Monday, 11 January 2016

Teapot Tales: A Collection of Extraordinary Fairy Tales (Volume 4) #TeapotTales

Teapot Tales: A Collection of Extraordinary Fairy Tales (Teapot Tales: Volume 4)

Do you like to write fairy tales?

Every year we bring out a new volume of our Teapot Tales anthologies with proceeds to benefit the Chapter Book Challenge. This will be the fourth volume and the theme is returning to fairy tales.

The stories are flash fiction (minimum word count 300 words/maximum word count 1,000 words) and are to either be a new take on an old fairy tale (sometimes called twisted fairy tales or fractured fairy tales) or completely new fairy tales.

Submissions are only open to Chapter Book Challenge members (it's free to join and the sign-up sheet is on the ChaBooCha blog). Previous Teapot Tales anthologies are "Teapot Tales: A Collection of Unique Fairy Tales" (Teapot Tales: Volume 1), "Teapot Tales: Pirates, Mermaids and Monsters of the Sea" (Teapot Tales: Volume 2) and Teapot Tales: A Collection of Unusual Fairy Tales (Teapot Tales: Volume 3). The anthologies are sold through Amazon, but will be expanding to other retail outlets. All authors retain the copyrights to their stories to publish in their own collections or on their own websites. Up to four stories may be submitted. Artwork (line drawings) is also accepted.

We also run a competition each year for the book cover creation. If you'd like to create a cover for consideration in the competition, the title needs to say "Teapot Tales" in large print and "A Collection of Extraordinary Fairy Tales" in smaller print. Keep in mind that the title needs to be able to be read even when the book cover is seen in thumbnail size. ChaBooCha members vote on the cover. Covers need to be in by August 31st, to be voted on within a week of that date. The winner of the competition will have their cover used for the anthology and, within the anthology, will get credit for creating the cover.

All work must be your own.

Deadline for story submissions (and artwork): August 31st, 2016

Friday, 1 January 2016

Advice to make 2016 your best year yet

Happy New Year!
My 2016 advice for you:

Don't let yourself have any regrets by the time 2016 ends.

- Travel somewhere new. If you can afford it, go somewhere you've never been before, somewhere where the culture is different from yours and the world is more colourful. If you can't afford that kind of trip, go somewhere local that you've never been before. Find out more about the special beauty that your own town or city displays.

- Learn something new. You are never too old to learn a new skill or try a new hobby. Learn how to do something you have never done before. You might find out you enjoy it.

- Appreciate your loved ones and let them know they are loved, not just by your words but by your actions. Do something caring for someone you love. Spend more time giving out hugs this year.

- Live in love instead of in fear. Do something kind for a stranger. Stop making decisions based on the fear of what *might* happen, and start basing your life on love and service to others. Remember that the kindness you send out into the world will always find its way back to you.

- Do something good for the planet. Go out and spend some time cleaning up litter in your neighbourhood or at the beach, give to a charity that aids the environment, spend more time walking instead of driving places. Find a way that you can help fight climate change and then do it.

- Spend some time at the ocean. If you can swim, go for a swim in the waves. If you can't swim, just sit on the warm sand and watch the waves crashing against the shore. Trust me - it's therapeutic.

- Spend more time in nature. This world we live in is a beautiful place, full of its own special magic. Take time to appreciate the beauty all around you.

- Learn to love yourself. This might possibly be the most difficult challenge any of us will face, but it's one of the most important ones. Your body is not YOU. Your appearance does not define who you are. You have a soul, a spirit, a mind, and that part of you, that hidden part, is who you are. Don't let others who can't see that part of you define you. You know who you are; you know your strengths and your flaws, and, deep down, you know you are worthy of love. Embrace this.

- Take care of your body. While it is only the vessel that carries your soul, it can get sick and it can break down much earlier in life if it is not taken care of properly. So only put food into it that strengthens it and nourishes it, and make sure to exercise your body on a regular basis.

- Pursue your dreams. Don't let society tell you what dreams you should and shouldn't have. If your dreams don't hurt anyone else, then by all means, go after them. Start by taking small steps towards them and build from there.

- Create something. Whether it's art, crafts, the written word or something else entirely, be creative this year. It nurtures your soul, and, sometimes, it helps nurture the souls of others too.

- Be silly. Spend some time just being silly. Let yourself be taken over by a fit of the giggles, make corny jokes, and laugh a lot. Laughter improves your quality of life.