A Guide to the Microfables

Now that this project has really gotten going (over 200 drabbles at the site so far!), I've written this guide to what's going on. :-)

Adding new stories. I'm trying to add at least a few new stories every day. That's a virtue of microfables: it doesn't take too much time to do that! Then, when summer comes, I hope to be able to prepare some OER books and teaching materials based on what I've accumulated, plus stories I can write this summer. If you want to get the new stories by email, there's a subscription link in the sidebar.

Focus on fables and parables. My main focus is on wisdom tales from different traditions. I need to write up an essay on just what that means, along with some thoughts about the ways in which these types of stories are similar to but also different from modern literary fiction. Aesop's fables are my academic specialty, and I've been working on this genre for a long time! I'm also very interested in Nasruddin stories and Sufi traditions of the Middle East, along with Indian story traditions, including the Jatakas, Panchatantra, and other Indian folktales.

An epic experiment. In conjunction with the course on Epics of India which I'm teaching this semester, I'm retelling episodes from the Indian epics in the form of these tiny stories; right now, I'm working on the Ramayana. Unlike the fables and parables, these epic stories fit into a larger overall narrative. (As a long-term experiment, I'm wondering if I could do versions of the Ramayana and Mahabharata told as a long series of short episodes; this experiment is a first test to see how practical that might be.)

African American folktales. Last summer, I worked on Brer Rabbit and African American folktales all summer long. I'm not sure yet how many of those stories will be amenable to the 100-word format, but that is a big goal for me. I probably won't start working on the African and African American materials until this summer, but I am really excited to do that. (Here is my Brer Rabbit site.)

Randomizing Widgets. I like making randomizers (this whole project started out as a Nasruddin randomizer!), so as I create new subcollections here, I make randomizers for them. You can browse the randomizers and use them at your own website or blog. They will work anywhere that javascript is allowed, and if you need a trick to make them display inside an LMS like Canvas, just let me know, and I can show you how to do that.

Twitter. I'm trying to remember to post a new story every day at Twitter, and here's a view of the stories I've posted at Twitter so far.

Okay.... I think that's all! I'll keep this post pinned to the front page, and I'll update it with any new news. :-)

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