A Game Not For One Night, But For A Thousand and One Nights….

English: Princess Parizade Bringing Home the S...

Princess Parizade Bringing Home the Singing Tree, 1906, oil on paper (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My friend Mark gave me a new board game for Christmas. The setting is the world of the traditional 1001 Nights, in which Scheherazade is weaving tales to amuse Shahryar and keep herself alive. Players are story characters, with literally thousands of game paths (very re-playable).

It’s a bit different, as games go, rewarding not just game accomplishments in terms of points or accumulated treasures and things, but extreme storytelling — that is, the more dramatic, tragic, twisted, inspiring, and generally enthralling your character’s journey is, the more likely you’ll win the game. Continue reading

Embarrassing True Story

Good thing my bikini is made of chain mail... ...

Good thing my bikini is made of chain mail… no really.. (Photo credit: Crys)

I wrote a parody short story. It was a parody of high fantasy, meant to play on tropes and cliches and the sheer over-the-top ridiculousness of itself. It probably wasn’t very good, but there it was. It had sword fights, chain mail bikinis, haunted swamps, chases on horseback, the works. I worked hard on my protagonist’s name — it needed to be feminine and sexy, yet exotic and barbaric, and utterly unsubtle….

Continue reading

The Twelfth Day of Kitsune – Mizuhiki

This entry is part 12 of 12 in the series Twelve Days of Kitsune

Arriving early to give a panel on Japanese folklore, I found Emilia (author of our guest post on kimono) teaching a workshop on tying mizuhiki. A perfect follow-up to the post on furoshiki; you can now decorate your traditionally-wrapped packages as well! Continue reading

Choose Your Own Hamlet Adventure?!

I’m not making this up. Check this out. Shakespeare’s Hamlet as a choose-your-own-path book. With lots and lots of illustrations.

I really love Hamlet, and I also really love parodies of Hamlet. This sounds kinda awesome.

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The Eleventh Day of Kitsune – the Kitsune Code of Conduct

This entry is part 11 of 12 in the series Twelve Days of Kitsune

When I asked on my Facebook page what people wanted to know about kitsune or the setting, a reader asked:

Are the kitsune faithful to any kind of code, other than obedience to those they serve? I mean, are they faithful to their friends, or more live-by-what-best-serves-the-moment?

Great question! And the answer is, yes. Sort of. Always. Sometimes.

They are, after all, kitsune. Continue reading

The Tenth Day of Kitsune — Using Furoshiki to Wrap Gifts

This entry is part 10 of 12 in the series Twelve Days of Kitsune

Ready to try something new to wrap those gifts this year?

furoshiki

furoshiki (Photo credit: preetamrai)

Furoshiki is a distinctive and environmentally-friendly way to disguise (and carry!) your packages.

This is a traditional Japanese method of wrapping items for both protection and easier carrying, as the tie can become a convenient handle instead of needing to cradle a bulky or oddly shaped package. Continue reading

The Ninth Day of Kitsune — A Period Playlist

This entry is part 9 of 12 in the series Twelve Days of Kitsune

As we come to the Ninth Day of Kitsune, let’s treat one of the senses which has been left so far untouched despite our forays into images, taste, and touch; let’s listen to music, both period and related, from Heian era to today. Continue reading

Our Annual Christmas Movie, and Don’t Argue With Me.

English: Screenshot of Jimmy Stewart and Donna...

Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed in It’s a Wonderful Life (1946). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Nearly every year of my life, my immediate family has gathered on Christmas Eve, invited friends and pseudo-adopted family, eaten ourselves silly on shrimp and brownies and cheese balls and red and green M&Ms, and watched It’s a Wonderful Life.

“That old hack of a film? Really?” you ask.

If you asked it silently to yourself, read on, and I’ll explain. If you asked aloud, there’s the door over there. We don’t argue about It’s a Wonderful Life. Continue reading

The Eighth Day of Kitsune – Where Are They Now? Part 2

This entry is part 8 of 12 in the series Twelve Days of Kitsune
Anime Central 2012

flyer for Anime Central 2012

In recent years, kitsune and other folklore creatures have been making a striking comeback, it seems. Yes, they were always there, but now they’re everywhere, from fashion (French clothing line Maison Kitsune) to music (several music groups go by the name Kitsune).

Here’s a very brief collage of modern media in which you might spy a kitsune — and one of my favorite kitsune scenes in which there is no kitsune at all. Continue reading

The Seventh Day of Kitsune – Where Are They Now? Part 1

This entry is part 7 of 12 in the series Twelve Days of Kitsune

So for thousands of years, creatures of folklore and mythology have stalked the Japanese countryside, keeping wayward children in at night. But what about in the era of electric lights and digital cameras? What happened to the youkai, the bakemono, the monomo and ayakeshi — where are they now?

They’re glad you asked. Continue reading