I'm working on some new stories and songs for my repertoire. One story is a variation of the Nasreddin/Nasr-ed-din Khoja story called "The Loan of a Cauldron" which you can find here and also in collections of Yiddish fairy tales such as Isaac Bashevis Singer's When Shlemiel Went to Warsaw ("Shrewd Todie and Lyzer the Mizer"). My version features a seamstress who is frustrated over her repeated attempts to get the rich mayor of her town to pay her for the bright green coat with brass buttons the seamstress made for him. The seamstress outwits the mayor and ends up doing quite well for herself.
This brings me to a small quandry. In earlier days, I would have happily shared my version of the story in its entirety on this blog. However, once something is posted on a blog, it's considered to be published without the author legitimately being able to claim a publishing credit. I discovered this paradox after a magazine expressed interest in my "Children's Books That Never Were" series, but didn't want anything that I had already posted on Saints and Spinners. By the time I'd heard from the magazine, I felt I'd already shared my best pieces with the 30+ people who regularly read my blog.
With all of the folktales and folksongs I perform, very little of it is actually my intellectual property. I'm starting to feel more protective of the originally pieces I create plus the public domain folktales that I've made "my own," as it were. I encourage audience members to share the stories they've heard and liked, and everything on this blog is published under a Creative Commons License. The chances that someone is going to appropriate one of my works for his or her own is slim, and the likelihood that my works would make me wildly successful is even slimmer... so why am I feeling so protective of my creative output? This is not a rhetorical question. If you have some perspectives you'd like to share, I'd like to read them in the comments or your own blog posts.