The Fable of the Bees and the Mantis

            The penstemons are blooming in my garden. These plants are three to four feet tall, topped with spikes of lavender flowers, each shaped like a long, thin snapdragon blossom. They were in full bloom today, and perhaps because it was a still and humid day, the flowers attracted a wide array of insects.             … Continue reading The Fable of the Bees and the Mantis

Crossing the Medieval and Modern

The risk of reading historical novels is that sometimes, instead of meeting people from the past we run into modern characters dressed in funny clothes play-acting medieval (or Renaissance, or Roman, or whenever.) That’s the problem I recently had with Crossed, the tale of the Fourth Crusade written by Nicole Galland. While I enjoyed the … Continue reading Crossing the Medieval and Modern

Stories in the Time of Pandemic

In 2006, I participated in an off-beat storytelling project. A group of Pittsburgh storytellers gathered to go through The Decameron, a collection of short stories written by Giovanni Boccaccio. Our director, the Canadian storyteller Dan Yashinky, guided us through the book, suggesting tales for each of us to look at based upon the types of … Continue reading Stories in the Time of Pandemic