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Archive for May, 2008

Just a short note to let everyone know our first issue is now full; we’re starting to mark up pages. If you’ve submitted to us and not heard back yet, don’t worry–we do our best to respond to every email–unless it’s been more than 30 days. If that’s the case, feel free to send us an “Hey, did you get my better-than-absolutely-fabulous-submission, the one I sent on some-date-more-than-a-month-ago” email.

Artists–we haven’t forgotten you. If we’ve contacted you about using your work, we’ll be sending out a contract &c. soon. (Joe is our contract guru, so don’t be surprised if you’re hearing from him rather than me. Don’t worry–he improves on acquaintance.)

Second issue–we’re working on it! We’re sorting through works for the second issue right now (at least, we will be as soon as I’ve posted this). Again, we’re not much on themes, but we’ve been getting a lot with water as a focus, a character, and a setting, so perhaps we’ll work with that. i.e. if you have a water-styled piece, send it in! We’re also actively building our list of non-fiction contributors (including reviewers); if you’re interested, drop us a line with a sample article or two.

Third issue–we’re working on it, too. No emergent themes as yet, but I’ll post if/when something crops up.

So, wondering about the first issue? Stay tuned–I’ll be posting a little about some of our contributors in the next few days.

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Although we don’t do proper themes at Les Bonnes Fees, sometimes we get a lot of submissions pertaining to a specific story. This first issue is loosely tied into Rapunzel, and that got us thinking–isn’t there a Rapunzel movie coming out?

Rapunzel Unbraided

The answer, it seems, is yes–Disney has recently released some stills from the 2010 movie, Rapunzel Unbraided. The film appears to be a CGI (cheaper?) return to the animated style that made Disney films so popular in the 80s and 90s, though the company is quick to point out a twist–the artwork is inspired by The Swing, a painting by the French Rococo artist Jean-Honore Fragonard.

From a Disney press release:

RAPUNZEL (Domestic Release Date: Christmas 2010, Disney Digital 3-D™)
Walt Disney Animation Studios
Directors: Glen Keane, Dean Wellins
Producer: Roy Conli

In this new telling of the classic fairy tale, “Rapunzel,” audiences will be transported to a stunning CG fantasy world complete with the iconic tower, an evil witch, a gallant hero and, of course, the mysterious girl with the long golden tresses. Expect adventure, heart, humor, and hair…lots of hair, when Rapunzel unleashes her locks in theaters for the 2010 holiday.

Possible voices include Scarlett Johansson (Girl with a Pearl Earring) and Kristin Chenoweth (from the Amelie-influenced Pushing Daisies).

And remember to keep an eye out for the Rapunzel works in the first issue of Fees!

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What if their lives continued beyond happily ever after? What if they all existed in the same universe and interacted? What if they had been forced from their homelands and set up shop in “Fable Town” – a couple of blocks of Manhattan that the “mundies” (that’s us mundane types) seem to never really notice?

That is essentially the premise behind Bill Willingham’s multi-award winning series “Fables”. Old King Cole is Mayor of Fable Town, Snow White his deputy. The Big Bad Wolf is the sheriff of Fable town and Prince Charming is a charming, womanizing cad, with a string of ex-wives including Snow White, Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty.

This first collection starts with the very suspicious disappearance of Rose Red – Snow White’s slightly less famous (and not-so-upstanding) sister – from the apartment she shares with Jack (yes, that Jack, the one from all the stories) in very suspicious circumstances.

Part whimsy, part detective thriller, Legends in Exile is a tremendous beginning to a series that goes from strength to strength.

One small word of warning though – despite the fairytale nature of the protagonists, there is enough violence and adult themes in this book that you will want to check it out before buying it for a young reader.

Fables V.1 Legends in Exiles (Bill Willingham)

By way of honest disclosure – the above link, like essentially all Amazon.com links on Les Bonnes Fees is an affiliate link. Les Bonnes Fees makes a small commission on any purchases you might make via that link.

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Hello!

Hello and Welcome. By way of introduction, I’m Joe, one of the other editors here at Fees. I’m more on the technical side of things, so I probably won’t be posting all that much on this journal, but I will be writing things from time to time (like in a few minutes when I put up a comic review).

I can be reached through the general Les Bonnes Fees address.

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These Words, print from original watercolour illustration by Rima Staines.

The first issue of Les Bonnes Fees is coming along nicely; here, as promised, is a little more about our cover artist.

Based in the UK, Rima Staines is an artist who works with wood and paper, and her artwork clearly expresses a diverse range of interests and influences–including, of course, folklore and fairy tales. Telling Stories to Trees

Telling Stories to a Tree, print from original watercolour illustration by Rima Staines.

As she says of herself, Rima’s “curiosity leads her through the many worlds of words, languages and lettering, books and stories, puppetry, nature and interesting people, music, superstitions, folklore and fairytales, and most of all the otherness that can be found on the periphery of our lives, the strange and grotesque, the absurd and unnerving … that topsy turvy in between place where things are not quite what they seem…”

A Button House for a Button Mouse, print from original pencil drawing by Rima Staines, digitally merged onto an old cracked background.

Rima is working on an original piece for the Les Bonnes Fees cover; prints will be available through her Etsy store.You can also visit her at The Hermitage and her blog, Into The Hermitage.

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Website

The new Les Bonnes Fees website is up! Don’t worry, though–this page is going to stick around so that we have an active forum to listen to and update our readers on upcoming issues, fairy tale news, and more.

Later this week, we’ll be revealing a bit about our first issue’s cover artist. In the meantime, a fairy tale…

Kate Crackernuts

Kate Rolls Nuts To The Baby

Once upon a time, there was a King with a daughter called Bonny Kate, and a Queen with a daughter, also named Kate. Princesses both, the two girls loved one another very much, sharing the best of heart and hearth. The King and Queen, remarking this, soon decided they should love one another also.

Now, everything between the girls remained as before, but the Queen’s heart was stained by jealousy, being as the King’s Kate was bonnier than her own. Vexed, she walked out to the old hen-wife to seek help with her trouble. “Just send her to me a-fasting,” said the old woman, “I’ll set her bonny looks to rights.”

So, come early the first day, even before the fast-breaking, the Queen said to Bonny Kate, “ Walk out to the hen-wife and fetch me back a basket of eggs, for I hear her chickens are in fine fettle.” And so the girl set out, but as she passed through the kitchen, she laid her hand upon a crust of bread, and took it with her to nibble along the way.

When she came to the hen-wife’s house, Bonny Kate bespoke a basket of eggs, and the hen-wife said to her: “Look into that stirabout for me, love, while I off and get your eggs.”

Kind lass that she was, Bonny Kate did as she was told, unaware of the hidden hen-wife’s gaze. Leaning over the fire, she watched the pot faithfully, but nothing happened. The hen-wife then handed her a basket of eggs, and sent her home, “and remember your mother to keep her larder better locked.”

Come early the second day, even before the fast-breaking, the Queen contrived to send Bonny Kate back to the hen-wife, “for a bunch of fresh sage, which,” she said, “grows best in the clay soil near the hen-wife’s farm.” And so the girl set out once more, with nary a bite of breakfast.

Rambling along the road, the princess soon met some kind farm folk pea-picking by the wayside, and she stopped to pass the time of day with them. After a spell, Bonny Kate returned to her errand; the farm folk gave her some peas to gnaw as she went her way.

Again the hen-wife slipped into the larder; again Bonny Kate looked over the pot; and again nothing happened. The hen-wife then handed her a bunch of sage, and sent her home, “and bid your mother keep a sharper eye on her ducklings”.

Come the third day, the Queen went with Bonny Kate to see the old hen-wife. The princess’ stomach rumbled as the walked, but the Queen said “we must hurry,” thereby ensuring Bonny Kate ate nothing along the way.

When she was bid look over the hen-wife’s pot, the princess hesitated. But what could she do, with the Queen and the hen-wife urging her? Mustering her courage, Bonny Kate leaned over the pot—and as her own head fell off, a sheep’s head leapt on! With the Queen and hen-wife cackling at her misery, Bonny Kate covered her head with her apron, and walked home in shame.

Seeing her sister thus, the Queen’s own Kate’s was moved to pity. Fetching her best scarf, she tied it around her sister’s head, then gathered together a parcel of bread and cheese and nuts. When twilight settled over the land, the sisters departed the castle they had lived so happily in, determined to find a spell for the sheep’s head charm.

They passed through several villages, Kate offering her services as a scullery maid and kitchen hand in exchange for food and lodging. Sometimes, the warm-hearted country-folk would give them a bit of something, a cottage loaf, or a rind of cheese, because they were such nice, well-mannered girls. Such people always felt sorry for Bonny Kate. They couldn’t see what her trouble was, because she kept her head covered and eyes low, but her sad air and quiet voice spoke her sorrow just the same.
One evening, as the girls passed into a new land, Kate heard a pair of peddlers gossiping.

“It’s true,” said the elder one. “I had it from the barkeep, who had it from the hostler, who had it from the king’s stable boy. Any soul willing to sit the night with the king’s sickening son ‘ll get a pouch o’ silver.” Thanking the peddlers, Kate immediately went to the castle and agreed. A whole pouch of silver! It would go a long way toward helping her sister.

Come sun down, Kate settled herself by the fire in the prince’s room. She had heard that all the people who had sat with him ‘til now had been stolen away by morning. But Kate was a strong lass, brave and true, and now she sat in front of the fire, calmly took work from her apron, and mended stockings.

All was well ‘til midnight, when the great bell began to toll. Then the prince rose, dressed, and ran to the stables with Kate after him, her footsteps lithe and light. He hopped on his horse; quietly, she leapt up also, and held fast to his cloak.

On through the forest they rode, soon passing into a grove of hazel trees. Quiet and nimble as the smallest mouse, Kate plucked nuts and stowed them in the apron. On and on they rode ‘til, after what seemed like hours, they came to a mountain, tall and wide and green. Here the prince halted, saying, “Open green hill, open, and let the prince, his horse, his hound, in!”

“And his lady behind him,” murmured Kate.

Within the green hill, a great dance was taking place. Even the darkest crook blazed with light The prince dismounted and handed his horse to a steward, along with his cloak and hat. Then he was whisked off by some very pretty women, with small pointed ears and dainty wee feet. And so Kate knew she stood in a hall of the good neighbours, and that the prince was caught in their spell. Covering her hair, Kate slipped away and hid herself in a corner, where she watched the prince dance until he could dance no more.

Soon after, the cock crew, and the prince returned to his horse; Kate leapt up behind him. Then back through the forest they rode, Kate plucking nuts all the while.

The next night passed much as the first had done:

Come midnight, when the great bell began to toll, the prince rose, dressed, and ran to the stables with Kate after him, her footsteps lithe and light. He hopped on his horse; quietly, she leapt up also, and held fast to his cloak. Again, Kate plucked nuts and stowed them in her apron; again they passed into green hill; again the prince danced until he could dance no more.

Meanwhile, Kate heard a small cry, and turned to find a baby shaking its rattle at her, wanting attention. She cooed obligingly. Nearby, a woman said, “That’s quite a useful rattle. Three strokes against the forehead, and ‘twill make Kate’s sister the bonniest lass that ever there was.”

And so Kate began rolling nuts to the baby, cooing and calling ‘til he dropped the rattle and began to toddle toward her; Kate scooped the toy into her apron, and crept away to another corner.

Soon after, the cock crew, and the prince returned to his horse; Kate leapt up behind him. Then back through the forest they rode, Kate plucking nuts all the while.

When the King and Queen entered the Prince’s room that morning, they found Kate calmly roasting and cracking her nuts by the fire. “I shall need to spend another night,” she said. Then she ran off in search of her sister.

Lightly did Kate strike her sister upon the forehead, one, two, three. At the third stroke, there sounded a great crack as the sheep’s head tumbled to the ground, and Bonny Kate’s own head appeared in its place.

The next night passed much as the first two had done:

Come midnight, when the great bell began to toll, the prince rose, dressed, and ran to the stables with Kate after him, her footsteps lithe and light. He hopped on his horse; quietly, she leapt up also, and held fast to his cloak.

Again, Kate plucked nuts and stowed them in her apron; again they passed into green hill; again the prince danced until he could dance no more.

In her corner, Kate played with the baby once more. This night, he held a wee birdie in his hands. As before, the baby’s mother and her companion began to talk, unaware of Kate’s long ears.“Ah,” said the companion, “three bites of that there wee birdie, they would make the king’s son as bright and bonny a lad as ever he was.”

And so Kate began rolling nuts to the baby, cooing and calling ‘til he let go the birdie and began to toddle toward her; Kate laid hands upon the birdie, tucked it into her apron, then crept away to another corner.

Soon after, the cock crew, and all was as before.

When they reached the castle, the prince went to bed. But not Kate, oh no! Clever Kate Crackernuts, she hastened to the kitchen and cooked up that birdie fierce quick. By the time the sun was awake in her sky palace, she stood in the prince’s room with a fine tray, laden with coffee and bread and a well-cooked wee birdie.

“Oh!” said the sickening prince, leaning forward. “Oh! If I only had a bite of that birdie—” so Kate gave him one, and he sat up. “Oh, if I had but another bite of that birdie!” so Kate gave him another, and the prince reached for the tray. “Oh! If I had just one last bite of that birdie I feel I might—” And so the prince ate it all up. Soon, roses returned to the prince’s cheeks, shine returned to his eyes, and strength returned to his person.

Next morning, when the King and Queen came to the prince’s room, they found the prince sitting with Kate, by the fire, roasting and cracking nuts. And everyone sat down, around the fire, and listened as Kate told them the story of the green hill and the fairies and the good baby. And they all lived happily after, and are living so still, if they have not died.

Originally published at Peta’s Journal.

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Les Bonnes Fees is fast coming together. We’ve now filled (hooray!) several sections of our first issue, to be published on June 15th! We’re always open to submissions though, so if you have something to send, don’t hesitate to contact us.

At the moment, we’re actively looking for art and non-fiction. If you’re interested, drop us an email at les.bonnes.fees@gmail.com.

In the meantime, have a look at the lovely designs available over at Alienskin Clothing (and thanks to Jessica Marie over at Folk-and-Fairy for featuring them):

Wonda Willow Skirt

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