Sometimes you never know the value of a moment
until it becomes a memory.
Dr. Seuss


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THE STORY OF THE THREE MAGIC BEANS is eligible for a 2019 Aurora Award!

But in order to become an award finalist, the story needs your vote. The five stories with the most votes will leave the elegibility list and become finalists. Instructions on how to vote can be found by clicking on the tab Aurora Awards. You can read the story for free (for a limited time) by clicking on the tab Three Magic Beans.

Thank you for your support. The Three Magic Beans appreciate you sharing their very important story about family, being true to yourself, and making dreams come true.

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In April 2019, I gave a presentation on THEME to the Imaginative Fiction Writers Association (IFWA) in Calgary. We talked about what theme is, how to determine it before or after you write the story, and it how to use it effectively. That was fun!

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How did the three magic beans end up with Farmer Brown and then Jack?

We all know the part the three magic beans played in the story Jack and the Bean Stalk, but where did they come from and why? Everyting you ever wanted to know about the three magic beans can be found in THE STORY OF THE THREE MAGIC BEANS. It’s part of an awesome anthology:
Over the Rainbow: Folk and Fairy Tales from the Margins
Exile Book of Anthology Series Number Seventeen
Edited by Derek Newman-Stille

These Beans Lost Jack

These Beans Lost Jack

A review of Ace Jordyn’s “The Story of the Three Magic Beans” in Over the Rainbow: Folk and Fairy Tales from the Margins (Exile Editions, 2018)

By Derek Newman-Stille

Do magic beans ever get tired of granting wishes? Do they ever get frustrated with having to fulfill everyone else’s dreams instead of their own? Do they ever crave a normal life without all of that magic where they can just soak up some water, nest in the soil, and get warm in the sun? Ace Jordyn’s “The Story of the Three Magic Beans” answers those questions with a resounding “YES!”. Where Rati Mehrotra’s story took readers into the animal world, Ace Jordyn’s tale brings us into the vegetative world.

Plants and plant products play an important role in fairy tales. They are often catalysts for change and transformation, but they don’t often get the credit they deserve. After all, who would Cinderella be without her pumpkin carriage? Who would Snow White be without the poisoned apple? Who would Jack be without his Beanstalk? Plants are figures of change, which may be why they appear as objects of transformation in fairy tales. They change from seeds, dropping roots into the ground and sending shoots of green up into the air where they feed on sunlight. They change with the seasons, sprouting leaves, bringing them to flower and bloom and sometimes to produce fruit and then letting those leaves change colour, dropping them to decay and becoming bare branches or retreating into the ground in a bulb. The vegetative world winds tendrils through our fairy tales, but often gets ignored. Ace Jordyn centralizes beans – transforming them from passive objects and foods into characters with agency, desires, and figures who go through their own transformations.

The beans of Ace Jordyn’s story not only question ideas about the passivity of plants in fairy tales, they also challenge limited ideas of family by exploring different family structures and ideas for raising young (seedlings). The beans go through their own adventures seeking a place to call home and a sense of belonging while also battling to keep themselves from being eaten, meeting other vegetables, and finding their way through a complicated world.

To find out more about Ace Jordyn, visit http://acejordyn.com

To discover more about Over the Rainbow: Folk and Fairy Tales from the Margins, visit https://overtherainbowfairytale.wordpress.com and visit Exile Editions at https://www.exileeditions.com

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Ti Jean in reprint! What an honour to be chosen for this anthology! Grim fairy tales. Dark magic wielders. Threatening urban legends. Crows. A wishing ring. An ensorcelled forest. These stories and more bewitch and frighten in Re-Enchant.Wander the dim-lit paths of enchantment conjured by 18 tales from an international roster of authors.

You can buy it here.

Image result for Re enchantment stories of dark fantasy

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Ti-Jean is a finalist in the 2017 Aurora Awards!

Thank you to everyone who nominated WHEN PHAKACK CAME TO STEAL PAPA, A TI-JEAN STORY.

I am so grateful to you all!

It’s because of you that Ti-Jean is making history. Ti-Jean is the first Canadian folktale to be published in Canada’s premiere science fiction magazine On Spec, and the first ever folk tale to be finalist for an Aurora Award.

Thank you my friends for your awesome support!

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MORE BLOG POSTS ON WRITING AND NEW INTERVIEWS!

Check out my latest interviews (on the INTERIEW page) with small press publishers: Margaret Curelas at Tyche Books, Axel Howerton at Coffin Hop Press, and Patrick Swenson at Fairwood Press. All three have a passion to get great stories out to readers and to support authors and we thank them for that! In fact, I’ve read books from all three publishers, have loved them, have interviewed their authors and this is my way of thanking them. So, take a moment to read about them, their publishing strategies and the advice they have for anyone wishing to start a small press.

There are new blogs posted on the FICTORIAN page: Two Great Examples of How to Lie; The One Friendship Writers Must Not Forget; Creating Tension in Mysteries; and How to Start Your Story to Hook Readers

August 2017

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Welcome!

Every author’s dream is to get published. I self published the book Painted Problems under the name Ann Cooney and gained tons of insight into the publishing process and in working with an illustrator. Jaqueline Hudon-Verelli is a great artist and an awesome lady. Visit her site here and you’ll see why I love her work so much.

I’ve been published as an editor for Shanghai Steam Anthology which received acclaim in a how-to book (see the About page for more details).

My short story When Phakack Came to Steal Papa, a Ti-Jean Story was published by Canada’s speculative fiction magazine On Spec. After the initial research was done, the story came together rather quickly and I was pleasantly surprised that it was acquired on its first submission.

Now, my goal is to get it published in book format. You can follow me on my journey and perhaps, together, we’ll see a book be born! I’m excited, aren’t you?

To get on my email list, please go to the contact page. I promise not to spam you, only to keep you apprised of new developments.

The following is my journey about getting When Phakack Came to Steal Papa, a Ti-Jean Story published. The more recent news and information immediately follows this preamble. To learn what inspired me to write the story, scroll to the very bottom on the page and read the first entry It’s Published!

Oh yes, the deadline for nominations for the Aurora Awards is May 6th. Read more about that in Next Steps.

April 2017

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Next Steps

Eamonn Murphy’s review (see Thank You for the Review and Inspiration!) and suggestion that the story should be published in book format has inspired me to explore publishing the story as a book. That review, coupled with Barb Galler-Smith’s reasons why the Ti-Jean story was aquired (see below for Why Did They Buy It?) has given me the confidence to go for it! Thank you both!

I’ve self published before and know I can do it. But, when it comes to children’s literature, self publishing has one major problem that all indie authors acknowledge – distribution. Most children don’t have access to ereaders or credit cards so relying on ebooks and ebook sales to reach this market is perilous. Tradition publishers have market access and children love to hold books.

But there is one thing publishers like and that’s for an author to have a following to promote their book. Whether independently publishing or publishing with a publishing house, today’s authors must engage in promoon. The more exposure, the better chance of securing the interest of a publisher. So, I thought, what better way to garner awareness for the story than to get it short-listed for an award?

Hence, When Phakack Came to Steal Papa, a Ti-Jean Story, is on the nomination list for the Canadian Aurora Awards. But, being on the nomination list isn’t the same as being on the final ballot of five contenders in each category.

The Aurora Awards are a fan based awards, so if you’ve read the story and enjoyed it (and live in Canada) please consider nominating it. More information on the Aurora Awards and how to vote can be found on my Aurora Awards page or you can visit The Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Association.

The deadline for nominations is May 6th. If you have any questions or wish to read a copy of the story so you can make an informed decision about voting, please see the contact page fro my email.

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Thank You for the Review and the Inspiration!

Thank you to Eamonn Murphy for a lovely review in SFcrowsnest which is located in the UK and has readers worldwide. SFcrowsnest is an awsome site filled with reviews and information on speculative fiction (including sci-fi, steampunk, superheroes and anime) and in all genres and formats (such as gaming, television, movies, books).

Last but not least is a fairy tale: ‘When Phakack Came To Steal Papa, A Ti-Jean Story’ by Ace Jordyn. Ti-Jean is a brave little chap who lives in northern Canada with his mama and papa and two older brothers. Papa goes fur trapping every year but this time doesn’t come back. Everyone else assumes he’s just late but Ti-Jean is worried and sets off to find him. He braves various perils but is helped by the gifts he got en route from Old Grandmother, Older Grandmother and Oldest Grandmother. This was an enchanting little tale and one you can read to the kids at bedtime. I strongly suggest that Ace Jordyn finds a good illustrator and puts it out in book form.

Eamonn Murphy
October 2016

Book form, eh! I like that idea. Thank you Eamonn Murphy!

Now, for the next steps in the process….

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Why Did They Buy It?

That’s the question every writer asks when reading a published work. Why did they buy it? What were they looking for? What’s the ‘special sauce’ this story had over mine? We’re always wanting to know, wanting to increase our chance to be chosen. More importantly, we ask because we want to write a good story that readers will love!

So, I asked and I got an answer! Thank you to On Spec’s Aquisitions Editor, Barb Galler-Smith for taking the time to let me know why the story worked for them. Here’s an excerpt from Barb’s letter to me:

Why a Canadian Fable Worked for Us

On Spec, the Canadian Magazine of the Fantastic, recently bought Ace Jordyn’s Canadian fable “When Phakack Came To Steal Papa, A Ti Jean Story” for publication. In my eight years as an acquisitions editor, I can’t remember buying a fable before, but Ann’s story was so different we had to buy it.

The concept was innovative. The tale was Canadian, not a rehashed variation of a European-based Brothers Grimm fairy tale. It had all the elements of a great folk tale, and while the style is recognizable as a fable, it is so much more than that. Themes that affect human beings transcend many cultures, and it was entirely refreshing to see the theme in Ti Jean set in a Canadian First Nations milieu. The main character, Ti Jean, is developed into a person we can all relate to. He’s not a cardboard cut-out with Euro roots, nor is he stereotypical.

The plot engages and the final outcome is not obvious. It was also extremely well-written both stylistically and technically. The story is fast paced and easily read and understood by many age groups, not just On Spec‘s usual science fiction and fantasy readers.

Barb Galler-Smith, Acquisitions Editor
On Spec, the Canadian Magazine of the Fantastic
August 6, 2016

For great reading, you can contact Barb or check out her Druids Saga Series (Driuds, Captives, and Warriors) at either Edge Science Fiction or Amazon.ca.

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It’s Published!

I’m so excited! My Canadian folktale, When Phakack Came to Steal Papa, a Ti-Jean Story, was published in On Spec The Canadian Magazine of the Fantastic, 2016 #103 vol 27 no 4! Yay!

This was a fun tale to write.

Ti-Jean (Little John), is a popular folk hero in French Canadian and Metis traditions. Ti-Jean is the everyday man, the every day boy who through his ingenuity, his perseverence, his ability as a trickmaster, outsmarts everyone else (usually his brothers) and saves the day or gets the princess. In English folktales, Ti-Jean is the character Jack.

I read Ti-Jean stories as a child and saw National Film Board shorts about this extraordinary character. You can download and watch Ti-Jean Goes Lumbering here.

When Phakack Came to Steal Papa, a Ti-Jean Story incorporates the fur trade, Metis mythologies, and the Ti-Jean character who is both wise and foolish and who gets into difficulties and has adventures. This story was inspired by three things:

  1. Jan Andrews’ foreward in her book When Apples Grew Noses and White Horses Flew: Tales of Ti-Jean

Many, many, people have created stories about him over the years … What does that say? I think it says that if you have an urge to tell a Ti-Jean story or make one up, you should do it, but you should be careful to share that story with someone else.

2. I researched a lot of sources about Ti-Jean stories but this book was the ultimate inspiration:

Metis Legacy (Volume II) Michif Culture, Heritage and Folkways; Editors: Lawrence Barkwell, Leah M. Dorion, Audreen Hourie; Saskatoon: Gabriel Dumont Institute and Pemmican Publications, 2006

Why was it such an inspiration? Because it fuelled my 3rd source of inspiration….

3. My childhood imagination.

As I read this book, I was gobsmacked at how certain things within the Metis culture felt familiar. You must understand, I am not Metis, my culture and genetic heritage is 100% Ukrainian. So, how did this feeling of familiarity come to be? As I thought about it, it dawned on me that much of my sense of familiarity had come from my mother.

I called her and asked her about it. She told me that where she grew up, they had neighbours who were Metis and they did all sorts of cool things like skin beavers. Being an outdoors girl, she was fascinated by what they did and so she spent a lot of time with them. Thus, without her being aware of it, she absorbed elements of their culture, their sensibilities, and had passed them down to her children. This is why I love being a Canadian – our cultural heritage is rich and we can share it and rejoice in that sharing and be stronger, better people for it.

So, from all this, When Phakack Came to Steal Papa, a Ti-Jean Story was born!  The On Spec volume can be purchased at Weightless Books.

Hmmm …. I wonder what Ti-Jean’s next great adventure will be!

To learn more about the Canadian folktale tradition check out The Canadian Encyclopedia and Wikipedia.