Book Review: Irish King and Hero Tales

Book Review- Irish King and Hero Tales
By: Staff at

the red front cover of richard marsh irish king and hero talesThere is a bit of foxfire in Richard Marsh’s new book. Picking up a collection of Irish folktales from Richard Marsh always takes you deeper into a world that is far more diverse and complicated than you might believe, different from what is passed off in main-stream media as “Irish” storytelling.

In his book, “Irish King and Hero Tales,” Richard shares stories that might not be so familiar to the casual student of Irish legends. Depth is the value of this book. If you are looking for a series of quick stories you can tell at the “pub,” this is not your book. However, if you want to roll about in substance, blending a mix of folklore and history with merging boundaries, get this book.
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About Hans Christian Andersen

About Hans Christian Andersen
By: Melanie Zimmer

a side view of hans christian andersen in a sepia toned photoSome of the most memorable fairy tales to this day are those of Hans Christian Andersen. A great deal is known about Andersen as he wrote his first autobiography when he was twenty-seven and published additional ones in 1847, 1855 and 1869. However, “The Fairy Tale of My Life” is not considered a reliable work by many, and it is known that Andersen altered facts freely to create the public image he desired in those later publications. Andersen became a well-known figure in his own lifetime, achieving much acclaim, and lived as a public figure frequently visiting kings, nobles, and artistic minds of the time thus much was written about him in letters and correspondence. Furthermore, Anderson kept a personal journal over the years and corresponded frequently with others. Many letters still exist and serve to inform biographers of the non-public aspects of his life. But perhaps most importantly, Anderson used his life experiences extensively in his writings as he explains plainly in a letter from 1834 “Every character is taken from life; every one of them; not one of them is invented. I know and have known them all.”
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#NSNStoryCon with Sam Payne at The Apple Seed

mr sam payneSean Buvala caught up with storyteller, musician and radio-host Sam Payne while “The Apple Seed” radio program was making friends and making recordings at the 2014 National Storytelling Network Summer Conference in Mesa, Arizona. You can hear Sean and Sam discuss the diverse BYU radio program, an abundance of Sams and just how making friends makes it all work out. A recorded-late-night interview all about the art of storytelling.

You can hear the entire interview in the link down below the transcript and video. Keep on scrolling for more!


Voiceover: (music) You’ve just entered the Amphitheater (music stops)

Sean Buvala: Hey! Sean Buvala at the National Storytelling Network 2014 Annual Conference in Mesa, Arizona. Why are we sitting here at eleven o’clock at night? My guest this time around is Sam Payne who is the host and probably other stuff he will tell me about for The Apple Seed (TAS). Is it coming out of BYU?
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Act It Out

If you’re feeling rusty as a storyteller and sense the need for a little guidance and direction, I’d like to suggest you audition for a role in a local community-theater production. In the arena of storytelling, I am finding that the experience and training resident in stage work is directly transferable to our tellings.

I was recently cast in the supporting role of Col. Kenneth Penmark in a local production of the stage/movie thriller “Bad Seed.” It was not the role I auditioned for but I accepted it because I believed that whatever I was to learn from the director, I could apply to storytelling. I was not disappointed in the experiment.

I recall one evening’s rehearsal when the director was trying to draw from one of the other supporting cast members a character other than what he was presenting. He was playing an author/criminologist named Tasker. At one scene during the rehearsal, the director called out, “OK, stop for a minute.” She walked up to Tasker and said, “Let’s spend a minute and try to find this guy’s voice. I don’t think Tasker grew up in a well-to-do home, went to Harvard, received a degree in criminology, and then went on to write 75 novels. I see him as one who came up from the streets. Middle class working home. He probably got a job with the local newspaper as a copy-boy and worked his way up. Someone probably just saw that he had a talent for writing and gave him an opportunity to do a story. From then on, he was hooked. He didn’t learn criminology from college; he learned it from the streets. Play him that way.”
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Using Prompts to Create Storytelling

-by Ellouise Schoettler

bottom view of a an old book on a table the book has a red cover and the edges of the paper are gold colorPeople ask how I craft the personal stories I tell. “They come from prompts.” By that, I mean that if I pay attention, I find that anything and everything can lead me to a possible story. It will work for you too. Don’t believe me? Here are a few examples of how I gather material for stories.

We furnished our get-away in PA with cast-off stuff. When I notice what is around me there, story possibilities emerge. For instance, I use an old suitcase in my bedroom to hold art supplies. This suitcase was a high school graduation present from my parents. This old and frayed suitcase is my connection to a host of stories from specific trips to the nylon stockings ripped to shreds by its scratchy woven sides.
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