“Within this Body of Stone I Scream” by Cassandra Schoeber

images (1)Storied Imaginarium alumna Cassandra Schoeber has published her story “Within this Body of Stone I Scream” in The Arcanist This glorious story about a little girl turning to stone came out of the module Golem Myths and Ancient Viruses & the Spark of Life in Intersections: Science Fiction, Fairy Tales, and Myth.

If you are interested in how a story evolves from a workshop prompt to draft and then revision, Cassandra shares her journey in the following writer’s reflection.

Inspiration: “Growing up, I had a grandmother who was a hoarder. There was a lot of trauma in my grandmother’s past and I believe her hoarding was a reflection of this trauma. With the concept of ‘Golems’ as a writing prompt, I was inspired to write this piece using the figure of the golem as a commentary on how intergenerational trauma could evolve into hoarding of children and the effect that might have on those children’s’ lives.”

Workshop to Publication: “The concept of a Medusa-esque garden of human stone figures floated into my mind one day. I let it sit there for a couple of months until the Golem module in SFFT last fall. With that image in mind, I started writing my workshop submission, and the entire piece came to me very quickly. I wrote it in only a couple of hours. Afterward, getting feedback from my workshop classmates was crucial in helping me tighten up the loose ends. Specifically, Carina gave me great ideas to layer more stone and rock terms into the narrative. This added a depth to it that hadn’t been there in my first draft. After our final portfolio, I immediately submitted it to a magazine. They said no. So did the next magazine, and the next. Finally, 10 submissions later, The Arcanist decided to publish it. My experience with them has been fantastic. I highly recommend submitting there!”

BONUS MATERIAL

Here are a few resources on golems from the module for those of you interested in trying your own hand at a golem-inspired story:

RESOURCES

 

One seat left!

Firebird1I have one seat left in the Thursday evening workshop Intersections: Science Fiction, Fairy Tales, and Myth. It’s a wickedly talented group. Participants will be writing six stories from the following topics: “Firebird” & Bioluminescence, Swan Maidens & Migratory Pathways, “Pied Piper” & Viruses, “The Nightingale” & Automatons, “The Goose Girl” & Future of Facial Recognition, and “Hansel and Gretel” & Genetic Trauma. Come join us. It’s going to be fun!
The workshop starts next week.
 
Session II: Thursday: 5:30-8 pm PDT/6:30-9 pm MDT/7:30-10 pm CDT/8:30-11 pm EDT (9/12, 9/19, 9/26, 10/3, 10/10, 10/17, 10/24, 11/7, 11/14); FRIDAY: Australia AET10:30 am-1 pm (9/13, 9/20, 9/27, 10/4, 10/11, 10/18, 10/25, 11/8, 11/15) Note: The time will shift forward twice for Australian participants: on October 6 (Australia shifts to DST) and again on November 3 (U.S. shifts to EST). Note: Meetings are held weekly, via Zoom (No workshop during the week of 10/28 to 11/3 due to World Fantasy)

Workshop Registration Open for Monstrous Women

Circe_Invidiosa_-_John_William_WaterhouseRegistration for Monstrous Women: A Feminist Approach to Myth and Magic is open. There will only be two sections available; time and day for workshops will be determined according to participant availability.

The Fall workshop will be thirteen weeks long and include five modules: The Shifting Shapes of Animal Brides, Wicked Queens and Witchy Women, The Seductive Allure of the Femme Fatale, Weeping Women and the Female Descent into Madness, and The Monstrous Female Unveiled. The maximum word count will be 3,500 words for each module. The portfolio will include 2-3 revisions (10K max) and these sessions will take place over the course of the final two weeks. Workshops will begin the third week of September and will run through mid-December. There will be no workshop during the week of Thanksgiving in the United States (Nov. 25-Dec. 1). The price is $550 with a 10% discount for returning participants.

Monstrous Women: A Feminist Approach to Myth and Magic

Week 1 (9/16-9/22): Introductions and Instructions/Module One: The Shifting Shapes of Animal Brides (Discussion)
Week 2 (9/23-9/29): Module One: The Shifting Shapes of Animal Brides (Workshop)
Week 3 (9/30-10/6): Module Two: Wicked Queens and Witchy Women (Discussion)
Week 4 (10/7-10/13): Module Two: Wicked Queens and Witchy Women (Workshop)
Week 5 (10/14-10/20): Module Three: The Seductive Allure of the Femme Fatale (Discussion)
Week 6 (10/21-10/27): Module Three: The Seductive Allure of the Femme Fatale (Workshop)
Week 7 (10/28-11/3): Module Four: Weeping Women and the Female Descent into Madness(Discussion)
Week 8 (11/4-11/10): Module Four: Weeping Women and the Female Descent into Madness(Workshop)
Week 9 (11/11-11/17): Module Five: The Monstrous Female Unveiled (Discussion)
Week 10 (11/18-11/24): Module Five: The Monstrous Female Unveiled (Workshop)
Week 11 (11/25-12/1): Revision Exercises/ NO WORKSHOP
Week 12 (12/2-12/8): Critique Etiquette and Methods (Portfolio Presentations)
Week 13 (12/9-12/15): Submission Strategies (Portfolio Presentations)

REGISTRATION: To save a seat for Monstrous Women: A Feminist Approach to Myth and Magic, send an email request for an invoice to Carina Bissett at cmariebissett@gmail.com. The fee to attend the workshop is $550, payable to cmariebissett@gmail.com via PayPal. There is a $100 non-refundable deposit required to hold your spot with payment in FULL prior to the first class. Returning students receive a 10% discount. Space is limited.

MW5 sirens3

Intersections: Only one seat left

goose girl 5Hello everyone. The workshops for the fall section of Intersections: Science Fiction, Fairy Tales, and Myth filled up fast. I only have ONE seat left for the 6:30-9 pm (MST) session on Thursday night.  The dates we will be meeting online are 9/12, 9/19, 9/26, 10/3, 10/10, 10/17, 10/24, 11/7, and 11/14. (NOTE: This ends up being in mid-morning the following  day [Friday] for participants in Australia.) We will be working with six fairy tales, and participants will be getting a second round of critique on two to three of those stories during the portfolio weeks. Time is running out. I hope you’ll join us. It’s going to be fun!

On a side note, if there is enough interest, I may open up another morning or afternoon section on Thursday or Friday. TBD

Week 1 (9/9-9/15): Introductions, Into the Dark Wood (prompts), Module 1 discussion.
Week 2 (9/16-9/22): “Firebird” & Bioluminescence, Module 2 discussion.
Week 3 (9/23-9/29): Swan Maidens & Migratory Pathways, Module 3 discussion.
Week 4 (9/30-10/6): “Pied Piper” & Viruses, Module 4 discussion.
Week 5 (10/7-10/13): “The Nightingale” & Automatons, Module 5 discussion.
Week 6 (10/14-10/20): “The Goose Girl” & Future of Facial Recognition, Module 6 discussion.
Week 7 (10/21-10/27): “Hansel and Gretel” & Genetic Trauma.
Week 8 (10/28-11/3): NO WORKSHOP
Week 9 (11/4-11/10): Portfolio Presentations
Week 10 (11/11-11/17): Portfolio Presentations

Workshop Story Publications

Factor FourIt’s been a great year for participants of Storied Imaginarium workshops. The Fall workshops for Intersections: Science Fiction, Fairy Tales and Myth are filling up fast.  There is only one seat open in the Thursday evening workshop (6:30-9 pm MST) and two seats open in the Tuesday mid-morning workshop (10 am-12:30 pm MST). The third workshop will most likely be held either Tuesday or Thursday afternoon, depending on participant availability.

In the meantime, enjoy these wonderful stories that originated in past workshops. Welcome to the Storied Imaginarium.

Other VoicesArabella and the Spiders” by KT Wagner, Factor Four Magazine: Issue 4, January 2019. (Intersections: Arachne Myth and Spiderwoman Stories & Cosmic Web Module)

“Urban Moon” by Mercedes Murdock Yardley, Other Voices, Other Tombs, edited by Brhel & Sullivan, July 2019.  (Monstrous Women: The Shifting Shapes of Animal Brides)

A Shake in Her Boneless Soul” by Cassandra Schoeber, Bone & Ink Lit Zine, July 2019. (Intersections: Snow White & Human Neuro-Reanimation)

Interzone“The Frog’s Prince; or, Iron Henry” by N.A. Sulway, Interzone #282, Jul.–Aug. 2019. (Intersections: Iron Henry & Invasive Species)

Within This Body of Stone I Scream” by Cassandra Schoeber, The Arcanist, August 2019. (Intersections: Golem Myths and Ancient Viruses & the Spark of Life)

“Beneath Her Skin” by KT Wagner, The Twisted Book of Shadows, edited by Christopher Golden and James A. Moore, Forthcoming. (Monstrous Women: Matriarchal Monsters and First Females)

not-all-monsters-v2.jpg“Unfettered” by Leslie Wibberley, Not All Monsters, edited by Sara Tantlinger, Forthcoming. (Intersections: Firebird & Bioluminescence)

“The Making of Asylum Ophelia” by Mercedes Murdock Yardley, Miscreations: Gods, Monstrosities & Other Horrors, edited by Doug Murano and Michael Bailey, Forthcoming. (Monstrous Women: The Female Descent into Hysteria and Madness)Miscreations

Registration opens July 15

nightingale1Registration for the Fall session of Intersections: Science Fiction, Fairy Tales and Myth opens on July 15. There will only be three sections available; time and day for workshops will be determined according to participant availability.

The Fall workshop will be ten weeks long and include six modules. The maximum word count will be 3,000 words for each module. The portfolio will include 2-3 revisions (10K max) and these sessions will take place over the course of two weeks. Workshops will begin the second week of September and will run through mid-November. There will be no workshop during the week of the World Fantasy Convention (Oct. 28-Nov. 3). The price is $500 with a 10% discount for returning participants.

goose girl 5The modules for Fall 2019 will be:

  • “The Goose Girl” & Future of Facial Recognition
  • “The Nightingale” & Automatons
  • “Pied Piper” & Viruses
  • Swan Maidens & Migratory Pathways
  • “Firebird” & Bioluminescence
  • “Hansel and Gretel” & Genetic Trauma

REGISTRATION: To save a seat for Intersections: Science Fiction, Fairy Tales and Myth, send an email request for an invoice to Carina Bissett at cmariebissett@gmail.com. The fee to attend the workshop is $500, payable to cmariebissett@gmail.com via PayPal. There is a $100 non-refundable deposit required to hold your spot with payment in FULL prior to the first class. Returning students receive a 10% discount. Space is limited.

The Folklore of Ivan and Koschei the Deathless

kosheiWe have all heard of Baba Yaga at some point — in art, literature, even gaming.  But Russian lore talks about a lot of interesting witches and sorcerers, about going on life-changing quests and completing impossible tasks.  However today we will be looking at one in particular — a certain immortal sorcerer who murdered a prince over and over again until he was defeated.  I am, of course, talking about Ivan and Koschei the Deathless.

Their story begins with Ivan’s parent’s death.  Ivan’s sisters marry wizards disguised as birds and, after discovering how lonely it is being, well, alone, Ivan sets out to find them.  He meets Marya — a warrior woman — along the way whom he marries.  However, Marya sets off to war, warning Ivan to not open a specific door.  Which, no surprise, he does.  Ivan discovers an old, withering man, draped in a dozen chains, begging for water.  Ivan brings him barrels of it, which the man uses to revive himself, shedding his disguise, breaking his chains, and revealing himself to be none other than Koschei the deathless.  Koschei swears he will kidnap Marya for revenge and disappears, leaving Ivan alone in the now empty room.koshei 2

This is where the crazy adventure begins.  Ivan finds them, saves Marya, only to be caught by Koschei’s faster horses and then murdered.  Each time he is killed, however, one of this sisters’ husbands save him until eventually they tell him of a faster horse he can find if he only visits Baba Yaga.  So, Ivan sets off to Baba Yaga’s house, survives and passes her three tests, and obtains his incredibly fast horse.  He then sets out to save Marya and, eventually, kill Koschei the Deathless once and for all.

Their story is one of adventure, death, and impossible tasks.  Koschei the deathless could not defeat Ivan in the end, despite being all-powerful and immortal.  And though he was defeated in the end, he will live on in stories as the evil sorcerer, waiting to send the young hero on his quest of self discovery.

 

For more reading on Ivan and Koschei the Deathless (sources):
https://www.slavorum.org/koshchei-the-deathless-legend-of-immortal-slavic-villain/
https://www.ancient-origins.net/myths-legends-europe/slavic-legend-immortality-koschei-deathless-002717
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ZdhJ9e8NzQ