Category Archives: fairy tales

N is for Names


by Lillian Csernica on April 17, 2017

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Today I present to you the masters of the exquisite treasures produced during the Art Nouveau/Jugendstil movement.

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Peter Carl Faberge (Russia)

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Georges Fouquet (France)

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Emile Galle (France)

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Rene Lalique (France)

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Archibald Knox (England)

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Gustav Klimt (Austria)

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Sir Arthur Liberty (England)

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Carl Hermann (Germany)

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Alphonse Mucha (Czech Republic)

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Louis Comfort Tiffany (United States)

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Philippe Wolfers (Belgium)

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Filed under #atozchallenge, Art Nouveau, artists, classics, creativity, fairy tales, family tradition, fantasy, history, nature, research, travel

H is for Hair (Art Nouveau – #AtoZChallenge)


by Lillian Csernica on April 10, 2017

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For those who don’t know me, I have long hair all the way down to my hips. My romance heroines have long hair. That’s appropriate to the time periods I prefer, plus there is a lot more romantic potential in grooming long hair, pinning it up, letting it tumble down, etc.

The jewelers who favored Art Nouveau designs enjoyed working with women’s hair, whether up, down, or something entirely different!

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Art Nouveau pendant “Poésie” by Paul and Henri Vever, Paris, circa 1900

Unger Bros., sterling silver brooch, circa 1900.

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Gold, enamel, diamond, emerald, pearl.

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Gilded silver locket with chalcedony. German, 1900.

Sterling silver brooch. Unger Bros.

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Gold, enamel, diamond, and pearl. French, 1900.

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G is for Goddess (Art Nouveau – #AtoZChallenge)


by Lillian Csernica on April 8, 2017

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I’ve had a lifelong interest in mythology, and Greek mythology in particular. Another abundant theme in Art Nouveau is the female form, presented in profile, the face as centerpiece, a maiden in Nature, and of course, the main Goddesses.

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Antique sterling art nouveau locket — large size with repousse Greek Goddess of the Night Nyx. Depicts owl, moon, stars, torch.

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Nike, Goddess of Victory

Gold and enamel, diamond, ruby, pearl and carved opal.

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Zeus and Hera, in gold and sapphire.

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Diana, goddess of the hunt. Brass plated in antique gold. Fine bronze filigree encases the black and ivory cameo. The pendant is decorated with Swarovski opal stones and a black diamond Czech crystal drop.

The Goddess Ceres. Peachy-pink coral, 14k gold with thistle motif.

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Head of the Gorgon Medusa, late 19th Century, Czechoslovakia. The brooch is made of gold, jasper, and pearl. (I include Medusa here because A) some consider her the Goddess of PMS, and B) this is a singular piece.)

This piece of the “Sacred Fire Odyssey” collection represents Vesta, the Goddess of Fire. For me, this is one of Rene Lalique’s supreme creations. From Lalique:

“The majestic, Fine Jewellery Vesta necklace is a perfect demonstration of the House’s craftsmanship and its emblematic jeweller features: a piece that adapts to four different wearing styles, including necklace, brooch or pendant, and the famous mixed-materials technique introduced by René Lalique, in which the precious and non-precious combinations serve the beauty of the motif – a fusion of gold, sapphire, diamond, fire opal, moonstone, engraved mother-of-pearl, cloisonné enamel and crystal.”

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Filed under #atozchallenge, Art Nouveau, artists, Blog challenges, classics, creativity, fairy tales, fantasy, history, legend, nature

D is for Dragonflies (Art Nouveau – #AtoZChallenge)


by Lillian Csernica on April 5, 2017

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Another common motif in Art Nouveau is the dragonfly, particularly in the creations of master jeweler Rene Lalique. His name is synonymous with all that is best in Art Nouveau.

From The Jewellry Editor:

The dragonfly embodied many of the themes that the Art Nouveau style evoked: nature; sensuality; metamorphosis from one physical form to another; and a more fantastical approach as in the case of Lalique’s dragonflies turning into women.

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Sterling silver art nouveau dragonfly ring.

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Gold and blue sapphires.

 

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A small, round, moulded-pressed opalescent glass box.

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Tiara: enameled dragonflies all flying toward a large aquamarine.

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Detailed view of the aquamarine and dragonfly tiara.

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Gold dragonfly pitcher by Emile Galle.

There are so many lovely examples of dragonfly art in the world of Art Nouveau. I have room to show only a few. I hope these will encourage you to explore the world of Lalique and his talented contemporaries!

 

 

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Taking Inventory on Success


by Lillian Csernica on December 28, 2016

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Knee Update: As long as I stay off of it, my pain level is pretty low. If I’m up and around for more than half an hour, the twinges start. Driving is tough.

I go see my primary care physician on the 4th. “Hello, New Year! Do I need to see an orthopedic specialist?” Somewhere in the world they believe that what you do on the third or fourth day of the New Year indicates how the year in general will go. In pain? No thanks. Doctor appointments? Not a happy thought. Stoned on pain meds? Been there, done that. Tends to slow down my writing.

Speaking of writing, I would like to take a moment to review this year in terms of my career successes.

From Digital Fiction Publishing Corporation come these three titles:

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Killing It Softly is packed full of horror stories by female authors including the amazing Nancy Holder! In this volume you will find my vampire story, “Saving Grace.” Historical fiction, this story features a Russian Orthodox noblewoman who is hiding out as a governess in the castle of a 14th Century French nobleman. A party of pilgrims arrives seeking shelter. Among them is a German scholar who has an unhealthy interest in the schism between the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church.

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Uncommon Senses makes available “The Family Spirit,” my Christmas ghost story which originally appeared in Weird Tales. This was the first deliberately humorous short story I’d written. Reading it aloud at conventions is always a lot of fun.

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This is the first short story I ever sold. Fallen Idol appeared in After Hours and was later reprinted in DAW’s The Year’s Best Horror Stories XX. Many thanks to Michael Willis and the folks at DFP for bringing the story into the Digital Age!

 

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From Transmundane Press comes this collection of fairy tales in the fine tradition of Tanith Lee’s Tales from the Sisters Grimmer. My story opens three years after the fairy gives the good sister the gift of speaking in flowers and jewels, while her wicked stepsister earned toads and snakes as punishment for her bad manners. “Happily ever after” is in the eye of the beholder!

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Sky Warrior Press just released Alterna-TEAs, a steampunk anthology full of danger and excitement. Tea is the pivotal motif to every one of the stories included here. My contribution, “Tea and Trickery,” launches the espionage career of translator Lady Caroline Worthington when she’s recruited by the head of British Intelligence. There’s a nefarious conspiracy afoot intent upon sabotaging Great Britain’s efforts to bring steam engine technology to Japan.

Here’s hoping 2017 sees the launch of The Flower Maiden Saga!

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Don’t Cross Tinkerbell by Lillian Csernica


Cool art, Alisha! Thank you so much!

Transmundane Press

The loving, helpful fairy godmother is largely a figment of Disney’s imagination.

If you take a good look at the original fairy tales, fairy godmothers appear most often in stories written by the French précieuses, the best-known being Madame d’Aulnoy. These fairy godmothers are not the grandmotherly rescuer of Disney’s Cinderella, nor are they the well-meaning but sometimes slapstick versions portrayed as Flora, Fauna, and Meriwether in Disney’s Sleeping Beauty. Fairies who choose to help human beings most often do so because it serves their own purposes. Madame d’Aulnoy and her colleagues made everyone in their stories members of the nobility, especially the fairy godmothers. Even the shepherds and maids were princes and princesses sent into hiding for their protection.

Classic fairy godmothers are willing to guide their godchildren and lend a little magic to the cause, but in return, they expect obedience and respect…

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Filed under classics, fairy tales, fantasy, Fiction, historical fiction, Lillian Csernica, research, sword and sorcery, Writing

After the Happily Ever After


by Lillian Csernica on October 16, 2016

Today is a very exciting day for me!

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After the Happily Ever After: a collection of fractured fairy tales is a massive anthology that features more than seventy stories that transform the well-known and strange fables into sweeter, darker, and more fantastical tales. These certainly aren’t the stories we grew up with.

Please take a look at the gorgeous book trailer the wonderful folks at Transmundane Press have put together. On behalf of all my fellow contributors, let me say we appreciate your support!

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Trip Report: Con-Volution 2016


by Lillian Csernica on October 6, 2016

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I had a wonderful time! As always, I was sharing a room with my usual traveling companion and parter in crime, Patricia H. MacEwen. There was a lot to see and do, between the panels and BoFs and the evening events and the hands-on workshops. Big kudos to Con Chair Jason and his Mighty Minions! (My apologies for not getting these links put in sooner. Last week included five appointments, two meetings, plus all the usual chaos.)

It’s Shirley Been 100 Years

I’m very happy to have been appointed moderator for this panel. I had to catch up on some background reading, which brought to my attention just how prolific Shirley Jackson really was. As primary breadwinner for the family, she had to keep the work going out and the money coming in.  At the same time she had to shoulder the load expected of a ’50s housewife. All four children were her responsibility, along with every household chore.  What an inspiration!

Kaiju, As Far As The Eye Could See!

This panel brought me the best of both worlds. I got to participate, drawing on my fascination with Japanese culture. Then I had the pleasure of listening to my fellow panelists and learn from their amazing expertise. Wanda Kurtcu made an excellent moderator, keeping us all in line when the synergy of ideas got too rowdy!

Fear of the Other

The diversity of panelists made for a variety of perspectives on this topic. We were happy to welcome Garrett Calcaterra to his very first con! He got thrown in at the deep end, and he acquitted himself very well. Keep an eye out for his YA fantasy series, The Dreamwielder Chronicles. The first two books are available now!

Stranger Things BoF

I managed to catch the last thirty minutes. Lively and intelligent discussion of our favorite characters. Debates about their true motivations and upcoming loyalties or desertions. Much love for the Christmas lights as a communications device! Many thanks to Mark Gelineau, our host and moderator.

DIY Room: Monster Pop-Up Cards

It’s not often I have time at cons to go indulge myself in a programming event just for fun. Trish Henry displayed her amazing skills at paper sculpture by walking us through the basics of making a pop-up card. We started with a heart. From there people made butterflies, a dragon, even a house! Trish provided plenty of colored paper, glitter pens, other decorative supplies, and chocolate eyeballs! Does it get any better than that?

Green Room

Minions #1, #2, and #3 provided simple, hearty fare that was ready and waiting no matter what time I wandered in. Chili over potatoes both baked and quartered, veggie pasta with an excellent sauce, and much to my utter screaming delight, my absolute favorite: homemade biscuits with sausage gravy. Snack baggies held a choice of popcorn, M&Ms, and even wasabi peas!

The Party Floor!

When I first got off the elevators on my way to my hotel room, I all but walked into a sign that proclaimed the hotel’s policy of keeping things quiet between nine p.m. and seven a.m. That made me burst out laughing. I was on Three, where the Quiet Zone started. The Party Floor was on Two, and it was crowded! Walking the big circle brought me to a new sign every three or four doors, heralding another party with another theme. On Friday night I spent most of the evening hanging out in Kevin and Andy’s ’60s themed bash. On Saturday night the ConJose party was the place to be. Gorgeous lighting effects, lots of comfy furniture, and some salted dark chocolate caramels that were divine!

I’m looking forward to Con-Volution 2017, at the San Ramon Marriott!

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The Age of Monsters


by Lillian Csernica on September 28, 2016

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I hope to see lots of you folks during Con-Volution this weekend at the Hyatt Regency SFO  in Burlingame, CA. With Halloween just around the corner, I’ve been working on some fun freebies. See me at a panel, catch me roaming around the hotel, and you will walk away with some fun, useful, and downright eye-catching items.
And yes, I do sign body parts, provided the Medical Examiner is already done with them!

My panel schedule:

It’s Shirley Been 100 Years

Friday 17:00 – 18:30, Boardroom V (Hyatt Regency SFO)

In December of this year, Shirley Jackson turns 100. Best known for her story “The Lottery” (1948), Jackson has been read by teenagers across the world. But her novels The Haunting of Hill House and We Have Always Lived in the Castle endure almost as strongly. What is Jackson’s legacy to modern horror? What women are carrying her torch in today’s horror market?

Carrie Sessarego, Lillian Csernica (M)

Kaiju, As Far as the Eye Could See!

Saturday 12:00 – 13:30, Boardroom IV (Hyatt Regency SFO)

Kaiju are a special breed of monster, and deserve a panel all their own to spotlight their talents in thrilling us!

Lillian Csernica, Colin Fisk, BuddhaBabe (M), Xander Kent

Fear of The Other

Saturday 20:00 – 21:30, SandPebble B (Hyatt Regency SFO)

Horror from previous generations draws much of its power from the fear of the Other. In some cases the other is an unknowable being, a cosmic terror, but just as often it’s not, referencing instead more mundane distinctions between us and them. How problematic is the use of the Other to engender fear? Has fear of the Other led to some of the challenges genre faces today relative to inclusiveness and equality?

Lillian Csernica, Juliette Wade (M), Garrett Calcaterra, Gregg Castro t’rowt’raahl Salinan/rumsien Ohlone, Sumiko Saulson


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99 Cents Sale!


Thinking Ink Press, the publisher of Thirty Days Later, Steaming Forward: 30 Adventures in Time” is putting the Kindle version of the anthology on sale for 99 cents! This is a limited time sale, just until September 7th. Get your Harry Turtledove fix for under a buck!

via Sale on Thirty Days Later — Welcome to the Treehouse!

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