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Ink and Fairydust

Premiering June 23rd - 26th,

2011 in St. Paul, MN! Check out www.theshadowofthebear for more info about the release!

Camelot. What images are conjured up in your mind by that word? A castle swirling in mist? A round table? The sword Excalibur? Or maybe you have vague memories of a cartoon movie – “The Sword in the Stone,” perhaps, or maybe “The Quest for Camelot.” Who was King Arthur? Was he a medieval ruler? A Roman officer striving to bring order to a quarrelsome Britain? Or just a myth spread by Eleanor of Aquitaine (mother of Richard the Lionhearted) in order to lay the foundation of chivalry and better treatment of women? Whether or not you believe Arthur was a real man, there is no denying that he has had an incredible influence on the development of the English consciousness. Even if he is only a myth, sometimes myths prove stronger than fact. For in the tales of Arthur and his knights, we find evidence of the commonness of human struggles. We learn that a thousand years ago, our ancestors still needed to tell stories regarding such things as: Dealing with unwanted/unexpected callings (The Sword in the Stone) Frustrating siblings (Arthur/Morgan le Fay) Struggle for equality vs. power (The creation of the Round Table) The power of unity vs. rebellion (Arthur's unification of Britain) The torment of forbidden love (Guinevere/Lancelot, Tristan/Isolde)

The temptation of vice and reward of virtue (Sir Gawaine and the Green Knight) What women really want (The Wife of Bath's Tale – The Canterbury Tales) The Legacy of Parenting (Galahad/Lancelot, Mordred/Arthur) The value of humility (The Kitchen Knight) The trials and rewards of pursuing Christ (The Quests for the Holy Grail) The dangers of ignoring sin (The fall of Camelot) Never failing hope (Arthur, the Once and Future King) It's quite a list. No matter what aspect of the human experience you are looking for, chances are you can find it in the tales of Camelot. What makes it even more enduring is that ultimately the story of Arthur parallels the tragedy of the fall of Man, but contains hope for the future. It is a mythos more redeeming than that of Greek or Roman, and (being of Judeo-Christain worldview) mirrors Biblical values. Of course not all adaptations will preserve the morality of the original stories (don't, for instance, read “The Mists of Avalon) yet the threads prevail in most retellings. So go out and rent the animated “Sword in the Stone,” the live action “Tristan and Isolde” or “First Knight,” look up the TV show “Merlin,” listen to the soundtrack of “Camelot,” read a volume of the “Prince Valiant” comics, brave the Middle English of “The Canterbury Tales” or “Le Morte de Arthur,” or pick up Roger Lancelyn Green's “King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table,” J.R.R. Tolkien's “Sir Gawaine and the Green Knight,” C.S. Lewis's “That Hideous Strength,” or T.H. White's “The Once and Future King.” Camelot is yours to discover. Elizabeth Hausladen Editor-in-Chief

"So, when do we get to read your finished novel?" Daniel asked Lori ask his sister walked into the kitchen. Lori plopped down in one of the tall counter stools and sighed. "Never. I'm absolutely at a loss to figure it out." "Well that stinks," said Daniel. "So you're just going to give up on it?" "Yeah. I mean, what else can I do?" Daniel pulled out a box of cereal emblazoned with a picture of Jack Sparrow. "I don't know. But I don't think it's wise to just stop writing altogether. You've got to keep that muscle strong." "Yeah, but I just don't know what to write about," said Lori. She grabbed the cereal box and started shaking cornflakes into a bowl. Halfway through she stopped and stared at the picture of Jack Sparrow. "Why do all the good ideas have to be taken? Why can't I just write a script for the next Pirates movie?" "Well," Daniel said thoughtfully. "I don't know about a script, but why don't you try your hand at fanfiction?" Does this sound like crazy advice? If you answer 'yes,' well, I wouldn't blame you. Just log on to and you'll be greeted with hundreds of poorly written examples of why the genre should never have been invented. However I very strongly believe that there is a time and place for fanfiction. It should never take the place of original work, and you should never let yourself become lazy while doing writing of any sort. However when an original piece hits a block and you just need a break from working with your own world, it might be time to take a trip to your favorite book or movie and

give it your own twist. The advantage of fanfiction is that the world and characters have already been created. You don't have to spend hours thinking up new people and locales -- they're already there for you. Most of the time existing works will also carry plenty of seeds for fanwritten spin-offs. You can devote your time purely to developing existing creations, and hopefully bring some of the fun and creativity that drew you to being a writer in the first place. Still don't believe me? Well, I can testify to the positive effect of approaching fanfiction in this manner. It was a Twilight fanfiction that changed the way I developed my hero for my time travel novel, and it was my group X-Men fanfic that reminded me what I love about group dynamics and became an indicator of what project I needed to pick up next. It also kept my creative juices going and my writing muscle strong in a "dry creative period" when I otherwise would have given up writing entirely. Since both of these projects were written with other authors, they also gave me a chance to get regular feedback and creative stimulation from a source other than myself, which I found invaluable. So, your original work have you stuck? Set it aside for a month or so and renew your writing by telling the further adventures of Margaret Dashwood, the secret diary of Lucy Pevensie, the attack on the Yule Ball (as recorded by Rose Weasley) or the True Confessions of Jack Sparrow. Just remember to send me a link to the finished product!

Like to Draw?

We are looking for a second cartoonist and part-time illustrator! We need an innovative storyteller and artist who can commit to creating a whole or half page comic every month. The comic could be an original idea, or working off an editor prompt.

Applicants should submit a resume, cover letter and sample work to Please submit applications no later than March 15th.

In March Around the World

in 30 Pages

I r is h

Dancing How to See Europe

in Two Weeks! Adventures Abroad ...and More! photo by

February 2011  

King Arthur and Camelot! Whether you're an old friend or new visitor to the Round Table, this issue is sure to delight you! Also, Modern Chi...

February 2011  

King Arthur and Camelot! Whether you're an old friend or new visitor to the Round Table, this issue is sure to delight you! Also, Modern Chi...