January 2009

Bliain nua fe mhaise dhuit! (Happy New Year)

I hope you rang in the New Year surrounded by those you love and who love you! I know 2008 was challenging for many, but I look forward to a year filled with exciting journeys and challenges.

I have added a new category to the newsletter, Education Highway, which offers workshops, retreats and conferences applicable to the art of storytelling and education. If you have an upcoming event to promote, email me a two-or-three sentence description, along with contact information. Send them no more than two months ahead of time. No fees, no strings attached. Let’s help each other navigate the new learning curves in 2009.

On a personal note, I have partnered with a remarkable non-profit organization, Artworks! in New Bedford, Massachusetts, USA. We are producing an evening Adult Open Mic series each month. Information will be posted on their website soon, so check www.artworksforyou.org for coming attractions. For information on our January event and featured performer, go to http://tinyurl.com/8f74fv. Please join us if you are in the neighborhood. I would love to meet you!

This month, in the United States, we will welcome a new president who will hopefully guide us into more peaceful times. With that in mind, I offer you a smorgasbord of culturally diverse story websites and curriculum connections to celebrate the New Year and our new president. Together, we can create a brilliant tapestry of words and worlds. May the coming year be filled with blessings and bliss for us all.

Go raibh míle maith agat! (May you have a thousand good things!)


Australian Storytelling - January 26 is Australia Day and we can celebrate along with them with just a few clicks of the keys! Stories, articles, interviews, guild events, festivals and more. http://www.australianstorytelling.org.au/

Chinese Legends, or The Porcelain Tower - There are many wonderful myths, folktales and legends from China in this 1848 book now in the public domain. You can even download a copy for free for your own files. http://tinyurl.com/preview.php?num=83p8nd

Forty-Four Turkish Fairy Tales - Be whisked away to the magical land of Turkey, courtesy of the amazing Sacred-Texts site. http://tinyurl.com/8vtcwx

Orkneyjar ~ The Heritage of the Orkney Islands - Pronounced "orc-nee-yahr", the name is generally taken to mean Seal Islands. This is a well crafted site. The information is astounding; tradition, folklore and more. Enjoy the beauty and history of the Orkney Islands. http://tinyurl.com/8hqc2f

Russian Sunbirds -While this site is home to Russian lacquer art, it also offers a stunning array of Russian folktales, fairytales, songs, literature and poetry. http://tinyurl.com/9o8fl3

Story Lovers World - Storyteller Jackie Baldwin is host of this superb radio program, offering tales from tellers around the world. Listen via your own home computer. Turn up the volume and let your imagination take you away! http://tinyurl.com/7vtz9z

Traditions of O’ahu - In honor of our President-Elect, I offer you stories of the island's ancient history and ancestors. The site also offers an extensive bibliography. http://tinyurl.com/5zbnwn

“People are hungry for stories. It is a part of our very being.”
                                                 - Studs Terkel


Family Fun.com - Tons of winter fun; crafts, games, activities, printables and more! http://tinyurl.com/9n2gyt

Kaboose - Winter clip art, games, activities and crafts to help warm your spirit. http://holidays.kaboose.com/winter/

Kinderart - Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow…Decorate your classroom or library with an array of beautiful paper cut creations. http://tinyurl.com/94n9gj Follow up with a lesson plan and activity on painting watercolor Chinese Dragons. http://tinyurl.com/8jutqw


Be the Storyteller - From the Canton Public Library in Michigan, poems and fingerplays listed alphabetically by theme to add some zing to your storytelling. http://tinyurl.com/9u5ek2

FatherTimes.net - From Armenia to Wales, songs, traditions and recipes associated with the New Year. http://tinyurl.com/99yqs7

Lions, Dragons, and Nian: Animals of the Chinese New Year - Wonderfully inclusive lesson plan on the Chinese Spring Festival and eastern and western dragons associated with the Chinese New Year. http://tinyurl.com/6szu7n

New Year Traditions Around the World - Do you ever wonder why a baby is the symbol of the New Year? Find out and make an easy connection to Greek Myths for your students. http://tinyurl.com/35ez8

Snow Crystals.com - We are told no two snowflakes are alike, but now you can see just how different these remarkable gifts of nature truly are. This site is a wonderful addition to any math or science program. http://tinyurl.com/7j45

The Teacher’s Corner - Chinese New Year Lesson Plans and Activities. http://tinyurl.com/97m5ab 
Winter and Children’s Literature - Carol Hurst’s Literature site offers a plethora of book suggestions to warm our thoughts through the cold winter nights. There are also complementary weblinks for educators and children. http://tinyurl.com/8flyjg


Professional Identity - Who are you? And what do you do? Short, interesting article on setting goals, planning your path, and moving ahead. http://tinyurl.com/6e6lxu

Pack the 3R’s While on Holiday Travel - Although the busy holiday season has passed, these tips will serve us well throughout 2009. From the U.S. Environmental Agency, information on ways to reduce, reuse and recycle when you are away from home. http://tinyurl.com/75a2ox


Great Songs for Teachers, Parents & Performers
Jackson Gillman will be teaming up with Sally Rogers and Kim Wallach at the Rowe Conference Center in Rowe, Massachusetts, USA, from February 27 - March 1, 2009. http://www.rowecenter.org/

Northlands Storytelling Network Conference
Come to the Midwest for a weekend filled with workshops, swaps, concerts and fringe performances all in a beautiful, rural setting. http://www.northlands.net/conference.html

Sharing the Fire/The Northeast Storytelling Conference
Workshops focused on using storytelling in a wide variety of settings. A preconference on Therapeutic Storytelling and Storytelling in Education is offered as well. http://www.lanes.org/

Springboards for Stories
A workshop/retreat on January 30, 2009 – February 2, 2009 in Kipling's historic Vermont, USA home. Detailed information can be found under "Springboards for Stories" at http://tinyurl.com/6t55t6

WOW Weekends
Join Mary Hamilton and Cynthia Changaris for a weekend spent working on your storytelling-related work in Bethlehem, Indiana, USA. Weekend retreats are planned for July and September 2009. For more information go to: http://tinyurl.com/7ue9h3

"Far away, there in the sunshine are my highest aspirations.
I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty,
believe in them, and try to follow where they lead."

                                                    - Louisa May Alcott


Celebrate Your Life - What if we made a new kind of resolution this year? A resolution to celebrate yourself and your life! Take a moment, take a breath, and read this wonderful, insightful article by Debra Lynn Dadd and learn how to celebrate your life! http://tinyurl.com/95ejje

Twenty-five Resolutions for Happiness: What I Learned…So Far - I will be more grateful. I will appreciate the moment. I will focus on what I can change. This is just a peek at the insightful advice offered in this article by Molly Stranahan, Psy.D. that is sure to help you begin the New Year with joy and purpose. http://tinyurl.com/7pxod