About three years ago, Rhonda Parrish wrote to ask me if I'd like to submit a story for a tarot-themed anthology featuring a tale for each card in the major arcana. I was stoked and pulled the major arcana cards out of one of my (many) tarot decks to ask which card I should write about. I drew The Moon, so I wrote Rhonda and asked for it. She later told me she was at lunch when she received the email, said to her friend that she had never been asked for the moon before, and then replied to me that I could have it. Who knew it was so easy to actually get the moon?
Today, I'm thrilled to announce that Arcana is nearing publication, filled with a deck of stories by a host of talented authors. Rhonda herself writes that:
Tarot card decks have twenty-two major arcana, filled with symbolism and imbued with meaning. Explore the greater secrets and ideas behind those cards with the stories and poems of Arcana. Discovery awaits in tales such as a grasping king struggling with his legacy, an alchemist setting a golem out on a mission of revenge and a woman finding what she didn’t know she was looking for.
Each story is like drawing a card from the deck–you never know what it might reveal.
Featuring stories by Sara Dobie Bauer, Greg Bechtel, Beth Cato, Eliza Chan, Kevin Cockle, Sara Cleto, J.G. Formato, Chadwick Ginther, Joseph Halden, Gabrielle Harbowy, Jim C. Hines, Diana Hurlburt, L.S. Johnson, Dan Koboldt, C.S. MacCath, Susan MacGregor, Cat McDonald, Annie Neugebauer, Alexandra Seidel, Angela Slatter, Sarena Ulibarri, Brittany Warman and BD Wilson.
Hello, and welcome to the March 2021 Folklore & Fiction dispatch. In this edition, I'll be exploring ATU 365 "The Dead Bridegroom Carries off His Bride." I'll also be providing an exercise designed to help you adapt the tale type's plots and motif for your own creative purposes. This month's example comes from the Child Ballad collection, and I should probably tell you now that any time I can include a Child Ballad in this series, I will do it with the feral joy of a little girl. What's more, because I love these ballads and because including another person's performance in a podcast can be a copyright headache, I'll be singing them for you myself.
Here are the folklore-related memes I published to social media in February 2021.
Folklore & Fiction subscriber Nathan Waddell reached out to me today to tell me that he had sold a story with the help of F&F materials. I'm over the moon for him and can't wait to read it. Meanwhile, he wrote a lovely testimonial. Here it is:
Now that the Folklore & Fiction newsletter has successfully transformed into a dispatch and podcast, I have a bit of news to share with you and a bit of housekeeping to do for you. On tap, news about an upcoming theatrical production and a professional webinar, a handy list of the Folklore & Fiction genre series editions, a question about podcasting the archives, and a new copyright statement posted to my website.
Hello, and welcome to the February 2021 Folklore & Fiction dispatch. In this edition, I'll be exploring ATU 60 "Fox and Crane Invite Each Other." I'll also be providing an exercise designed to help you adapt the tale type's plot and motif for your own creative purposes. Let's start with an example of the type from Russian folklore, a tale entitled "The Fox and the Crane."
Hello, and welcome to the January 2021 Folklore & Fiction dispatch. In this edition, I'll be introducing you to three indexes of recurring motifs and plots found in folk tales. I'll also be providing you with a writing exercise extracted from Julia Cameron's excellent motivational book on the creative life, The Artist's Way. This dispatch has been released with the first of its companion Folklore & Fiction podcast episodes, and you'll find a link to that episode below. It's also the first in a two-year exploration of folkloric motifs and plots from around the world paired with writing exercises designed to help you make use of them as storytellers.
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 discussing myth in fiction with my short story "T Is for Three (at the End of All Things)," which was published in the C is for Chimera anthology. Because the story is only about a thousand words long, and because it's a creation myth, I'm reprinting the whole thing here. Hope you enjoy it.
On March 11, 2020 - the day the pandemic was declared - I was in Toronto undertaking ethnographic research for my doctoral dissertation. I had been in the city for six weeks and planned to continue my research until the early autumn. Four days later, we included a young man attending university in the city as part of our departure caravan and left a strangely subdued Toronto behind us, fleeing eastward to our rural Atlantic Canadian home, where his mother planned to pick him up.