cfp: wise fools

All you devoted Paradoxes readers might be keen to learn that I just put out a new CFP over at Unsettling Wonder. The theme for the issue is ‘Wise Fools’.

Here’s it is for your perusal and general distribution:
CFP1-2 And here’s a tale of a wise fool, to explain more thoroughly than I could what this issue is about.

One night the Hodja looked into his well and saw there the reflection of the full moon.

“Oh no!” he exclaimed. “The moon has fallen from the sky and into my well!”

He ran into his house and returned with a hook attached to a rope. He then threw the hook into the water and commenced to pull it up again, but it became stuck on the side of the well. Frantically the Hodja tugged and pulled with all his might. The hook suddenly came loose, and the Hodja fell over backwards, landing flat on his back. Scarcely able to move, he looked up into the sky and saw the full moon above him.

“I may have injured myself in doing so,” he said with satisfaction, “but at least I got the moon back into the sky where it belongs.”

unsettling wonder

Rather an exciting day for me, I must say. Forget, for a moment, the sleet and hail and wind and general wintry wretchedness of the otherwise lovely view beyond my window. Forget, too, the Damoclean spate of deadlines unravelling above my head. Today is the official release date for Unsettling Wonder, Vol. 1, Issue 1 (Winter 2013), Wonder Voyages.

I write all about it at this link, and you can buy it at this other link. I love this little mag, and I’m excited at the direction it already seems to be charting for itself.

And here’s acknowledgments: Special shout out to my fantastic co-editors: Cayt Addison, Defne Cizakca, Katherine Langrish (friend of this blog), Jenna St. Hilaire (my worthy blogaletic partner), and Josh Richards. They’ve made this project what it is. And tremendous  thanks to Erzebet YellowBoy Carr, for being willing to publish such a bizarre and ambitious project, and to her husband, Dis, for the timely gift of remarkable software.

This is just the start, really: we’ve a lot more of equally audacious projects to come. Here’s a general announcement, which you are welcome to copy and paste and distribute where you jolly well like. Or follow us on Facebook or Twitter or one of those places. Myself, I’m off to celebrate in true British style: with a nice cup of tea.

We are pleased to announce that the inaugural issue of Unsettling Wonder, a new literary journal of folklore studies, is now available for purchase: Centered around the theme of ‘Wonder Voyages’, the issue includes old and new tales of aimless wanderings, magical journeys, told in stories, essays, poetry, and image. The real purpose of these tales are what happens along the way. They are filled with bizarre islands and stranger people, incomprehensible dangers and unutterable beauty. The voyagers become legends of their own. Some find their destination. Some never do. Not all of them return, or wish to. Featuring works by Claire Massey, Johnny Wink, Patrick Weck, Katherine Langrish, and Jennifer Povey. Cover artwork by Laura Anderson. Available in print and digital editions. (Papaveria Press, 48 pp, £5.00/2.50). For inquiries please contact info[at]unsettlingwonder[dot]om.

unsettling wonder

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, and any mutated hamsters that happen to be reading:

As promised, Unsettling Wonder has come back.

Remember how I was doing a read-through of the Grimm’s Kinder- und Hausmarchen? Well, the new iteration of Unsettling Wonder is almost completely not at all like that. Except that I got the idea while I was doing the Grimm read through. There were all these strange and funny little tales that no one ever talks about, all these weird little folktale variants.

So I wanted to make a place where the more offbeat, less exploited tales could be re-discovered. And, as other friends and editors came on board, including my long-time blogalectic sparring partner, Jenna St. Hilaire, I thought—making this could be a lot of fun.

The new Unsettling Wonder is a publishing imprint of Papaveria Press that includes both an online journal and various print publications. It lives at, and the website will have not only the journal, but regular posts from the editors and guest writers about folklore and fairy tales—including artist and author interviews, book reviews, and so on.

As the marvellous Katherine Langrish, UW’s folktale editor I’m happy to say, wrote at her blog:

Unsettling Wonder has only just been born, and in the way of fairytale parents we, its founders, are still looking it proudly, scratching our heads and wondering what it will make of life. Has it been born in a caul, or under a lucky star? Will its godmother be the Fairy of Good Fortune, or the sinister black-cowled figure of La Muerte?  Is it even a child, or just a bristly half-hedgehog? Anyway, do come to the christening!

And Unsettling Wonder is accepting submissions. Our first issue is themed on Wonder Voyages; you can find the formal call for papers here.

[Image by Laura Anderson]

you’ve got to build bypasses

I don’t like reading sloppy blog posts, and neither do you. Let’s do our part to keep them down.

This precipitates a general service announcement: “unsettling wonder” will be temporarily suspended. Next week you’ll get to read my assessment of “The Juniper Tree,” and it’s a doozy. That, being the 47th such post, will be the last “unsettling wonder” for a while. I’m planning to re-launch the series in a few months, but with several—and I hope enjoyable—differences.

Meanwhile, readers of Paradoxes will be regaled with two post a week—one haphazard but thoughtful midweek post, and the still-ongoing blogalectic on Fridays. Occasional links as my writing appears in other venues will, of course, still be posted as well. I am also preparing to appear more frequently at and, so keep a weather eye open; we’ll be talking about more than just Harry Potter.

With these changes, I’m hoping this will be the last sloppy blog post I’ll knowingly write.