Hello, and welcome to the Folklore & Fiction newsletter. In this edition, I'm writing about curses with help from scholars Natalie Underberg, Evangelos Gr. Avdikos, and others, discussing the use of curses in storytelling, and providing you with an example and a reflective writing exercise. If you're new to the newsletter or missed March's "What is a charm?" edition, do go back and read it before engaging with this one. Many folklore scholars agree that curses may be viewed as negative charms, and with that in mind, this discussion is an extension of the last one (Roper 2003a; 2003b; Ryan, Kapalo, and Pocs 2012).
Here are the folklore-related blog posts and memes I published to social media in March 2020.
When my husband Sean was in college, he worked part time for the Climate Change Institute at the University of Maine, digitizing weather reports from the 19th century. These reports were daily accounts written by average people who went outside and wrote down what they observed. At the time, their work might not have seemed critically important to them, but in a university department where irreplaceable ice core samples were kept in a freezer never permitted to go without power, these humble, daily weather reports contributed fundamental insights about the history of Maine's climate.
Hello, and welcome to the Folklore & Fiction newsletter. In this edition, I'm writing about charms with help from scholars Joseph S. Hopkins, Jonathan Roper, and others, discussing the use of charms in storycraft, and providing you with an example and an exercise on the topic.
Here are the folklore-related blog posts and memes I published to social media in February 2020.
Blog Posts: Ged a Sheòl
One of my favourite Gáidhlig folksongs was written in Nova Scotia and tells the tale of a rough sea crossing at Christmastime. Julie Fowlis' version is slightly different from the one below, which I've heard and sung along with at milling frolics in the province, but it's beautiful nonetheless. Here are the lyrics to the version I know, and I've linked to Julie Fowlis' version of the song below.
Hello, and welcome to the Folklore & Fiction newsletter. In this edition, I'm writing about superstition with help from scholars Ülo Valk, Torunn Selberg, Alan Dundes, and others, discussing superstition in the context of Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series of books, and providing you with an exercise on the topic.
Here are the folklore-related memes I published to social media in January 2020.
The Longest Road in the Universe: A Collection of Fantastical Tales, Second Edition, is now available for purchase and pre-order. If you're a paperback lover, you can buy the book now, which showcases Nancy Farmer's stunning illustrations of the titular story in full-page and two-page spreads. If you prefer e-books, the collection is available for pre-order and will be released on February 1st. You'll find the book here:
Hello, and welcome to the Folklore & Fiction newsletter. In this edition, I'm writing about rites of passage with help from scholars Arnold van Gennep, Alan Dundes, and others, discussing rites of passage in fiction, and providing you with storytelling insights related to the topic. Rites of passage are customs underpinned by the beliefs that inform them, much as myths are narratives about the beliefs that inspire them. This understanding of folklore genres as flexible or slippery is an important one, and it's often examined in folklore scholarship. As I move into a second year of genre discussion, I plan to mention these crossovers when I see them so that you can begin to think in multiple ways about the topics I present and bring that thought process to your creative work.