Clarion Write-a-Thon: Week 3 The Fine Greenbird

A short progress report this week!

I recently watched The Alienist and that series touches upon some of the issues I mentioned previously with respect to the historical treatment of Italian-Americans. (We’re now watching Doom Patrol. It’s VERY different!) Also: I miss sitting at a coffee shop to write. I stumbled across Coffitivity.com which gives me the benefit of “sounding” like I’m sitting there. Huzzah! I’m also slowly taking Italian again, and that’s been super fun.

Yep, it’s Thursday and I’m still noodling over how I want to retell “Liombruno.” It’s a traditional fairy tale that has two components to present a hero who’s worthy of being saved. My gut is telling me to “get weird” and I’m cuing off of the region’s mountains, forests, and streams. I could imagine a villager telling this story while gesturing to a grand palace atop the mountains.

I picked a new short story for week three. It’s called: “The Fine Greenbird” and it’s from Florenza, the capital of the Tuscany region in central Italy. This is a folktale with a strong theme of jealousy; it also resonates with the number three: three sisters, three offspring, three quests, and three judged. One aspect that stood out to me was the outdated belief that women have control over our bodies to determine the sex of a child. Mind you, the children are characters themselves, so I’ll have to mull over how I want to tackle this harmful and antiquated notion after retelling “Liombruno.”

Other Clarion Write-A-Thon Posts

About this Post: In exchange for sponsor support, I promised to highlight how I’m processing my identity as an Italian-American and daughter of an immigrant through brainstorming, story selection, and first drafts. If you’re keen on following my progress, warts and all, I encourage you to become my sponsor and sign up for my newsletter.



Monica Valentinelli is a writer, editor, and game developer. Her portfolio includes stories, games, comics, essays, and pop culture books.

In addition to her own worlds, she has worked on a number of different properties including Firefly, Vampire: the Masquerade, Shadowrun, Hunter: the Vigil, Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn, and Robert E. Howard’s Conan.

Looking for Monica’s books and games that are still in print? Visit Monica Valentinelli on Amazon’s Author Central or a bookstore and game store near you.

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