Week 04 Story: Gathering of the Year

Gathering of the Year

    Emity turned off the sidewalk into an alleyway lit brightly from the strung lanterns overhead. The painted black door of the coffee shop stood proudly at the end. H A V E N was stamped in big, bold golden lettering. The brass doorknob was cool against her slightly translucent fingertips.
    She opened the door and walked in. Soft piano music accompanied by the clatter of dishes and quiet murmuring of patrons wrapped around Emity. The last home for her kind welcomed her back. Patrons ranging from spirits, like her, to duwendes to nagas to dullahans sat at tables near windows or at the bar. Most were enjoying the food and drink the cafe had to offer. Emity chose a table apart from the other patrons and sat facing the door. Minutes later a large man with thick black hair and a pencil mustache trundled through the door. His chin was held high with his shoulders back in a way screaming, "I'm better than you!" Emity kept her eyes wide and transfixed. S…

Reading Notes: Week 04 "Jewish Fairy Tales" Part B

Ghost. Artie Navarre. (Source: Pixabay)
My favorite story from the Part B readings was "The Higgldey-Piggledy Palace." The "Fairy Frog" was a distant second because of how Adam was incorporated. Plus, my curiosity was piqued when the frog said "fairy son." What's the difference between a son and a fairy son?
    Anyway. The Palace story is about how a spirit helps Sarah get away from becoming part of the pharaoh's harem. As the story goes, when Abraham and Sarah fled to Egypt, the king saw her and was so taken by her beauty he immediately desired her as a wife. Fearing he would imprison or kill Abraham for being her husband, Sarah said Abraham was her brother.
    The pharaoh paid for Sarah and separated her from Abraham. They both prayed for her deliverance from the pharaoh. Help came in the form of a ghost!
    Every time the pharaoh would make his moves on Sarah, the ghost hit him with a stick. He could not see the ghost and to anyone not who was n…

Reading Notes: Week 04 "Jewish Fairy Tales" Part A

For week 04, I chose to read the Jewish Fairy Tale unit. The Classic units didn't particularly interest me as I've read them before, and since I read the Women Saints unit I wanted to read something different. Of the six stories in Part A, "The Beggar King" was my favorite.
    This one interested me the most because of the genie and how his magic operated. From what I've heard online and come across in brief searches, the genie in Middle Eastern folklore is seen as a demon and force of evil.
    However, in this story, the genie is sent to teach people who disrespect the Scripture a lesson. This brings up several questions for me.
In Jewish folklore, are all genies like this?Is it just this specific genie who is sent to reprimand people?Is it his punishment?Does he do this willingly?Is this the job he chose/signed up for/was created for?Can he only impersonate men? What about women?Is there a separate genie for the women?How do his powers work? He's not the us…

Feedback Strategies

Giving and receiving feedback are necessary skills in everything. Learning to give feedback well can make someone feel good about what they've accomplished and can help them look forward to their improvement. Learning to receive and differentiate between good and bad feedback can lead to improvements in self-confidence and can help the receiver consider good feedback while not always accepting it.    Although feedback certainly can be strictly opinion or a series of facts, I think good feedback is a mixture of both.    The first article I read was "How to Give Feedback Without Being a Jerk" by Adam Grant from Next Big Idea Club.
    I clicked on this article because, honestly, I'm always a little paranoid my feedback will come off as rude no matter how nice I try to sound. (Unless I know you very well.) This article left me very....whelmed. It wasn't exactly what I had been looking for, but it also had some good points.
    Grant separates his article into two …

Topic Research: Baba Yaga

Baba Yaga, from Vasilisa the Beautiful 5. Ivan Bilibin. 1900. (Source: Wikimedia Commons) For my topic, I've chosen stories around the Russian folktale figure Baba Yaga. Most of the popular stories focus on her being either a child-eater or an all-ages cannibal. However, there are some stories where she is portrayed as more of a morally ambiguous character and in one story even a really good guy. I think those stories are much more interesting.    Probably the most interesting thing about the character is she is sometimes portrayed as not one person but a trio of sisters! This is the main detail I want to carry over to my storybook with each story being a different triplet with a different personality.
    The first story is the main Baba Yaga story in The Project Gutenberg EBook of Russian Fairy Tales, by W. R. S. Ralston. This story is about a girl who's father marries an abusive woman who turns out to be a sister of Baba Yaga (although strangely doesn't look like her at a…

Week 03 Story: The Descendant

The Descendent    Margot, of being pure in chastity and of unshakeable faith, called upon the saints of her line, upon the angels, upon the protection of Jesu Christ. For her faith she was rewarded and thus feared none and sought to purify corruption. Not to give sway to any inner desires of pride, she grieved for lost souls whom she herself was not meant to save. She drew comfort in another being able to succeed where she failed.     She walked the streets of the city, feeling the great Evil festering in every shadow. The scourging clean of this city would be difficult work.     The first six weeks of her visit yielded no fruit. No eyes nor ears nor hearts would break their shells of stone to believe.
    Yet Margot in faith did not wane. Twelve times a day, twelve times a night she would weep in pleading to the Lord to enable her to save the city for Him.
And at once in the evening of the third day of the seventh week, Provost Charys saw Margot fully enshrined in her mourning cloth. Cha…

Reading Notes: Week 03 "Women Saints" Part B

Saint Martha    If S. Juliana had all the chill, and S. Margaret had no chill, where does that leave S. Martha? I think it leaves her somewhere in the middle leaning toward S. Juliana. She is aggressive enough to see a dragon, the Tarasque, eating a man and whip out a crucifix with no hesitation. She's also calm enough to keep it frozen there, while the townspeople kill it.     S. Martha takes one look at this giant amalgamation of a dragon who shoots flaming excrement out of its butt just munching away on another person and has the presence to know she can stun and hold it there while everyone else helps her.
    If she wanted to, I believe she could've slain the Tarasque all on her own, but her prayer was only to restrain it. I think she let the townspeople kill it to help heal the grief they had from the Tarasque's reign.
    While she didn't hold a conversation with it, she was more of a passive actor in the encounter with the dragon.
    (I like to imagine all these …