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Category: Culture

Writing and Loneliness: Creativity, Joy, and Crisis

Posted in creativity, Culture, Truth, writing and creativity, and writing life

Writing, Loneliness, and Depression At first glance the subject of writing and loneliness may seem straightforward. But it’s more nuanced and complex than you realize. I have a vested interest in exploring this topic.  I suffer from periods of tormented loneliness, diagnosed as depression. The number and quality of friendships…

The Life and Work of Hans Christian Andersen: Lessons for Writers

Posted in Books for Kids, childhood, Childrens Books, Classics, creativity, Culture, discipline, fairy tales, famous authors, famous writers, Learning to Write, Literature, living the dream, making a living as a writer, motivation for writers, writer biographies, writers, writing life, and Writing Tips

Hans Andersen: Poet, Novelist, Storyteller A recent writing commission for a private client involved researching the life and work of Hans Christian Andersen, author of the world famous fairy tales. I was delighted to be paid to revisit his stories and learn a little more of his biography.…

Writers and Alcohol: Busting the Myth of the Booze and the Muse

Posted in alcohol, anxiety, creativity, Culture, drinking and writers, famous authors, famous writers, fear, self-doubt, writer biographies, writers, and writing life

 The Myth of the Tortured Genius In the popular imagination, there’s a potent link between writers and alcohol. The cultural myth portrays the emotionally tortured writer wrestling with his inner demons, wrenching words from his troubled soul; or the poet rapt by alcohol-induced ecstasy, feverishly penning lines of…

The Origins of Urban Fantasy in the Literature of Classical Antiquity

Posted in Classics, Culture, fairy tales, fantasy, Fiction, folklore, folkloric motifs, genre fiction, mythology, Paranormal Fantasy, Storytelling, symbolism, and Urban Fantasy

The Ancient Origins of Urban Fantasy I wonder how many readers of Urban Fantasy fiction, or any fantasy literature, know how ancient its origins are? In a previous post I suggested the genre began in the 1980s – nurtured by the writer and editor Terri Windling and inspired by…

What is Urban Fantasy? Monsters, Transgression, and Kicking Ass

Posted in book covers, Culture, fairy tales, fantasy, feminism, Fiction, folkloric motifs, genre fiction, Literature, mythology, Paranormal Fantasy, and Urban Fantasy

It All Started in the 1980s What is Urban Fantasy? While fantastical stories set in urban environments appear in 19th century literature (think of Bram Stoker’s Count Dracula in London or Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein) and even as far back as antiquity (consider the adventures recounted in Apuleius’s Golden Ass),…

The Medusa Myth and Its Meaning: the Real Story of Medusa

Posted in anthropology, Culture, feminism, folklore, folkloric motifs, medusa, mythology, symbolism, and Truth

Medusa, Monstrosity, and the Patriarchy The real story of Medusa may not be what you think it is. I remember reading the story of Medusa, or at least one version of it, in my father’s edition of Bullfinch’s Mythology when I was a child. I glanced over the story again when…

Why Do Adults Read YA Fiction? Should Adults be Embarrassed to Read YA?

Posted in Bigotry, Culture, Fiction, Literature, Rants, Reading, YA, and Young Adult

Many Adults Read YA Fiction This is quite a difficult post to write. Not because the answer to the questions, “why do adults read YA fiction?” and “should adults be embarrassed to read YA?” are difficult ones to answer, but rather because I can barely believe that anyone is still…