All was silent.

The few moments before the music started were Sam’s favorite. Everyone stopped talking. All movement was stilled. One perfect, shining moment. He held his breath.

His mother started to play. Her fingers gently caressed the keys, setting the notes free. They tumbled over each other in their haste to escape, flying through the air with indescribable grace.

Hidden out of sight under the belly of the enormous grand piano, Sam swam in an ocean of music. He lifted up his face and let the song swirl around him. It pulsed in his fingers and throbbed in his chest. It rumbled in the ground beneath his back.

Sam floated.

The ocean swelled, great waves lifting him high. He felt the thrill of of being powerless, of soaring without wings and without control. The wave built and built, and Sam flew higher than he had ever flown. Nothing but sky surrounded him, and only the gentle warmth of water on his back reminded him that he was still attached to Planet Earth. With a farewell caress, the wave launched him.

Sam flew.

The air was all playful breezes, ducking in and out, playing jumprope with Sam’s hair. Light as a feather, the winds set him down on a mountaintop. Sam surveyed the earth. It was beautiful.

Majestic plains spread out in every direction, beckoning Sam to come and run. Those vast open stretches were freedom and life. They were very far away.

The ground beneath his feet rumbled. The rocks shook. Trees on every side shivered and swayed. Sam trembled, and the tremble was joy. A storm struck. Thunder crashed and lightening broke the sky. Sweet terror filled Sam’s body as he huddled, one with small forest creatures tucked away in their dens. Sam ducked his head. He curled up small. The storm raged around him, then blew itself out in fury.

Sam opened his eyes.

The last gentle drops of music rained down on his face, each one as warm and comforting as his mothers hands.

The music ended. The grownups applauded. Their voices filled the room again, along with the clinking of glasses and the shuffling of feet, the happy sounds of Christmas partying.

Sam lay in the shadows and pitied them.

Posted in Christmas, Magic | Leave a comment

I Still Believe in Mr. Click

I told you last week that we would be doing our annual “write a Christmas story” day.  I was bracing myself a little bit.  I always worry that one year they’ll open the advent paper for that day and let out a loud groan.  Not this year!  They were excited!  I breathed a sigh of relief, handed them a pile of stickers and a few writing prompts and went to make dinner for a crowd while they got to work.

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Ellie immediately went for the mysterious lump in the Christmas stocking idea.  She says the part with the blue scratch is “because I needed to cross something out and then I decided to use that as part of the story.”  That’s a kind of flexibility and resourcefulness I can get behind.

Her story:

December 14

I walk downstairs but something isn’t right.  I look at my stocking.  It is December 14th and there is a lump in my stocking.  I am about to open it when… “Honey, breakfast time.”

Later I go down and there is a blue scratch on the stocking.  I run my finger over it.  I’m about to open it when… “Time to go to Grandma’s.”

I get home and see a second gash.  I don’t bother to open it.  Later that night I wake up at 11:55.  I walk downstairs.  11:59.  I open it.  12:00, and…

The end.

It’s possible the girl has watched too many Twilight Zones.

Scott was interested in the shrinking Christmas tree.  He also decided to shoot for a rhyming story.  Sort of.

One day at night, I heard a thump down through the chimney – but it wasn’t Saint Nick, but Mr. Click!  Through the smell of his lotion, I could smell shrinking potion!  He ran to our Christmas tree with much glee, poured Christmas shrinking potion on our tree and it shrunk!  I ran to my trunk and got my lotion and growing potion!  So that night no one knew that I had faced a fright!  But they had some of their own…

Apparently he plans a few prequels, about the frights that the rest of the family faced.  The beauty of the rhyming part is that now we have Mr. Click!  He’s now totally a thing, like Festivus and the two moose that top our Christmas tree.

And yes, I might need to talk to my kids about how irritating cliff hangers can be.  But at least they write with glee!  And include our family! With punctuation they are free!

Seriously, I love love love reading the stories they write.

And please don’t hear me leaving out Lu, who is not quite ready to write out her own story, but who makes up the most thrilling tales anyway.  I recorded her telling a story in front of the Christmas tree the next day.  It is long and rambles because,  five-year-old.  But I’m proud to say that it’s about a monster who only comes out on Christmas Eve and that idea was all her own.  If you have some serious patience (and ability to interpret five-year-old speak), you can watch the video below. You’ll be rewarded with moments of very dramatic acting, so there’s that.

If not, Merry Christmas anyway!  May you receive no visits from Mr. Click and find no blue scratches on your stocking.  (Unless your holidays are getting boring, in which case, bring it on.)

 

Posted in My kids wrote it, The Storytelling Life | Leave a comment

All the Best Books are Old Books

We have two huge boxes of Christmas books for kids, collected over the years.  As it should be, at least a half dozen of them are different retellings of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas and another dozen are solemn versions of the first Christmas.  We have the obligatory Bad Kitty’s  Christmas and Snowmen at Christmas thanks to the kids’ more recent requests.

Still, my favorite books are the really old ones I’ve found. I’ve picked them up at garage sales and thrift stores.  A few are from my own childhood.  Their pages are worn and some are stained.  Most have inscriptions with unknown names on the inside covers.  They are nostalgic and well-loved and quirky.

Especially quirky.  There is nothing like them when you need a good laugh.

A few of my favorites:

1.

An Irish Night Before Christmas by Sarah Kirwan Blazek (Illustrated by James Rice) – This book is the youngest in my old book collection. Published in 1996, it’s still nearly 20 years old (which isn’t possible, and yet it appears to be true). It features Irish Santa and his seven wee lads delivering gifts while downing a fair portion of whiskey. It’s really great stuff (the story, I mean, not the whiskey, though I’m sure that was excellent, too). The poem is written in dialect, so I get to flaunt my awesome Irish accent to the kids when I read it. And I do read it to them. Every single year. They love it, too.

The best page? The one where the donkey is eating the roof. No contest.
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So much for the cultural diversity of the ’90s. If you want to really revel in the unintentionally bizarre, you have to travel back to the ”70s.

2.

Clem, the Clumsy Camel by Virginia Mueller (illustrated by Betty Wind) – This is one of those Arch Books. You know, the ones labeled “quality religious books for children” and full of Bible stories set to rhymes which warped our understanding of the real events for decades? Perhaps you had a few when you were a child. This was always my favorite Christmas one. I mean, for starters, the title. Right? The whole story is just the right kind of ridiculous. Clem is too clumsy to properly kneel to let his riders get on his back. Still, somehow he is chosen to accompany the wise men on their journey to see the new baby Jesus. He does his job a little awkwardly, but of course he has a cheerful attitude (unlike the other grumpier camels).

The best page? Easily the last one. Because, listen up, kids, the magical healing powers of baby Jesus can make even a clumsy schmuck graceful.  (Also, “regal camel grace’? Really? That is SO not a thing.)

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3.

Santa’s Beard is Soft and Warm by Bob Ottum and Jo Anne Wood (Illustrated by Rod Ruth)First of all, pause a moment to acknowledge the brilliance of highlighting for children the strokability of facial hair. Now savor the fact that it took TWO people to write this book…AND IT DOESN’T EVEN RHYME. Clearly people were very excited about the possibilities of touch and feel books in the ’70s, so I grant you that a Christmas version was inevitable, but it is amusing to note that more than one page has you just touching a piece of felt.  Like kids in the ’70s weren’t already familiar with the feel of felt.

The best page? It’s a real toss up on this one. After all, there is a page with a scratch and sniff pine tree, but since mine has lost its smell in the ensuing 40 years, I’m going with awesome page where the authors encourage kids to snap Santa’s suspenders. Genius.

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So there’s my top three, and believe you me, the collection is only going to keep growing. And! Thanks to the power of the internet, you too can own any of these fine gems just by clicking the images above and ordering one brought to your door. If they had known about this in the ’70s, they would have thought they were tripping.

Happy Christmas, everyone. May the laughter outweigh the chaos, even if only a little.

Posted in Book Recommendations, Christmas | Leave a comment

The Perfect Moment

The one I keep remembering is odd
I’m not sure why it stands out quite this way
The details aren’t clear now in my mind
But the feeling is still there, as bright as day

It was a velvet poster, you know the ones?
All black and fuzzy but for the design?
A little pack of pens to color with?
A premade masterpiece to make all mine.

I know those things are common nowadays
You buy them for two dollars, three for five
But this was maybe 1987?
When velvet made it good to be alive.

I got it Christmas Eve, which wasn’t normal
At a party that our good friends always threw
A family friend had given it to me
A small gift for a child, the way you do

So here’s the moment printed in my mind
We’re driving home, the car is dark, it’s late
I’m in the back and holding that new gift
My fingers stroke the velvet like it’s fate

I’m perfectly happy
Both contented and thrilled
Though tomorrow is Christmas
My heart’s already filled

Why a velvet poster of all things?
The chance to create beauty with no skill?
Or maybe just that it was unexpected?
Or that I could use it up and have it still?

In any case it was a Christmas moment
Whatever the psychology behind it
That childhood joy we talk so much about?
That’s one of the weird things that helped me find it

It’s such a random thing, though, don’t you think?
There’s no way that my parents could have known.
They probably had bought me something better
No doubt I loved it, but the memory’s flown

That’s just the way of Christmas (and of life)
Contentment that complete cannot be forced
If I give a velvet poster to my daughter
It won’t replicate the magic joy, of course

Instead, I do what my own parents did
I make a life of joy and friends and fun
I let go of expectation (or I try)
And when those moments come, well then, they come

fuzzy

 

Posted in Christmas, Poetry | Leave a comment

Make Your Own Magic

Lately I’ve been thinking of each month as a color.

October was orange.  The exact burnt shade of the brilliant trees that line so many streets in my city.  Breath-taking.  November was deep green.  The glorious fall leaves had all faded away and the evergreens were all you could see.  Strong, steady, a little moody but in a way that makes you feel like cold, brittle days are no match for them.

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December, though.  It’s color can’t be easily defined.  It’s less of a specific hue and more of a glow.  I would call it white, but any artist can tell you there’s no such thing.  December’s glow is soft and warm.  It belongs with everything, but it could never be called neutral. It twinkles just a little, just enough to make magic seem possible, but not enough to blind you with its blinging dazzle.  It’s a glow, not a shine.  It suggest the comfort of home and the mystery of unknown possibilities at the same time.

December is a time for magic.  Not the cheesy Hallmark Christmas movie kind of magic.  Everyone knows that kind of magic isn’t real.  Not the magic of a baby’s birth, either.  That isn’t magic, but truth and love, and it echoes across the years with its own power.

No, this is the magical time where we look into the face of winter, our bitter cold enemy, and with a wave of our holiday wand, we welcome him as a friend.  We embrace him.  We build up a fire and bake cookies and cakes and then beg, actually beg, for snow.  We bundle up against temperatures that would otherwise kill us and go outside to sing. To sing!  We don’t even do that in the summer, people.

That’s real magic.

That’s magic we invent ourselves, digging into our collective imagination and arming ourselves with a narrative that carries us out victoriously into an inhospitable world.

Man, I love this time of year.

I mean, say what you want about how over the top this season has become in our culture, but we have created the ultimate fairy tale.  We’ve transformed this bleak, frigid month of endless night into a bright bewilderment of joy.  That’s my kind of magic.

We’re going to make up stories around here this week.  It’s one of the things we do every year, a part of our wonderful, ridiculous custom of make-believe wonder.  We’ll look around at the happy decorations we’ve draped in every corner, and we’ll let our imaginations roam.  I’ll give the kids some ideas just to get them started.

The day the Christmas shrank down teeny tiny…

How the snowman ornament lost his hat…

When the Christmas books all fell open and their characters threw a party…

There’s a mysterious lump in my Christmas stocking, and it’s only December 14th…

Joy to the moon…

We’ll laugh.  We’ll laugh a lot, I’m guessing.  And we’ll roll our eyes a bit and we’ll try to out-do each other.  We’ll set our minds free and see where they go.

But I have to admit that the whole time, I’ll be thinking of the biggest story of them all.  The one I’ve been telling them since they were just little babies.  It’s cold outside, but there’s nothing to fear.  All is warm and bright in here.  This isn’t a time for the dark and the sad.  It’s a time for presents! Be excited! Be glad!

(What? Of course my narrative rhymes.  It’s Christmas, people.)

 

Posted in Christmas, The Storytelling Life | Leave a comment

The Great Advent Brawl of 2014

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It’s the worst Christmas disaster since the year the power went out during It’s a Wonderful Life and I witnessed every minute of it. You can see a lot from the top of the tree, and I may have a broken wing, but there’s nothing wrong with my ears, let me tell you.

It had been brewing for over a week. It’s all this advent stuff, the counting down until Christmas Day, you know? Used to be you just wrote a letter to Santa and lit a candle every Sunday, but these last few years there’s something new every time you turn around, and if you think these guys like being replaced with something fancier and more trendy, you’ve obviously never met an Elf on the Shelf.

That little Elf was really the instigator. The candles on the mantel have been around a long time, almost as long as I have, and they’ve seen enough Christmas traditions come and go that they don’t get worked up about much. Those calendars on the wall get pretty huffy about how no one opens their little doors after the first week, but they’re all talk. I mean, that Elf of the Shelf was a cocky little twit those first few years, so you can’t really blame the calendars for muttering under their breath a lot, but honestly, even if they weren’t pinned in place, they wouldn’t have the guts to do anything rash. Shelfy, though? He was always a little unstable, so it wasn’t exactly a shock that he finally tipped.

It was the Lego calendar that did it. You’ve seen these things, right? A fantastic new toy to build each and every day? That Elf may have bells on his toes, but there’s no way he can compete with a build-your-own-spaceship. He tried. I mean, he pulled out all the stops. Wrote jokes on the bathroom mirror with lipstick. Spilled flour all over the kitchen floor. Hung upside down over the kids’ faces when they woke up in the morning. He got their attention with that one, but as soon as the screams died away, he was tossed aside in the mad scramble to see what new little package of magic bricks was waiting for them that day.

Everyone went off to work and school, so I was the only one there to see the look on Elf’s face when he crawled out from under the pile of dirty pajamas. Well, me and the wall calendars, and their remarks on the occasion didn’t do anything to improve his state of mind, let me tell you.

I think that was the day he started plotting it. Or maybe it was the next day when the little space man mini-figure showed up. That space man was silver and shiny, and he refused to speak at all. After the kids had gone crazy over him and then been rushed out the door, the Elf tried to start up a conversation. He was pretty obviously fishing for weaknesses, but he didn’t find any because the mini-guy didn’t say a word. The more questions the space man ignored, the angrier the Elf got. It was pretty funny, really, but if I had realized what it all would lead to, I wouldn’t have laughed so hard, believe me.

In any case, the next day (this would have been yesterday) Shelfy went around muttering under his breath and pulling bits of tinsel down off the garland on the stairs. I saw him doing it, but I guess I assumed he was up to his usual tricks, going to litter it all over the kids’ pillows or tie it around their toothbrushes or some such nonsense. You know what they say about assuming.

He put his plan into action just after dinner tonight. The family was gathered around in the living room watching television, and Shelfy goes and gets out this long rope he’s made by tying those bits of tinsel together. It wasn’t until he started swinging it that I realized he had turned it into a lasso. Let me tell you, that Elf has quite an arm (considering it’s made out of a pipe cleaner). He snagged the Lego calendar in one throw and with a mighty yank, he pulled it right down off the kitchen counter. It crashed to floor in a mangled heap of bent cardboard, and Shelfy let out a crow of victory.

He hadn’t counted on the toys that had already been opened, though.

This is December 8th, people, which means three little robots, four flying ships, and a ticked off space man.

They swarmed. That’s the only word for it. One minute, Mr. Elf on the Shelf is standing there laughing his head off, and the next minute, he’s being dive-bombed by airplanes made of brightly colored bricks. Shelfy’s laugh turned to a scream pretty fast.

He still had his lasso, though, and he was determined to use it. He whipped it around so fast he managed to actually take out one of the tiny ships, breaking it to pieces on the tile. The enraged robots now entered the fray, leaping off the counter toward Shelfy’s head. Two of them hit their spot, but the third overshot and hit the wall instead, tearing a long strip right down the middle of the oldest advent calendar.

Did I say those wall calendars were all talk and no action? That was before their grandfather was killed. Suddenly, every door on every calendar was opening and closing at one. Tacks ripped out of the walls and those calendars took flight. Yes. I’m serious. I’ve never seen anything like it. The flapped down toward the chair that Shelfy was desperately climbing in a bid to get away from the angry Lego-bots, brushing him and his pursuers to the ground. Both robots broke into pieces, and the Elf scrambled away quick as a wink. He managed to grab hold of the nearest calendar as it lifted back into the air for another attack. He clung tight until it swung him up over the table then let go. The calendars were coming back for another attack, but before they got there, a silver blur streaked across the table. It was the space man.

Space Man and Shelfy tumbled off the table and across the floor, over and over, punching and kicking, right down the steps and into the family room. So far, the family hadn’t noticed a thing, but the dog did now. He leaped up from his spot on the couch, barking at the tangled up toys, still going at it on the rug. I guess that puppy thought it was a new game or maybe a threat to the family that he needed to fend off. All I know is, he launched himself into the fray, slamming his smelly, furry self right into the Christmas tree.

You guess it. It tipped. I felt it. I had that horrible moment, the one where you know it’s going to happen but there’s nothing you can do to stop it? And over we all went. I managed to flutter a bit with my unbroken wing and save myself, but most of the ornaments weren’t so lucky. At least half of them smashed. The other half lay in shock and terror, wondering why the tree had stopped at forty degree angle.

Answer? The tree’s fall had been stopped when the top branches hit the mantle and got lodged there. Good news for the ornaments that never hit the ground. Bad news for the candles that stood on the mantle.

Down they went, all in a row like dominoes falling one after the other. Those candles which had hurt anyone or even spoken an unkind word in all their lives were cracked and chipped leaning sadly to one side. The last one fell off completely, rolling slowly across the floor to stop at the feet of one naughty Elf and his mini-figure enemy.

Both toys stared in shock and horror.

The family stared in shock and horror.

It had all happened so fast. One minute all was happy and bright and the next? Disaster.

“What just happened?” asked the dad after a second.

“I’m not sure we’ll ever know,” said the mom.

“That is the craziest thing I have ever seen!” yelled the son.

“I couldn’t even see what was going on!” said the oldest sister.

“I bet the angel saw it!” exclaimed the youngest sister.

The whole family laughed.

But she was right. I saw the whole thing, every single minute, and let me tell you what, it’s time for a little less advent at Christmas time, people.

It would be a lot safer for everyone.

Posted in Christmas, Silliness | Leave a comment

Tell Me A Story, Baby

So, I did this thing.

It was years ago and basically just a part of my constant desperation to entertain my kids and keep things merry and bright in a land where Christmas means 90 degree weather.

This was five years ago.  Ellie was 5.  Scott was 3.  Lucy was just a little thing that lay around and looked cute.

I made a big paper chain and wrote an activity on each ring and we pulled one off every day in December and did the activity. This was not an original idea, obviously. Surprise! I didn’t invent advent! But seriously, it was magical. It spread the fun and excitement of Christmas out over the course of weeks instead of just one or two days. We’ve been doing something like it every year since.

And then! Because it is really hard to make up 24 activities (and because I really hate crafts and so can only do a very, VERY few), I made random activities like this one: Everyone uses the plastic nativity set to tell the story of Baby Jesus. Mommy videos these stories and posts them online. The kids loved telling the story. They loved being on video. It was a happy half hour. Then I posted them and the grandparents far away in another country could see the little darlings. Fun, easy, no prep necessary, no cleanup necessary. Basically the perfect activity.

And that was before I knew how it would feel to watch those videos five years later.

You guys. That thing I did? It was one of the best things I’ve ever done. Watching them now? No words.

They’re a bit long, so if you can’t make it through them all, I understand. But it would be a crime not to post them here at all. A serious crime.

Here is Ellie, age 5. Her version is very sweet and conscientious.

Here is Scott, age 3. His version includes a flying donkey and is all told in his adorably raspy little voice. It kills me.

We didn’t have one of Lucy from back then, of course, but after the wonder of watching those, we made one of her this year. Oh yes. Now, she was slightly influenced by having watched the other videos a few days before, but the king who tried to make the wise men his slaves? That’s all her own.

Enough of our cuteness. Go make your own!

Seriously.

Go make your own.

In five years, you’ll be so glad you did.

P.S. If you don’t have an unbreakable nativity set that your kids can play with, buy one now! They are the best for storytelling. The best. In addition to that weird brown plastic one in the videos (which I bought at an Argentine dollar store) we have the Playmobile set. The 8 and 10-year-old still play with it. Highly recommend. Or get this little one. It’s cute and inexpensive.

Posted in The Storytelling Life | Leave a comment

Let There Be Books (The Holiday Gift Guide)

It’s Black Friday, and I wish you a warm fire in the coziness of your own home. I wish you brilliant turkey bacon grilled cheese sandwiches and all your Christmas presents bought online.

That’s not just an idle wish, either. I can’t send you the grilled cheese, but I can help you out a bit with that Christmas shopping. What’s the little saying I’m always seeing these days? “Something they want, something they need, something to wear, something to read.” We’ve got the “something to read” covered. Check it out (and just click on the image if you want to buy it right away):

1.  For the little guys.  Mac Barnett is one of my son’s favorite authors.  Such a great sense of humor.  I’m thinking of pairing it with this for fun.

2.  For the Lego Lovers among us.  If they can read, even better, but the pictures are the awesome part of this one.

3. For any young reader. It’s little enough to be a stocking stuffer and short enough to be read in those two boring hours between presents and Christmas dinner. Also check out Neil Gaiman’s other books. I love this one.

4. For the future Jane Austen lover. With the added bonus that this book just looks like Christmas.

5. For the hard-to-shop for preteen. It’s educational AND cool. Win.

6. For the teenage crowd. This is the best non-Hunger Games series I’ve read yet. It’s not as well-known as some, so your teen probably hasn’t read it yet, and it’s clean and awesome, so you can buy it for your niece without horrifying your brother-in-law.

7. For your budding storytellers. If they just need a little help getting going, this book will walk them through the process. Fun illustrations and great layout.

8. For your sister. She probably already loves Rainbow Rowell, and this book (her latest) is a love story for married grownups. That’s an unusual genre of book, and it’s lovely (which is just what you expect from Rowell by now).

9. For your sci-fi loving brother. Or your hipster brother-in-law. Or the inscrutable literary fiction lover. It works on many levels. Cat’s Cradle: A Novel
is the best old-book-I-should-have-already-read that I got around to this year. It’s short (reads super quickly) but full of win. You can see how many other sci-fi works have borrowed from Vonnnegut. Pair it with his letters, which tell his life story, and you’ve got some great hours of reading.

Happy shopping, everyone! And happy laying around eating leftovers. And happy putting up Christmas trees.

And (because it’s okay if you just bought them for yourself), happy reading!

Posted in Book Recommendations, Christmas | Leave a comment

Ode to Pie

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Pie, oh, pie
I will not lie
I could eat you ’til I die
Oh sweet, sweet pie

Cherry, you’re delightful
You’re a gift from heav’n above
You are tart and you are sweet
But it’s your ruby red I love

Pie, oh pie
I will not lie
I could eat you ’til I die
Oh sweet, sweet pie

Apple, you’re a classic
You are warm and fill my soul
With your cinnamony goodness
Each wholesome bite makes me feel whole

Pie, oh pie
I will not lie
I could eat you ’til I die
Oh sweet, sweet pie

Pecan, you’re kind of quirky
Your nutty outside is forbidding
Rich, sticky sweetness rewards the daring
and no need to share you with the kidlings

Pie, oh pie
I will not lie
I could eat you ’til I die
Oh sweet, sweet pie

Pumpkin, you’re the king of pies
You make me feel like I am wealthy
Smooth and spicy, but best of all things
I can tell myself you’re healthy

Pie, oh pie
I will not lie
I could eat you ’til I die
Oh sweet, sweet pie

Posted in Fall, Poetry | 1 Comment

More Monday Morning Treasure

That’s right, I’ve got another stash for you, to brighten up your holiday week.  If you’re in the middle of the rush, put a pin in it.  These will make a nice little break while the turkey’s roasting (or when you’ve disappeared into a back room to escape the relatives).

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  • As promised, we saw Mockingjay this weekend.  It totally won me over.  I won’t add any spoilers here, but I did learn that Suzanne Collins had a hand in the plotting, which explains why this movie had its own arc and was satisfying, even though it was only half of the book.  On a side note, it was heartbreaking to watch Phillip Seymour Hoffman doing his amazing thing.  Completely heartbreaking.
  • My kids are off school this whole week (I know!  It WAS just a few weeks ago that they had two weeks off.  The joys of year-round school.) so we’re getting all festive around here.  This season makes me want to make up stories that mock the famous Christmas tales.  Why is that?  Anyway, I’ll resist, but mostly because this already IS the parody you’re looking for.  CLICK IT.
  • Speaking of the holidays, this is a wonderful idea for a gift for your child.  It can’t be wrapped up under the tree, but how amazing would it be?
  • And on the topic of children’s books, we feel this way about book jackets, too.
  • This story going around on Facebook has me thinking of the power of real life stories.  It’s all about really seeing people.
  • While we’re thinking about other cultures, check out these idioms from around the world.  I want to find ways to casually drop these into conversation during this holiday season.
  • If that doesn’t liven up the conversation enough, I’m going to make one of these napkins for our Thanksgiving table, but with my own topics of conversation.  The man who invented this was a genius.
  • Something beautiful for you before you go.  Kilian Schoenberger’s photography is stunning.  The Scotland pictures are going to be inspiring me for a long time.  That one above filled me up better than a Thanksgiving dinner.

Happy week, all!

Posted in The Storytelling Life | Leave a comment