On the Unsuitability of Fairytales for ChildrenThe following essay will appear as an Appendix to the sequel of my fantasy novel, Her Unwelcome Inheritance, which is internationally available in paperback and digital formats from all major online booksellers.On the Unsuitability of Fairytales for Children3 years ago in Academic Essays More Like This
On the Supposed Unsuitability of Fairytales for Children
Shortly after supporting a local library event promoting fairytale literature, the folklore department at Lightfoot College received an animated communication from a very concerned mother regarding, in short, the "unsuitability of fairytales for children."
As this seems to be a rather widespread idea (I might mention the Daily Telegraph article of February 12, 2012) as well as an oddly long-lived one, I take the liberty of public response.
On the Unsuitability of Fairytales for AdultsMy dear Lucy,On the Unsuitability of Fairytales for Adults1 year ago in Editorial More Like This
I wrote this story for you, but when I began it I had not realized that girls grow quicker than books. As a result you are already too old for fairy tales, and by the time it is printed and bound you will be older still. But some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again. You can then take it down from some upper shelf, dust it, and tell me what you think of it. I shall probably be too deaf to hear, and too old to understand a word you say, but I shall still be
your affectionate Godfather,
– Dedication of The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe
Some time ago I wrote an open letter on the supposed unsuitability of fairytales for children, criticizing the notion that children should be sheltered from fairytales. Another view, even more prevalent, is that fairytales are an exclusively children's literature, the rightful
Luring the Nightmare (excerpt)Nightmares are insidious, ethereal creatures.Luring the Nightmare (excerpt)2 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
They dwell within the mind, a soul inside a soul – parasitic, extremely short-lived, and almost always too weak to do any noticeable or lasting harm to their hosts. But sometimes, if aided by traumatic experiences or malicious magic, a nightmare can grow strong enough to consume its host's mind.
“This,” the Professor explained, “is what every nightmare wants, of course – to terrify and bewilder its host into a kind of... um... an abdication of its body, so that the nightmare can live out its own life while the host mind has trapped itself in the sensation of endless flight, trying to get away from the thing forever breathing just behind. Certainly this is what has happened to some of those considered psychotically insane. A recurring, increasingly vivid nightmare such as you describe could be quite serious.”
Petra Godfellow sighed. Sentient nightmares! Adrenaline pumped through her, responding to t
Illustrated Poetry ContestThis contest is now closed.Illustrated Poetry Contest1 year ago in Personal More Like This
CONGRATULATIONS TO GRAND PRIZE WINNER rebeccahirst & RUNNERS-UP luien AND maggie-luvs2fly!
A very big THANK-YOU to everyone who participated!
My debut original poetry collection, Forgetting: impressions from the millennial borderland, was published a couple of months ago, and I need your help to release a new, Illustrated Edition!
What I'm Looking For:
B&W line art to accompany each poem. Very simple.
What Kind of Line Art?
Anything. Traditional or digital, photography or photomanipulations, any style. The only requirement is that the image be black-and-white line art only. Shading is okay, as long as it's bar or hatch sh
Jadis (excerpt)Excerpted from my book Her Unwelcome Inheritance, a story about Faerie, going off to school, family tensions, and what to do when people you respect reveal that they believe in something absurd and impossible.Jadis (excerpt)4 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
She was burning
Burning behind walls of ice
Grey was on her lips, on her bare throat, on her exposed arms. Her eyes were glassy, the pupils fallen as if grown weary of staring straight ahead, and had, as the centuries passed, slid imperceptibly downward.
Her hands rested in her lap, grey with grey nails. Nothing set her apart from the hundreds on hundreds of other figures sitting in that crowded room, grey and still, clad in clothes deteriorated to hints of ancient splendor in all that room only the gold shone unmuted beneath a fine breading of dust. They sat, row upon row, rank succeeding rank, gazing into the dark recession of the vast unlit room before t
Nothing to See (Being Revised)I wouldn't have taken any notice if it hadn't been for the laughter. It wasn't merry or even cruel. It was the barbarous laughter of evil and vicious darkness and it chilled the marrow of my bones. Turning my head to look down the dim alley, I saw them: a semi-circle of four men focusing on their entertainment for the evening—namely, a fifth fellow and what I assumed was merely a cheap piece, some drugged up doxy earning a wage for her next fix.Nothing to See (Being Revised)4 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
Oh God, how I wish she had been a whore. Some pathetic moll who let herself be roughed up and down for a few bucks, but this was no whore. I wasn't innocent; I'd seen plenty of cocottes and the looks in their eyes that craved money or men or both and I'd witnessed the haunting desperation for something better, along with a resignation to what they had. This woman—so very young—this wasn't a two-bit cyprian, down on her luck, trying to make a dollar and feed a habit.
Bruises marred her
honey-filled heartshe asked her if she loved himhoney-filled hearts2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
and she looked at that golden boy
with a bumblebee smile and sad veins
like good champagne leaking onto the stars
only a million words were left unsaid.
open letter to my first holy communion teacherdear miss bond,open letter to my first holy communion teacher3 years ago in Letters More Like This
you may or may not remember me. you taught me religion at my local church, we called it First Holy Communion but i always secretly thought it was brainwashing. you were so passionate about it, you seemed to make it palatable. it is only in later years, seeing what religion is, that i have recanted my faith. but you - when i think of you, i still feel my fingers twitching to bless the Father, the Son, the Holy Ghost. i think of the lace squares that you would give us, your children; your flock, when we learnt a prayer. parrot this, child, and you shall be given pretty, clean edged doilies. white lace, it was rough on our fingertips. religion bought us and we shall have the steady thudding of Our Father in our minds from the rest of our lives. you made it a blessing to believe. the reality is; it is a curse. i hope you can never see that.
i have been thinking about the concept of sin. we are all born with original sin. i hear that purgatory is outdated, now? that's a sham
White Rabbit PillWonderland I am swallowing youWhite Rabbit Pill3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
Blue-white, blue-white, blue-white
Tumbling down my rabbit-hole esophagus into the flooded warren
Where swims the swiftly dissolving key to my stable growth.
Wonderland I am swallowing,
But this will never do.
The words come when I call them, tumbling &
Stumbling over one another to be first
During the appointment, having meant what I meant, or not, as I pleased,
And all the king's horses and all the king's men couldn't
Knit my meanings together again
Oh, Wonderland, Wonderland, Wonderland.
Here I come. Again. How dull.
Tea? Sandwiches? Cakes?
I can't v
time-spared drawers of dreamsi. someday the sight-starvedtime-spared drawers of dreams3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
will find more than just the moon -
that i promise you.
we've seen all of what happiness
will never be and
like liquid stars in the milky way,
smiles will seep down
into the oceans of your laughter.
never mind what they said
about shady equilibrium;
it's only man's insecurity.
truth is, there is no
no rule, no eyes
watching over you;
just the forgotten remains of the
god that falls on us
every time it rains.
ii. someday, my dear,
those cranes won't just be
an exhibition of folded paper -
and those tears you cry now?
[which you hate so much?]
will leak into my arterial walls
and tell me they only tell stories of ecstasy;
we just have yet to realize.
love, it won't be long
till autumn will not be as forgotten
and between these
multiple shades of grey, will rest
the emptiness within yo[us]
and the broken smiles
of a shattered yesterday.
iii. grieve not, sweet traveler -
our draining journey has just begun.
and though you have been without comfort for s
JackMy grandmother fell in love with my grandfather when his skin was still yellow with malaria.Jack3 years ago in Stories & Vignettes More Like This
At twenty-four, he had just returned from war, his pockets heavy as his heart, weighed down with souvenir scars and unspent bullets. Gaping trenches hung beneath each of his dark eyes like open, sore wounds, or sorer memories. At nineteen, she had not known the taste of oranges. The first time she held one, she bit straight into the pasty skin, expecting sweetness and coming up with shell-fragments.
In the pictures, my grandmother, radiant in her gray wedding dress, stands before my grandfather. Those trenches are still there, still yawning beneath each eye like caskets, but they are beginning to fold under, to fill themselves in. Standing together, they are joined by out-stretched hands, his free fingers reaching up to hold her cheek in his palm, the pale skin there blushing the softest pink: a single petal, unfolding, held erect in his hewn hands. In the pictures, it is there in the space lef
The Craven: A Parody of PoeOnce upon a court inquiry, while my witness plead sincerely,The Craven: A Parody of Poe4 years ago in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
Over whether or not he witnessed a murder on a mansion floor,
While I prodded, nearly smacking, suddenly there came a cracking,
As of someone's neck snapping, snapping behind the courtroom door.
"Tis some murderer," I muttered, "whacking behind the courtroom door.
Only this and nothing more."
Ah, we linked the oft dismembered mobsters of a chic September,
Yes, the mob's each dying member spilt their guts upon the floor.
Eagerly I swished espresso on the morn I named the torso,
She who until late fought escrow, clauses, deeds, and more.
A wry and wise defense attorney whose office door had read 'Dior.'
Jobless here for evermore.
And the sulking, sad and witless weeping from each extra witness,
Chilled, fulfilled me, raging 'tween the jury's and the judge's snores.
Yet now to hush my unbelieving mind, standing there conceiving:
"Tis some nameless witless witness bleeding 'hind the courtroom door,
Some late nameless witless witn
Jak O' the Frost, or: The ExcuseI went walking in the woodsJak O' the Frost, or: The Excuse2 years ago in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
but though I left alone
Jak O' the Frost, his own self,
soon met me on the road.
Merry he went beside me
he whistled and capered and shrieked
but when I turned, Jak O' the Frost
pinched me on the cheek.
He turned the brush to flame and gold
set sparkling every stone
but when I paused to watch him work
Jak smote me to the bone.
The trees went up like fireworks
their branches crackled with ice
and between the trees the Moon's silver legs
came flashing stride by stride.
Jak O' the Frost took the Moon by hand
they danced among the trees
til each trunk like a glittering lance
shone amid the freeze!
Well, my dear, that's where I've been
and that is why I'm late
and I'd be out there still except
for this thought gave me haste:
Old Man Winter soon walks abroad
he'll pinch off all the leaves
and grind them down beneath his heel
to spite Jak's pretty trees,
And if he should catch me out-of-doors
with my coat so poor and thin –
– yes, I know we had to mind
In the Hollow Space Under the StairIn the hollow space under the stairIn the Hollow Space Under the Stair3 years ago in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
spiders breed all unaware
of an untrimmed door set in the wall
behind the paint, narrow and small.
This door opens on meadows bright –
even while the household sleeps at night –
or, perhaps, on rainy days
where water licks at stony quays,
and houses lean across canals,
and ships return from hunting whales;
or else, broaching lands of trolls,
cracks wide the face of hoary knoll.
In the pantry, by the box of bread
someone has a flashlight hid;
close by it, on upper shelves
is tucked away – a book of tales.
I say not who, I say not when
might journey to an hour's end
from the hollow space under the stair –
and all the household unaware!
The World's Greatest ActorThe World’s Greatest Actor, now a father, prepared lunch for his three children. Humming to himself happily, he slathered pieces of bread with peanut butter and jelly. He put them each into individual plastic containers, then the containers into brightly coloured cloth bags along with plums and juice boxes. He wanted to make sure they ate healthy but enjoyed what they ate. He was rewarded with their smiles when his three children came running in. An elder girl in grade two, followed by a twin boy and girl who were in kindergarten, greeted him. He said good morning and picked them all up in a bear hug, kissing them each on the forehead. They laughed and ran to eat their breakfasts, cereal which he had poured for them. When they were done, he followed them up the stairs to make sure each one of them brushed their teeth, washed their hands, and picked up their school bags. He watched them shove their carefully packed lunches into their bags and run out the front door. He stood withThe World's Greatest Actor2 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
Contest: Character Design [closed / judging]Update 01/05/15: Contest is now closed, please give me till the weekend to judge entries. Thank you!Contest: Character Design [closed / judging]1 year ago in Personal More Like This
Update 12/14/14: 12 days left till contest deadline!
Edit 11/12/14: Added hair chain reference for Alex. I found one that's similar to what Alex would have.
UPDATE: The contest will be extended till Dec. 26th per the request of several participates!
Edit 10/14/14: Added hair reference for Daren since I got a few notes asking about it.
Contest Entries: http://ktails-contests.deviantart.com/favourites/62140721/Character-Design-Contest
Please make sure to read everything below. If you have any questions, feel free to comment or note them. I'll answer as quickly as possible.
Hi there! ktails here, aka Light-Dax