Thursday, December 29, 2011

Sharing The Fire State of Mind - Albany

Come to Albany New York

 join storytellers from all over the Northeast in getting into a New York State of Mind!

Sharing the Fire
Storytelling Conference
March 16,17,18, 2012

Ride Share Info on the Lanes website
League for the Advancement of New England Storytelling


I'll be sharing a pre-conference workshop on Friday,
My Web Presence is Dead and Other Fear Factors
Registration opens January 3, 2012

performances, workshops, story swaps, story slam, keynote by Kevin Cordi
Public Invited

Monday, December 26, 2011

Young Voices; Narrative to Grow With

Young Voices

Young voices have stories

Young voices engaging issues with story

We need to bring more young people to the power of storytelling and the ways in which it will transform their world to a narrative they can share, learn from and grow with!

see what wikipedia says about Narrative:

In Connecticut it is happening with  Campus Slammer a program of the Connecticut Storytelling Center  Campus Slammer is an intercollegiate competition in story slams, five minute personal narrative stories shared for scores and prizes!

Mass Mouth Inc. has narrative story happening in the greater Boston area.  Story Slams for adults and youth are scheduled regularly. Programs within the high schools are reaching young people where they are and giving them the tools to share their story. Check out the fresh faces of story in this StoriesLive® clip!

Youth Voice is defined and discussed in Wikipedia :

There is a National Movement as well led by the  Youth, Educators,and Storytellers Alliance / YES  contact them and read more at:

Faces of  Youth in CT. Sharing Stories
 Join the fresh faces of storytelling in 2012

Contact Connecticut Storytelling Center to get your College in Connecticut involved in Campus Slammer 2012

Got Narrative?
Past blog on Campus Slammer:

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Thanks to Some of My 2011 Venues

The community in Hampton CT. on Memorial Day
                 The Orr Family at Fort Hill Farms, Thompson , CT.

                               The Northeast Regional Cowboy Mounted Shooting Competition

              The Guilford Fair Donkey and Mule Show  (CT)

The Lippitt Show - Tunbridge, VT.  Lippitt Morgan Horses 
  Karen Swanburg and  Mint Black Jack shown

                         Ocean House at Watch Hill Rhode Island

                                     Stories in the Portable Pantry  Rochester New Hampshire

                             The Big E - New England's State Fair  - Springfield, MA.

One of my 2011 projects VoiceMail is reported on in this blog. Dec 26 is the next VoiceMail at 7 p.m. with my Holiday Epic tale Christmas Spirits being shared:

2011 I was also active with the Connecticut Storytelling Center here is the blog on the annual Festival and the workshop I did:

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Weather Vanes Story Resources part 4

Here is a collection of resources on Deer  etc:

How Lizard Beat Big Deer  from storyteller Mike Lockett:

Deer Hunters Share their stories - how legends are made!

From The native American Cultures A Sampling:
Deer Woman:

 Seems to be some strong natural connection between storytellers and Moose, see below;

A whole herd lives up north known as Moose Tellers - can't you just picture the circle of moose listening intently as they share stories!  Check out Moose Tellers here:

Another storyteller is quite often in the company of a moose!

One storyteller took on the name itself ,  Ed "Moose" Duke

From Greek Mythology and timed for the days around the winter solstice: The Myth of Halcyon:   

Ships stories: From world storytelling day videos, here is a water themed story that would make a perfect Story Slam entry, a ship tale from  a tall ship in the modern era!

Others in this series:

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Reveiw: CD Prarie Child with Bert Marshall

Prairie Child CD  Bert Marshall   available on CD Baby

Not the sound I was expecting, the word prairie evoked soft windswept to me, but here the prairie is alive with a beat of a full bodied rich composition. Each song a story in itself the  music is vibrant and draws the listener in. The opening piece "Road to Nowhere" is a song to listen to over and over. From the Road to Nowhere, that songs 18 wheeler takes you to the streets of New York. Ten songs each a strong stand alone piece make this CD a must have for your collection.

The talents of  Bert Marshall are not his music alone. He is a performer and a graduate of Yale Divinity School. He presently works for Church World Service. He  travels sharing a unique performance of the Gospel Of Mark, which is punctuated by his music and mastery of storytelling in long form.

Gospel of Mark

Rev. Bert Marshall shares the story of the entire Gospel of Mark in compelling performance. To learn more about that his website is:  Please watch the trailer video, it is compelling.

an earlier blog I wrote on that is here:

other reviews I've written:

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Rye Beach

Rye Beach, New Hampshire

rhythm of my heart
Gull cry

My grandmother Pauline ( Tiny) Marshall

My aunt Ginny 1921

My Dad in 1936 or 37 tan as can be and playing with a friend named Ricky.

December 10, 2011
      I am drawn to visit the beach and walk the sand and listen to the gulls cry. This is an exercise in reconnecting with my past. This is a place I go  that lifts my spirits and reminds me of where I come from and where I want to go. While standing here gazing out at Star Island ( one of my most favorite places in the world) I couldn't help but wonder when my Dad last saw this beach of his childhood and did he ever think it might be the last time. I took a few minutes extra to soak up this wonderful scenery, I am so glad I made the trip to New Hampshire for storytelling and a side visit to see my cousins at the beach and take a walk full of memories!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

5 Unusual Gifts

I don't want to give what everyone else is giving, but where do we find the unusual?

In our imaginations!

5th place in my list of unusual gifts to give:  A tire and a rope for hours of fun!
 ( rocker not included; some assembly required!)

4th Place
The Wheelbarrow
Fill this gift with fertilizer, trowel, seeds, gloves and a sprinkler and hose and get the gardener on your list dreaming of spring!

                                                           3rd in our list of Unusual Gifts

                                                                The Family Membership
         Old Sturbridge Village a Massachusetts museum  a great choice to give the gift of family membership for a year. Look for a similar museum near you get the family out  learning and enjoying the day together!       
           Another museum choice in the Connecticut area would be  Mystic Seaport can't go wrong either way both great adventures over and over again! P.S. a camera memory card would go great with this gift! 

                                                               #2 on the Unusual Gift list

 How about an experience they will never forget. Bundle up for your very own "over the river and through the woods", adventure. This scene from in Franklin CT. You can find a suitable livery service, carriage rides in most states with a google search.  Sleigh Bells ring, are you listening.....

                                                  Number 1 on the Unusual Gifts List
                                   scoring high in the shop local ideology this holiday season

                                                           A Special  Performance
The perfect gift for families, relatives in a nursing facility, reunions, company get together, a school, a child's teacher, your scout or 4-H group, give a gift of storytelling or musical performance.
                              You can find a storyteller near you by visiting one of these sites:    Connecticut                     New England and New York                 National

Friday, December 2, 2011

Weather Vanes; Story Resources Part 3

More Weather Vanes with accompanying resources for stories, written or oral.

egg laying contest Uconn
There was a time when the world made tracks to Storrs CT.  bringing their best hens for a prestigious competition in egg laying to find the world's best producers. One of these coops remains as a historic marker to that time.
 ( Thanks to the Dodd Center at Uconn for permission to use this photo)

poultry science
Professor Daniel Talmadge taught poultry science at Uconn in the 70's and before. Our class was a group of  typical college kids making  commentary. We came up with a sketch of three chickens that  had cartoon style speech bubbles and comments  then it was adhered  on Dr. Talmadge's office door.  "Talmadge's Trio" and  our anonymous opinions were there for everyone passing by. He seemed to like our sense of humor. We of course being late teens - early twenties thought we were terribly funny and clever. We were just college kids up to the usual and not far removed from Saturday morning cartoons.

Rooster/ Hen Stories

Here at Jackie Baldwin's site you can find quite a few chicken links

I love this blog post by Storyteller Sue Black:

Retrieve More Dog Stories

                                                             Dog Stories
My All Time Favorite Dog Story Comes from Storyteller Donald Davis of North Carolina. I think I'll wear out the CD  "Gone Visitin". On that CD recorded live at the National Storytelling Festival  is the track  Rainy Weather 33.40  minutes of perfection in a dog story!

My next favorite comes from Bill Harley  on his Grammy Winning CD Blah Blah Blah,  the 7 minute song: Bow Wow Wow  you could have this in time for the dog lover on your shopping list and for the last minute shopper how about those downloads - instant GIFT!

Falwell Barn Uconn
Historic Beef and Dairy Barn at Uconn College of Ag. History of College,  Ct Agricultural College founded by Charles and Augustus Storrs. A little of their story in  this link:

                                                    Beef and Dairy Til the Cows Come Home
                       ( guess they are already here! But here are some resources anyway! )
Didn't know about my dairy connection have a look
here is my video from this falls corn harvest:

Do you remember Elsie the Cow? She was a starlet in her own right!

Here is a new kids cattle page:

Previous Posts in Weather Vanes Series:

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Review- Tom Callinan ; Commemorations and I'll Take New England Any Day

Tom Callinan Introduces us to two new CD's of his  legendary music!

Commemorations    and   I'll Take New England Any Day

Commemorations is a collection of local legends and National treasures put to music. The characters of a time past and gone are given the breath of life in their story told. The music is warm, engaging and memorable as the tunes wind you into a tale centuries old or as fresh as yesterdays commute across the Baldwin Bridge.

This is CD is perfect compliment to  a classroom, would work well in a pub, the music is for museums and families alike.  This  2011 release is sure to be a favorite among the history lovers and the classic sounds of guitar and voice meld into the troubadours message.

On this CD I fell in love with a couple of the songs right away. One is the tale of Sebal Luddington, a previously unsung heroine. She made a valiant ride similar to Paul Revere and with that ride earned her right to be honored in lore and song.

Another fave of this album is Bushnell's Turtle. I love the rythym and the descriptive nature of the Turtle's work.  This is certainly a song of bravery.  17 songs on this packed CD, a sure thing for the next long car trip or as a gift to student of history.

3:12 the time it takes to sum up the great body of work completed by Connecticut great Noah Webster. His mastery of word and language truly unsurpassed. Whenever I pick up a dictionary from this time on  my toe will tap out a beat to a song  of the wonder of all those words.

Land of Hills and Mills is a wonderful tale of the Quiet Corner of Connecticut. The 5:46 second journey is a timeline of what once was and now is Killingly, CT.

Bells of Norwich, service of the Yantic Fire Dept. and  a heroic stand against odds at Fort Griswold help to fill out a collection of historical power in music.

The Second CD is : "I'll Take  New England Any Day"
    This is a collection of songs to perfectly describe all the variables that New England can be, sometimes all within a day! A second purpose is recognizing holidays in song. The Patriotism of a Memorial Day or Fourth of July down to the  "Christmas in Connecticut" track.

Does an Apple have the power to haunt, well maybe those of Micah Rood do, listen and find out. Other tracks feature the music of simple pipe flutes, in haunting tone or lilting like an Irish jig. The longing tones of the flute bring out the power in the words of the  creation story of the Abenaki Peoples in the story of  Mount Monadnock. 

The CD is  versatile and easy to listen to with  styles well matched to the traditional tale they interpret. I highly recommend both of Tom Callinan's CD's.
Tom Callinan
The First CT. State Troubadour will be launching these CD's simultaneously from the Customs House ( home to  New London Maritime Society) in New London CT. The debut is part of a festival of Celebration sponsored by the Maritime Museum in New London, CT. Dec 3 at 6:30 p.m. Children 10 and up will enjoy the performance and adults will  listen anew to tales once heard now brought back in song.

(Please call for a reservation space is limited 860-447-2501. $5.00 to guests over age 14. Members of the society enter free)

other blog with a nautical interest:

CD Debut  Celebration Announcement in Blog

Saturday, November 26, 2011

World's Best Writing Prompt

Even the student who never wore out a pencil is encouraged to write a full page for this writing prompt!

  Have a story about a letter you wrote or read? Leave it in the comments.

another blog with a prompt:

Friday, November 25, 2011

Fairy Think-ets Game Review

                   Fairy Think-ets by Think-a-lot Toys Review

Once Upon A Time.... It can begin that way but where the tale turns to from there is any ones guess. With the Think-a-lot Fairy set of trinkets imagination is the key to a classic or not so classic fairy tale. With cues from the  selection of  a tiny item the hero or heroine may be looking to the magical powers of a mirror and then swept away on a skateboard. To children they are a key to imaginative play and release of the inner child for adults.

Fairy Tales as Spoken Word are not the only delight. This set makes a fun game of concentration. What piece is missing and acquiring the skills of quick memory recall are a great learning asset.
Other blog reviews of games for storytelling fun:

Want to try to finish this tale from the picture above make your ending using the items not mentioned and put it in the comment box.

      Once upon a time a magical Blue Butterfly was released in Cambridge, Ma. it flitted about the country side. Wherever it landed stories unfolded of the ancients and the new, in small gatherings and large venues.  Sometimes the Blue Butterfly was seen near cool waters, in green gardens and where rare Books stand side to side. Words flowed like fine wine from a Goblet and were sweet to the lips and ears alike. 
      A cold north wind blew around the corner. It always comes, and has for time eternal, its presence a sign of........

Go ahead finish it in the comment box there is no limit to the number of ways this story can be told.
Left to use: stone, purple rose, butterfly ring, pink bottle, heart, seed, leaf, mushroom, cute, sun medallion, mirror.
To order see who will you gift with the magic of story?

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Think-Ets Game Review

Review of Think-ets by Think-a-lot Toys

Not going out to face the bustle of Black Friday Shopping?

You won't find me out there either!

I want to stay home and play a family game, I might even do some online shopping. I will be looking at my list of naughty and nice and deciding who will be getting a good lump of coal and who a shiny wrapped parcel. Well, I have a sleigh but no reindeer so maybe the Santa routine is not for me.

I have been playing with Think-ets with various age groups and want to share with you that we have had a lot of fun! With multiple game choices and the easy convenience of a small bag to carry with me this Deluxe Set is  a big hit from grade school to senior citizens. Mixed ages is stimulating because everyone brings their imagination and the stories take some fun turns.  Embedded in the game are teachable moments, a famous quote, a reference to another place and time. Twice without prompt student groups came up with Romeo and Juliet story versions.

Playing concentration by laying the pieces out and removing one was a favorite. I could see how sharp the kids were as they studied the array of items and tried different techniques to keep the mental list.

Think-ets will be on my list of things to order so that the fun and stories continue. I am appreciative of the students who happily volunteered to play games and  let me watch the play proceed. This was the perfect way to spend the last few minutes of class today. Now I will be looking forward to the next time I'm in a groups setting and we can play Think-ets from Think-a-lot Toys in Boulder, Colorado.

                                                                Go Ahead, it's your turn!

other blogs that reviewed gift ideas:

StoryPlay Cards

Mike Lockett the Normal Storyteller CD from

Rory's Story Cubes

Subscribe or Follow today if you want to receive the upcoming reviews of more games and CD's, Thank -You!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thanksgiving A List of Giving Thanks!

My family - as always I am thankful for my family and this year in particular for my Brother, Steve Marshall. We took a long journey through our parents illness and passing together and I am so grateful to have had him at my side! Thank- You Steve!
Here Steve is at work on the restoration of the Nathan Hale School House Museum at New London, CT.

I am thankful for Grandchildren: There is nothing like the smiles and hugs and kisses of Grandchildren and to hear them call "Grandma!"

                                                  Zoom Zoom Zoom in your homemade car!

I am thankful for family milestones:

                                                   My son Tim graduated from High School    


                                                      William's Baptism was a special day!

I am Thankful for all my children and all those children I spend time with!

I am Thankful for life's simple pleasures,

Good Food
Sunset and Rain
My Work
The Ladies at the Dairy


past blogs of family and home: