After the US presidential election last fall, a conversation circulated among my writing colleagues about the kinds of stories we ought to be writing and reading in the face of that terrible moment in history. The conversation wore a number of faces. "Writing as activism" was an important one, where artists were encouraged to make art that reflected their perspectives on world events. Another pointed to the recent spate of post-apocalyptic novels, which were no longer so far-fetched. Still another presented a more practical question: What do readers want to read now, and what do writers want to write?
I've extended the solstice book sale of The Longest Road in the Universe: A Collection of Fantastical Tales until July 1st. You'll find the purchase link below.
Between June 16th and 20th, you can download my first collection for free from Amazon, and you can buy my second collection at a reduced cost. You'll find the links below.
In my first blog post about the huldufolk, I wrote about my recent research into the hidden people of Iceland and offered some thoughts about Icelandic belief in the otherworld. In this post, I'll conclude the discussion with lore I gathered about the hidden people and offer some book and website suggestions.
The Huldufolk and Their Lore
Note that all of the lore I gathered came from the oral accounts of my informants, except where noted.
Belated Merry Beltane to you, and welcome to issue #22 of my newsletter, e-mailed to subscribers in May 2017.
"D is for Duel / One Who Dies as a God Dies"
"D is for Duel / One Who Dies as a God Dies" is available now in D is for Dinosaur, the current installment of the Alphabet Anthologies series. Editor Rhonda Parrish asked her authors to record excerpts of their stories for publication on her blog, since most of us couldn't come to the book launch. You'll find mine here, and if you're interested in reading the whole story, you can purchase paperback or Kindle versions of the anthology. Enjoy!
We arrived in Reykjavik at 6:00 AM yesterday morning during a spring snow squall that made the road to Akureyri impassable. But our friends Vigdis and Sveinn took us in, fed us Icelandic pancakes, and sent us to bed, for which we were grateful. We're on the road today after a good night in the company of good people and two sweet-tempered cats who curled around us while we slept.
Iceland isn't a foreign country to me anymore, breathtaking because I have never seen her before. Now her snow-covered mountains and spring-brown soil are familiar, even welcoming. I love this place from volcanic bones to glacial crown. She is a young queen among geological elders, still showing off to the world.
I am in liminal space as I write this post. Behind me, the successful completion of my first year as a PhD student of Folklore; a discipline for which I have genuine passion in a department full of committed professionals. Ahead, ten days in Iceland, a place of unparalleled beauty for which I feel something akin to the reverence one might reserve for a god. Afterward, a five-day meditation retreat at home in Cape Breton and a summer of writing both fiction and non-fiction pieces already slated for publication in their various anthologies and journals.
Because we're spread out all over the world, Rhonda Parrish asked us to record an excerpt reading of our D IS FOR DINOSAUR stories for publication on her blog. Mine went live this morning. I recorded in a closet with my new voice recorder in one take, so it isn't perfect. But it was hella fun to do. Have a listen!
Folklore Genre Series
Introduction to Folklore Genres
What is a myth?
What is a legend?
What is a memorate?
What is a personal experience narrative?
Summer Solstice Newsletter 2019
What is a ballad?
What is a märchen?
What is a fable?
What is a tall tale?
What is a ritual?
Winter Solstice Newsletter 2019
What is a rite of passage?
What is a superstition?
What is a charm?
Folklore & Fiction Supplement: Keeping a Journal in Uncertain Times
What is a curse?
What is a folk custom?
Summer Solstice Newsletter 2020
What is material culture?
What is a conspiracy theory?
What is language and verbal lore?
What is child lore?
What is performance?
Winter Solstice Newsletter 2020
ATU Tale Type Series
Introduction to the ATU Tale Types
ATU 60 "Fox and Crane Invite Each Other"
ATU 365 "The Dead Bridegroom Carries off His Bride"