flax-golden tales: buoyant solidarity

buoyant solidarity

I like to let my balloons go. Release the string and let them fly.

They clearly want to fly.

I know, it’s bad for the environment. They likely end up broken and sad, tangled in trees.

But I hope that they don’t.

I hope they fly towards each other. Lost balloons and released balloons and rogue balloons, all finding kindred souls on untied strings.

I like to think somewhere they cling together, in a kind of buoyant solidarity.

Tangled bits of rainbow on blue sky.

About flax-golden tales. Photo by Carey Farrell. Text by Erin Morgenstern.

flax-golden tales: the magic business

the magic business

My father says the secret is making the audience think there’s a trick when there isn’t, really.

The magic business is all about misdirection and flashy handkerchiefs and sparks because real magic is boring if you let people see it without all the flashy stuff over top. People pay for tickets to see the spectacle, not the magic.

You have to make it look difficult, because if it looks too easy the audience thinks anyone can do it and then it’s not special and ticket-worthy.

But never be too good, he says. People don’t like it when you’re too good.

It’s harder than it sounds, to be good enough to be impressive but not good enough to be unbelievable.

Especially when it’s so easy. It’s like trying to make tying your shoes look mystifying.

Maybe it is, to people who don’t have shoes.

About flax-golden tales. Photo by Carey Farrell. Text by Erin Morgenstern.

flax-golden tales: simple as kisses

simple as kisses

People say he used to be a prince. Probably because it seems appropriate and romantic, traditional for tales about frogs.

Neighborhood girls dare each other to creep through the brush into the yard, to tangle the ropes of his swing or kiss the top of his green, frozen head. They run off in screaming giggles, leaving him alone with his sorrow and no way to right himself.

The rules are not as simple as kisses, not these days.

He is part of neighborhood folklore now, the Prince on his swing. One Hallowe’en someone placed a paper crown on his head but it would not stay, carried off in a rush of midnight leaves by a cold November wind.

But he was never a prince. Just a boy. A stupid, stupid boy.

About flax-golden tales. Photo by Carey Farrell. Text by Erin Morgenstern


Today is my birthday.

I have been working on a birthday present for myself, and for sharing. It officially starts on Friday, but it is being unwrapped today to be more festive.

flax-golden tales is an experiment in words and pictures.

For awhile now, the idea of doing short stories based on images has been percolating around in my brain. Something akin to Chris Van Allsburg’s brilliant The Mysteries of Harris Burdick, only with slightly longer tales.

But I didn’t know what kind of images I wanted to use.

And then I was looking through my friend Carey’s photographs, and something clicked. She finds marvelous things with her camera, capturing images brimming with story.

Carey granted me permission to use her photos, so I started writing these tiny stories and stole an appropriate title from a Shel Silverstein poem I have always loved.

And thus, flax-golden tales is born. Please wish it (and me!) many happy returns.

Each Friday, starting on July 10th, I will post a photograph of Carey’s with an accompanying ten-sentence story.

Stories will be posted here on the blog, collected on their own page, here, and cross-posted to the flaxgolden community on dreamwidth. (Thanks to someone absolutely lovely, there is now an LJ-feed over here.)

I’ve had a lot of fun planning this, and I hope it will continue to be a lot of fun both to write & read as it goes along. Comments, questions, concerns & birthday wishes welcome!

If you are a dreamer, come in,
If you are a dreamer, a wisher, a liar,
A hope-er, a pray-er, a magic bean buyer…
If you’re a pretender, come sit by my fire
For we have some flax-golden tales to spin.
Come in!
Come in!
— Invitation, by Shel Silverstein