Thursday, November 14, 2013

Wild Tales go to a Flea Market

Of a misty morning a couple weeks ago, I rose early and set out for a small parking-lot flea market in Mill Valley with a big red basket of stories, where for the first time, I sold my tales at a little booth. I packaged them up in a rich array of colors, and skirted them with stones and rosemary sprigs, old scarves and books of tales-- both fairytales and the tales made by animal feet.

I had quite a nice time arranging my humble table, and holding in my hands those big piles of coyote-brush stained story-worlds.

It did prove a bit tricky to try to explain these stories in their cosy envelopes-- what did you say you're selling? Stories? In envelopes? Right...

Only a few days before, the Gray Fox Epistles was featured in the local Marin Independent Journal-- what an honor and delight! Aha, people seemed to say with their eyes looking down at it, so you are serious!

It felt like a small corner of magic-making, to get to sit at a table full of parcels, each a mythic tale, each a tribute in some way to the bay mountain shadowing us, to the marshes down the bustling road, to the ocean and beach beyond the ridge, and share them with others in this way.  Personal, face to face--when most of the time I'm tucked away filling notebooks, or wandering through bay and oak and fir forest silently, watching the stellar's jays. And how much more direct can it be than that, the story-writer at a little table, handing out wax-sealed envelopes full of words? Well-- oral storytelling is more direct, I daresay, but a different wild beast indeed than this one...

 Now, all I need is a cape full of pockets just the size to fit Epistles, some sturdy walking boots, and a gray fox to deign befriend me... and a big red basket to carry them in, of course!


  1. Wow, that's really cool—I would have braved every flea at that market just to see that table of tales. What a neat idea, selling stories at a flea market. Your description at the end of having a cape full of pockets & the gray fox to follow you around reminded me of a man in Wales name Dic Aberdaron. He had a coat full of pockets which were full of books & that padded out his whole coat—he had long wild hair & a cat sat on his shoulder & peeped out from under his locks. He would enter a village, sound a French horn, then proceed to recite poetry & stories.
    Where did you get mushroom playing cards—I'd be right chuffed with a deck o' them.

  2. What a fantastic idea, they look so intriguing inside their envelopes!
    Jess x x

  3. Those plump-looking envelopes are definitely tempting, full of hidden delights, like biting into a cupcake and finding a dollop of chocolate ganache filling. Hopefully the publicity helped new readers to find your wonderful writing!

  4. A beautiful display, Sylvia. Has anyone ever told you that you look like Charlize Theron? This photo is making me see this. You seem so graceful! I will be ordering another Epistle soon... your writing is *so* treasured here. Have your Isis story on my altar right now, am planning on rereading it at some extreme magical time, at the solstice, perhaps. Sending blessings from the East!

  5. This blog post was a beautiful story in itself... I wish I had been there, or had the funds to subscribe to The Gray Fox Epistles. And WHERE did you get those playing cards, or are they another breath-taking creation of yours? I've been wandering in Epping Forest (in Essex, England) a lot of late, seeking out mushrooms to render in silk shading (painting with needlework). I hate to be one of those people who plugs their blog in comments, but I genuinely think you might like to see the magical fungi I've found recently:

  6. How could those flea market shoppers resist? Surely they could not walk by your booth without hearing the beckoning of your magical stories. The call of the wild whispering to them from inside those exquisite brown stamped envelopes, the springs of woodland dusting the table and the heart, and you, a wild woman, artist, story creatrix in a red coat...honestly, you must have sold every single one! Blessings upon you my dear dear friend. This work that you do is vitally important and beautiful beyond measure! Xo Nao~

  7. what a joy it would be to stumble upon your table at a flea market....oh i only dream!!! words are absolutely something i would of purchased. keep the pen to the paper :)