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Showing posts from April, 2017

Have a Grimm Earth Day (and World Book Day) with Kilian Schönberger Photography

Kilian Schönberger is a German landscape photographer who takes glorious nature shots in many lands. He recently released a book showcasing the results of his "Brothers Grimm Homeland" project to capture the moods of the settings of German folk myths, sagas, legends, and fairy tales.


Sagenhaftes Deutschland: Eine Reise zu Mythischen Orten (Fabulous Germany: A Trip though Mythical Places) is now available for purchase to adorn your coffee table.

Kilian also posts gorgeous photos online to pretty up the internet. Just gazing at one of these shots for a few seconds de-stresses and inspires me while I'm working on the computer.

Earth Day is April 22, and World Book Day is April 23. It's fine to explore the beauty of nature and literature online, but also be sure to hug a live tree and read a dead one this week!

The Magic Nutshell in a Novel

I have begun outlining a new novel, featuring the magic nutshell, the folkloric object for which this blog is named.


My new project is historical fiction, not fantasy, though it will draw from folktale traditions, like The Grove of Thorismud. My new work will not be a retelling of well-known fairy tales that have passed through the Disney canon, and the only "magic" in the story will be the wonder found within the chaos of ordinary life. Although the setting will be similar, I'm painting it with a different palette.

This story will be a brother-sister transformation journey along 11th century trade routes between the Baltic Sea and the Silk Road, from the wilds near Prague to Constantinople. The main characters will be runaway children on a "road trip" via water. Its plot and characters will draw from folkloric gender-twins "Allerleirauh" (German) and "The Widow's Son" (Norse), with elements of overlapping tales "Princess Mouseskin&…

Taking Several Seats

When I was an honors student, I learned to pay attention by talking. If that sounds counter-intuitive, it is. I was so sleep-deprived in high school that I knew I would fall asleep if I had to listen to someone else talk for more than a few minutes at a time, so I stayed awake by participating relentlessly. I asked questions, spouted off random opinions, and argued jovially with teachers and other students. The strategy served me well, especially in honors English, where word count earns points, independent of content quality. (Of course, this extends into some realms of university academia, with hilarious/infuriating results.)

After my junior year, I managed to score a bullsh*t senior year when I took only one real high school class along with some community college courses. Sometime during that year, I re-learned how to listen. I remember realizing, somehow, that I was becoming insufferable in conversation. And once I had succeeded at eliminating busywork and dramallamas from my eve…