On Folktales, Playwriting, and My Shiny New Website

I keep taking these fun hiatuses for no reason. Apologies. (Or not, because I’m working two jobs and trying to do this whole writer-who-has-jobs-and-has-to-pay-for-grad-school-situation. Oy. Anyways.)

So onto the good stuff. I want to talk about folktales today, because I think they’re wonderful and important. Whenever I’m starting a new project, I start with folklore. I’m not gonna lie, I’m not good at new stories. Everything I’ve written that has grown into something more has some root in folklore. The book I’m working on now? Based on devil’s book mythology and biblical works. The book that my agent signed me for? A fairytale retelling. The next book on the docket? A retelling of Icelandic folklore. The play that is in a contest? A retelling of a German children’s story.

You get the point.

There’s this trap of telling the same story over and over again, and I totally feel the press of that. The trick is to take these old stories and breathe new life into them. A good example from the days of my youth (lol I’m still like, twelve) is Ella Enchanted. Gail Carson Levine completely revamped that and made it beautiful. Same with Beastly and Cinder. And there are many retellings of the same story that are so, so different. So what I’m trying to say is this: if you’re stuck, look back to mythology. Look back at folklore. It’s existed for so long for a reason.

So I briefly mentioned this, but I wrote a play. Shocking, right? I dunno, guys, I was shocked when it happened. I was even more shocked when it was chosen as a finalist in a contest. So, I’m now directing this play, which will hopefully be a blast.

It’s based on a short German folktale, Der Daumenlutscher. We can just say that German children’s tales are generally rather grisly, and this one is no exception. I’m so excited to see what my cast does with this production, and I’ll be sure to keep everyone posted about how it goes.

Since things are getting a little more real, I finally made an author website. You can see more of my trash fire of a life at www.toribovalino.com. Not gonna lie, imposter syndrome feels a little less terrible when the new website looks real.

Well, here’s to a long summer of (hopefully) actually blogging, because I have THINGS that I want to say and they’re now ORGANIZED. Maybe.

Thanks for stopping by, y’all.

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