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.
My plan is to release the second edition with less fanfare than I released the first; I'll probably put it up for pre-order in about a month, run an...more
Hello, and welcome to the Folklore & Fiction newsletter. In this edition, I'm writing about the tall tale with help from scholars Richard Bauman, Carolyn S. Brown, Henry B. Wonham, and others, helping you analyze a tall tale, and discussing ways to bring tall tales to your story craft.
The tall tale is difficult to trace through history, but Brown cites examples of it in Plutarch's writing and in Baldassare...more
Hello, and welcome to the Folklore & Fiction newsletter. In this edition, I'm writing about the fable genre with help from scholars Patrick Olivelle, Christos A. Zafiropoulos, Harriet Spiegel, and others, helping you analyze a fable, and discussing ways to bring fables to your story craft.
Fables are a ubiquitous story form, found throughout the history of story transmission and in the folkloric traditions of people all over the world. Perhaps the oldest and most widespread of these are the Panchatantra and the collection of tales attributed to Aesop, who might or might not have been a real person. These two pillars of the fable genre will be the focus of my attention here, along with a brief foray into Harriet Spiegel's translation of Marie de France's Fables for contrast.
For those of you who asked, here are the notes and PowerPoint presentation for WWC "Conducting Archival and Ethnographic Research."
Here are links to the Traditional Arts Indiana YouTube videos I mentioned as well:
Thanks for attending! See you next year.
Hello, and welcome to the Folklore & Fiction newsletter. In this edition, I'm writing about the märchen genre with help from scholars Christine A. Jones, Jennifer Schacker, Jack Zipes, and others, helping you analyze a märchen, and discussing ways to bring märchen to your story craft.
Folkloric Definition of Märchen
The German word "märchen" and the phrases "fairy tale" and "wonder...more
Hello, and welcome to the Folklore & Fiction newsletter. In this edition, I'm writing about the ballad genre with help from scholars Gordon Hall Gerould, David Buchan, Roger deV. Renwick and others, helping you analyse a ballad, and discussing ways to bring ballads to your story craft.
I would add before going on that there are many ballad traditions in the world, each of them rich and nuanced. It would be impossible to write about them all here,...more
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'll be discussing folkloric elements in my new short story entitled "B is for Burned/Every Broken Creature," which was...more
ani-mism noun 1 the attribution of a living soul to plants, inanimate objects, and natural phenomena (Barber 2005, 51).
Folklorist Sabina Magliocco writes that most contemporary Pagans grew up in a dominant social system that rejects the existence of a spiritual realm but are, nevertheless, engaged in a re-enchantment of the world (Magliocco 2012, 17). Citing Starhawk, she argues that Pagans do not so much believe in the Goddess but...more
The When Words Collide festival has released its tentative final program, so I thought I'd share my itinerary:
Friday 3 PM - Canmore - Fairytales, Fables and Folklore Remade
C.S. MacCath, Carol Parchewsky, Jim Jackson, Ron Oswald [PM]
Fairytale remakes, historical reimaginings, using themes from the past to create a new story. What is being done in today's Young Adult fiction, and how can past inspiration be made new again?...more