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“Once upon a Time…” Contest Featuring Camille Rose Garcia

Update: The deadline has passed! The "Once Upon a Time..." contest is officially closed. Any further entries will not be considered.

We are in awe of your fanciful musings and don't think that anyone will envy us the task of having to pick only 6 winners! But, here we go....


Who has not thrilled to hear those four magical words, "Once upon a time...."? Since childhood, they've elicited whimsy, wonder, and anticipation in the hearts of many.

What do they elicit in you? Dreams of a fantasy world under the sea or on the moon? Dragons and ogres or princesses and flying ponies? Here's your chance to share your fairy tale!Here's your chance to share your fairy tale! Before noon next Monday, March 15, simply post a comment that finishes the phrase "Once upon a time..." in 50 words or less. After fighting over our favorites, we'll pick one grand-prize winner and five runners-up to be recipients of fabulous prizes. (Mad Hatter voice, if you please.)

Fabulous prizes? you ask. Indeed, thanks to our friends at HarperCollins and to the lovely and talented Camille Rose Garcia, this month's featured artist in the City of Books' Basil Hallward Gallery. Visit the gallery for her exhibit, Creepcakes and Doomdreams, showing through the end of March; we're pretty positive that your fancy will be tickled. Garcia drew inspiration for her newly illustrated edition of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland from the darkness that lurks in Lewis Carroll's original tale. Who will inspire you?

After all entries have been reviewed by our panel of fairy-tale experts — mainly overly imaginative 2nd graders (just kidding) — we'll choose a grand-prize winner to receive this gorgeous signed and numbered lithograph...

...and for each runner-up, an artsy tote bag (the graphic on the bag is pictured here):

If ever there was a time for outrageous flights of fancy, it is now. May the best daydreamer win!

Plus, if you're in Portland, stop by our downtown City of Books on Burnside tonight, March 11, at 7:30 p.m. Camille Rose Garcia herself will be on hand to discuss and sign her newly illustrated edition of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.


Deadline for entering the contest is 12:00 noon (Pacific Time), March 15, 2010. Click here for official contest rules.


÷ ÷ ÷

Heidi Mager does marketing stuff for Powells.com. Off the clock, she spends much of her time wrangling a kindergartner, chasing after her toddler, feeding her husband bacon, and attempting to avoid doing housework.

Books mentioned in this post

  1. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland Used Hardcover $11.95

150 Responses to "“Once upon a Time…” Contest Featuring Camille Rose Garcia"

    Sara March 11th, 2010 at 11:46 am

    Once upon a time, it was ever-September in Portland, Oregon. Rain only fell when people were sleeping and birds could speak in human tongues. Bicycles rode themselves up hills and food carts were open 24/7. The city’s roses were shades of blue and their donuts shaped like roller skates.

    Melissa Frazell March 11th, 2010 at 11:52 am

    Once upon a time....

    ... there was a little girl who didn't feel comfortable in her own skin. She longed to be a butterfly. A butterfly, so her beautiful wings could carry her away, so she could feel the wind on her face and travel anywhere her little heart desired.

    Mychal Lauren Sanders March 11th, 2010 at 12:00 pm

    Once upon a time, Christine did something remarkably stupid. If she’d been using her head, she would have remembered that in every tale a sudden wind means magic is in the air. She should have stopped reading the curse the moment the frantic pine tapped its fingers against the windowpane.

    Christina March 11th, 2010 at 12:01 pm

    Once Upon a Time...

    there lived a Powell's employee who hoped beyond hope that she could enter this contest. To her dismay, her dreams turned to nightmares; she was ineligible! Her heart sagged knowing she would never see this gorgeous lithograph hanging on the wall in her room. Perhaps she could catch a glimpse of it before it was shipped off to the lucky winner... that would patch a small hole in her torn heart.

    Good luck, you lucky eligible entrants, you!

    Christina Mays March 11th, 2010 at 12:07 pm

    ...there was a little dragon who dreamed of being a storyteller. She couldn’t write with her claws and that made her very sad. A unicorn friend mentioned monkey secretaries. She hired one to type her stories. She filled a Powell’s store with her books and lived happily ever after.

    Margaret Shepherd March 11th, 2010 at 12:20 pm

    ...there was a lonely man. That man was me. The moment Alice danced into my life, I felt hope stirring in my withered heart. I loved her, you see. But our time together was brief; she grew unsatisfied with the life I could offer her, and returned to the place where she had come from. Once upon a time, there was a lonely man, again.

    Wendy March 11th, 2010 at 12:27 pm

    Once upon a time,

    Little mousy Allie danced with all her might. "Dance.. dance or I shall eat you!" growled grumpy Hedwin the cat. Allie called upon memories of watching her human family dance in the kitchen. The long nights of fiddle and piano playing on and on. She danced reels, jigs, and waltzes.

    Tommy Llama March 11th, 2010 at 12:29 pm

    Once upon a time I sat in dimly lit rooms. Outside these rooms roamed fantastic creatures beyond imagination whose whims, when followed, were sure to enlighten and entertain. I chose not to follow. Instead I sit in dimly lit rooms and the creatures knock far less often. Tis a pity.

    monkeywomantoo March 11th, 2010 at 12:31 pm

    once upon a time ...
    there was a man who lived by the ocean. the wind blew through his
    thoughts. the rain melted his heart to ink that dripped on page
    after page. he dreamed of rock and roll and redemtion. all the
    while a woman watched him dream, waiting for the moment when he
    would smile.

    * i'm ineligible

    MSJ March 11th, 2010 at 12:33 pm

    One upon a time,
    I danced with you on a carpet high above Saharan sands beneath the midnight moon
    You drank fairies’ golden elixir from a cup of shimmering crystal
    We whispered sweet words in the silence of a garden
    We found ourselves in each other
    Once upon a time.

    Dave March 11th, 2010 at 12:39 pm

    Once upon a time, everything in the world made sense. Everything was beautiful. Everything was right. Once upon a time, we were together, and we were happy. Once upon a time.

    Collin Fellows March 11th, 2010 at 12:39 pm

    Once upon a time her feet seemed to drag. Then she twisted in the air. And once upon a space she lit. Then descended slowly, once upon a depth. On the tip of her toe stepped once upon a width, balancing precariously. Oh so nimbly she stepped once upon a length, and vanished.

    Arika March 11th, 2010 at 12:55 pm

    Once upon a time there was a lovely little bunny who liked to dress in all the finery of the garden. Other bunnies made fun of her, made her feel bad. So she though long and hard on her habits, and without the comfort of prodding her friends or family. Decided that she was fine just the way she was.

    Linda Augustine March 11th, 2010 at 12:58 pm

    Once upon a time on a tiny, dragon-free island by the Baltic sea lived the daughter of a mermaid & a seafarer. Aurora Kangaspuu had yellow-green eyes & golden hair. She spun flax on bone spindles; wove it into cloth & dyed it crimson with dried cochineal beetles.

    Stormchylde March 11th, 2010 at 1:05 pm

    Once upon a time a curious little band of steampunks parked their airship Heart of Gold above Lone Fir Cemetery and clambered down the ratlines to see what they could see. The littlest one fell down a really deep rabbit hole, and so here we wait deciding who goes down the hole next. Me?

    Robin Panzer March 11th, 2010 at 1:16 pm

    Once upon a time my pen raced across the page, my paint thrilled at the sight of my brush and the light fell upon my folio just right. Once Upon a time fantastical creatures danced across my memories and told me their torrid tales. Once upon a time I lived.

    Katie Daniel March 11th, 2010 at 1:33 pm

    Once upon a time. A time when once was never enough. It was twice, actually. And really, was it so much ‘upon,’ as it was during? Or after? Maybe even subsequent to? And then there is that notion of time. Perhaps it never was. Never to be. Never will be.

    Heidi Sutherlin March 11th, 2010 at 1:41 pm

    Once upon a time...

    a foolish woman danced with the rain, sliding between the fat, wet drops. It was never wise to frolic in this way, when dark things stir and the wary forget their place. Wrapped in her abandon, she did not see the skeletal hand, open and grasping.

    Deborah Idlett March 11th, 2010 at 1:44 pm

    Once upon a time, there was a city full of sleeping people who didn't realize they were. There was one girl in this city who wanted nothing more than to wake them up with the SLAM noise of her heart beating poetry, her eyes seeing hope, her thoughts thinking stay grateful. And she tries.

    Star Foster March 11th, 2010 at 1:49 pm

    Once upon a time the revolution was upon us and the cats prowling the streets for tuna. Mice engaged in guerilla-style ambushes while dogs cavorted in dim speakeasies over gin. Goldfish manipulated the stock market and ferrets looted every IKEA, a shambles of Scandinavian design. Finally, they banned moose and elk from Starbucks.

    Ann Leah Newman March 11th, 2010 at 1:53 pm

    Once upon a time…
    wishes made with hearts of good intentions were granted and transformed. The air shifted and shimmered with the vibrant hues of their conjuring; and amid the crackling whispers, longings were willed into existence. It was a blissful time and magic was real.

    Drewbador March 11th, 2010 at 1:55 pm

    Once upon a time, it was soooooo long ago, that there was no once upon a time to precede it and that was a very, very long time ago...

    E. McCoy March 11th, 2010 at 2:00 pm

    Lived a quirky queen named Quinn,
    Who sat atop a table getting ready for her dinn.

    With her legs in a criss-cross,
    And her face beaming red,
    She demanded her supper,
    Or be "off with your head!"

    But just like that,
    In a flash, in a blink,
    She choked.

    MJ Heiser March 11th, 2010 at 2:14 pm

    Once upon a time, precisely, upon a turnip, sat a silly little fairy named Yvette, who had the uncommon and unfortunate distinction to have first, no taste for turnips, and further, no desire to fly, no matter her glorious, shimmering wings, the envy of fairies throughout the turnip patch.

    Brian Bailitz March 11th, 2010 at 2:27 pm

    Once upon a time, in the land of doppelgangers a poor soul searched for his own. Prowling the streets, howling at the moon, for eighteen years to no avail. Despairingly, he visited a clairvoyant. Amalda pointed him to the third stall of the carnival midway. Never again did he leave the hall of mirrors.

    Aleta Boddy March 11th, 2010 at 2:28 pm

    Once upon a time there was a girl who brought smiles to every heart, peace to every foe, and light to every dark corner. She forgave every vice and shrugged at every virtue. Time sweeps us all into a torrential current, and yet her life swayed time’s path.

    Sara Jane March 11th, 2010 at 2:31 pm

    Once upon a time, under a blanket of night and stars, a girl lay in her bed, dreaming. Each night she dreamt of familiar faces, old places. She dreamt the world’s desires and fears; laughter and tears. She’ll dream the end someday too. But first, perhaps, she’ll dream of you?

    JoyceP March 11th, 2010 at 2:37 pm

    …there was a simple line who dreamed of changing the world. Try as it may it could only point or separate. One day it met other lines with the same dream. They agreed to collaborate and soon discovered that together they could craft letters and then words. They wrote books.

    Aman March 11th, 2010 at 2:41 pm

    Once upon a time, there was a boy who was shopping around Powells.com for school books, and stumbled across a contest in which he could win a spectacular lithograph or a ubercool tote. He hoped and hoped that he'd win, and... the rest is for another night.

    I'm channeling my inner-Scheherazade.

    Riley Boydston March 11th, 2010 at 2:41 pm

    Once upon a time, there was a man with no shoes. Who danced to the tune that any should choose. He dove on the grass and wove through the trees. A pleasant performer, eager to please. Till one day he stepped upon a nail, thus ending this whimsical tale.

    Vanessa March 11th, 2010 at 2:55 pm

    Once upon a time...

    I had the worse day EVER! A girl with blonde hair was wandering around my home. She then followed me everywhere! I saw her at a tea party that the Mad Hatter held...he ruined my...watch. AHHH..I am late for the Queen! Hello, I am the trumpeter! Bye.

    Natalie Williams March 11th, 2010 at 2:59 pm

    Once upon a time there was a Queen. Her king had forsaken her for a new queen and banished her a small cottage with the her young Prince and Princess. The king decided he was not happy and asked her to come back. But the Queen said "No, thank you."

    Lisa Lawer March 11th, 2010 at 2:59 pm

    Once upon a time, a cheerleader walked down the middle of the high school hallway singing, "There's going to be a party tonight.." to the tune of Don Henley's Heartache Tonight.

    "Where's the party?"

    "Pete's Mountain. Happy Valentines Day!" she said slipping a pink heart amphetamine into my hand.

    Crystal Wood March 11th, 2010 at 3:10 pm

    there lived Allison of the Woods, Queen of the Dragonflies. Her wisdom was respected and her kindness admired. But even she had off days and hid behind a waterfall hiding her sadness. A quiet man of no birth found her there and let her be herself. She fell for him.

    Andrew Coltrin March 11th, 2010 at 3:14 pm

    Once upon a time there was an uncertified Language Arts teacher who worked at a charter school run by men from Turkey. Some had mustaches; all had accents. The administration was inscrutable and the seventh graders were insufferable. It was a long year.

    Tim Flood March 11th, 2010 at 3:30 pm

    Once upon a time, the cat laughed out loud. Can it be that you are late again, that you peed in the kitchen, drove on the lawn and cried in the night? Can it be that you are just old like me? A Cheshire grin will set you free.

    Kurt March 11th, 2010 at 3:35 pm

    ...a middle-aged man packed all he owned into an asthmatic old Volvo and crossed half a continent to a place he'd never been. He arrived, aprehensive and weary in the midst of a snowstorm and found the home he'd been seeking all his life.

    Joseph Steinberg March 11th, 2010 at 3:36 pm

    Once upon a time in a galaxy far, far away exists an editor clutching a book full of the thoughts of every mind in the universe. The reading rebels stand poised to storm the tower, where lazy trolls are waiting for their next boilerplate. Now, a band of entrepreneurs...

    Erin March 11th, 2010 at 3:44 pm

    Once Upon A Time...
    there was a girl who wasn't allowed the courtesy of time to grieve. She dreamed about love and forgiveness and airplanes flying everyday to where she needed to be. She stared at the Starry Night beside her desk and wished for the time she knew she would never have.

    nrhatch March 11th, 2010 at 4:07 pm

    Once upon a time . . .

    an anonymous inkslinger hurled hurtful words at a trio of writers.

    Rather than hanging on to the words, or hurling them back, the wise writers chose to let the poisoned words go ~ then watched, unscathed, as the imaginary impedimenta evaporated into nothingness, allowing them to write, once more, in peace.

    Joey Johnson March 11th, 2010 at 4:16 pm

    ... a man stood over a well. His heart was troubled, for his bucket leaked.
    Many a mile stood between him and his bride, who waited for her bathwater.
    He considered her, waiting, possiby nude. His heart soared and lifted him high.
    He flew to her on wings of love.

    Sammy March 11th, 2010 at 4:26 pm

    Once Upon a Time...

    They flowed through dreams and dark forests, sometimes stumbling but never stopping. They followed rabbits and sea lions and once a talking flower but never lost their nerve.
    Doors would open for them like so many books and they lost themselves in cloaks and tangles of grass and grumpy songbirds.

    Ehrrin March 11th, 2010 at 4:34 pm

    Once upon a time...
    Margaret and Jack lay panting; peeking through the thick knot of bushes and tangle of weeds they'd just hurled themselves into. Margaret concentrated on trying to quiet her breathing and the thrum-thrum-thrum of her heart. She didn't think she heard it following them.

    "Was that...was that...?"

    David J. Bigalke March 11th, 2010 at 4:34 pm

    Once upon a time, a normal father entered a fantasy world where time ceased to exist, trolls and pirates ran rampant, wars were fought with the power of flame, the only way to tell man from machine was by learning mystical pass phrases, and three kingdoms vied for dominance.

    Twisted Lister March 11th, 2010 at 4:42 pm

    Once Upon a Time...

    King Rain made no charade that during the spring it was his time to reign. The King Sun, not to be outdone, took to the March and almost won. But the King Gloom, of grey and doom, trumped them all as in the sky he left no room.

    Penny Bradford March 11th, 2010 at 6:02 pm

    … I found a wishing well in my grandparent’s yard. It granted my wish of being surrounded by characters from magical stories. Rapunzel, Tom-Thumb and Cinderella come to visit one day. Alice, Mortimer and Ali-Baba the next. The fun would last for hours and made my fairy tales seem real!

    Cara Holman March 11th, 2010 at 6:40 pm

    “Once upon a time…”

    “Oh Mom, must you always start out that way?”

    “What would you prefer, my child?”

    “Just cut to the chase.”

    “Okay. There was a little girl. Broke into a house. Ate porridge. Broke chair. Fell asleep in bed. Bears returned. Were angry. Girl fled. The end.”

    “Thanks Mom”

    “Sleep tight.”

    Andy March 11th, 2010 at 6:54 pm

    Once upon a time, a great people forgot the story of their origin. Like a kite without strings, they drifted from shore to celestial shore, buoyed by the warm winds of their nascent freedom. But when the Sky asked, "Where are you from?" The kite could only answer, "Elsewhere."

    Josh Benton March 11th, 2010 at 7:26 pm

    Once upon a time there was a girl and a cat,
    He looked at her face and said what trouble is that?
    It’s a prince I desire,
    One for real, not for hire!
    ‘Tis love you need, an’ a little luck,
    To find a man, that can really… rhyme!!

    Nancy Janzen March 11th, 2010 at 8:32 pm

    Once upon a time warp, stars streaked outside our space ship like white knives. Pinned back, ant-race shadows traced our faces. Minutes (hours?) later, we finally slowed, metallic whining lessening. Leaning forward, outside appeared One Earth, looming large. We began descending, then hovering. Mist on the windows, streaking down. Home.

    Lollifer March 11th, 2010 at 9:29 pm

    Once upon a time on a narrow, tree-lined street there lived a small boy named Yustus. Yustus was a grubby and disagreeable person who did not care what anyone thought of him. He did, however, have one magical quality. Yustus had freckles that disappeared and reappeared like constellations.

    Adam March 11th, 2010 at 10:21 pm

    Once upon a time, there was a princess who lived in a magical land where lollipops were unicorns and you could make rainbows when you pee. Sadly, the princess often cried herself to sleep, you see, in this land, only the bridge troll could make you pregnant.

    C. Russell Monaghan March 11th, 2010 at 11:25 pm

    Once upon a time it was the best of times – crème caramel for dessert, port in cut glass, you. Once upon a time it was the worst – mortgage, oy!, moles under the grass, polka music from every window. Still, we held hands and shared a biscuit, sipped Mad Dog, loved like needy strangers. Bliss!

    Jerid March 12th, 2010 at 12:51 am

    Once upon a time King Otto Von Roland, lazy ruler of rabbits, ran out of carrots due to gluttonous eating habits. He went to the garden, where nothing had grown, there he had learned, it’s not always bad, to reap what you’ve sown.

    Charissa March 12th, 2010 at 1:15 am

    Once upon a time I had hair as frothy and abundant as sea foam. I had skin like the inside of an oyster: pearly, luminous, ever-changing in the light.

    With illness, my hair has gone, my skin no longer pearl. But I have found my fairy tale. I have faced the dragon, and lived.

    Henry March 12th, 2010 at 1:48 am

    Once upon a time he saw her.
    Once upon a time, he knew.
    Once upon a time, he smiled.
    Once upon a time, she laughed.
    Once upon a time, they danced.
    Once upon a time, they died.
    They were remembered fondly, once upon a time.

    Dale March 12th, 2010 at 7:33 am

    Once upon a time...
    Snow White awoke and thought, "Where the hell am I and who is this bozo?"

    jillgee March 12th, 2010 at 8:40 am

    Once upon a time . . but what is time? In a green-violet world there were smoke-raptures and a long, crooked road littered with rulers and sunglasses. A glittering teapot whirled in the sky, and the hummingbirds suddenly knew the words.

    andrea niceschwander March 12th, 2010 at 8:46 am

    Once upon a time…Charlotte woke up in a very Denveresque-in-the-end-of winter-and-without-snow, that is to say, very brown and bleak, or perhaps a form of Hell. She rubbed her eyes hoping the dream would slip off and she would wake up in the proper time and place.

    CB Stevenson March 12th, 2010 at 10:27 am

    Once upon a time a girl named Alice was enchanted with her namesake, Alice in Wonderland. One morning, her mother told her: Eat your cereal so you can grow big. Alice at the whole box! Alice thought: I’m growing. I feel very queer indeed. Her mother kept her home from school that day.

    Leslie March 12th, 2010 at 10:33 am

    Once upon a time....

    Ditsy Dotty wandered by the ocean shore and managed to get herself caught in a fisherman's net. She decided, since this was an uncommon occurrence, that it must be magic and fell in love. The fisherman, needing a wife, took her home...where they did not live happily ever after.

    99 March 12th, 2010 at 3:27 pm

    Once upon a time there existed a man named Jack. Jack was a candidate. He had other friends who were candidates as well. Kate was one of those friends. So was Hurley. sawyer could have been but he turned into a big sissy. They were all really awesome together in the eyes of Jacob. Then Jacob was murdered inside of a four toed statue. Then all hell broke loose for the 100th stupid time.

    Geniffer March 12th, 2010 at 8:48 pm

    Once upon a time there lived a vibrant girl in a beige city. She craved culture; but was offered monster truck rallies. One day the girl read a proclamation announcing the visitation of the world's most brilliant artist in a nearby land. She was overjoyed; she would not be late for this important date.

    Chase March 13th, 2010 at 6:50 am

    Once Upon a time a hermit saw a sulky girl in a forgotten, dusty town of lonesome souls and dying dreams and asked "Where do you come from and why are you here?" She responded "I come from a place where people have lost their identities; I am here to learn who I am".

    Jill Kinkade March 13th, 2010 at 12:52 pm

    Once upon a time, so the story goes, the world was ruled by a beautiful fairy princess, with long blond hair that she wore in braids. In the time of the forythia, she got an idea. She would use her magic to make the world a better place. She chopped off her braids, sprinkled them with fairy dust, and threw them in the wind. They landed all over, and they grew into buttercups. Isn't this a nice spring story?

    Mandy Ward March 13th, 2010 at 2:19 pm

    Puff the Bluey Dragon liked bringing dreams,
    He brought daydreams to all the kids,
    Who felt bored enough to scream.

    One day he met a Princess, drawing Tigers on a pad,
    He gave her dreams of writing books,
    And they made her very glad!

    Brad Nelson March 13th, 2010 at 2:29 pm

    Once upon a time, there was a town named Tombstone. It had been named that for a reason: the dead outnumbered the living. You’ve heard the saying “the quick and the dead?” It’s because in Tombstone the dead walk slowly, but walk they do.


    John “JAM” Arthur Miller March 13th, 2010 at 2:43 pm

    Once upon a time…

    … in the forests of Evermore, nymphs danced on dreams from sleeping worlds. The down of watchful ravens wafted from trees, and shadows deepened where those black feathers struck the needle-covered earth. The world had forgotten how to dream, and the forest cradled only nightmare—dreams forgotten forever in Evermore.

    PumpkinTime March 13th, 2010 at 3:31 pm

    Once Upon a time...

    He caught my hand and warped my mind, he said he would be exquisitely kind. He led me down the path, and through the garden gate, by then - t'was too late. He sliced me with the razor, for me to bleed, t'was ink from my veins, his quill did need.

    Robert C. Eccles March 13th, 2010 at 6:20 pm

    Once upon a time, in a land where time marched backward, there were never too few hours in a day. Time waited for everyone. There was always time to stop and smell the roses. And it was never too late to tell someone you loved them, or that you're sorry.

    Todd Mignola March 13th, 2010 at 8:59 pm

    ONCE UPON A TIME... a refrigerator repairman freed a beautiful, pale girl from a locked kitchen cabinet. “What’s all this?!” demanded the annoyed ogress. “Rescue!” said the girl. “Fine. Take her,” said the ogress. “Anyhow, I’ve lost my taste for human flesh. It’s squid for me now!” And they all lived happily ever after.

    Jonathon Michael Lessard March 14th, 2010 at 12:58 am

    Once upon a time the Queen of everything that's pure, Ariadna, was captured by her twin sister, the Queen of everything that's empty and always wants more, Lamia, and kept alive under a bell jar for nine years. Ariadna died when she failed to tell her sister how to capture the light.

    Larilie Redgrave March 14th, 2010 at 6:02 am

    Once upon a time there was a glass ball. It fell off someone’s desk, but instead of smashing, rolled. It rolled down to the sea and is right now sailing up to some forbidden shore. If the escaping fairy inside meets you, she’ll grant you four wishes, three is clichéd.

    Rox March 14th, 2010 at 9:19 am

    Once upon a time, there lived an innkeeper’s son named Edgar with curling blonde hair, sparkling green eyes and a mischievous smile. He and his father lived by the sea below the great castle of a beautiful and powerful Queen.

    A Queen whose secret Edgar was about to discover...

    Brandon L. Rucker March 14th, 2010 at 12:16 pm

    Once upon a time he was a great villain. Unrivaled with unimaginable dark magic, he commanded a horde of empty souls to spread terror across the highlands and the lowlands. Legions of mortals were massacred before he later realized the error of his ways. He then vowed to become a great hero instead.

    Noah Brand March 14th, 2010 at 1:01 pm

    Once upon a time, it was the future, and everyone knew it. The date, the feel of the air, the unending little glowing machines everywhere, all marked it as the future. Unfortunately, nobody was quite sure what to do with it, or what was supposed to come next.

    Jean March 14th, 2010 at 1:02 pm

    Once upon a time...

    ... a girl was trapped, forbidden to leave her small town. She struggled to flee, but the webs of responsibility kept her entangled in the world of dust and gray light and small town friendliness. She longed to break out, to be her own knight. She would rescue herself, in time.

    CE Randolph March 14th, 2010 at 1:10 pm

    Once upon a time there was a lonely dragon. The king's daughter was sent to him to eat. Instead he offered her friendship, love and diamonds. She kissed him. He turned into a prince. They took over the kingdom after the prince staged a coup. They lived happily ever after.

    Jill McCulloch March 14th, 2010 at 1:16 pm

    Once upon a time...time was twisting, turning,and falling through space, into the great void, into a world not yet realized. Each moment that passed, a new life was created. It bent and flexed as life passed closer into existence. Suddenly the time was now and it was born.

    Amanda March 14th, 2010 at 1:21 pm

    Once upon a time in a beautiful green pasture, a llama gave birth to her first child. As her tiny son stumbled into the glistening sunlight, the mother's proud gaze turned into one of horror. Her baby was pink! And folded upon his back was a tiny pair of wings.

    ElleBrady March 14th, 2010 at 1:23 pm

    Once upon a time there was a great heat like the sting of a million hornets stirred up by a broomstick. I looked up and realized the sun was dripping. Looking down, I saw my feet were smoking and everywhere there were little spots of fire where the sun's drops had fallen.

    Lady Frisbee March 14th, 2010 at 1:26 pm

    Once upon a time,there was a lonely caterpillar sitting under a starless night. She dreamed of days where she would no longer hear hurting words or feel the pain of wordless blows. She wrapped herself in a cocoon, to emerge another day as a beautiful and confidentd butterfly. With wings unfurled, the wind carried her away to dance with blossoming flowers.

    Chavaleh Forgey March 14th, 2010 at 1:28 pm

    Once upon a time moonlit wings spread underneath the velvet tapestry of sky. The trees stretched their blossoming arms to dance with the joyous creatures of midnight and starlight. The young of heart and mind left their beds and homes and comforts to dip their toes in the streaming river of darkness. Spring!

    bstein 69 March 14th, 2010 at 1:32 pm

    Once upon a time a middle aged man from Mississippi who hadn"t had sex in ages (but thought about it all the time)saw the woman of his sexual fantasies in his favorite bakery.She put her slender hand on his bulging crotch. It excited him and he woke up.

    littlesages March 14th, 2010 at 1:36 pm

    Once Upon A Time not very long ago, a warrior-girl stood firm in battle, planted strong and reaching for the sun. Nourished by air, each root hair took to soil and vine unfurled. Immensely green, alive, she boldly fought. Reaching high the castle wall she took. Ivy, forevermore.

    Heidi Spotten March 14th, 2010 at 1:37 pm

    Once upon a time she felt only as though she drifted through life watching life’s parties float by her on clouds. Nothing seemed connected to her and nothing seemed real. Life was what happened around her; to other people. Until that peculiar day, when she had a choice to make.

    FTPinPDX March 14th, 2010 at 1:46 pm

    I was driving the Doodlebug to school. She was 4 then and I’d known her and her mother for only two years. She seemed like a very smart child, so I asked her, “What’s the square root of pi?” “Strawberry!”, she proclaimed with absolute certainty. And ya know, she’s right!

    Vanwall March 14th, 2010 at 1:49 pm

    Once upon a time, Ethne Witchgirl loved him, her eyes singing, magical ways to her secret heart. Killraven M’Creagh loved none; his eyes twisted paths to blasted wastelands. One look, he was lost; but so she was. Killraven found Ethne by her song, stumbing his lostlands. He loved her thereafter.

    Taylor Grigalanz March 14th, 2010 at 1:49 pm

    Once Upon a Time, on a dreadful rainy day, a tormented writer was complaining to the Gods about his lack of inspiration and disgrace. He was cursing the woman who had left him brokenhearted. On his mind and heart, it was no one’s fault but hers that he felt so untalented and damned.

    silvacox March 14th, 2010 at 1:55 pm

    Once upon a time a grey cockatiel fluttered out of the Beaverton sky, landing on the head of a suburban homeowner. Loaded with cheeky personality, the avian intruder was caged and given to a middle-aged 5th grade teacher. From the hazards of nature into the wild world of public education, that’s Mango’s new challenge.

    Christeen Daoust March 14th, 2010 at 1:56 pm

    Once upon a time I found solace in the dark. Alone and sheltered by the thin metal walls of my shanty I could dream of happiness and be transported to a new world of hope. Into the light I was faced with reality and yearned for the comfort of darkness.

    Tanja Schuurman Robinson March 14th, 2010 at 2:09 pm

    Once upon a time sadness reigned over all, as it had for the time past and would likely in the time future. One day in time present, a butterfly entered this gray kingdom of gloom and sought a place to land. A beaten down flower raised its head in invitation,"Bring hope here".

    Rachel M T March 14th, 2010 at 2:11 pm

    Once upon a time..

    There was a small child who dressed as a bear and lived in a forest. Everyone found him quite strange, yet he was not phased. Like any other, he enjoyed fishing, mauling, and hibernating, so why shouldn't he join his carnivorous friends?

    Tara Dublin March 14th, 2010 at 2:24 pm

    Once upon a time, there was a girl who lost her radio job in Portland. It meant that she could no longer spend most of her income on books. Now she goes to Powell's just to inhale their intoxicating odor, and hopes to have her own book amongst them someday.

    zelda March 14th, 2010 at 2:24 pm

    Once upon a time, long, long ago lived anybody. Anybody went to school,went to work, read a book, rode a bike, drank coffee, had a special someone, and lived happily ever after. The end.

    Sue B March 14th, 2010 at 2:32 pm

    Once upon a time, twin princesses refused to speak to one another because one adored the color pink, and the other, blue. One day a prince wearing lavender came to court and they both exclaimed, “Isn’t he beautiful?” They lived happily ever after because the prince had a twin, who wore only lavender too.

    Becca March 14th, 2010 at 2:39 pm

    Once upon a time...

    In a land far away, but not too far away, there lived a beautiful, virtuous girl, kept prisoner by unfortunate circumstances. Nearby, unbeknown to both, lived a kind, handsome prince. After several far-fetched trials and misunderstandings, the two fell in love. They proceeded to live happily ever after. The end.

    Ann March 14th, 2010 at 2:49 pm

    Once upon a time I dreamed I was on safari in Alabama where I saw a dinosaur and an obese baby chick. They were so huge that the pine trees around them looked like toothpicks. As I approached them, they smiled at me. I screamed and ran away in terror. I woke up with an opened copy of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland on my chest. Alabama was my wonderland. The dinosaur was a smiling Jabberwock. And I was the Jabberwock Whisperer. The baby chick, however, remains a mystery.

    Raeey March 14th, 2010 at 2:54 pm

    Once upon a time, when all the world slept and our stars closed their milky eyelids, little girl flowers and blooming buds of boys crept from the undergrowth and entangled into a dance. Their petals took one another and weaved and twirled in their roots until the sun smiled.

    Jonny March 14th, 2010 at 2:55 pm

    Once Upon a Time there was a three-legged dog that belonged to a witch and a poisoner. It watched as the witch became suspicious of the poisoner, and he grew apprehensive of the witch. The dog had to escape when they started poisoning each other and not even its food was safe anymore.

    Dawn Mayell March 14th, 2010 at 3:01 pm

    Once upon a time, a gutsy girl ran away from the City of Dream Bridges in search of a future. She spent another lifetime crawling through muddy labyrinths and soaring over sparkling rainbows, always reaching back through time for the doorknob to her youth. Alas, the portal was closing fast!

    Kmaerie March 14th, 2010 at 3:17 pm

    Once Upon a Time, the clock suddenly changed, for no reason at all.

    A little nightbird must have flown swiftly to tell the sun.

    By morningtime, started to shine so hard, like it was bursting with every single ray it saved during the rainy doomdream time.

    All the animals came out to warm their bellies and celebrate.

    Melanie March 14th, 2010 at 3:22 pm

    Once upon a time...
    there was a beautiful sunny day where everything went right. Everyone was happy and smiled at their neighbors. Children laughed and played, songs were sung, and hugs were freely given. Mothers were free to play and fathers were home for the whole day. It was good.

    Megan March 14th, 2010 at 3:23 pm

    Once upon a time I pulled a ligament in my foot. Now, whenever I wear my nice dress shoes, I have this very uncomfortable pulling sensation when I walk. It's a real bummer.

    Tracee March 14th, 2010 at 3:42 pm

    Once upon a time, in the middle of an ancient garden, where the trellis of roses had grown so wild they were the feral snapdragons of times long forgotten, a necrolyf sat. She cawed like a crow, for a boy or a body, while waiting for the door to open.

    Pam March 14th, 2010 at 4:15 pm

    Once upon a time, in the mind of an old woman, there lived a

    book. She'd kept it there for years for fear she would lose it.

    One day she happened to lose her fear, which just blew her

    mind. Naturally, the book was lost. Or was it?

    Fofie March 14th, 2010 at 4:39 pm

    ...there lived an old man named Bub. He had whiskers for a mustache and lived with his wife Fofie whom he adored. Fofie, who got her degree in basket-weaving, spent most of her time taking care of Bub. Bub had lost his mind but Fofie loved him nonetheless.

    Trillian March 14th, 2010 at 4:40 pm

    Once upon a time in a very normal town everyone had to be very normal. It was the law. The very not normal people had to pretend to be normal. One day a very not normal mayor was elected. And all that was normal was suddenly very not normal.

    Kiri March 14th, 2010 at 4:43 pm

    Once upon a time there was a once upon place. There was never a 'the end' or a 'happily ever after,' and the princes could never figure out who their princesses were. And some girls never did find their other shoe.

    Cinderella hated the place, but her stepsisters loved it.

    Ingrid March 14th, 2010 at 4:56 pm

    Once upon a time there were beautiful valleys with crystal clear streams, full of fish. There were mountain tops so high, only soaring eagles could reach. Once upon a time my mom and dad were alive and we though we would life happily ever after…………….

    Daryl J. March 14th, 2010 at 5:00 pm

    Once upon a time a dog in a kennel
    mixed up a potion of wormwood and fennel
    which he gave to the cat thinking that would be that
    but the kitty was tricky being crafty and wise
    and returned to the dog a treat in disguise
    while a hatter said blankly ‘’I’m absent I’m absent!”

    kgn March 14th, 2010 at 5:27 pm

    Once upon a time a girl woke to find that her beautiful golden hazel eyes had turned to pure black. People assumed that her heart must be dark as well. No one would look her in the eye anymore, not even her prince. Her heart eventually broke from the loneliness.

    Just A Thought March 14th, 2010 at 5:30 pm

    Once upon a time, in a world not so far from our own, there was a land where the air was cleaner, the grass was greener, the people were happier, the streets were prettier, and homelessness and wars were almost non-existent. All because the people of the land cared a little bit more about the people and the world around them than we do.

    Kill the TV March 14th, 2010 at 6:03 pm

    Once upon a time a little girl named Sophia was watching MTV and she saw a video by Lady Gaga and Beyonce called 'Telephone'. She watched them dance and sing. She watched them show their butts and boobies as they sang their song; the song was about sex with a lot of violence in it. She noticed that Lady Gaga and Beyonce wore hardly any clothes when they sang and that they rode in a big truck called 'Pussy Wagon'. She didn’t feel good about herself when she watched them sing their song called Telephone, so she picked up the big telephone on the table and threw it at the TV and killed it forever.

    Bri March 14th, 2010 at 6:09 pm

    ...Far in the future, near a planet's moon that was uninhabitable, there floated a man billions and billions of years old. He was busy harvesting small plants in self-sustaining glass eggs. This was the only way they could grow plants anymore, so many plants wouldn't grow on a planet.

    Kenneth Crockett March 14th, 2010 at 7:09 pm

    Once upon a time was staged a one-man rebellion against a Kingdom of Whirl. Winds tore at the apostate fool: Boreas stole his strength; Aeolus, his girl; that huggermugger Zephyrus confused his errant way. Gigs whirred alluringly to end his journey. And did. Reality so intrudes on good stories.

    HeatherLeigh March 14th, 2010 at 7:26 pm

    Once upon a time...

    ...I gave my glass heart to a man with hands of steel. When he clapped, my heart shattered. Shards of my love, hope, joy lay jagged around my feet. A drop of crimson on my toe. There is beauty in the pain. But those hands are still cold.

    May B March 14th, 2010 at 7:31 pm

    Once upon a time the end seemed so near. But as I ran toward the finish line, the end faded into unfinished dreams. What? Keep running, or stop and let the end come to me? The answer must lie ahead.

    Marianne Louey-Gung March 14th, 2010 at 7:51 pm

    Once upon a time Powell's Books was only to be found in Portland Oregon, North America. But the winter time was so cold. So they decided to build an exact replica in Brisbane Australia and winter there. And ever since then I've been able to pop in anytime I want!

    Marianne Louey-Gung March 14th, 2010 at 7:54 pm

    And might I also suggest the name "Womulus" for the wombat who lives in your Australian store?

    Seth Friedman March 14th, 2010 at 7:59 pm

    Once upon a time, and once only, Time, feeling justifiably put upon, stopped. Not for long, but long enough for all who lived in the kingdom to feel Time - as they might feel the throbbing strike of a bell push against their ribs... as they might feel a momentary loss of something forgotten, almost remembered, important, lost... as they might feel their last breath. And for a time, just that once, that one time, everyone - from King to knave to step-daughter to dwarf to hex to frog - felt their story. They felt it because it stopped against them, once upon that time; just long enough to wake them, shock, stir them. Short, but long enough a time to make them quietly wonder only to themselves - before time continued once again - if the rest of their time could honestly be called "happily ever after," since they couldn't remember have actually chosen that ending for themselves, once upon a time. But then, in the intake of a breath, they happily forgot and kept willingly dreaming as they had once upon a time.

    Cynthia Whitney March 14th, 2010 at 8:07 pm

    Once upon a time, before salmon swam upstream and elk grew antlers, the first redwood sprouted. Ferns and moss swaddled her. Spruce protected her from salt winds. Humus fed her roots. Many years passed. Never forgetting, Sequoia rains grateful tears and shelters all with leaves that touch the sky.

    Anna Bellamy Lucas March 14th, 2010 at 8:18 pm

    Once, upon a Time, there stood a castle built with all the accouterments that such places are storied to have: a moat, stone towers, guards on the parapets and one fierce dragon that hung around on weekends. And that was where, happily ever after, they kept track of Time.

    Munchkin March 14th, 2010 at 8:20 pm

    Once upon a time a little girl was born to the sound of her grandmother writing in the next room. “The first sound you heard was that of a typewriter, little one. You will be a writer one day,” the grandmother promised. And in this moment, I am.

    beatrix March 14th, 2010 at 8:33 pm

    Once upon a time . . .

    . . . someone snapped a photograph of four little girls in matching floral velvet dresses: a blurry Polaroid that gave the appearance of angels floating in air. Years later, they gazed at the image, remembering their discomfort in the stiff upholstery-like fabric. And Abby, the youngest, remarked: “we look like floral monks.”

    Elizabeth March 14th, 2010 at 9:01 pm

    Once upon a time I was eleven and feared a hateful, middle-aged bully with a crew-cut, three children and a wife who suffered fom migraines. He loved nothing more than to make me squirm with his barbed attacks on my father, and I was powerless to talk back.

    Surnia March 14th, 2010 at 9:08 pm

    Once upon a time. . .

    there was a reclusive math and physics teacher, who was seized by un-scientific flights of fancy and imagination. She pursued an undercover life of art and whimsy, spinning fantastic tales under a pseudonym, and living in secret shame lest her students should discover her true nature. Thus our tale begins. . .

    ninabruja March 14th, 2010 at 9:58 pm

    Once upon a time is no time at all. Time flattens and extends like an accordion sleeve. Compress and expand minutes, hours, days; wheeze music from them. Some days sound like the French Riviera, others like a wind up monkey.

    Rustin H. Wright March 14th, 2010 at 10:36 pm

    Once upon a time a nut burst into a sprout. That sprout became a seedling, a sapling, a tree, then a towering leviathan, cloud-topped, home to a hundred creatures, sheltering thousands. In its time, it weakened, toppled, and died. Nuts scattered from its branches as it fell.
    A nut burst into a sprout…

    Scott March 15th, 2010 at 1:29 am

    Once upon a time, before time was killed by unimagineable thoughtlessness, Alice was animated and then became annotated. The Hatter was Mad but, exactly two days and one film later, "cured" by mercury poisoning. Both Tea Parties are riddled with nonsense. Quoth the writing desk, 'Nevermore.'

    simply scott March 15th, 2010 at 4:00 am

    Once upon a time...

    ...there lived a little boy who wanted a magical life. He worked very hard and learned many magic spells, until years later, he realized he had grown up and that dream had come true. He looked around and saw his kids playing, and realized it was their turn to dream.

    Jennifer March 15th, 2010 at 4:51 am

    Once upon a time.....in the Land of Dreams, there lived a quiet girl with a storm of words in her head. She longed to get them out for they were causing quite a disturbance. If you looked deep into her eyes you could see them swirling about.

    Erik Rader March 15th, 2010 at 6:44 am

    Once upon a time there was a barista named Erik who lived and worked in a rain-swept, lushly green city called Emerald. Everyone in Emerald loved coffee, so Erik was always busy; but the pay was meager, and he was barely able to support his wife and daughter.

    Cynthia Cody March 15th, 2010 at 7:27 am

    Once upon a time there was an avid little book reader named Bookarella who accidentally fell asleep in a famous Portland bookstore. At night when all the books came alive she had marvelous adventures with all the friends she had only known before in words and ink.

    Amber March 15th, 2010 at 8:36 am

    Once upon a time...

    ...there was a little girl who loved to dance. One day she danced herself through the door that led to all things magical where she met a mouse that could fly, and a hummingbird who told her she was magic and said "let the adventure of your lifetime begin..."

    Cynthia Graham March 15th, 2010 at 8:44 am

    Once upon a time, there was a girl who was cursed to be always traveling and never getting anywhere. One day as she bemoaned this fact an old man reminded her, "Life is always a journey, the end is in the arriving." She set out with a smile.

    KT Clifford March 15th, 2010 at 8:49 am

    Once upon a time there was a book. A book on a shelf. This book had been on that shelf for quite some time. There was much dust on the book; and the sides of the book were cramped up against other lonely, dusty book neighbors. However, this book was special. This book was going on a journey. This book was going to be read today.

    Tina March 15th, 2010 at 9:09 am

    Once upon a time
    I thought I was cool.
    I ate cheesy Cheetos and lime,
    I would sit sublime,
    after school
    in my berry beanbag chair
    TV all blare,
    happy beyond compare.
    What a fool--
    I’d stare,
    I’d wish,
    To be part of that satellite dish
    Sparks flew
    Who knew?
    I’d get my wish--

    Kill the TV March 15th, 2010 at 9:17 am

    Alice fell into MTV land through a video called 'Telephone'. She sang and danced with Lady Gaga & Beyonce, shaking her boobies and butt, and then she got in a big truck with them called 'Pussy Wagon' and took a ride. She didn’t like herself afterwards she felt dirty inside.

    aphi00 March 15th, 2010 at 9:23 am

    ...there was a girl afraid of her own voice. She couldn’t stand to hear herself think,
    thought her opinions didn't count.
    Following the white hare she found herself at Powells,
    where wonder and delight, fancy and flight, fed her imagination, and
    now no one can shut her up.

    Maggie Stewart-Grant March 15th, 2010 at 9:28 am

    ...a woman who was an editor for decades decided to become a publisher in the Midwest. She was tired of watching big publishers ignore good manuscripts. The sign in her office says: “…our armor and ammunition are an open door and a cup of coffee.” She lived happily ever after.

    C.Most March 15th, 2010 at 9:56 am

    A Once Upon a Time Haiku . . .

    All the stars aligned.
    The wild winds blew thru me &
    thru U. What was lost

    Was again found. And so,
    this time around we'll cover
    more ground because we've

    Discovered a new
    & useful tool. It's called
    Cultural Compass.

    CB Stevenson March 15th, 2010 at 10:03 am

    Once upon a time a girl lived upon a weather-vane. In the mornings she would invent yoga positions. In the afternoons the townspeople would send tea and biscuits with marmalade for her nourishment. Her friend the crow brought her comic books to read aloud as they filled the air with raucous laughter.

    Kill the TV March 15th, 2010 at 10:17 am

    She landed and opened her eyes seeing the desolate terrain; filled with carbon dioxide that oxidized her soul with a speed faster than light, her sad eyes reflected the land’s chaotic decay. She had found it, where the lizard people live; it was the third planet from the sun.

    James McShane March 15th, 2010 at 10:26 am

    ...there was an aardvark called Allie, who, one day, turned up in Dublin, Ireland. He came across a guy called Jimbo and went about setting things right in his world. Allie was such a success, he began a career in motivational speaking and ten-pin bowling.

    Leslie K March 15th, 2010 at 10:37 am

    Once upon a time...

    There was a man who was a successful baker who longed for a wife. Alice hoped to wed the baker one day but he never noticed her. She ate his muffins and cakes until she became sooo fat, that he finally noticed her. They are now living fat and happy!

    Bridget Nutting March 15th, 2010 at 10:57 am

    Once upon a time, in a land near the Pacific, a pretty, but plain, princess waited patiently for a plain, but paciferous, prince to prance into her perfect, but unpretentious, pastoral parish near Portland. Peculiarly enough, Patrick pondered the journey. Poppies poised, he plunged forth praying. Pleased, she penned a poem.

    Marnell L. Hayes March 15th, 2010 at 11:42 am

    Once upon a time--many and many a year ago, between the dark and the daylight--the wind was a torrent of darkness as I wandered half a league, lonely as a cloud, but never saw a moor. Of all sad words, the saddest are: Curfew must not ring tonight.

    Laura Renecker March 15th, 2010 at 6:44 pm

    Once upon a time… there was a girl prophesized to save us all. The girl was lost to the world and herself until the boy came along. The boy’s purpose was her, but together can they save the world and their love? Only in a fairytale they can.

    Craig Ensz March 27th, 2010 at 8:07 am

    Once Upon a time in the hearts of children, there existed wonder, fantasy, boundless joy and a sense of innocence. They romped through years unfettered by the worries of too many tomorrows. They knew only the warm feeling of unconditional love. Their world was perfect. But then, a thing called time visited them in their dreams and they said good bye.

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