Another Project, and Storytime Fridays
I post about a lot of projects on here, don’t I? There’s my ongoing Get Paid for Writing Something project, my Start a Video Production Company project, and…huh. Actually that’s all the projects I can think of. Besides the Get Better at Writing project, but that’s just the blog itself (you’ll probably feel shortchanged if you click that link). Oh! And the Write a Successful Webcomic project. You can’t forget about that.
Well anyway, there’s a new project I’m working on I want to talk to you all about. This may be more interesting than my other projects for most of you because it will directly affect this blog. But before I get into that, let’s lay down some background.
I love stories. I love them a lot. I love books, I love movies, I love comics, and I love roleplaying games; all because deep down I simply like reading and telling stories. I especially enjoy folklore, mythology, and legends from around the world. There’s something special about picking through an old, old story that has been passed on for hundreds (sometimes thousands) of years from storyteller to storyteller. So when I discovered Scandinavian Folk and Fairy Tales while picking through a yard sale three years ago I had to buy it right away. I’m ¼ Scandinavian myself, and I’ve always loved the old Norse myths. I was eager to hear the folklore of my ancestral homeland. What’s more is that this book was thick. 666 pages, and (which now seems very ominous; you would think they would have put in one extra page, just to be safe) and the cover featured a haunting and enchanted illustration that immediately drew my eye (you can check it out here if you like).
The book took a long time to read through. It definitely wasn’t written for children, and some of the references and old phrases went over my head. But there was real good stuff in here, stuff I’d never heard of before. I proudly put it on my bookshelf in a place of honor. It seemed a little lonely up there, surrounded by sci-fi novels and textbooks. That’s when I decided to build a collection of books on folklore from around the world. So far I’m doing fairly well. I have books on Scandinavian, Greek, and American folk tales, and a friend of mine just lent me a book of Russian legends and epics. I’m sure my collection will grow with time.
With that in mind let’s move back to about five months ago. I was a bit lost, looking for some way to improve my writing ability and also make a little money. Basically the same thing I’m trying to do now, only without a blog. I needed a writing project; but what would I write? Around the same time I started flipping through my Scandinavian folktales again, just for the fun of it. As I read through The Man Whale (an interesting story from Iceland, look it up sometime) I decided that someday I wanted to read some of these tales to my children. Of course I’d have to fix them up a bit; make the violence a little less graphic, and change the more difficult words to more understandable equivalents. I’d have to pick out the tales most suitable for children and then rewrite them, preserving the original story as much as possible. That’s when it hit me.
I can do that right now. This is the writing project I needed.
And now we come to today. I am (slowly) turning the old Scandinavian folktales into children’s bedtime stories. My plan is to pick out three to five good stories, rewrite them, and then collect them into a book. I called my artist friend Zingallsartman (who already turns my words into fantastic images for SLOPAN) and he agreed to draw the illustrations for me. Once my book was finished I could shop it around at some publishers. If nobody wanted it I could always try self-publishing (which is easier and easier to do as e-books become more popular). If the first one worked out okay I could create a whole series of children’s storybooks, each based on a different culture’s folklore. Scandinavian, American, Russian, Indian, Irish, British, French…every culture in the world has folk and fairy stories. The possibilities are endless.
Sadly with all my other projects going on I haven’t made much progress. I picked out three stories to start with, and I only have 1/3 of one of them rewritten. Since then I’ve stalled out, mostly because work, the blog, video editing, and working on the webcomic have eaten up all my free time. So I’m announcing a new feature. Every Friday on the blog here I’m going to post a section of my rewritten folk tales. They’ll be up for your critique and enjoyment and it will give me the opportunity to keep working on the project. So you can look forward to your first taste of Scandinavian lore on Friday. If everyone hates them I’ll go back to regular philosophical posting on Fridays, but for now this seems like a good idea to me.