Three dreams of sorrow were given to Serkleit, Goddess of Art and Fermentation, Keeper of Caves at the Heart of the World, before her deification.
Once in a while, I love to occupy that liminal storytelling space between poetry and fiction and tell a richly-phrased story in just a few words. When Rhonda Parrish invited me to submit a story for consideration in her tarot anthology Arcana, I did just that. "The Moon" is the shortest story I have ever written and an effort to apply the meaning and symbolism of the card itself to the experience of being a transgender woman. While I'm a natal woman, I hope it offers something gentle and poetic to that experience and to my friends in the transgender community.
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.
After a long dry spell, I am delighted to report that I have a new poem in print in the speculative poetry journal Liminality. Here it is, and please do take a moment to peruse the other pieces as well. It's a lovely issue.
Please join me this Tuesday evening for a live Twitch interview and chat with author Laura VanArendonk Baugh about folklore: what it is, what folklorists study, how it relates to fiction, and how we can think like folklorists about culturally sensitive issues in our writing.
Date: Tuesday, September 15, 2020
Time: 7:00 PM EST
You don't need a Twitch account to listen in, but you'll need one if you'd like to participate in the conversation, and they're free.
The Longest Road in the Universe: A Collection of Fantastical Tales, Second Edition, is now available for purchase and pre-order. If you're a paperback lover, you can buy the book now, which showcases Nancy Farmer's stunning illustrations of the titular story in full-page and two-page spreads. If you prefer e-books, the collection is available for pre-order and will be released on February 1st. You'll find the book here:
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.
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?
I've written a short article for the #FolkloreThursday project covering a bit of folklore history, a bit of folklore theory, and a bit of contemporary folklore studies. It's live on the website now, and you can read it at: https://folklorethursday.com/folklore-folklorists/what-is-folklore
Last night I was a guest on CKDU 88.1 community radio's The Witching Hour discussing folkloric aspects of the Satanic Panic, especially as they relate to legend studies. The show is archived in three segments: 7:00-7:30, 7:30-8:00, and 8:00-8:30. You should listen to the whole show, but my contribution begins just after 7:30.
For the fairy enthusiasts among you, here's a story bundle curated by Sandra Kasturi containing the new F is for Fairy anthology, which includes my short story "B is for Burned/Every Broken Creature." Other contributors include Jane Yolen, Gemma Files, Marie Bilodeau, Nancy Springer, and more! You can buy the bundle here.
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"
ATU 780 "The Singing Bone"
ATU 780 "The Singing Bone" Supplement
ATU 852 "Lying Contest"