November 2009

Hello friends,

This issue marks the one year anniversary of the Catch the Storybug newsletter! I am grateful to all of you who took a leap of faith with me in the beginning, and to those who have found their way here these last 12 months. Thank you! I sincerely hope everyone has found something in the previous issues to use in both your professional and personal lives.

While I enjoy writing the monthly newsletter it does require a large amount of my time. Since I have a few projects on the back-burner that need attention I have decided to change the newsletter from monthly to bi-monthly. The next issue will be sent out at the beginning of January of 2010. I will continue to offer quality websites and links to assist you in your work. I hope you will understand and maintain your subscription. For those of you who are new subscribers, if you would like to catch up on the storybug you may view previous issues at

October was filled with fun. There were wonderful opportunities to share silly and spooky stories for a wide-variety of audiences. I also offered tales of community and farming at the 100th Anniversary of the Junior Grange.

My favorite event in October was the first Granite State Storytelling Festival in New Hampshire. It was a day filled with story delights at various venues and the chance to reconnect with friends. I was blessed to share the stage with Simon Brooks. He drew the audience in with his creative energy and superb storytelling skills. We had a grand time playing round robin, I would tell, then Simon, then back to me and Simon brought us safely home with his last story. As Simon would say in the vernacular of his homeland in England, the day was brilliant!

I had the pleasure of being one of nine judges in October at the premier of the Massmouth Story Slam at Kennedy’s in Boston, MA. The crowd was SRO and the talent terrific. This event is modeled after The Moth in New York and if the past month is any indication, it will continue for years to come. If you are interested in being in the audience or on the stage, go to the Massmouth link above for more details.

Another venue near and dear to my heart is the ArtWorks!Story Café, a monthly adult storytelling New Bedford, Massachusetts. ArtWorks is the organization that sponsors the Story Cafe and they are hosting their annual fundraiser, Illuminda this month on November 7th. Therefore, there will be no Story Café in November or in December. Tickets are still available and you may want to attend this wonderful event, full of fine food, music, auctions and the tremendous talent of storyteller Michael Anderson.

We will resume the venue on January 2, 2010 with the comedic storytelling stylings of Jackson Gillman. For the complete calendar through 2010 go to: You will want to mark your calendars for the amazing array of talent that will grace our stage in the coming year!

As always, I love hearing from you. If you have any questions, suggestions or comments please email me at I am always happy to hear your thoughts and will do my best to incorporate your suggestions into the publication.

Wishing you a wonderful season of thanks-giving!


Image: Gerda and the Reindeer by Edmund Dulac circa 1911 illustrated for the tale of “The Snow Queen” by Hans Christian Anderson.

If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, “thank you,” that would suffice.
Meister Eckhart


The Snow Queen
by Hans Christian Anderson

On December 10 the Nobel Peace Prize is awarded. This year the recipient is the President of the United States, Barack Obama. In honor of this day I offer you some stories to share.

Peace Corp World Wise Schools
From Africa to the Pacific Islands, stories collected by Peace Corp volunteers around the world.

Hanukkah begins at sundown on December 11, here are five Jewish folktales tales to help you honor this religious holiday.

The Three Laughs

Loosening the Stopper

The Clotheslines

Defending His Property

A Special Gift

December 16 is the Mexican festival Las Posadas, Spanish for “the inn” and re-enacts Joseph’s search for room at the inn. In honor of this festival I offer you some Mexican folktales.

Magic Tales of Mexico
Celebrate with nine stories from the colorful culture of Mexico.

The Legend of the Poinsettia

Christmas World
This site offers a wonderful collection of stories but it is so much more. This link will take you directly to the story page but you may want to stay and look around a bit more. – Storytelling Links
For a number of storytelling links related to the Christmas holiday go to my website at:

Kwanzaa is a week-long holiday celebrated in the United States honoring African heritage and culture, observed from December 26 to January 1 each year.
Some folktales that highlight the seven principles of Kwanzaa.

Give people a fact or an idea and you enlighten their minds; tell them a story and you touch their souls.
Hasidic proverb



Diwali Diya Mobile
Diwali Door Hanging
Traditional embroidered door hanging to welcome visitors and hopefully the Goddess of Fortune Lakshmi.

Day of Peace: Usher in a day of peace on December 16 with this lovely crafts.

Origami Peace Crane
Peace Lantern
Peace on Earth

Christmas origami to spice up your holiday.

Christmas Tree

World of Christmas
Yes, you saw this site already in the story section but this link will lead you to a wide variety of games to entertain the children through the holiday.

La Posada
Make a piñata to ring in La Posada! – “One piñata tradition says: You go around life with your eyes covered, trying to find the good things and working hard to get them.” The original, traditional shape of the piñata is the six pointed star although today countless forms are used.

Coloring Pages
Christmas -
Diwali -

Menorah -
Star of David -
Kwanzaa -
Peace -
Window Sparklers, Star of David and more.


Thanksgiving will soon be upon us. 
Teach your students to say “thank you” in over 465 languages.

Planet Pals
Learn all about your world. “It’s a big world we live in with hundreds of countries and thousands of languages, many different religions, time zones, and a slew of celebrations. There is so much to learn about our world and the people that live in it. IKC has supplied you with a lot of interesting and informative references.

Diwali - Hindi New Year
Grades 4 to 6.

Teach your students to count to ten in Kiswahili.

La Posada
Teach your students about the Mexican celebration La Posada. Lesson plan includes Listening comprehension, Culture and Diversity, Holidays, Crafts, Food and Cooking. For grades PreK – K.


The symbols of Kwanzaa explained for children.
Kwanzaa Printable Word Match
Kwanzaa Printable Word Search
Kwanzaa Picture Prompt – Write A Story

Peace Corp World Wide Schools
Lessons plans to fit a variety of subjects from Grades 3 – 12.

“The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who can’t read them.”
Mark Twain


10 Ways to Increase Order Form Response
by Ivan Levison

11 Monstrous Small Business Marketing Mistakes and How To Avoid Them
by Susan Carter

Don’t Go There - 6 Small Business Marketing Mistakes to Avoid Like the Plague
by Stacy Karacostas

Slideshare - Create a “book” using Power Point and then use Slideshare to make it available to others either publicly or privately. You may also add audio to make it a webinair.


November 6 -7, 2009 Providence, Rhode Island
QuEST – Quality Educational Standards in Teaching QuEST - Quality Educational Standards in Teaching. RI Convention Center – Abigail Jefferson present Using Storytelling to Enhance Instruction.

November 7, 2009 Urbana, Illinois
“Stories: An Educator’s Secret Weapon” by Kevin Strauss at the Anita Purves Nature Center. Information: Kim Sheahan 309-928-9452 or

November 8, 2009 Middletown, Rhode Island
Critter Tales at the Robert Potter League for Animals, 87 Oliphant Lane. Storytellers David Mello, Jim “Catfish” Gillen, Carolyn Martino, Cindy Killavey and Anne Marie Forer are donating their performances. Admission $5.00. All proceeds go to support the Robert Potter League for Animals.

November 13-16, 2009 Marshfield, Massachusetts
Building a Doorway for New Storytelling Customers with Doug Lipman will give you everything you need to create a new, unique, individualize “doorway” that works both for you and for your storytelling customers. Toll-free 888-446-4738 or

November 19, 2009- E. Duluth, MN.
9th Annual Tellabration Family Storytelling event at Grant School. Tellers will include: Rachel Nelson, Harold Kallio, Rose Arrowsmith DeCoux, Elizabeth Nordell and Carol Lee and Sparky. Refreshments! Free! Non-perishable food item appreciated. Questions: (218) 733-7016

November 19, 2009 - Duluth, MN.
“Wit, Wisdom and Whatever” a Tellabration Adult Storytelling event at Dubh Linn’s Pub, The Murphy Room, 109 W Superior Street. Tellers will include: Rachel Nelson, Rose Arrowsmith DeCoux, Elizabeth Nordell and Carol Lee, Tom Martinson and Harold Kallio. $5.00 Info: (218) 724-3484.

November 20, 2009
DEADLINE FOR PROPOSALS for the Florida Story Camp held March 26-28, 2010. We’re looking for workshop proposals. Anyone can do a workshop and get a few dollars to help with StoryCamp expenses. Our theme for 2010 is The Many Faces of Storytelling. Details at

January 17, 2010 Minneapolis, MN
4th Annual Twin Cities Storyfest - Joining Voices under the Winter Moon. Fresh from winning the 2009 Storytelling World Award, Cygnus Storytellers will tell great stories! We’ve added a special pre-concert performance of old-time folk music by the Just Showed Up Band from the University of St.Thomas. Family friendly with a free will donation. For more information: or 612-724-7074


Holiday Music
For teachers who are interested in exploring holidays celebrated by a variety of faiths and ethic cultures, Holiday Music presents the history and meaning of Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanza through song. This is a PDF file download.

Nursery Rhymes, Children Songs & Poems
From 1, 2 Buckle My Shoe to Zum Gali Gali your Storytime will be filled with rhythms and rhymes in no time at all!

Children’s Songs and Fingerplays: Bilingual in Spanish and English
Some of the songs may be downloaded as an MP3 file.


“All I ask is this: Do something. Try something. Speaking out, showing up, writing a letter, a check, a strongly worded e-mail. Pick a cause -- there are few unworthy ones. And nudge yourself past the brink of tacit support to action. Once a month, once a year, or just once.”
Joss Whedon, writer and film director (b. 1964)

I have listed the collection of charities I’ve shared in the newsletter over this past year on my storytelling blog. If you find yourself in the giving spirit during the holiday season, or throughout the coming year, these organizations might be a good place to start.
My storytelling colleague Billie Noakes writes for this amazing on-line publication. I hope you will visit and perhaps join this helpful network. Here is their story... “There are a lot of places to find health information on the Web, but not a lot of places where women can go to sort it all out, share information and experiences, and put things in perspective. We’re a resource for the health-conscious woman seeking to understand how medical advances can improve her own life....”

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