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.
Here are the folklore-related memes I published to social media in December 2019.
Hello, and welcome to the Folklore & Fiction newsletter. At the summer and winter solstices, I mimic the sun and pause to reflect on my own creative work. In this edition, I'm bringing sea monsters to your holiday season with a discussion of folkloric elements in a poem entitled "Leviathans," published nearly a decade ago in Strange Horizons.
On the last night of When Words Collide, Joshua Pantalleresco graciously offered to interview me about my writing and academic careers. We sat in the lobby of the hotel and had a great chat, which evolved into a discussion of bullying and scapegoating in the writing community via my negative experience at Clarion some years ago. Afterward, we considered cutting that part of the interview, even though I don't provide details about my experience, and it isn't my intention to call the offending parties out for their misconduct. But in light of the recent revelation that Sandra Kasturi and Brett Savoy of Chiaroscuro Press have been abusing the good will of writers for years, I thought it was important to elevate the overall conversation about these issues of bullying, scapegoating, and the exploitation of unequal power in the writing community. Specifically, I care that listeners understand there are often long-term impacts of these behaviours upon the creative lives of writers.
Here are the folklore-related memes I published to social media in November 2019.
Hello, and welcome to the Folklore & Fiction newsletter. In this edition, I'm writing about ritual with help from scholars Catherine Bell, Ronald L. Grimes, and others, discussing ritual use in story craft, and providing you with an example and exercise on the topic. This edition of the newsletter marks a departure from folkloric narrative and the beginning of a five-month exploration of folkloric belief. You'll notice a change in format and focus as well, from the use of folkloric narrative types in writing to the use of folkloric ideas and principles in world-building, characterization, and plotting.
Here are the folklore-related memes I published to social media in October 2019.
Sometime in December, likely on or around the winter solstice, I'll be releasing a second edition of The Longest Road in the Universe: A Collection of Fantastical Tales. My primary reason for doing this is to change the cover and add a story. I love the current cover and always have; Murky Depths commissioned the art from Nancy Farmer when it bought the titular story from me years ago, and I've always thought it captured an important moment in the narrative. But readers have told me it gives the impression that the collection is comprised of horror stories, and it isn't. (It's a mix of science fiction and fantasy.) So I'm changing the cover and moving the art inside to illuminate the story for which it was commissioned. I'm also adding a story first published in the Stolen Island Review in 2003.