Let’s just accept that these posts won’t always fall on a Tuesday. Things come up, or worse — no pictures have been taken. Today I don’t have photos of the studio itself, as I have indeed covered the desk in paperwork and random bits of books in progress. Next time I’ll show you those, but for now here are two books I picked up yesterday at the charity shop we love beyond love. We intend to furnish our house from that shop, but until we’re ready for those purchases, I can’t help but to look through the books. Most of them are in French, but that doesn’t stop me. I need to learn to read French and I can’t think of a better way than sitting down with a good book and a dictionary. La Reine Margot is an old favorite of mine (I love the 1994 film even more than the book, and would love to see the 1910 silent film someday), and when I saw the cover, I knew this edition must be mine:
From the luxury of those purples and golds, we go to a simple Latin grammar wrapped in brown paper. Grammare Latine is written in a fine script in the center. I’m not sure what that stamp is near the top, but this little worn book surely has an intriguing history. I hope its owner did well in the class.
This week saw the release of the second issue of Demeter’s Spicebox. For this issue editor Nin Harris chose the “Love Like Salt” storyline found in the Aarne-Thompson tale types 923 and 510, and asked authors to explore the theme in stories set along the Silk Road. Joshua Gage and Mae Empson responded with fierce stories that perfectly exemplify the tale type and the intent of Demeter’s Spicebox itself.
While DS can be called a bi-annual fiction web zine, it should more accurately be thought of as an experiment in fairy tale fiction. From its description we find that DS “is a hypertextual project; while each piece of storytelling, be it via fiction or poetry, stands alone, writers are encouraged to find ways to connect each independent storytelling fragment with the one before. The result is a storytelling patchwork which will invoke the feeling of a fairytale potluck, where different cooks with different spices will create variations of very old recipes.”
You can read more about this story-telling experiment here at Demeter’s Spicebox, and of course I encourage you to read the stories themselves. See if you can tell which magical items are carried from tale to tale.
Another Cabinet des Fées project is also coming to fruition, and should be released next week barring me having forgotten some crucial element of whatever in my excitement.
I won’t say too much about this one, except that this adorable chapbook is a fund-raising effort for CdF. It includes a selection of modern jump rope rhymes by a group of authors and poets, each with a devious sense of humor, and full color illustrations by the extremely talented Adam Oehlers. I’ll be talking a lot more about this book on the day of its release.
Life in France is so far proving to be productive as far as work is concerned, yet slow in the living. Yesterday we drove the four or so kilometers to the village, which looked much as it always does, minus the melting snow. We were the traffic on the way.
I turned around where I was standing when I took that photo and took another:
And that’s really all there is between there and here.