this below!) All were incredibly inspiring and affirming.

* Going to the UK conference was largely supported by the fact that I applied for and received money from a few different sources! I received a travel award from OSU’s Project Narrative, a Valerie B. Lee conference travel grant, an Arts & Humanities Graduate Small Research Grant from the OSU College of Arts & Sciences, and some additional funding from my department, all of which I am enormously grateful for.

* Almost immediately after coming back from the UK it was time for the 9th Annual OSU/IU Joint Student Conference in Folklore and Ethnomusicology!

Embodied Expression Conference

Sara Cleto and I were the joint lead organizers for it this past year and, while it was a huge amount of work, I’m so, so happy with how it turned out. Our theme this year was “Embodied Expression: The Body in Academia, in the Field, and In-Between” and our keynote speaker was the always inspiring Jeana Jorgensen. She gave a wonderful talk on folklore and the body that was, as one professor said, one of the best discussions of the body he had ever heard and I 100% agree (you can check it out in six separate blog posts on Jeana’s blog at Patheos now – this is post one and you can follow the talk via links from there!) The presentations were wonderful (because it’s online and awesome, shout out to the presentation on ballads and “crankies” by Zoe van Buren and Anna Keneda of UNC: Chapel Hill, who made their own crankie of Donna Ray Norton singing the ballad “Young Emily”!) and everyone seemed to have a great time. Check out the mermaid logo I designed, which we had on t-shirts, tote bags, and stickers too!

I presented as well, the same paper (edited a bit) that I presented at ICFA on fairy-tale fashion, embodied narrative, and gothic aesthetics. It seemed to go over really well, I got a lot of great feedback and I’m excited to develop the project further in the future.


And yes, there was of course a bit in there about Daily Fae-shion :).

* The encyclopedia Folktales and Fairy Tales: Traditions and Texts from around the World (the 2nd edition of the Greenwood Encyclopedia of Folk Tales and Fairy Tales), edited by Anne E. Duggan and Donald Haase with Helen J. Callow, was published in February and contains three entries written by me! I contributed “Fashion,” “Gothic Tales,” and “Pre-Raphaelites,” all of which should surprise no one :). Such an honor to be asked to contribute to such a fantastic publication – check it out in a local library if you can, it’s truly one of the best resources for folktale and fairy-tale study I’ve ever come across.

* My amazing friend Erin and I won the OSU English Department’s Digital Media Prize for Outstanding Graduate Student Work for our collaborative webtext Facets! The project is a creative endeavor that critically looks at the ways in which digital media and multimodal digital composing might offer insight to traditional folk narratives, particularly fairy tales. We hope to expand it and get it online soon… I got a lot of prep work done for it when I attended OSU’s Digital Media and Composition Institute (DMAC) this summer and we’ll be presenting on the project at the AFS/ISFNR Annual Meeting later in October so *fingers crossed* it will see the light of day soon!

* And lastly (for now), my article “I Am the Wolf: Queering ‘Little Red Riding Hood’ and ‘Snow White and Rose Red’ in the Television Show Once Upon a Time was just published in a special issue of the online journal Humanities on “Fairy Tale and Its Uses in Contemporary New Media and Popular Culture” edited by the wonderful Dr. Claudia Schwabe. It is available for anyone to access online for free, so please do check it out if you can. I first started working on this idea before the confirmation of Red’s bisexuality on the show, so I was of course psyched by the recent big reveal (if also a bit frustrated, something I talk about briefly at the end of the article.) See the full piece for more!

So whew! You can see why I haven’t had much time to do much of anything else!!

Half Academic/Half Creative News:

* I, with Sara and the ever inspiring Derek Newman-Stille, have launched a new online hub exclusively for the exploration of folk narrative, particularly adaptations that push boundaries and embrace diversity called Through the Twisted Woods. I’ve mostly been working behind the scenes on this project and sadly haven’t been able to post any articles myself yet, but I do have several things in the works that I can’t wait to put up there soon! I’m really excited about the potential of this space so please do check it out and consider contributing if you’re so inclined!

* Speaking of projects, Sara and I have just launched something else as well! We are going to be hosting online classes devoted to folklore and the fantastic at our new website The Carterhaugh School of Folklore and the Fantastic! Sign ups are open right now for our special Halloween folklore pilot class at a special price – we’d love to have you if you feel as giddy about this kind of stuff as we do!


Check out our gorgeous logo by the incredibly talented Rachel Oakes!

Creative Writing News:

* My poem, “Mother Doll,” was in issue #78 of Apex Magazine! So honored to be part of such an incredible place :).

* My short story, “Documentation Related to Case #688,” has been released in the latest of Rhonda Parrish’s awesome alphabet anthologies C is for Chimera!

* The new anthology Les Cabinets des Polythéistes: An Anthology of Pagan Fairy Tales, Folktales, and Nursery Rhymes edited by Rebecca Buchanan, was released! It contains Sara and I’s collaborative piece “Snow and Rose,” a pagan retelling of the fairy tale “Snow White and Rose Red” using moon and sun worship. I haven’t gotten a chance to read the rest of the pieces in this one yet but, knowing Rebecca, I’m sure they’re all incredible.

* My poem “Wearing My Old Woman’s Skin” was chosen by Layla Al-Bedawi as one of the three poems for her issue of Volume 1 of Remixt Magazine! The whole project is the brainchild of the fantastic Julia Rios and features 6 different editors all choosing poems from the same pool of submissions. The idea is to demonstrate how subjective the editing process is, to look at patterns, and to examine what makes poems stand out. It’s a fascinating project and I’m delighted to have my work in it.

* Sara and I have also published a co-written poem in issue #1 of recompose that’s about Alexander McQueen and “Beauty and the Beast” and pain and death and beauty. It’s very weird and experimental in some ways and I’m particularly proud of it :). We have another co-written piece coming out soon (and hopefully more on the way) so please do keep an eye on the creative writing page!

Other Wonderful Things:

* Literary Witches, a new comic by Katy Horan and Taisia Kitaiskala, is so. incredibly. brilliant. and. beautiful. I don’t even know how to describe how great I think it is. Electric Literature added postcards of the images to their shop too (which I totally bought, obviously.)

* My dear friend, the magical Shveta Thakrar, was profiled on TOR.COM!! The article is beautiful and so very reflective of her incredible work. Check out the links to some of her stories and poetry at the bottom to see for yourself!

* Super psyched about the new Sabat Magazine! I picked up a copy of the first issue from the awesome Treadwell’s when I was in London and it’s SO great. Hope to grab the new one soon!

* This Washington Post article about a Princeton professor’s “CV of failures” is really interesting. When you’re feeling jealous of someone’s success, perhaps particularly in academia but really anywhere, remember that they too have failed numerous times, that they just *kept going* despite failure, and that that’s just part of how this crazy game works. There’s been a bit of criticism about this idea (most importantly the inherent privilege of being able to write a CV of failures in the first place) but I do still think it’s important to remember how much struggle goes into success.

* Sharon Blackie’s blog post “Why Enchantment Matters” is wonderful (though I would admittedly tweak one tiny thing about it, which is actually the subject of a later blog post I’ve been working on for Through the Twisted Woods, so more on that later!)

* Theodora Goss’ equally wonderful blog post on “Being a Changeling” that made me scream yes, yes, yes, YES! Her recent poems “The Sorceress in the Tower” and “The Witch’s Cat” have also been especially fantastic and resonant for me. I love her work so much, there is just such clear magic in it.

* Sarah Elwell’s post on “The Dance of Secret Magics” at Between the Woods and the Waters speaks to my soul too. I also love her “White Lace Witches” post, of course… I’m a big advocate of never having to be only one thing (though I think I’d probably ultimately describe myself as a burgundy lace witch? ;).)

* And, lastly, two things my boyfriend found to make you smile – Patsy Gibbons and his rescued foxes and the four music-loving kittens who came to listen to a street performer :).

Whew, okay, I think that’s all for now! As I said in the last post, please do continue to check out the new site design and let me know if anything is amiss. Some people have expressed some doubt over the way you have to scroll down to get to content if you don’t have your monitor set to an enormous resolution but I actually don’t think I mind it? Please weigh in if you have thoughts though! :).

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Surprise! A Total Redesign!

I have completely redesigned my website! Surprise!

Okay, it actually isn’t all that much of a surprise ;). For a long time I’ve felt that didn’t really speak to me or my ‘brand’ in the same way that older websites I’ve had did… before getting a ‘professional’ website, I placed a lot of emphasis on design and then, when I decided to let go of those projects and focus on, I let a bit of that go in favor of practicality and what I thought was right for a professional academic/writer/etc’s website. Having recently found several inspiring professional websites that did NOT let design go, however, I soon began to question that idea and wonder what I could do to make feel more like me.  I admit I wasn’t quite sure where to begin though.

The other night, completely out of the blue, I felt an urge to tinker with some photo editing software, to mess with code, to examine every single detail of a design until it was just perfect – this may or may not have to do with the abundance of actual work I’m facing at the moment, I’ve always been one of those “productive procrastinators!” Anyway, this is the result – a far more design-focused and enchanted website that feels much more like the person I am AND the person I want to project professionally. You might recognize the main part of the main image, as it was the background for the site before, but otherwise things are pretty new around here and I encourage you to explore! I’ve added a bunch and have plans for more :). Do check to see that everything is working properly too!

I do have a lot of news and links to post as well – I went WAY too long without posting, I know I didn’t at all this whole school year and I apologize! So, with that in mind, look for another post in just a bit!

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Summer News

Apologies for the long gap between posts, things have been pretty busy around here! A few things I must mention though! –

* My flash story, “The Sea Does Not Need Me,” appears in the new issue of Scheherezade’s Bequest – Something Rich and Strange: Tales from the Sea. It was inspired by the ballad “The Great Silkie of Sule Skerry” (Child 113). This collection is truly gorgeous (as the cover demonstrates admirably!) and I hope you get a chance to check it out! I am honored to be a part of it :).

* Also, my poem titled “Ink” is in the latest issue of Liminality Magazine. This one really means a lot to me, as it was written shortly after my brother died as a way of attempting to cope. I’m very happy it found a home alongside so many interesting, moving, beautiful poems.

* My other big news is that I’ve relaunched my faerie tale fashion blog, Dress of Stars! It’s about time, right?

dressofstarsThe official description says it’s meant to be “the fashion diary of a witch faerie folklore & literature grad student who loves to tell stories, even with her clothes,” so outfit posts for sure, but I also want it to be a place where I can write about this kind of fashion more broadly, post about my own fashion/jewelry related creative endeavors, look at new things others are doing, and even examine faerie/fairy tale fashion through a more academic lens. I’m interested in the drive to bring magic into everyday life in all aspects and, as fashion is one of the ways I personally tend to do it most, I’m fascinated by exploring that world more consciously. As some of you may know, I recently contributed the entry for “Fashion” in the new Greenwood Encyclopedia publication Folktales and Fairy Tales: Traditions and Texts from Around the World, 2nd Edition (which will be officially released in December of this year), and I’m excited to do more with the concept in my academic work. Some of you may also remember my post from a while ago, “Fashion and Academia,” in which I talk about the issues surrounding being a woman who is interested in fashion but also an academic. I still stand by everything I said in that post and I hope the new blog will also give me a dedicated space to write more posts like it.

I’ve already made several outfit posts but for more on the blog’s restart specifically, please read my first post upon being “back” :). As I talk about in more detail there, I’ve been contemplating a relaunch for a while now but actually doing it was largely inspired by the new Facebook group I co-admin called Daily Fae-shion!

My friend Grace Nuth and I wanted a place online where those of us who are inspired by and encourage “magic in daily attire” could gather and share their outfits, their finds, their creations, and their inspirations. The official group description, written by Grace, sums it up quite nicely I think –

This group is devoted to inspiring and encouraging magic in daily attire. If your dream wardrobe would be at home among the ephemera of a Brian Froud painting…if flowers in your hair aren’t just for Renaissance Festivals…and even if your taste runs more to bat pendants and crow feathers among the spikes on your shoulder pads…this is the group for you. Pinterest is wonderful, and can inspire, but we are hoping to share with each other *real* examples of *real* people wearing their daily clothes and trying to infuse them with a touch of fairy tale. Maybe you work in an office where you have to mostly “hide your wings,” but you still find little ways (through jewelry, footwear, etc) to feel magical. We’d love to see that too! If you have a knack for altering or accessorizing Goodwill and thrift store finds to create a whimsical ensemble, we would love to know your tricks!

If the words Bohemian/Boho/Mori Girl/Black Forest Mori Girl/Goth/Medieval/Faerie/Flower Child/Princess/Witch describe the clothes you wear and/or love, then please join!

The group has *really* taken off and I encourage you to join if you’re at all interested! I’m delighted with how inspiring it’s been to so many people and how fantastic and inspired it makes *me* feel every day :).

There should be some more things to announce soon but that’s all for now.  Otherwise work continues (slowly) on the dissertation and the various other commitments I probably shouldn’t have made but did ;).

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2014 Creative Publishing Round Up

Time for a brief summary of the creative things I published last year! Each section is from latest to earliest.


* “The Crane Wife” @ Through the Gate
* “Year Forty-Nine” @ Mirror Dance
* “L’Unicorne Qui S’Endort” @ inkscrawl
* “Song from the Islands of Sirenum Scopuli” @ Liquid Imagination
* “Rep/ercussions (Carmina)” @ Stone Telling

Flash Fiction:

* “Q is for Queen” in A is for Apocalypse, edited by Rhonda Parrish
* “The Second Mrs. Chapman” in The Rogues Gallery, edited by Alex Scully

My poem “WereMoonMother” was also reprinted in the Mythic Delirium Anthology :).

All in all a very good year, especially considering everything else that was going on (candidacy exams, kittens, mono, etc!) I do hope to be able to do a bit more creative writing this year though, despite the looming dissertation and all that will entail. Writing creatively often really helps me with writing academically though, so fingers crossed!

Other fun things to share:

* Spencer Byles incredibly fae organic forest sculptures are just breathtakingly awesome.

* I’m delighted to point out that almost a third of the top 20 Journal of American Folklore articles most viewed, printed, or downloaded from JSTOR during 2014 were fairy-tale studies related :).

* The incredible “Palace of Mystery” Quinta da Regaleira in Portugal (photographed by Taylor Moore.)

* Ukranian photographer Anita Anti’s beautiful fairy-tale photography.

Have a lovely day all!

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Lovely Things

Well, I don’t really have any fascinating, exciting news (new semester’s just started, things are in motion but nothing really to report just yet) but I do have a ton of amazing links to share!

* “Elegy for a Dead World” is a video game that helps players write. It’s beautiful and brilliant, full of Romantic poetry and strange worlds. You can buy it here.

* Guillermo Del Toro is making a “dark Victorian fantasy series” for Amazon that features fairies. I can’t even describe how excited I am.

* Mirror Mirrored is very cool book project pairing an eclectic mix of contemporary artists with Grimms’ fairy tales. I’m so eager to see how this turns out!

* A thesis about dragons in 13th century Iceland! And speaking of Iceland, how about some awesome witches staves? My sister brought me back a necklace from Iceland with one of these on it and I’m delighted to now know what it represents!

* The “Brothers Grimm Wanderings” landscape photography series by Kilian Schönberger is absolutely enchanting.

* So in love with this house. And this converted bus.

* Two incredible Russian photographers doing fairy tale inspired photography – more fantastic shoots by Margarita Kareva, more surreal shoots by Uldus Bakhtiozina

* More gorgeous, magical photography by Nona Limmen – she’s very inspired by Albert Einstein’s idea that “the most beautiful emotion we can experience is the mysterious” :).

Whew! Go explore!

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ABD! 30! Kittens!?!

Wow, so I’ve had a crazy, crazy past several weeks :). In a very good way!

* On November 17th I PASSED MY CANDIDACY EXAMS!! I took my oral exam and defended my written portion plus my prospectus for two hours and I passed! All that work and reading paid off – I subdued the fierce dragon :). This means I’m officially a PhD candidate and ABD (which stands for “all but dissertation,” meaning I’ve thus far completed everything necessary to get my PhD except for the dissertation itself.) Now on to the last, biggest part – writing!

* Then just after that, on November 19th, I TURNED THIRTY. My gosh, that still feels bizarre to even write. My birthday was quite lovely though :). It’s the beginning of a whole new decade! It’s admittedly a bit daunting but eh, I think it’s okay. I’ve had several people tell me that the thirties are the best decade of all so I’m excited for the new adventure :).

* And last but certainly not least… I ACQUIRED TWO KITTENS. Yes, you read that right :P.

IMG_1997     &     IMG_1934

A friend from school found them outside and I just fell in love with them. I knew they were meant for me :). Their names are Grimalkin (Grimmy, the grey/cream/brown/black tabby girl) and Pyewacket (Pye, the all black boy) – of course I had to go very folklore-y!  “Grimalkin” is the name of a legendary Scottish faerie cat (and also likely the inspiration for the witch’s familiar Gray-Malkin in Shakespeare’s Macbeth.) “Pyewacket” is the name an accused witch in the early modern period stated was the name of one of her familiars and also the name of the witch’s cat in the film Bell, Book, and Candle (which, for the record, I loved until the very end when she has to give up her powers for love… what the heck?! I *hate* that motif! But the cat is still awesome :P.)

Grimmy is very delicate but rambunctious, totally fae-like, with eyes that change color from this opal-y green to a light amber and back again. She’s gray/cream/tan with black stripes and spots and “tarnished” brown ears, is super fast, and has an adorable little “old-lady” meow (another way her name suits her perfectly, as “grimalkin” can mean old woman too!) She loves to climb and she’ll even jump up and sit on my shoulder sometimes! In fact, she is very like an Egyptian Mau in everything from color to personality, which makes me think there must be some ancestor from that breed at least! Pye is a perfect Halloween witch’s cat – all black with orange eyes! He loves to play with anything long and string-like and he’ll do crazy jumps and twists while he’s playing. He tends to be a bit shyer than Grimmy, but he’s getting braver now that he’s getting bigger. Breed-wise he is very close to a Bombay – we’ve even been calling him a little panther, as he is quite big for his age and has the loudest purr I’ve ever heard (and it’s almost always going!) Obviously they are the perfect kittens for me, I can’t even begin to describe how adorable and sweet they are :).

I took them with me to Virginia for Christmas and they were good little travelers too! Mimzer, my family cat at home who I adore (I’ve posted pictures of him before!), is trying very hard to be a good mentor to them – though they do sometimes drive him crazy I fear. They like to… swarm?… and surround him, trying to study and play with the “big cat.” He looks at them sometimes like “… ? What ARE you??” but I actually think he’s been pretty lonely since we lost our dear dog Annie so I think/hope he’ll warm up to them more and more and eventually really enjoy having two little minions to boss around :P.

A few other things:

* I was one of the top referrers to the Hedgespoken project, which finished with £30,816! Thanks so much to those of you who took my word for it and checked out the project – I’m so happy to have pointed a few of you to it! Being a top referrer also means I get a special print from the project too, which is really cool :D.

* Bewitching photographs inspired by Lithuanian forests (where my uncle’s family is from!)

* Cat Befriends Young Autistic Artist– :*).

* This TED talk video that my boyfriend Josh found and showed me is crazy inspiring: Jane McGonigal: The Game That Can Give You 10 Extra Years of Life. I know she’s not really doing anything related to my own stuff at all but I’m just so psyched to see someone out there doing this amazing, unconventional work (with a PhD in Performance Studies no less!)

Have a beautiful, magical new year everyone – it’s going to be a great one! :)!

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Sickness, AFS, and Other Updates!

So you probably noticed that I disappeared for a while there but I am back! I sadly have been very sick this semester, a terrible bout with mononucleosis that I would much rather forget. I’m on the mend for sure, and back to most regular activities, but I probably won’t be 100% until December (mono tends to stay in your system for a while.) Practically what this means is that I still get very tired sometimes, have a bit of vertigo every once in a while, and am dealing with a very compromised immune system. Trying my best to avoid all the crazy colds and such out there at this time of year!

I did get to be Maleficent for Halloween though ;).

And I was happily able to go to AFS in Santa Fe, NM this past weekend as well! It was awesome, as it usually is. It’s such a fun conference and I love seeing friends and colleagues from all around the country. I presented my section of the essay I wrote with Jeana Jorgensen for the new book Channeling Wonder: Fairy Tales on TV, which I’ve written about before, and it went well! Wayne State University Press also hosted a book launch/reception that was very cool to attend :). I’m the new junior co-convenor (with Victoria Harkavy) for the Folklore and Literature section too, which has a lot of awesome stuff planned for the next few years!

A few other things of note:

x. New Poem in the fantastic Through the Gate #5!

x. This very thoughtful review of A is for Apocalypse calls out my story! :D!

x. The Mythic Delirium Anthology is officially out! I already mentioned the starred Publishers Weekly review, but here’s another great one from Amazing Stories!

x. My short story “Kitsune, Fox” from Jabberwocky #7 has been listed on the very cool StoryFox “database of vulpine science fiction and fantasy,” run by Jenn Grunigen!

x. The Hedgespoken project is so, so fantastic! I love the idea so very much – what could possibly be more awesome than traveling the country, telling stories and sharing magic in a moving theatre?

Please chip in if you can!

x. Crazy excited for the new Sleeping Beauty/Snow White book by Neil Gaiman.

x. And lastly, I absolutely love Kat Howard’s piece “The Princess and the Witch” from the special Women Destroy Fantasy issue of Fantasy Magazine – yes, yes, yes, yes :). Resonates so much with me and is so beautifully said.

That’s all for now, more soon!

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