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Salt Lane witches, wagons and ditches

In my 2013 speculative fiction novel, Rupetta (2013), Henri, a history student, completes a small thesis after undertaking research into the lives of a pair of women know as the Salt Lane Witches. This post provides a few little tidbits of the intertextual backstory that went into the (re)writing of those characters and their (fairy) … Continue reading

Author : nike

The Wishing Bone Cycle

Recently, I posted my personal mixtape of fairytale and folklore selections: an eccentric list of fairy tales, folktales and other works, inspired (in the collating) by the eccentric collecting and publishing strategies of Andrew Lang. The list includes the poem/song below, which was included in The Wishing Bone Cycle: Narrative Poems from … Continue reading

Author : nike
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sixty-eight (burn)

Our father coming in from the garden, or us going out to stand in the weedy patch of rhubarb and watch him cut, with a knife we were sure grew bloodier with each cut, the long pink stalks. The exact gesture with which he gathered the poisonous leaves in one … Continue reading

Author : nike

sixty-seven (The wise and foolish virgins)

The parable of the ten virgins (also known as the parable of the wise and foolish virgins) was enormously popular during the Middle Ages. There are sculptures of the virgins in many French and German cathedrals, including the Notre Dame de Paris and Strasbourg Cathedral. Bach’s chorale cantata Wachet auf, ruft uns … Continue reading

Author : nike

sixty-six (torchlight)

Last weekend, I had the enormous privilege of being part of a writer’s event with Kylie Kaden. During Kylie’s interview, she spoke about being a pantser, rather than a plotter, and used the metaphor of driving at night with your headlights on, or walking through the forest with a torch, as a … Continue reading

Author : nike

sixty-five (sarasponda)

In 1747 the oldest daughter of a family named Valter had a child, a little girl, who died before her ninth birthday. Nobody remembers what she died of, or why she became a ghost, but there are various stories. Oma told my mother that she believed it was something to do with … Continue reading

Author : nike
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sixty-four (1986/suffering machines)

The year of the fire tiger, which should mean that you rise upward: your energy is expansive. Halley’s comet reached its perihelion (its closest point to the sun), during its second visit to our solar system of the last 100 years. Bob Hawke was prime minister, and looked a lot … Continue reading

Author : nike

sixty-three (Actias luna)

The boat slowed and eased towards the shore. The torch that the captain was holding illuminated the truck on the shore and the waiting men, each of them holding a rifle. The soldiers were surrounded by enormous moths, with white wings, their wings flashing reflected light. A magical cloud, attracted to the … Continue reading

Author : nike

sixty-two (tongue. key)

I was born by the side of the road in a year nobody remembers. Meaning not that nobody remembers that year, but that nobody who was there when I was born recorded the fact of my birth, or recalls it, or is still alive. Except for my sister. I don’t … Continue reading

Author : nike

Wind Knots and the Polychronicon

The Polychronicon is a chronicle of the British Isles, written by Ranulf Higden (c. 1280-1364), a Benedictine monk of the monastery of St. Werburgh in Chester. Ranulf apparently travelled throughout the north of Great Britain after becoming a monk in 1299, when he was just nineteen years old. The Polychronicon is a work in seven books (in imitation of … Continue reading

Author : nike
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