Welcome – Stories Make the World Go Around

Always a good day for a story! St. Peters weather.    Sunrise Sky  Night sky Air Quality Space Sta.

My videos on YouTube   Northern Lights Story

My story CDs and downloads on iTunes   

 YouTube videos of all my stories from CDBaby


I promised Hawthorn students to share how to fold a paper boat.  

Story sequence is folding down covers (makes house roof), next fold makes roof of porch, then rain hat, fire hat, grandpa’s admiral’s hat, then boat. Tear top and ends as boat wrecks and sinks, unfold to make life jacket.  . 😉

Fun Alphabet Exercise from Sesame Street

A-Z Challenge — This Home Page is stable — see Recent Posts to the right . . . or click https://storytellermary.wordpress.com/category/a-to-z-blogging/   (more info below)

A2Z-BADGE-000 [2015] - Life is Good

** Organizers of Past Events (someday we’ll meet again):

Rivers BendAEYC Annual Conference  spring at St. Charles Community College workshop on storytelling in early childhood classes.

Gateway Storytellers Meetings, St. Louis County Library on Lindbergh Tuesdays?
St. Louis Storytelling Festival,  Moving to October (for 35 years and counting will be virtual 😉

Mary Garrett, writer and storyteller, tells folk tales, humorous tales and personal stories.  She shared stories with her students at Francis Howell North High School and has since told at the Kansas City Storytelling Celebration, Texas, Timpanogos (Utah), O.O.P.S. (Ohio), and NSN (national) conferences, the St. Louis and St. Charles Storytelling Festivals, the Greater St. Louis Renaissance Faire, day care centers, parks, scout events, elementary through high schools, and retirement communities.

John Fussner, Mary’s father, was the first storyteller in her life. She credits him with instilling the love of make-believe. Mary believes in the world of story and the power of story to make this world a better place. After experiencing Mary’s stories, you can’t help but take some of that feeling with you.

Mary is located in St. Charles, Missouri  — but travels nationwide.

You can contact her  via e-mail   and on Facebook   and hear a few stories on YouTube.

Stories to Take Home With You:

Daddy John and Uncle John books available from Mary.

Frog and Friends and Courage and Wisdom: Stories Make the World Go Around   CDs available from Mary or from iTunes or CD Baby.

More details on CD blog entry.

http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/frog-and-friends/id344525625   http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/MaryGarrett


* * * * * * * * *

Teaching and Storytelling  — Stealth Storytelling in the Upper Grades

I spent 26 rewarding years teaching and enjoyed middle and high school (and for one glorious summer, preschool) students! (NCLB and administrivia, not as much.) Stories helped make those hundreds of classes for thousands of students much more fun and rewarding — and helped students learn more quickly and easily as well.

I knew in kindergarten that I wanted to teach, and my father encouraged that. He warned, though, that “since Daddy is a working man,” I would need good grades and scholarships in order to go to college, and I listened. I went to college with a National Merit Scholarship.

———- (Detour from teaching) ———-

That may sound like a simple career path, but life is never simple. About a year away from graduation at the University of Minnesota, I was given the news that there would be very few teaching jobs available.  The ending of the baby-boom “bulge” meant that schools would be RIFing (Reduction in Force) teachers.

In the 70’s, help-wanted ads were divided into “male” and “female” listings, and most liberal arts female graduates ended up working as clerks or secretaries, which I did, working for Prudential for eight years and learning organizational skills from Lorraine Lonquist. When Prudential decided they needed a woman agent, I was offered training in sales (changing corporate language from “men” for agents and “girls” for secretaries).


What does that have to do with teaching? Quite a bit — teaching definitely involves the same sort of persuasive techniques and telling stories. “Is every author your favorite, Miss Garrett?” “Well, not quite, not Hemingway.”

When I finally found my way to employment as a teacher back home in St. Louis, my substitute work turned into a full-time position at Downtown Daycare.  The director there sent me to my first storytelling class.  It was pure joy teaching those itty-bitties, but a day care teacher’s pay would not support me for long.

When I was hired to teach junior high, I thought I put aside storytelling; those students were “too old for stories,” we thought. Years later, an e-mail from a student, “I remember all those stories you told us,” let me know that I only thought I’d abandoned stories. By the time he sent that e-mail, I had consciously incorporated stories into all my classes whenever I could.  Stories helped with learning and with classroom atmosphere.

I had also begun to take stories elsewhere, to festivals, school and scouting events, retirement communities, anywhere people gathered and needed stories. Now that my schedule is more open (how did I find time to teach six classes a day for 180 days a year?) I can take stories and storytelling workshops on the road — life is good!


Past Events

A-Z Challenge — This Home Page is stable — see Recent Posts to the right . . . or click https://storytellermary.wordpress.com/category/a-to-z-blogging/

2015  http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com

A2Z-BADGE-000 [2015] - Life is Good


I’m keeping my theme a bit eclectic, “Storytelling and Life,” since it is my first time, and I am in that retired “broad margin to my life” mind-set.  I did “borrow” the idea to begin compiling ideas to make it a bit easier to keep up once April 1 arrives.


To see other storytellers’ A to Z Blogs, click http://multicoloreddiary.blogspot.com/2014/03/storytellers-to-z.html

Csenge’s here http://multicoloreddiary.blogspot.com/

. . and an interesting Harry Potter blog here http://myythmaker.blogspot.com

28 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. JB Rowley
    Sep 05, 2012 @ 16:13:33

    Thank you for popping over to ‘like’ Aaaron’s story (Why The Kangaroo Hops), Mary. You’re right; it’s ‘always a good day for a story’. JB 🙂


  2. dogleadermysteries
    Sep 27, 2012 @ 12:23:33

    Love your bio and photos, found you through your comment on 5 Books and music on Crime Spree Mag Blog. I too was inspired to write mystery fiction for 9 to 12 year old kids by Nancy Drew stories. Thanks for mentioning your love of “Isaac Asimov’s robot stories . . . a look at a future with myriad possibilities, and human nature still the same.” Well said!


  3. Yia Yia
    Apr 18, 2013 @ 23:03:59

    Oh my goodness. I just left a message on a different post not knowing where you are from. I went to this home page to see more about you. When you do the story swap, you are literally 15 miles from my daughters home. She lives in Dardenne Prairie!!! When I come back I AM making sure we get to your story time. Thank you for putting such love and care into teaching… and now we all will get to enjoy what you love.


  4. storytellermary
    Apr 19, 2013 @ 08:16:02

    Thanks so much! There is a big Storytelling Celebration in Kansas City in the fall (Nov. 6-10) http://www.mcckc.edu/storytelling and St. Louis Storytelling Festival the first weekend in May http://stlstorytellingfestival.org
    Many other resources on my Storytelling Links page https://storytellermary.wordpress.com/storytelling-links/
    Have fun telling and listening!!!


  5. Travis Pike
    Aug 12, 2013 @ 22:46:32

    You go, girl!


  6. slfinnell
    May 20, 2014 @ 06:57:18

    Go Cardinals!! 🙂 Just want to make sure you know I’m a Missouri girl, born & bred.lol Good to find you and look forward to reading more.


  7. Sherry Ellis
    Jun 26, 2014 @ 15:15:56

    I’ve never been to a story telling festival, but they sound like fun!


  8. Diane Coto
    Apr 22, 2015 @ 11:57:27

    I’d love to go to something like this. People who can tell stories well are indeed very blessed. BTW, I’m dropping in from a shout out to your blog on Rosie Amber’s blog https://rosieamber.wordpress.com/.
    @dino0726 from 
    FictionZeal – Impartial, Straighforward Fiction Book Reviews


  9. Random Musings
    Jun 19, 2015 @ 20:39:18

    How times have changed – imagine seeing a job listing now specifying whether they want male or female applicants!
    Popping by on the A to Z Road Trip


  10. Anna Rademacher
    Aug 03, 2015 @ 02:05:04

    The “arts” include storytelling. I’d like for you to consider coming to my Owensville art gallery.


  11. Still the Lucky Few
    Mar 25, 2016 @ 11:47:41

    Just found your blog, after seeing that you viewed mine recently! So interesting!


    • Travis Edward Pike
      Mar 25, 2016 @ 19:58:15

      Hi Mary. Next Monday, I’ll post “Don’t You Care At All,” from my “Reconstructed Coffeehouse Blues” album, as my song of the week. I was living in California when I introduced this song in late January, i1969, n response to the Tet Offensive. I served my overseas duty in Germany, not Vietnam, but I met many Vietnam veterans when I was entertaining on the wards in Chelsea (Massachusetts) and Portsmouth (Virginia) Naval Hospitals. This song is for all the allied forces who served there, and the ones who stayed at home, all of us brutalized, one way or another, by our involvement in Vietnam.

      Meanwhile, happy Easter to you and yours!


  12. Naomi Baltuck
    Aug 19, 2016 @ 12:37:41

    I LOVE the ‘stealth storytelling,’ Mary!


  13. storytellermary
    Aug 20, 2016 @ 00:17:13

    Thanks! I know it helped me and my students get through many tough aspects of life, including the horrid NCLB testing. ❤


  14. storytellermary
    Aug 20, 2016 @ 00:19:54

    I gave the “stealth storytelling” workshop at several conferences, then put all the handouts online. Feel free to use (credit is always nice 😉 https://storytellermary.wordpress.com/2012/10/27/frog-goes-to-high-school-handouts/


  15. storytellermary
    Nov 14, 2019 @ 15:41:54

    Professional Reader


  16. storytellermary
    Nov 14, 2019 @ 15:42:32

    25 Book Reviews


  17. Keka
    Jul 11, 2021 @ 04:46:46

    Hi Mary it’s Keka, I just want you to know it was a pleasure meeting you this weekend at the farmers market. Thanks for the great advice esp. the pie spice tip 😊 hope to see you around again. Take care:)


    • storytellermary
      Jul 11, 2021 @ 08:12:16

      Keka, I enjoyed the lovely conversation about food, family, and life. One meets the nicest people at Anthony’s Produce! I hope you enjoy the Penzey’s Pie Spice. I’ll be looking for the Sandwich Sprinkle. The Hawaiian spice is Li Hing. Meeting good people makes life splendid! ❤


  18. storytellermary
    Jul 11, 2021 @ 08:11:43

    Keka, I enjoyed the lovely conversation about food, family, and life. One meets the nicest people at Anthony’s Produce! I hope you enjoy the Penzey’s Pie Spice. I’ll be looking for the Sandwich Sprinkle. The Hawaiian spice is Li Hing. Meeting good people makes life splendid! ❤


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