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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Stories, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 97
1. A Mini-Crash-Course on Oral Storytelling

It’s been several months since I’ve written for Two Writing Teachers. In December my son was born, and I was on maternity leave until a few weeks ago. Then, in March I pushed aside all excuses… Continue reading

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2. WHEN IT’S MY TURN- I’m going out sober !!

Mark Myers:

Some real words of wisdom in this post.

Originally posted on Drinking for a Lifetime:


When it’s my turn to die I wonder how I’ll take it…and what lengths I will endure to extend my time  here on earth.  If I’m lucky I won’t want to see it all end…but I will go with understanding and thankful resignation for everything I experienced. Even the not so good times.

The reality is that no matter how much I try to “get it all done” I will never finish all that I hope to see and do.  Life is forever changing and growing and expanding and each new twist brings with it opportunities that weren’t visible before. That is when I wish I’d done a lot of things differently

I get the whole “be open to possibilities” thing now because I’m getting up in the years, however, if we have the patience to ride out the storms and we don’t micro-manage our preferred outcomes some truly amazing…

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3. The Bickering Sisters

There once were two lovely young girls, sisters in fact, who lived in a spacious abode that seemed, too often, to close in around them. They were two of four daughters, not the golden-brown edge ones, but the soft, fair-haired, middlest sisters, mixed and squeezed together so much that they couldn’t get along. In fact, they bickered constantly.


They bickered near, they bickered far

They argued things trivial, humdrum, and bizarre.

“I’m sick of your manners,” one would often yell.

“I don’t like your meddling or dubious smell”

The other undaunted, her resentments would list

And sometimes erupt in a tirade of fists

Finally the lady of the manor (the loveliest, fairest maiden in the land) had had quite enough. She threatened, cajoled, and punished the two sisters. In frustration, she assigned them chores in the hopes of building teamwork. The clever mother’s schemes worked…but only for a season. For the enmity between the two sisters had grown as great and thick as their noble father’s ample chest hair.

He, the master of the house, was wise on his own account and took action to solve the embarrassing bickering once and for all. He tied the legs of the two sisters together with red silky ribbon, telling them to write down ten things each admired in the other. Only then would the ribbon be removed and their freedom attained.

He congratulated himself on his shrewdness and saw to the other important tasks of the manor, little knowing that the two cunning sisters conspired against him. Each composed a flowery list detailing their own most praiseworthy virtues, swapped scrolls, and beckoned their father back to their dungeon. So pleased was he that he released the two fair girls immediately with a tender kiss on each brow.

He boasted to his lovely wife in their bedchamber that night and wondered at how she could possibly resist his dashing charm. While choruses singing praise echoed inside his swollen head, the lady heard the familiar bicker, bicker, bicker from the other side of the door. The master and fine lady gave up! Would the two sisters ever be confidants or were they doomed to dwell in the moat of antipathy ever after?

Alas, one fine day, something came into their hands that brought the two together better than any silk ribbon ever could. It was warm, imaginative, and likable to both parties. They loved this thing, pondered it, and discussed it non-stop. Oft in the evenings, side by side they could be found on a blue, fluffy throne doing nothing but soak up the enjoyment of this thing…together. Yes, together.

An amazing light shone over the humble manor – the light of peace.

What was this wonderful thing of harmony, you ask? What could it possibly be? It was a book, then another, and another. It was literature that bound their squabbling hearts and imaginations together.

The lord of the manor, a brilliant novelist in his own mind, felt it important to pay tribute to one of the tomes that brought reconciliation to his home. To celebrate Divergent’s theatrical debut, I give you Virgil’s take on one of the wonderful works that put hatred asunder.

Not coming to a theater near you….


Artwork By Georgios Iakovidis (1853-1932)
Imitation Artwork yet unclaimed

10 Comments on The Bickering Sisters, last added: 3/21/2014
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4. Guest Post from The Storyboys Blog

Today’s post is part of a Choose Your Own Story written and hosted by T. Isenhoff and M. Isenhoff on their Storyboys blog. T. is in 3rd grade, and M. is in 6th grade. This story was their winter homeschool project. Travel over to their blog to start at the beginning. Have fun!

Cursed Mansion

“We better get out of here,” Ed said.

Tony stood undecided. “It would be really fun to bust whoever’s in there,” he said.

“But if you get caught trespassing you could be off the football team,” Ed said.

“Good point.” They turned to descend the stairs.

Just then, the music went dead and the doorknob turned. The door opened and the muscular figure of a man appeared in the opening.

“Coach Theodore?” Tony asked in surprise. “What are you doing here?”

The coach smiled. “Didn’t you know Silas Walker was my great-great-grandfather? I own this house.” He closed the door behind him, but not before the boys got a look at a table filled with jewels.

“What was that?” Tony asked. “It looked like jewelry.”

“None of your concern,” the coach answered with a warning frown. “You boys get out of here and forget you saw anything.”

“Is that from Connie’s Jewelry Store?” Tony asked.

The coach glared. “Keep asking questions and I guarantee you won’t be on the team this year, Tony.”

Tony glared back. “I don’t want to play for a thief anyway.” And he turned to walk away.

“Tony!” Ed screamed. “He’s got a gun!”

Tony turned back in time to watch his coach pull a handgun from his jacket pocket.

If the boys should scream for help, click here. If they should run, click here.

7 Comments on Guest Post from The Storyboys Blog, last added: 3/17/2014
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5. This Week my children's picture book, The Spy Game is FREE at Smashwords!

For this week, until March 8th,  my children's book, The Spy Game will be free on Smashwords. 
At SMASHWORDS under >> Fiction » Children’s books » Readers / Beginner

Find at:

0 Comments on This Week my children's picture book, The Spy Game is FREE at Smashwords! as of 3/3/2014 6:32:00 PM
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6. The comfort of storytelling - Lily Hyde

Last week, for anyone who knows or cares about Ukraine, was one where reality outstripped most scary stories or fairytales.

Any story that was being told, of a choice between the European Union and Russia; of ultra-nationalists versus a democratically elected government; of a gradual exchange of power from president to parliament; of things reverting to normal once all the homeless bums realised they couldn’t live in protest tents forever and went back to whatever gutter they’d crawled from – whatever the story was, however coherent and persuasive the narrative, it was utterly overtaken by events.

Who could make up police snipers shooting down unarmed protesters with live ammunition? Or charter flights of the wealthy and well-connected with their suitcases of cash queuing nose to tail to take off for Russia or the West? That the tanks and soldiers allegedly heading to Kiev would never arrive? That the president would sign an agreement to hold early elections and then disappear? That next day his country residence would be open to the public to wander around and gawp at his ostentatious and thoroughly kitsch display of stolen wealth?

Truth stranger and more fantastic than any fiction. I’ve been making stories out of Ukraine for several years, both as a journalist and as a fiction writer. This last week I’ve just stared in horror, astonishment, awe, sadness, cautious hope. I could never have guessed what would happen, let alone made all this up.

Barricades in central Kiev (photo by Max Bibik) 
In the face of all the confusion and upheaval, people continue to make up stories. It’s what makes us human. One Ukrainian city greeted riot police returning from Kiev as heroes; another made them walk down a ‘parade of shame’. The Russian press narrative is that the interim government is made of bandits and extremists; the West’s story is that it’s a triumph for democracy. Many protestors in Ukraine call it a sell-out. The proposed new prime minister has his own story: “this is the government of political suiciders! So welcome to hell.”

History will make its own story out of these events. We don’t know yet who will write that version. Who will evaluate it, embellish it, censor it, cross out and rewrite it, turn it into poetry, a children’s story, a romance, a tragedy – a happy ending…?

Memorial for those killed (photo by Max Bibik)

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7. New Digital painting! "Alicia's Adventure"

I'm hoping to work on the story for this soon,… after finishing the current picture book dummy.

0 Comments on New Digital painting! "Alicia's Adventure" as of 2/28/2014 1:50:00 AM
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8. Lititz Storytelling Festival


Fall is coming and so is the Lititz Storytelling Festival!!!!!!!  On Friday September 13th the fun begins with workshops and performances from 10 am to 10 pm???

ON Saturday, it begins all over again - workshops, a story swap and more and more and EVEN MORE STORIES!!!!!!!  I am in exclamation mark heaven! Because I love stories that much.

And also, here are very important things you should know about this year's festival in Lititz.

Jay O'Callahan will be performing.  Be still my wildly beating heart.

My friend, Charles Kiernan, will also perform.  I need to sit down.

Other tellers include Ed Stivender - he of the Morris Dancers -, Kim Weitkamp, Charlotte Blake Alston - oh yeah! - Rita Clarke, Ken Sensenig (say that 10 times fast), Marie Winger, Terri Mastrobuono and David Worth.

Now, I have made myself very very worried because........

I will be telling at this festival, too - with all these great storytellers.  I am feeling faint.  Do you think I will be up to the task?

Here's how to find out.  Come to the festival and listen to my stories and to the other tellers to find out if I measure up.  Watch for a weekend pass giveaway - on this blog - very very soon.

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9. Talking Donuts, Superheroes and Melancholy Lions

Years ago, when I was a young mother and babysitter, I rode the bus with my son and my young charge - everywhere.  What else do you do with two five-year-old boys with endless imagination and energy?  We rode downtown, to libraries, to parks, to the next town over, to visit friends.  We also walked and later, in the summer, we rode bikes.

Everywhere we went, we told stories.  After reading William Steig's The Amazing Bone, we came up with a story about a talking donut.  Every bus trip for a month or so, we added adventures about the donut and King Rupert, the donut's best friend. 

And then there were the tales of Llewellyn the Lion, who worked as a late night radio host and rarely went out in the day.  He rode a motorcycle and had a tab at the butcher's.  He lived in fear that people would realize that he was not just a gravelly voiced, hairy recluse but a lion - a real lion.  As time went on, Llewellyn told us of his friends - all graduates of the Philadelphia Zoo's secret Animal Intelligence project - and we met Llewellyn's teacher, Professor Freeman.  The animals were tricked into a reunion and were drugged and kidnapped to become stars in a traveling animal act.  Fortunately, one of Llewellyn's friends was a dainty gorilla.  Along with the Jaguar, ocelot, rhinoceros, several lions, a seal and a rhinoceros, they all managed to escape.

I wrote that story up and shoved it into the glove compartment of my old black Impala.  When the car broke down and we had it hauled to the junk yard, the story was lost forever.  The rhinoceros - or was it the seal? - was a poet and some of her poems were in that story.  They were haunting and surprised me.  Stories can be pieced together.  Poems evaporate.

And then there was Super Anders and his sidekick Critter Man.  These stories were made up bit by bit of the things that my boys suggested, cartoon characters that they enjoyed. Danny Dunn and his friends got tossed in there, too, since we read every Danny Dunn book we could find.  I liked these stories best of all.  The boys were always trying to save Little Annie, the Orphan Apple Selling Girl from danger.  But Little Annie just as often had to save our heroes.

I miss Llewellyn and his friends.  I miss Critter Man, who ba-a-a-a-rked!  And I miss King Rupert and his talking donut. 

Perhaps, I will ride the bus for nostalgia sake and remember small boys, stories and a time when I was young.

0 Comments on Talking Donuts, Superheroes and Melancholy Lions as of 5/11/2013 10:51:00 AM
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10. A Visual Take: We All Have Stories

Stories to Tell

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11. Sketch for The Boy In The Leaves; a short story

This is a sketch for a short story called, The Boy In The Leaves, which will be in my short story collection: SHORT STORIES AND OTHER IMAGININGS FOR THE READING SPOT.

In the story, two boys stumble on a horrible truth about child abuse.

0 Comments on Sketch for The Boy In The Leaves; a short story as of 4/23/2013 8:14:00 PM
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12. Stories Forever

StoryFUSION begins soon, very soon.  Go to the StoryFUSION page for all the details but it is fabulous stuff.

Check my Storytelling page - above - for the Guerrilla storytelling events on Tuesday, April 16th and Wednesday, April 17th.  These events are FREE and out in public places near you.

On Thursday, NCC and the members of the LVSG are offering FREE workshops at Northampton Community College.  I am offering "Story in a SNAP", a workshop that will use improvisational exercises to combat both writer's block and stage fright.  It will be a lot of fun and it would not be possible without the help of Professor Susan Petrole.

Story in a SNAP workshop - Thursday, April 18th at 11 am at Northampton Community College, in Room CC 165.  (CC stands or College Center - the BIG building in the middle of the main campus.) FREE and open to everyone.  Please join me.

To keep us all in the storytelling mood, I must share this video from just a year and a half ago.  Kelly will be telling on Wednesday.  Look for her.

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13. ReadWave Launch Widget for Author Promotion


ReadWave has just announced the launch of a new reading widget, that aims to revolutionize the way that stories are shared and authors promote themselves online. The widget allows bloggers and website owners to embed stories online in a compact form.

An example of the ReadWave Widget can be found at


The ReadWave widget is the first reading widget to allow readers to “follow” the writer. When a reader follows a writer they are added to the writer’s fanbase and can receive updates on all of the writer’s future stories. The widget is designed specifically to help writers build up a fanbase and grow their readership online. The widget is also the first to be directly integrated with Facebook, so that content is automatically shared via social media.

Raoul Tawadey, CEO of ReadWave commented, “The ReadWave widget doesn’t simply provide the technology for embedding stories online, it also provides a legal framework for re-posting other people’s content within the bounds of copyright law. Every day, millions of indie writers post up their creative writing for free on their personal websites with the aim of attracting as many readers as possible. Currently other website owners can’t repost those stories due to copyright law. Our widget eliminates this copyright problem, and enables anyone to post your story anywhere without limits, and it does so in a way that ensures the original writer is reaping the rewards.”

Existing widgets use a predefined page size, so when the widget is made smaller the text is made smaller. The ReadWave widget is the first reading widget where the width and height are fully customizable and the text automatically adjusts itself to fit the space available.

“The ReadWave widget is great news for website owners,” says ReadWave’s Chief Technology Officer, Simon Van Blerk. “Rather than linking to someone else’s website, the ReadWave widget allows you to keep traffic on your own website. This means website owners can retain visitors and keep them engaged for longer.”


Rob Tucker





About ReadWave

ReadWave is a community of readers and writers who love to discover and share new stories from contemporary writers. Readers can access thousands of stories and read them for free on mobile or desktop. Writers can use ReadWave to build up a fanbase and market their stories online. ReadWave puts writers in touch with the readers who are just right for them.

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14. The Zebra Forest, by Adina Rishe Gewirtz

"So as that summer began, while America counted hostage days and Beth learned to swim, I thought up good lies to tell and climbed trees and lay a lot in the shade." (egalley pg 11-12)

11 year old Annie and little brother Rew live at the edge of the Zebra forest with their Gran.  They keep mostly to themselves, on account of the house and on account of Gran, but Annie and Rew have each other, a battered copy of Treasure Island, the joy of making up bad jokes, and the many trees of the Zebra forest to keep them company on the hot, steamy summer days. 

They are getting along in typical fashion when one summer night, a man rattles the back door and steps into the kitchen.  Before Annie can process what is even happening, the man takes the key they always keep in the knob, drops it in his pocket and tells Annie to stay quiet.  As Annie stands dumbfounded, Rew heads for the phone and then the door, but the man is quick and powerful.  He is also covered in mud, and his clothes are torn.  He has come through the forest.  On the other side of the Zebra forest is the prison.

Now they must wait.  Gran completely shuts down, and Annie and Rew must figure out how to be in the house with the doors shut and the windows closed, with the precarious piles and dirty dishes, with the man always there, always watching.  There will be no more going into the trees to read Treasure Island, no more trips out into the shade.

Adina Rishe Gewirtz has crafted a novel that gives an inside look into mental illness and family.  There is an incredible resilience to both Annie and Rew that shines through even though the two deal with their situation in vastly different ways.  The importance of story (both family and books) is felt throughout. Even though some major points like the Iran Hostage Crisis and the plot of Treasure Island may be unfamiliar to today's readers, Gewirtz does a fine job of weaving them into the greater plot -- using them to give a sense of ticking time as well as examination into real life characters.  This is a book that may not be for everyone, but will definitely find fierce love with the readers who love imperfect characters, finding connections, and those who don't mind feeling a bit off kilter.

Publishing April 9, 2013.

0 Comments on The Zebra Forest, by Adina Rishe Gewirtz as of 4/2/2013 12:29:00 PM
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15. Introducing Throwback Thursday

Peruse some of our past posts that will help you and your students find more things to write about.

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16. Tweak, Tweak

I'm in that strange space between finishing art for one book and waiting for sketch okays on another. Time to pull out a story I've been needing to tweak for the longest time. I've missed it! It's funny how hours spent illustrating other people's stories gives you ideas on how to deepen your own. I love how creativity works sideways like that.

This was in the drawer. Drawers are good for when you need a total break in order to come back to your story with a fresh mind.

Now it's back on the wall.

Hard to ignore the wall. After a while your story speaks, sometimes softly and sometimes loud, and hints at ways to make it real. You can't rush the wall.

This is fun.

3 Comments on Tweak, Tweak, last added: 3/6/2013
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17. Intelligent reading – Comprehension in young children

Reading – we all recognise it as a core skill. By ‘intelligent reading’, I mean reading with a level of comprehension commensurate with the child’s experience of the world they inhabit. Fortunately, reading to children is now encouraged  as being supportive of  reading literacy and as a sound foundation for future learning.

Not that long ago, children were seen as passive recipients of the eager parent’s input via the quality time spent in ‘read to me’ and ‘bedtime story’ sessions.

I always felt sure my children were taking in much more than the professional opinion allowed.

Recently, I borrowed a copy of Dr. Virginia Lowe’s very excellent book, “Stories, Pictures and Reality: Two children tell” (Routlege 2007) based on the record of her own two children’s responses to books from birth to adolescence. Dr. Lowe’s book vindicates what I felt all along as a parent! This book should be set reading for students of primary, early childhood and remedial teaching, child and family psychology and for anyone with an interest in literacy!

Her children had a smorgasbord of stories proffered continuously, both Dr Lowe and her husband being librarians who were passionate advocates of children’s literature.  The children’s reactions to and responses concerning elements of story and  illustrations provide a wonderfully insightful peek into the psyche of the child. Both Lowe children clearly had a blessed and privileged childhood, but being ‘read to’ is within the reach of most children. Public libraries and school libraries are accessible to most families. Even if parental work commitments make  a nightly ‘reading’ impossible, there are weekends and visits to grandparents when  a ‘storytelling’ session can be included in the agenda.

There are other options.

Storytelling sessions are held regularly in many public libraries and are ‘free’.

And online  resources such as “Ripple Reader” and “A Story Before Bed” provide a way for even absent grandparents and parents to read to their children. In the USA and Israel, ‘bedtime stories’ are part of official early education policy. Programmes like “Reach Out and Read” and “Read to Me” do a monumental job in promoting literacy and the power of  storytime to be a deeply meaningful and bonding time in families.Virginia-Lowe-Stories-Pictures-and-reality-cover12517427738

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18. Summer Reading Club 2012/13 – Untangled Tales is choc full of holiday awesomeness

The Untangled Tales website is the best  of the Summer Reading sites. Going over the site, was like being in one of the famous ‘But WAIT, there’s more!’ advertisements! At every click of the mouse, there was more! There is something here for children of all ages [preschool, primary, secondary], for their parents, teachers and librarians. The site is gorgeous [literally] to look at, easy to navigate, entertaining in content and layout and engagingly informative!

The Celebrity Corner  questions brought out the creative quirkiness of authors and illustrators in a very entertaining way and featured a very diverse group of creatives!

The Untangled Tales game is a blast – great fun! It challenges memory and  prods research capabilities and informs about other cultures, their customs and attitudes as reflected in their  fairytales and legends.


Check out the  side tabs and their drop down menus – there is heaps and heaps of  fun activity, fantastic tales, playful poetry and fanciful stories, arty opportunities, creative competitions in writing and art activities and painless learning along the way!!

0 Comments on Summer Reading Club 2012/13 – Untangled Tales is choc full of holiday awesomeness as of 12/14/2012 8:26:00 AM
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19. Guardian Angel Kids Ezine - March 2012 Edition is Online

I'm pleased to announce that the March 2012 edition of Guardian Angel Kids Ezine is now online.  This month's theme is The Human Body.


The full press release is below with all the details.  Please stop by and enjoy the stories, poetry, activities and online games with your favorite little ones. 


CONTACT: Donna McDine, Editor-in-Chief, Guardian Angel Kids Ezine

Email: submissions@guardian-angel-kids.com

Website: http://guardian-angel-kids.com

For Immediate Release

Children's Ezine Guardian Angel Kids: The Human Body - March 2012 Issue

Welcome to the March 2012 issue of Guardian Angel Kids Ezine (GAK). This
month our theme for GAK is The Human Body.

Did you know that you lose 60 - 100 strands of hair every day? Or that
fingernails grow nearly four times faster than toenails? The distance around
the earth is 25,000 miles. If you measured the length of all of a child's
blood vessels, the total would be 60,000 miles. In an adult, it would be
100,000 miles or nearly four times the distance around the earth.

And that bothersome earwax that seems to build up so frequently? It protects
the delicate inner ear. Our bodies are indeed complex and amazing.

Come explore the world of "The Human Body" through featured books, poetry,
activities, engaging stories, and articles
<http://www.guardian-angel-kids. com/> www.guardian- angel-kids. com.

Letter from the POETRY EDITOR: Donna J. Shepherd

Featured BookS:

Muscles Make Us Move: The Sum of Our Parts Series - Flip Book by Bill Kirk &
Artist Eugene Ruble

Human Anatomy Video by Dejan Kober

Children'S poetry, ACTIVITIES, SHORT STORIES, and articleS:

In the Bone Zone by Bill Kirk - learn about the skeleton through this
amusing poem.

Games and Activities to Teach the Human Body by Kathy Stemke - games and
activities that require whole body participation will attract children's

If I Have to be Normal by Juliana Jones and illustrated by Clara Batton
Smith - finding a healthy balance even if you don't follow the "normal" way.

Listen Up! by Laura Thomas and illustrated by Jack Foster - school girl
Jasmine discovers the hard way why we are created with two ears and just one

Excuse Me, I Burped! by Layne Fleming - you open your mouth to speak and out
comes a burp. You're embarrassed. You wonder why you burped.

Read Aloud Tips and Strategies: How Educators and Parents Can Sustain
Interest by Dorit Sasson - both educators and parents play a strong role in
ensuring young readers are engaged during read aloud time.

Visit Guardian Angel Kid today and <http://www.guardian-angel-kids.com/>
www.guardian- angel-kids. com and enjoy a child safe and ad free Ezine.

We also invite you to stay connected with Guardian Angel Kids through our
Facebook Fan Page
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20. Coffee Shop Beginings

This morning I went for a nice walk.  I almost always end up in a coffee shop sometime during my walks.  Coffee shops draw me in. They are full of people and people are interesting!  Everyone of them has a story.  Sitting across from me was a man with shining white hair. He was bent over his newspaper and chasing down his seeded bagel with warm coffee.   I wondered what he did for a living when he was working.  Is he married? Is he widowed? What did he look like when he was a little boy?  Where did he live?   What is his story?

The man in front of me was graying, but not retired.  He had his work papers spread out before him and he looked entirely too serious for that time of the morning.  He had a real coffee cup, not a paper one. He had on a nice dress shirt, Dockers, matching socks and black dress shoes. He could be a lawyer or even a teacher.  I try to guess.

As I sipped my coffee I watched two girls behind the counter making a tall whip creamy chocolate drink for a young girl who looked to be a track star. Miss track star left and more customers poured in.  None of them stayed, all left for work or play.

There was one more man sitting on the couch.  His white curly beard was out of control. He had a vacant stare as he drank his coffee slowly. I wondered about him.  Another man sat down on the couch across from him and Mr. Vacant began talking to him. He chatted about the hot summer forecast.. The other man barely listened to him.  Mr. Vacant went back to his  vacant stare.  I felt sorry for him.  Did he have family?  Did anyone care about him?

That was my coffee shop morning.  It was full of stories. stories of people whose lives I peeked into as I sat drinking my coffee.

Filed under: Kicking Around Thoughts

4 Comments on Coffee Shop Beginings, last added: 6/2/2012
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Children’s Ezine Guardian Angel Kids: Fun with Music – August 2012 Issue Welcome to the August 2012 issue of Guardian Angel Kids Ezine. We call it GAK because that’s the name of our gecko mascot! This month we celebrate the Fun of Music. The GAK staff can’t think of anything more universal than children enjoying music. They learn to respond and participate to music at a very early age.

As a child, Guardian Angel Publishing and Guardian Angel Kids publisher, Lynda S. Burch, loved to sing in the choir, learned the piano, and taught herself to play the organ. She enjoyed playing in the high school band from 7th grade through senior year of high school. She played the clarinet, soprano clarinet, and alto clarinet. Ms. Burch also sang in the school chorus and smaller groups and competed around the state just like Glee. As an adult Ms. Burch always made up songs and sang them to kids. One day she decided to write and record them instead of just singing them. These songs turned into over a hundred musical children’s books to be played on computers. Ms. Burch’s extended family from around the globe break into song about the weather, fun noodles in the swimming pool, or even a new alphabet song. What fun she has had with these musical books! We hope you develop a love for music as much as Ms. Burch and the GAK staff have.

Letter from the PUBLISHER: Lynda S. Burch

Featured Book: The New Alphabet Song Musical Flip Book by Lynda S. Burch and Photo Art by Lynda S. Burch and MarySue Roberts SPECIAL FEATURE:God Will Take Care of You Music Video – sung by a two year old and his family, the Buctots.Children’S poetry, ACTIVITIES, SHORT STORIES, and articleS:“Jenny’s Song,” poetry by Debra Mayhew – learn how to let your song out. “Canary Choir,” by Carol J. Douglas and illustrated by Lisa Griffin – overcoming obstacles. “A Box with Bellows,” by Juilana M. Jones and illustrated by Clara Batton Smith – mother and daughter bond through the love of the accordion.

“Whale Songs,” by Shari L. Klase – The glory of the ability to sing.“Fabulous Music Activities for Young Children,” by Kathy Stemke – children need to learn the basics of music early in life to develop creative intelligence.“New Teacher Tips on How to Prepare a Lesson Based on a Unit or a Theme,” by Dorit Sasson – lesson planning is a skill which takes focus and organization. Visit Guardian Angel Kid today and www.guardian-angel-kids.com and enjoy a child safe and ad free Ezine. We also invite you to stay connected with Guardian Angel Kids through our Facebook Fan Page http://www.facebook.com/pages/Guardian-Angel-Kids-Ezine/163785080346247. Please feel free to drop Editor-in-Chief, Donna McDine an email at submissions@guardian-angel-kids.com and let them know what you think of Guardian Angel Kids and what you'd like to see in the future. They aim to please.

The Guardian Angel Kids Ezine staff and contributors look forward to your visit. Thank you for your time and interest.

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22. Storytelling Thurs??? Friday (oops)

I just finished The Violinist's Thumb by Sam Kean.  Not a story book at all.  HOWEVER, Kean tells the stories of how dozens of scientists, explorers, and other learned folks - to say nothing of isolated Scandinavian villagers and good old Neanderthal - contributed to what we know about DNA, the building block of our very selves.

If Kean had given his readers, "Just the facts, Ma'am," as Joe Friday was wont to say, I would never have finished the book.  The science is daunting - all those A's and C's and G's and T's and mitochondria and mtDNA and messenger RNA and, please, please DON'T ask me what these things are (I sort of know but I will bungle it, I'm sure).  But the stories, the life histories, the theories, the mangled logic, the loves, the victories and failures...the embarrassments and personalities - even the insane experiments - add them all together and you have a page turner.  Man, that Sam Kean can sure tell a good story.

And after we find out everything that is now known about DNA, Kean tells us stories of how scientists hope to use what they have learned.  DNA is awesome.  We, this world, all living things - totally awesome and scary and thrilling and wow....  Read the book.

Storytelling is a most effective way to get humans to swallow facts and remember them.  There is an organization dedicated to helping educators teach through storytelling.  Good Stories for Good Learning is made up of storytellers and educators who have seen how their personal stories have made the subjects they were teaching become real to their students.  Adding stories, your own or folktales or riddle tales or other people's stories, brings life to learning.  Try it.

There are studies that have shown how the brain reacts to stories differently than to lectures, and there are studies that have proven that students remember the stories they hear - and the facts attached to the stories - longer than those facts without stories.  (And, yes, I promise to share links to some of those studies soon but I am already a DAY LATE with this post, OK?  You can trust me.  Honest.)

So the next time you want to make a point, or help someone remember a fact, or teach something to someone, do what Sam Kean did in his book and what effective teachers are doing in classrooms all over the place - AND what humans have been doing since language began.  Tell a story.

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23. Introducing Anassa Publications, LLC

I have been a busy little writer and have now added publisher to my growing list of titles. I am the proud co-founder of Anassa Publications, LLC!
It all started with a desire to give the Rocky Mountain Women Writers the opportunity to become published in a compilation. I wanted to give back to the hard-working, dedicated writers who make an effort to help our fellow members and writing community. The idea to put together a collection for the RMWW had been brewing for years, I just wasn’t sure exactly how to piece it all together.
After self-publishing a book for my son, I was inspired to go ahead and begin with the process of creating an anthology that would showcase the works of the Rocky Mountain Women Writers. I teamed up with my good friend, fellow author and RMWW member,Diana Dolan, and together we made it happen!
Diana and I had a vision for a company that would help communities thrive and give writers an authentic publication experience  - thus, Anassa Publications, LLC was born!
We are currently accepting submissions for our first project titled,  Anything Prose…and Poetry, too!an anthology that will give special recognition to the Rocky Mountain Women Writers. If you are interested in contributing a story, (or two!), please check out our SUBMISSION GUIDELINES.
The submission deadline for theAnything Prose anthology is September 30th. I hope that you’ll consider sharing your stories with us!
Be sure to check out our website www.AnassaPublications.com, as we will be announcing exciting news and projects in the coming months.
Happy Writing!

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24. Stories CAN Change Us

Much thanks to storyteller, Robin Reichert, for bringing this to my attention.

Over on Brain Pickings, Maria Popova highlights experiments done by Paul Zak, a neuroeconomics engineer.  (And, no, I don't know what a neuroeconomics engineer is.  It sounds a little scary, though.) These experiments showed how listening to a story effected brain chemistry and changed test subjects behavior.

You can watch the video and read Popova's article here.

 It's nice to have empirical data that confirms what we storytellers have known all along.  Stories change us.  So, be careful what you tell.  Stories are not just for entertainment - and they never have been.

2 Comments on Stories CAN Change Us, last added: 10/12/2012
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25. How to Write a Story: Ralph Tells a Story by Abby Hanlon

Ralph Tells a Story written and illustrated by Abby Hanlon (Amazon Children’s Publishing, 2012). It doesn’t matter if your five or twenty-five—if you’re in school, you’re gonna have to write.  And lots of times you have to write stories—stories about yourself.  Maybe it’s a daily journal.  Maybe it’s a “My Special Moment” essay.  Maybe it’s a descriptive narrative for a college composition class. Well, if you’re one of those kids who has NO IDEA what to write about and can’t think of ONE SINGLE STORY, then Abby Hanlon’s Ralph Tells a Story is the book for you. Ralph’s teacher always says, “Stories are everywhere!”  and the kids in Ralph’s class have no trouble finding them.  They write pages and pages and pages during writing time.  But Ralph can’t come up with anything.  Zero, zip, nada. So Ralph does what all smart kids do.  He stalls.  He goes to the bathroom.  He gets a drink.  He offers to help the lunch ladies.  And finally, finally, Ralph thinks of the start of a story. But then he gets stuck. Which is exactly when his teacher asks him to share his story. Luckily for Ralph, his classmates ask lots and lots of questions.  [...]

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