Story in Cricket Mag!

Hey everyone!

I've been eagerly waiting for July 2011 for a while (years actually!) because... drumroll... my story "San Martin in the Mist" will be appearing in Cricket Magazine this month! It was accepted years ago-- I think in 2006, just after What the Moon Saw was published.  And now, *tah dah*-- five years later, here it is in its illustrated glory. 

 art by Heidi Younger

So, so fun to see artists' interpretations of my stories. This one is beautifully illustrated by Heidi Younger...  I love how she represents the swirling mist... I'm sure that was a challenging element of the story-- the mist that wraps around everything in the village.

art by Heidi Younger

The story was inspired by a true story recounted by my friend Epifania Garcia Diaz, a friend of mine from Oaxaca, Mexico, who is a Mazatec Wise One-- a healer or shaman.

 art by Heidi Younger

Dona Epifania told me that a dam was planned to be build decades ago in her mountain village-- a dam that would've flooded the entire valley, forcing many villages to relocate.  But at the beginning of the construction, the dam materials began to go missing.  This happened night after night, and held up construction.  Locals said that it was a local spirit/deity, San Martin, who was stealing and hiding the materials in his underground palace-cave.  They said he was offended that people dared to disrespect his land by damming the river and flooding his valley. Eventually, the construction workers gave up, and the dam was not built!  Victory! 

Me and Dona Epifania in her village

I remember Cricket Magazine from when I was a kid-- it's been around for a while.  There's something so satisfying about seeing one of my stories in this element from my childhood.  Look, here's the little signature cricket giving his (her?) definition:

 (er, turn your head to the right... camera/photo/computer glitch)

I also have a fondness for Cricket because they were the first mag with a big distribution to publish my work... and actually pay me for it! It gave me a huge boost of confidence when I was still struggling with revising and submitting What the Moon Saw (and getting rejections.)

                                art by Emma Shaw Smith

  My first Cricket story, "Drops of Wax," was published in the August 2004 issue.  Here are pics of that one-- the artwork by Emma Shaw Smith is so lush and detailed-- I especially love the textures and colors of the clothing.

art by Emma Shaw Smith

I really love this illustration-- it's based on a southern Mexican folklore/mythology.  If you've read What the Moon Saw, you'll see a reference to it-- the cave of candles and the woman who is in charge of life and death.  I also wove this folklore into this short story.

art by Emma Shaw Smith

This story was actually inspired by a true story told to me by another curandera-- healer, named Dona Maria Chiquita (she's the one on my right.)  It involves a friendship with gitanas (gypsies/roma) and resurrection and fortune-telling...

Thank you, wise story-telling women in my life (with whom I split my payment), wonderful illustrators, and Cricket and their devoted fans, old and young!!