Hello, and welcome to the Folklore & Fiction newsletter. In this edition, I'm writing about folk customs with help from scholars Richard Sweterlitsch and Wayland Hand, author Naomi Novik, and friends Vigdís Andersen and Sveinn Svavarsson, among others. This edition of the newsletter marks a departure from folkloric belief and the beginning of a broad-strokes introduction to various folklore genres designed to fill the rest of the year. Each of the upcoming topics is widely studied by folklorists, but because they're less immediately applicable to writers, I'll only be glossing them. However, the structure of the newsletter will remain the same, and my hope is that you'll find something useful in the material for world-building, setting, and dialogue. Next year, I'll be starting something altogether new!
Here are the folklore-related memes I published to social media in April 2020.
A good friend and fellow author recently mentioned that it's a terrible thing to have a book published during a pandemic. She's proud of her work but doesn't feel she should promote it while so many are worried about so much.
This is where I come in. I care very much for my writing community, and I want to help my fellow authors in these troubled times. With that in mind, here are several new releases and a newsletter by fellow Canadian authors. If you're at home and looking for something to read, they've got you covered.
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.