Welcome to the write place at the write time. Imagine that you are seated comfortably in a chic café with the décor of your choice. In the time it takes you to consume the generous warm mug of coffee or tea cradled between your hands, you can step into another world, abandon your senses and delve into another space and time. You do this by allowing a mysterious stranger to pull up a chair across from you and tell you a story. Close your eyes, listen to the words in your mind and be swept away...
"Peace" NMB Copyright 2007
The Winter–Spring Issue
Without further ado, let us throw open the doors and invite you in from the cold to enjoy the warmth and wonder of our winter-spring 2016 issue. In choosing a fantasy theme for this issue, we do not intend to escape reality, but to examine what is real in its most elemental form. Fantasy, mythology, folklore and fairy tales not only serve as metaphoric mirrors to reflect and help interpret the real world around us, but to also reflect and interpret our true inner worlds.
Like curved mirrors, they might gather and direct the light of our awareness to focus on a central human theme, trait or issue; they might refract light to diminish the concentration on a theme, trait or issue to give us a more expanded, broader view of the world. In keeping many of the original details (emotions, archetypes, psychological patterns, obstacles, triumphs, etc.) they show us potent representations of truth in a symbolic language of necessary distortion that we're wired to speak—and we call it "story." Interestingly, a curved convex mirror is sometimes referred to as 'oeil de sorcière' (eye of the sorcerer).
If we think of the kinds of reflecting telescopes, utilizing one or more curved mirrors, that help us focus on particular components of something as vast as our galaxy, we can understand how this kind of symbolic literature helps us break down and comprehend vast concepts of nature and the human condition. Even when it comes to our vision, though we trust what we see, our visual perception is a matter of interpretation and can differ from "objective reality." Poe said it best with the words, "All that we see or seem / Is but a dream within a dream." And how do we decipher dreams? With the archetypes, symbols, metaphors and universal language ingrained in fantasy, mythology, folklore and fairy tales.
We are all protagonists that go on a series of quests in the continued story of our lives. We have all picked up pen, page or brush as a sword to slay dragons of one sort or another. We have known wolves in disguise and acted as heroes and heroines for others and ourselves. We naturally recount, rewrite, reframe and reinvent our narratives. And in this winter season, as the earth slumbers, there is no better time to dream our next chapters...
In this Issue:
Seeing is believing. One of our curved magic mirrors of perception transforms into a lens. Far from the everyday reaches of the modern world, fantasy becomes reality in the haven of a wintry Russian wood. Richly infused with the symbols of our early literary heritage, surreal scenes of woodland creatures, heroines and villains dare us to invent our own stories. Photographer Margarita Kareva’s camera is not only her passport to the many regions of our world, but also to the many realms of imagined worlds fostered by personal and collective imagination. The unspoken understanding between photographer and audience is that the photo is not simply as we see it, the content not simply as we might categorize it with recognized facets, but rather, defined by how we feel, dream and interpret it for ourselves.
Digital editing and effects artistry paired with meticulous attention to the details of props, costumes, subjects, settings and shooting technique, create these photographs that are leaving viewers spellbound. Kareva only began her quest of delivering immortalized beauty and fantasy to everyday life in 2011. With ardent fans spread across social media and photography sites, she has over five million views and nearly forty-five thousand followers on the photo community of 500px and twenty-five thousand on her Facebook page. She travels extensively, conducting workshops, photo shoots and master classes around the world. Though we’ve focused on her artistic photography, her skill for visual storytelling in the form of unique, dramatic shots, extends across the various categories of her body of work.
In our interview, we discuss the importance of imagination, the difficulties of life leading to the greatest opportunities, expanded horizons through travel, the shaping of one’s character through their passion and loving an art form that gives personal meaning in its expression.
(Overview) An interview of a photographic practitioner of fantasy with accompanying surrealistic images, enchants the mind. Poetry telling of mermaids, stars, beasts, dragons, queens and golden touches awakens ancient associations. Fiction tackling men who never trade an amphibious state for a princely one, dark Irish folklore, prodigal children, premonition and life-affirming gifts from strangers, provokes deep thought and emotion. Non-fiction strikes a balance between the mystical and mundane in nature, shares stories evolving past survival, and proves some truths indeed stranger than fiction. Our verdant Craft Box filled with the abundant yield of our "Roots" Challenge, profoundly demonstrates the universality of this theme and defines it across ages and continents. Finally, to complement the issue, a video of fine art (featured on the Fiction page) inspired by The Canterbury Tales moves to the melody of "Greensleeves" and transports us to another time and place.
The spring-summer issue will be released May 22nd. 9/22, 1/22 and 5/22 will be our publication schedule going forward with reminders and updates sent out accordingly.
We have a Writers' Craft Box which is a section dedicated to giving writers hints, tools, essays, features on the craft and advice. Think of it as an arts and crafts box full of colors and inspiration...or an old toy chest discovered in the attic on a rainy day... In this edition, we have the results of our "Roots" themed Writers' Challenge. This Challenge drew one of the greatest responses of any Challenge to date with striking entries from different continents and age groups, all personally defining "roots." Using Patti Dietrick's photo based on a dream as a visual prompt, and deriving further inspiration from the write-up that dove into the term's Old Norse origins and provided well-known examples of art and music based on this theme, entrants were asked to respond in any written or artistic medium with what the term “roots” means to them. We were honored by the caliber of the entries we received. Every single piece had a unique poignancy.
In an effort to share the great abundance that this Challenge yielded, in addition to featuring the powerful work of the three finalists (Anna Kasradze, April Salzano, Steve Pollack) and winner (Jada Yee) on the Craft Box page, we have sprinkled some of our other favorite entries throughout the issue.
We have an Archives page where readers and writers can trace our artistic journey from the beginning and re-read the wisdom of writers such as Janet Fitch, Alice Hoffman, Dennis Lehane, Joanne Harris, Frances Mayes, Arthur Golden, Jodi Picoult and many, many more!
We also have a Scrapbook page celebrating seven years as a publication with words from our contributors. *In the span of 2015, we were read in 80 countries! See the list on the Scrapbook page. See also our comprehensive "Search" feature: type in keywords to search the entire site, including all of the archives.
Please send in new announcements to appear in the next issue by April 15th for the Announcements page. As always, we love to celebrate and support our contributing artists and writers as they accomplish great things on their creative paths and we also like to give news of our publication to our readership. We encourage all contributing writers and artists to tell us of their news so that we can use this page as a forum to help promote their endeavors and showcase the amazing diversity of activity that takes place in our online community.
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Our next issue will be our spring-summer issue due out May 22nd. The submissions deadline for the issue is April 15th; we will however, consider extensions until May 1st if notified ahead of time. Please check the submissions guidelines page before submitting and if you have any questions, please write to: questions (at) thewriteplaceatthewritetime.org
"Stories, after all, have been used to heal and teach and inspire since storytelling began. You won't be in this dark wood forever, and when you emerge from the trees at last you'll be like the hero of an old folk tale, carrying treasures as precious as they are hard-won: wisdom, strength, courage, compassion...and a story to tell." —Terri Windling