Storyfox Update! Poetry

This week’s third installment of Storyfox is poetic. Much gratitude to David Lunde, Gwynne Garfinkle, and Sonya Taaffe for pointing me towards these pieces. For those who have contributed in the past, see the collectors page. Want to see your name there? Send me foxes!

Another update will occur tomorrow, tying up the loose ends of this week’s massive update to the database.

Check out all of STORYFOX: a Database of Vulpine Science Fiction and Fantasy here!

As always, if you have anything to add, you can contact me here and on twitter.


Storyfox, poetry update (SO MANY POEMS. And there are more to come.)

Mike Allen
~”Hungry Constellations” (Hungry Constellations, 2014)
~”The Fox Smiled, Famished“: (Goblin Fruit #31, 2013)

Amal El-Mohtar and Nicole Kornher-Stace
~”The Maiden to the Fox Did Say” (Lone Star Stories #32, 2009)

Neil Gaiman
~”The White Road” (Ruby Slippers, Golden Tears, William Morrow & Company, 1995)

Theodora Goss
~”The Fox Wife“(, 2013)

Yoon Ha Lee
~”Foxfeast” (Mythic Delirium 0.2, 2013)

Jeannine Hall Gailey
~”The Animal Heart: She Warns Him” (Mythic Delirium #21, 2009)

Samantha Henderson
~”Queen Elizabeth and the Fox” (Goblin Fruit #5, 2007)

Ted Hughes
~”The Thought Fox” (Faber and Faber; The Hawk in the Rain, 1957)

Sandi Leibowitz
~”Unmasking” (Mythic Delirium 0.4, 2014)

Rose Lemberg
~”A body that is bold to come” (Goblin Fruit #27, 2012)

David Lunde
~”Not Thinking of a Fox” (The Louisville Review #63, 2008; Instead, 2007)

Alex Dally MacFarlane
~”Sister” (Through the Gate #1, 2012)
~”In the Sun-Sweet Desert” (Goblin Fruit #27, 2012)
~ “The Jar-Mouthed Fennec” (Goblin Fruit #17, 2010)

Mari Ness
~”Petals“(Bull Spec #6, 2011)

Jamieson Ridenhour
~”Foxes” (Strange Horizons, 2011)

J.C. Runolfson
~”Kumiho” ((Going Going) GONE, 2009)

Mary A. Turzillo
~”The Shrine at Fushimi Inari” (Goblin Fruit #17, 2010)

Storyfox Update! Novels and Music

Second Storyfox update of the week, this time novels and music. Thanks again go to Sonya Taaffe for her many suggestions, and to Judy Guttormsen. In case you missed it, I’ve added a collectors page, where you can see who’s contributed to the database. Want to see your name there? Send me foxes!

Come back tomorrow for lots and lots of poetry.

Check out all of STORYFOX: a Database of Vulpine Science Fiction and Fantasy here!

As always, if you have anything to add, you can contact me here and on twitter.


STORYFOX, novel update:

Larissa Lai
~When Fox Is a Thousand (Press Gang, 1995)

Andre Norton
~The White Jade Fox (Dutton, 1975)

Victor Pelevin
~The Sacred Book of the Werewolf (Eksmo, 2005)

Susan Cooper
~The Grey King (Chatto & Windus and Atheneum, 1975)

Richard Garnett
~Lady into Fox (Chatto & Windus, 1922)

Dennis L. McKiernan
~Voyage of the Fox Rider (Roc, 1993)


STORYFOX, music update:

The Fox” Ylvis (TVNorge, 2013)

The Old Bitch Fox

Revontulet” Sonata Arctica (Spinefarm, 2001)

Reynardine” (traditional ballad)

Räven” Hedningarna (Resistencia, 1994)





Storyfox update! (Short Fiction and a Novella)

This week will be full of foxes. Thanks especially to Sonya Taaffe (who sent me beautiful, giant, numbers of fox poetry, fiction, and music), Storyfox has grown considerably since its tail first swept the interskies. Thanks also are owed to Gwynne Garfinkle, who recommended a couple pieces, as well. I’ve added a collectors page, where you can see who’s contributed to the database. Want to see your name there? Send me foxes!

Because of the huge inundation of stories, I’ve broken this update into about six separate posts. Today, we have short fiction and novellas. (Well, a novella.)

Check out all of STORYFOX: a Database of Vulpine Science Fiction and Fantasy here!

As always, if you have anything to add, you can contact me here and on twitter.

STORYFOX, short fiction updates:

Christopher Barzak
~”A Thousand Tails” (Firebirds Soaring, Viking, 2009)

Mary Gentle
~”Kitsune” (Odyssey #5, 1998)

Yoon Ha Lee
~”The Youngest Fox” (2014)
~”The Red Braid” (2013)
~ “The Fox’s Tower” (2010)
~”The Fox’s Forest“(2010)
~”Nine Tails, Hundred Hearts” (Fantasy Magazine #2, 2006)

Caitlín R. Kiernan (also on livejournal)
~”pas-en-arrière” (Sirenia Digest #5, April 2006)
~”The Sphinx’s Kiss” (Sirenia Digest #14, January 2007)

Meredith L. Patterson
~”Pale Foxes” (Strange Horizons, 2001)

Loren Rhoads
~”The Fox and the Foreigner” (Not One of Us #38, 2007)

Brittany Warman
~”‘Kitsune’, Fox” (Jabberwocky #7, 2011)

STORYFOX, novella updates:

D.H. Lawrence
~”The Fox” (The Dial, 1922) (also a film)

Applying for the Creative Writing MFA: the Statement of Purpose

Last year, I applied to twelve masters programs (eleven in creative writing, fiction, and one in folklore). I was rejected by five, waitlisted by one, and accepted by six. I’m currently working on my masters in folklore at the University of Oregon. I don’t have much time at the moment, but maybe in the next couple of days, I’ll muse upon my writing process and probably post other application materials. Till then, have some statement of purposes.

As you’ll see, they’re all quite similar. But by reading and considering them en masse, you’ll see how I tweaked each statement for each program.

The rejections:

The waitlist:

The acceptances:

Mastering Folklore (as best as can be done) pt i: The Application: Statement of Academic Objectives

Mastering Folklore (as best as can be done) pt i: The Application: Statement of Academic Objectives

Writing this post feels unreal. Writing about applying for grad school when I’m ten hours away from starting my third week of my masters is a strange, estranged thing. A reminder of how I’ve shifted (in time and place and self), and of how stress always shifts along with the shifting–and how I’m actually pretty decent at handling stress. For the most apart.

At any rate, to relieve some of your stress (assuming you’re a potential grad applicant to a folklore or creative writing MFA program [though I imagine this information could be potentially useful to any applicant]), I’ve decided to post some of my applications materials. Don’t steal them, don’t copy them. You’ll be found out if you do, and you’ll look very stupid, and very rejected.

Instead, use them to learn–probably mostly what not to do. But maybe what to do as well. I didn’t get into every single program I applied to, but of the twelve programs I applied to, I was rejected by five, waitlisted by one, and accepted by six. Not terrible, I guess. Others have done better, and less better. We’re all were we are.

All the above, briefly mentioned, programs were creative writing MFA programs, except for one in folklore–the University of Oregon’s folklore program, which I’m attending at this very moment. In the coming weeks, I’ll be posting more info and application material and thoughts about all my applications, but I figured I’d begin with the program I’m actually in.

So without any further worded procrastination, I give you…a statement of academic objectives, written for the University of Oregon’s Folklore program’s application requirements. (Click the link for a pdf, or just read it below.)


University of Oregon—Folklore Master’s, General Folklore Track

Statement of Academic Objectives


I never imagined myself living in Montana. The hungry skies, earth so dry it crackles, the smoke in August—it’s terrifying to a girl born and raised in Washington, whose skin splits and bleeds when the air isn’t damp enough. And yet here I am, living beneath a hill dry and yellow as an old scapula, while my partner goes to graduate school. There’s no place for me to hide in the Bitterroot. But this self-imposed hermitage gave me something I never had in or outside of my time as an undergraduate—the space and silence to examine myself, and the perspective to realize what has always driven me: folklore.

Whether I’m drumming in my neofolk metal band, Felled, or writing short fiction and novels, the bones of folklore have always been present in my art. But I know now that presence isn’t enough—I need to go deeper. I need knowledge and awareness—I need a Master’s in Folklore. I want to study folklore from a theoretical perspective to delve further into my own art, to create work with more meaning, relevance, and nuance. Through these studies, I hope to become more sensitive to the world, and humanity’s folkloric distillation of existence—and to take this learning and share it with the larger communities of my artistic disciplines.

I graduated from Fairhaven College with an interdisciplinary degree in Percussive Wordcraft and Narrative Drumming, an exploration of writing and percussing with more empathy—using rhythm and sound to make my words tactile, story to deepen my music. Beyond school, I published a number of short stories and poems (many of them driven by folklore), lead writing workshops, taught high school percussion sections, and instructed undergraduate music students in a recording studio. Late this autumn, I finished a short piece of fiction titled For Hunger She Goes into the Forest, a feminist subversion of Little Red Riding Hood; not long after, I wrote The Eggs We Ate in Winter, a story in conversation both with the 1990s music subculture of Norwegian black metal, as well as a quieter dialogue with Koschei the Deathless, of Slavic lore.   My most recent musical endeavors have also spoken directly to (and of) folklore—my band’s newest album, Winterwheel, is a modern exploration of seasonal ritual, through the lense of ancient Anglo-Saxon Paganism.

I want to continue approaching these themes and lines of research in my art, but also attack them from an academic perspective in graduate school. I’m interested in studying the intersections between folktales and myth, and the literature of the fantastic—especially science fiction; in particular, I want to focus on gender roles and cultural appropriation in this sphere, as well as the fan cultures of fantastic media, and the creations that stem from them (specifically, fan fiction, art, and video). Beyond this, however, I’m also interested in the use of mythology in the established musical genre of folk metal, and the evolution of black metal—from its embryonic Satanic beginnings, to its current (and ever-growing) presence in eco-activism, and the mythopoesis of the Cascadian bioregion.

I’m drawn to the University of Oregon’s Master’s in Folklore because it seems very much alive. Both the faculty and current graduate students are involved in studies and projects that genuinely excite me. Not only is it a community I’d very much like to be a part of, I also believe I can offer the program a unique perspective on both music and literature in relation to folklore. Beyond this, however, Oregon’s Master’s in Folklore (and associated programs) has many of the resources I need to study my afore-mentioned interests. A number of courses are extremely relevant to understanding the bridge between folklore and fantastic literature, and the associated fan cultures—Gender in Japanese Literature and Film, as well as Tokyo Cyberpunk, Folklore and US Popular Culture, Folklore and Sexuality, and the German Fairy Tales course—among many, many others. There are also a number of faculty members with strong backgrounds in ethnomusicology, folk song, and Scandinavian folklore—knowledge that would provide tremendous support for my more musical slant of interests. In relation to music, both the courses offered through the Scandinavian program, and Folklore of Subcultures, would be quite useful to my studies. But besides Oregon’s excellent (and quite relevant) faculty and course offerings, the opportunities for the Graduate Teaching and Research Fellowships interest me as well, as I’d like to approach folklore from as many paths as possible. In my experience, studying a discipline from multiple angles makes for a more holistic and powerful grasp of the subject.

Ultimately, I would like to conclude my graduate studies with a terminal project that bridges my artistic and academic interests—a book of short stories, or a novel, that shows via fictional wordcraft the nodes between folk tales and their modern, fantastic counterparts. Conversely, I’m very interested in researching and writing a novel set during Norway’s second wave of black metal (during the time of the church burnings and murder), that gets into the intimate headspace of that particular subculture, all of its quirks, rawness, and darkness–or perhaps even writing and recording an album that strains and breaks the boundaries of that same genre’s current, modern incarnation.

After graduate school, I want to continue writing books and making albums with folkloric hearts, but also use my writing and musicianship to create a community-oriented, interdisciplinary narrative workshop, to share the knowledge I hope to gain by studying folklore. Before that, though, I want to whet myself with a Master’s of Folklore from the University of Oregon. I’d like to continue the interdisciplinary studies I began at Fairhaven College, but with even more depth and academic rigor. The Folklore Program offers just what I need: a vital, innovative community where I can thrive, struggle, and offer my very best, all while studying the folkloric spine of my art, and the earth and people it’s beholden to.

grad school, simple as that (because clever and/or poetic titles evade me–which, of course, implies that my other titles are clever and poetic. They are not.)

So occupied. The first week of year one of my grad program has passed; I’m still finding a comfortable rut to roll along. It’s not a matter of being stuck–I’m happy where I am, studying folklore (or learning to study it). What I mean, is I’m still finding a rhythm to settle into, so I can get my academic work done, and mind my core–which is strange.

One of the reasons I’m here is to bring folklore closer to my core. But that doesn’t mean making drumming and writing centrifugal. Right now I’m learning to make space. Over the summer, I set myself the goal of getting 75k words of the magpie book written. I managed 65k and I’m inclined to be content with that. But I still want to try and wrap up the rest of draft 1 by the end of October or November. It will happen. I’m taking a grad fiction seminar and after just one meeting, in which we discussed a broader and more dynamic definition of omniscience, my understanding of how I should be telling this nestled story of mine is clarifying:

Because the magpie book’s spine is a story told by a pair of exterior narrators, the close-third perspective I’ve been using really doesn’t make sense. Considering the tricksy, corvid nature of these outer-narrators, I don’t think they’re capable of limiting themselves to the contents of two separate and single heads, one at a time. An omniscient narrator would give them the freedom to flit about, wreck havoc where and where-not appropriate, to make potent and highly opinionated statements about the story, and the nature of story, as magpies would be (in my mind) wont to do.

Then, of course, there’s the drumming to make way for. Soon, I hope have to have a space for my set, which means there will be a significant drop in air-drumming–not absolute, though. One thing I’ve learned being away from my drums this summer is that I can nail a song much quicker and more exactly, than if I were sitting at my kit. This is probably directly related to my tendency to free-play along with songs. Which is fun, but not exactly beneficial. I taught myself a couple songs in early summer (Pull Me Under, A Dudás, and Suncatcher), paying attention to nuance and detail. Distraction plummeted with only air and anatomy and brain-fabricated sounds at my disposal, so that’s a technique I’ll be keeping with me. Nonetheless, having nothing to strike for the past four months is the sort of difficulty that can only be coped with by pretending it hasn’t been hard, so really, truly being able to drum again will be something like waking up.


As proven by a recent photo I tweeted, grad school is keeping me inundated. It will stay like this, I know. Okay, fine. I can survive doing things. I get excited when something comes along that needs to be added to the to-do list, because I like drawing lines and bisecting letters and crowing glee with the doneness of it all, and by the time all this is over, I will have struck-through many to-dos, but probably not as many as I should. And that’s okay. Life is a massive to-do list on a pedestal (or a toadstool, because why would you put a to-do list on a pedestal when you can have fungus?) and the only way it ends is in the inkbath of death.

…that’s the afterlife, by the way: your existential to-do list. Drowned in a bucket of milked ballpoints.



Arctic Salvage

Saw two of my favorite bands back-to-back in late September. Day one, I waited against El Corazon’s freshly painted walls, slightly sticky and pungent, the alternate scrape of brick and splinters catching my back. I watched the sky and the planes in it, and waited, and listened to the sound check. Not many people showed up early. More next time, maybe.

That night was Pain of Salvation, of Sweden, of rich and rending and vulnerable music with unbreakable bones. The set they played was good, but cut short by twenty minutes due to…frustrating reasons. It meant they didn’t play anything from their most recent albums, which was a little disappointing; the music on Road Salt I and II makes me feel storm-wrecked and campfire-warmed. But they played well and sweaty, nonetheless, and anyway, I’ve been waiting since I was fourteen to see them, so finally watching them play not a foot from me was a relief. Sometimes release is all you need, and I got a little of that that night (and a hunger), so I’m okay.

The next night was Sonata Arctica of Finland. I’ve seen them six or seven times now, but the show they played on the twenty-fifth felt like one of the best I’ve attended. One of the better shows of my life, too. Even managed to worm my way to the stage’s front and center, despite being too poor to afford VIP tickets. And as usual, I snared my usual drum stick from Sonata’s drummer, Tommy Portimo, which makes that the…sixth? stick he’s handed to me personally, with a thank you. Super nice of him, though I’m forever paranoid of the moment he realizes he’s been handing drum sticks to the same girl every time he’s in Seattle.

The next morning, I was up by 5:30. I had orientation for my grad program five hours south. I photographed my mom’s bacon-lattice masterpieces, packed the houseplant she’d been watching, wrapped Cavan’s breakfast sandwiches, and said goodbye to her and my dad and the evergreens, and damp air that feeds me better than anywhere else.