On April 26, 1986 reactor number four at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Station in northern Ukraine exploded, throwing up enough radioactive material to contaminate much of Ukraine, Belarus, Russia and other parts of Eastern Europe. Thousands of people were evacuated from the 30 km Exclusion Zone, abandoning homes, schools, entire villages, and a way of […]
In 2010, I wrote a blog post for my personal website that I called “Teddy Bear Country,” in which I attempted to answer my daughter’s question: “Why are bears like babies?” She meant, why are bears so often portrayed in an infantile fashion, as in modern versions of “The Three Bears,” and the ubiquitous teddy […]
“According to Hindu belief, a thumb-sized being known as the innermost self or soul dwells in the heart of all humans and animals.”1 Hans Christian Andersen’s “Thumbelina” is believed to be an original tale, inspired by “Tom Thumb.” The tiny girl is not heroic in the sense that Tom Thumb is; he battles an ogre, and […]
Fiction writers and storytellers are forced to be aware of time because they must make it flow. If the story takes place during 24 hours or several hundred years, time must flow at a pace that can be experienced by the reader or listener. In action-packed stories, time passes like the beating of a drum, fast and furious, steady…and it’s over. In stillness, something different is experienced, and time can nearly be stopped.
An interview with British author and folklorist Katherine Langrish.
In the northern hemisphere, many of us are longing for the arrival of spring, and there are no more welcome heralds of spring than birds—the increased movements of those that braved the winter and the return of those that sought warmer lands for a time. Birds are enigmatic. They are wild animals and yet they […]
In April 2011, French designer Christian Louboutin sued American design house Yves Saint Laurent over the latter’s manufacture of red shoes with red soles. In his defense, Louboutin claimed that the use of red soles is his exclusive signature. The suit was thrown out of court, with Yves Saint Laurent lawyers claiming, “Red outsoles are […]
Sleep is something we fall into, long for, catch. Sleep steals us away from one place and takes us to the threshold of another. It appears to take us to the brink of death; it also sustains life. Asleep, we are innocent, unchallenging, receptive, renewed. Sleepless, we are restless, angry, aggressive, doomed. “Sleep that knits […]
This post is not about the base. With apologies to Meghan Trainor, it’s all about the treble. And by treble I mean the incredible, inescapable, inviolate rule of three. The rule of three is inviolate for copywriters (“Diamonds are forever”), incredible for comedy and television writers (there’s a reason why Modern Family features three family […]
Wolf is the devil, and wolf is the mother. Wolf is a threat to the sheep in the fold, and wolf is spirit guide, sometimes brother. Wolf represents the best and the worst of humanity. This could explain the prevalence of wolves not only in deep-time myths and legends but in the fairy tales that […]