Friday, January 08, 2010

Winter Tales

It's winter, for real. It snowed again yesterday, the third (or fourth?) time since Christmas. The current temperature is 4 degrees Fahrenheit, with a windchill of -12 (that's -16 Celsius, windchill -24).

This is the perfect time to put another log in the wood stove, start a batch of bread and set it to rise, make a simple soup that will simmer on the regular stove, and haul the laptop into the living room for story research. I alternate between actual books and the Internet. The books in my stack at the moment are four collections of Bulgarian stories and one collection from Italy, all from the University library. I'm especially interested in two of the Bulgarian books, which are recent publications of folktales.

As for the Internet, here are a few sites I like to dip into:
This is storyteller Jackie Baldwin's labor of love. On the SOS page she has collected references to stories from the Storytell listserv. There are full-text stories, bare bones stories, suggestions of books, songs and poems, and ideas for programs. Jackie not only provides this service, but she also has a weekly Story Lover's World radio show on KSVY-FM, 91.3 in Sonoma CA.

Professor D. L. Ashliman has done storytellers an incredible service in pulling together texts from many cultures. He began putting this up on the Internet in 1996, before many storytellers were even online.

Project Gutenberg has provided full texts of thousands of books in the public domain. These books have been digitized by volunteers. I know my friend Batsy has done some of them--thanks, Batsy! The Andrew Lang books are some of my favorites on this site. I even found some of my great-grandfather William Douw Lighthall's books on Project Gutenberg.

Not only are there full-text stories on Sur La Lune, there's a very active discussion board about the stories. Very fun to dig around here!

This is "the largest freely available archive of online books about religion, mythology, folklore and the esoteric on the Internet." I've had a great time noodling around on this site.

These are only a few of my favorite story sites. There are, of course, zillions more. Enough for a lifetime of winter days.


Deb said...

Nice to envision you sitting by the stove with a mug of tea, your laptop, and a stack of books. Stay warm, and keep that brain moving!

Anonymous said...

It sounds like an ideal way to research in warmth. And how about the telephone?

The books sound captivating. Have you access to the University Library, then?

W.D.Lighthall is a good place to start. His friend, .. Kennedy, collected many Indian tales into books. I read them in Westmount.

PriscillaHowe said...

Yes, Mom, the telephone is within easy reach.

The library allows residents to borrow books for a yearly fee. I just renewed my card, because there was a good deal if I did so before the middle of January when the rates go up. I'm allowed to borrow books for 6 weeks at a time, and I can renew them online. Easy!

Anonymous said...

Happy New Year & Happy Noodling!