Hope you all had a great Halloween, whether you partied, passed out candy, binged Stranger Things, went to a haunted house or a ghost tour, marched in a Halloween parade, danced in the grove, or spent a quiet night at home. And who says the fun has to be over? You can curl up with a spine-tingling tale of the ghostly and the Gothic long after all the candy has been eaten and the zombie make-up has been washed away. Halloween may be over, but the dark half of the year is here to stay and it brings with it no shortage of superstitions or the supernatural. Continue reading →
The fairies be out that night and they would take you away with them if you were out at that evil time. It is also said that the devil shakes his budges [fur] on the haws and turns them black and according to the old people if you eat a haw after Hallow Eve night you will have no luck (qtd in “Halloween in Irish Folklore”).
“It was Gate Night, the night before All Hallows’ Eve. Distant memories of the old stories nagged at me. During All Hallows’ Eve the veil between the world of the living and the word beyond was lifted. Our world and their world all blurred together like ink running on a page in my old primer when we schoolgirls would try to run home in the rain, shrieking and splashing up mud all the way.”
–Beneath Blair Mountain
A mix of folklore from the Old and New World, Beneath Blair Mountain makes a great read for Halloween, Samhain, or Día de Los Muertos. Find it on Amazon and Goodreads.
Great news! I’m participating in the Summer Writing Project, a collaboration between JukePop, which is revitalizing the serial, and Black Hill Press, which publishes the long-neglected shortform that is the novella. What does this mean? Well, it means that you can read my novella, Beneath Blair Mountain, as I update it serially all summer. Continue reading →
Happy St. Patrick’s Day! In keeping with my last post about soda bread, here’s a poem that seemed fitting to share on such a holiday as this. This poem began quite randomly. A box of barley went missing in the apartment. Poof. Gone. I searched everywhere to no avail. As no one had eaten it and it’s not like someone would break in just to steal half a box of barley, I jokingly blamed the trolls. I’m a mythology major, I do that. Continue reading →
I decided to try my hands at soda bread this week, since I didn’t know what else to do for St. Patrick’s Day, except my yearly rant about all the things we get wrong about St. Patrick’s Day, how St. Patrick wasn’t even Irish, how nobody in America seems to know the Republic of Ireland from Northern Ireland or even Ireland from Scotland, and how St. Brigid was more important for most of Irish history anyway. I vote we all get together on St. Brigid’s Feast Day and eat butter. Lots of butter. So much butter.
But I’m really tired of harping on that every year. So, instead, I put on my Irish/Irish American folk music Pandora station and press-ganged my boyfriend into helping me make soda bread. Continue reading →
To be honest, St. Patrick’s Day kind of stresses me out. Between the stereotypes, inaccuracies and downright falsehoods perpetuated about the Irish and the holiday itself, I end up feeling like I’m drowning in a sea of wrong. However, as I am merely an Irish American (and not all Irish at that) and do not speak the language (though I own several books on it in the eternal hope that I will remedy this), I end up feeling like the worst little pseudo-oppressed hipster when I try to correct or complain about anything, even if I have studied Irish history and mythology. And once danced in a Killarney pub with fellow Bound & Gagged banned books blogger, Hannah.
Today is St. Patrick’s Day. For many around the world, especially here in America, that means shamrock Mardi Gras beads, pub crawling, and a drunken bacchanalia in the name of one’s Irish heritage. This is largely due to the fact that the Irish, whether because of famine, occupation, or genocide, are a diasporic people with descendants scattered worldwide. However, it is a pet peeve of many how little people claiming Irish heritage know about Ireland, its history, its politics, or its impact on the world. For example, while getting feedback on a story set in Ireland, hardly anyone in my college level writing workshop group knew the difference between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.