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.
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.
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.