Showing posts from September, 2019

Reading Notes: Khasi, Week 6 Part B

I found the stories in Part B to be quite a bit darker in theme than Part A. I did enjoy the cleverness of some of the animals (finally the tiger gets to outsmart someone!), but overall I didn't enjoy the stories of Part B as much.  While Part A was relatable and easily transferable to modern day, this section seemed more like harsh creation stories and cautionary tales. Specifically the Leap of Ka Likai and What Caused the Shadows on the Moon with aspects of cannibalism and incest seemed to shock the conscious a little more than I am appreciate. Even though I did like the clear imagery of evil letting the darkness in that was so evident in What Caused the Shadows on the Moon. 
Overall, I still plan to model my story after one of the happier stories from Part A.

Reading Notes: Khasi, Week 6

I really enjoyed this week's reading. The Indian animals were far more descriptive and clever. I especially enjoyed The Tiger and the Monkeys. The story was clever and the premise was so relative to today.  I think it relates a lot to politicians and leaders of today that are so far removed from the "little guy" (or the little bug) that they don't understand what is happening at all on behalf of their constituents. It also points out the mistake in the way that "Kings" are chosen. The very thing that led to his being chosen was the crux of the deception that undid him. (The monkeys used his strength, and even hubris about his strength against him.) I will be thinking of a fun but socially relevant way to retell this story!

I also really really loved the The Legend of the lei Tree. The imagery and symbolism of the malevolent shadow was so rich! It also sparked creative ideas about recreating the story. It hasn't fully coalesced in my head, which means it…

Topic Research: Lessons from the dead

To complete my research books, I've chosen the following stories.

The first is from ancient Egypt. The story is broken--literally found on broken pieces of pottery--but there is enough to put together the story of a ghost haunting a man because of the deterioration of his tomb. Once the proper respects were paid to the tomb, the ghost was able to rest.

The next story is my favorite because of the twist. It is Celtic and begins with the death of a very well loved and respected woman of the community. Upon her death, her many good, selfless deeds are celebrated and masses are held in her honor. Her spirit haunts the living because her good deeds were not selfless. Her "charity" in life was given to bring good reputation rather than out of honest intentions. Therefore, the girls she haunts has the duty of setting the record straight and ruining the woman's good name so that she can rest.


Storybook Plan

I would like to explore ghost stories from around the world. Specifically, I would like to explore what makes a ghost. Whether it is unresolved issues on the part of the deceased, burial rites forgone, etc. I want to look at the attitude of the peoples toward the process of getting to the afterlife through looking at occasions of the failures to do so. 
I found some interesting articles that will definitely help with my research:
I hope to create a fun site with a creepy vibe. Personally, I want to improve my creative, descriptive story telling, so I will try to make the stories as chilly as possible. 

Comment Wall

For my project, I've chosen to do s storybook about ghost stories from around the world.

As it progresses you can find the StoryBook here, and please leave me comments on this post. I welcome your criticism and ideas! 

Week 4 Story: A Cardinal fights the Wind

A Cardinal Fights the Wind
The tiny bird waited, trembling within the tenuous shelter of the trees larger branches, for the air around her to calm. She knew this storm was too powerful; she knew the safe thing would be to wait through the storm. Still, every fiber of her being itched with need—her babies were waiting, hungry and scared—she had no choice but to be brave and fight this wind.

As she struggled, sometimes being carried backwards a greater distance than she had traveled, she noticed the terrible wails around her. The wind was howling. The wind! The very thing that stood in her way, fighting her and beating her more and more with each stroke of her wings, had the gall to whine and complain. How brazen it was! She with her simple purpose had to battle to every inch, but she did so in silence. How dare the wind put up such a fuss!
But she would be strong! She would hold fast to her the small meal in her beak and bring it home to those who needed her. With pride and tenacity,…

Reading Notes: Aesop's Winters, Part A

Apparently, I mess up last week. Rather than doing Aesop's Jacobs Part A & B, I did Part A of Aesops, and then moved on to Adam and Eve, which I was supposed to do this week. No worries; I shall do more Aesops this week. And since I was very much not excited by Jacob's translation of Aesop's, I decided to take a look at Winters. I hope this was ok.


I really enjoyed Winters' versions of the fables. It included a little more detail, description, and maybe a little poetic license. I also thought the morals were better written and therefore more relatable.

I particularly enjoyed the Oxen and the Wheels. Even though animals don't talk and so it should not be too much of a stretch of the imagination to personify the wheels, it still through an extra layer of fun into the story. I can also relate strongly to the moral of "they complain most who suffer least" through my years in the workplace. I may try to retell this story with an office spin. :)


Topic Research

So, after the feedback from Laura and others, I decided to take a closer look into the jaguars of the Olmec and the Maya. It was the wrong call.

It turns out that I am not a huge fan of the jaguar stories of the Mesoamerican peoples. I think I suggested it because I like jaguars, but the stories of transformations and, even worse, copulation between the species are just not as appealing to me. As this project promises to take up a great deal of my time over the course of the semester and will be the only creative endeavor (as the rest of my classes are IT related), I would like to choose a topic that appeals to me a little more than this one.

I plan to spend some time early this week exploring the ghost stories of the world. Hopefully, I will find better options. Nonetheless, please find the links to the sources that I read in order to come to this conclusion.

Thank you, Laura, for the links to the animal fables of the Amazon including the jaguar. Diigo links.
I enjoyed these stories,…

Reading Notes: Adam & Eve, Part B

For the second part of this weeks reading, I chose to focus on the First Book of Adam and Eve from the Forgotten Book of Eden anthology. I chose poorly. While this may very much be an un-Christian thing to say, I found the text and the message to be overly repetitive and boring. One could easily believe that the repetition is designed to drive home the overriding message of the text, it seems to me that in the last few thousands of years of translations, the message gets lost as the reader begins to distance himself from the "hero" to which he is suppose to relate.

As a religious text, it's intention it to instruct, not to entertain. So it stands to reason that the message should be plain and irrefutable. The intention of these passages was to convey the message that Adam and Eve have sinned against God and must now face the consequences. That seems a simple concept. But in this text, we are left rehashing the same things over and over again.

Adam wept and smote, because…

Reading Notes: Aesop's Fables (Jacobs), Part A

Part A of this selection of Aesop's fables included a few tales of Lions, Foxes, Asses, Hares, Deer and others. Each story was extremely brief with very plain morals spelled out for the reader.

Certain common themes jumped out at me, such as Appearances/Disguises vs. Reality (Wolf in Sheep's Clothing, Ass in Lion's skin, Fox and the Mask, and Dog and Shadow), Security/Safety vs. Greed (Town Mouse & Country Mouse, Horse and Ass, Dog and Shadow), and how the weak will return to prey on the fallen (The sick Lion, The Wolf and the Kid).

I am surprised at the brevity and simplicity of these stories. I expected (and I suppose hoped for) more substance to the story with more details. These are extremely short with only the most relevant details mentioned.

I am also curious about the translations and the differences between them. For example, In the Fox and the Lion, one moral is "Familiarity breeds contempt" and the other is simply "Familiarity destroys fear.&q…

Feedback Thoughts

In "Why It's So hard to Hear Negative Feedback" the author, Herrera, discusses the physical reaction we experience when hearing negative feedback, but I think he overlooks the emotional response. In any project, large or small, we tend to think of our product as a piece of ourselves. This makes it difficult to separate negative feedback regarding our work from insults to our very person. I know I experienced this powerfully when I was working on writing a novel. I found that I would become very defensive of each part of the work. The closer I was to the reader (and the more that person's opinion meant to me), the more it hurt me. I learned that I needed to distance myself from the work in order to allow it to grow. And as the piece grew better, I grew to be a better writer. Feedback was vital to that process once I was able to distance myself from the emotional response.

Regarding the emotional response, I have witnessed co-workers exemplify this process. One co-work…

Week 2: Topic Brainstorm

There are so many possible topics to choose from, that even this brainstorming assignment is a little intimidating.

My favorite topics in studying ancient literature has always been finding similar themes or  topics from all around the world and seeing the different perspectives.

In keeping with that idea, I was drawn to the idea of studying Ghost Stories. More specifically looking at the different ways that people from different cultures throughout history view and prepare for the afterlife. I would specifically like to look at early examples of Ghosts stories. Source: Ghost Stories

Likewise, it could be fun to choose an animal and examine depictions and descriptions of that animal throughout history and across cultures. I once wrote a short story that I always imagined someday turning into a novel. The story touched on the jaguar shamans and were-jaguars in the mesoamerican cultures, like the Mayans. This could be a great opportunity to learn more about these stories and try to make…