Reading at a Social Distance

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Staying in, reading more, reviewing the books I love, arranging parking lot pickup of produce, and wearing a mask when I must go into the allergist’s or Costco.  Spring is happening despite our problems, and the birds, frogs and turtles continue doing Nature’s work.

I review on Goodreads, Bookbub, and NetGalley, but since Amazon is being silly about reviews, and I refuse to “pay to play” by buying more than I actually want to, I’ve started putting reviews here, no particular system, and (I hope) no spoilers.  Reading for pleasure is such a gift, and with so many good writers, I need never be bored.

 

Hid from our eyes 

The tri-part plot of Julia Spencer-Fleming’s HID FROM OUR EYES reminds me of a three-ring circus, or perhaps Flora Joy’s Trispective: the 3-n-1 Quilt, in which the picture changes with a change in viewer’s position.  I did have to remind myself which plot was which, but dates and clear writing helped.  At the end, I slapped my forehead with an “I should have seen that” reaction, clues there but not obvious, just as I like them.  

Besides the triple murders, decades apart, there are other issues to complicate life.  Caring for baby makes it hard to schedule work obligations, and the doctor suggests that the erratic routine and stress might be upsetting baby Ethan.  Perhaps the new intern, who brings her own problems, can help lighten Clare’s schedule?  In addition, the town is dealing with a proposal to eliminate the local police department, and there is pressure from wealthy, powerful persons to replace Russ as Chief, (just another example of the way the rich and powerful treat others as less important, disposable). Kevin’s back, bringing a new set of problems and a lawsuit from Hadley’s vicious ex. Most delightful, we get to see Margy as more than just Russ’s firebrand mother.

I love the twisty plot, the interactions of caring characters, the descriptions (I almost felt summer’s heat despite the cold and snow here in the “real” world).  I do not love cliffhanger endings.  If you don’t either, save the Epilogue to read when the next book comes out . . . already anticipating that happy event.  

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3088992595?utm_content=review_cta_see_your_review&utm_medium=email&utm_source=bookend&ref_=pe_7171740_378325280

Lucy Burdette‘s THE KEY LIME CRIME is splendid!  The crime is only part of the story, as family and friends have equal importance in the plot, and the food adds so much “local flavor.”  (The cheese puff recipe looks almost easy enough for me).

Macabre murder, malicious vandalism, assault with pie . . . and a new mother-in-law for Haley. I did come to like Helen, but my favorite new character is T-Bone, the delightful and most helpful kitten, rescued by Miss Gloria.  (Is she really going to go on their honeymoon in the next book? If she does, who will care for all those pets? Time will tell. 😉  

A student once coined a slogan, “Drop Pies, not Bombs.”  We decided the pies would need parachutes to arrive in delicious condition and would be perfect overtures for peace.  I’ll add Key Lime Pie to the “must have” varieties. 

I loved the insights into Cooking with Love and the cooking school, not quite so in love with the idea of croissant corsages.  The quotes at the beginning of the chapters are insightful, but my favorite, timely offering is Haley’s “We should fight to the bitter end or die trying.”  Never, ever give up. 

https://www.bookbub.com/books/the-key-lime-crime-by-lucy-burdette

https://storytellermary.wordpress.com/2020/01/25/book-reviews-strong-women/

THE FIRST TO LIE  

 If Escher Wrote Books

Like a circle in a spiral . . ., like a series of fun house mirrors, or perhaps like those Russian nesting dolls, Hank Phillippi Ryan’s THE FIRST TO LIE spun through layers of truth in a mystifying kaleidoscope of “what if” possibilities. I suspected many of the tricksters, and many more that weren’t, and was ambushed by some I never saw coming. Disguises rival Shakespeare’s plays, and moral dilemmas hark back to ethics discussions . . . is it ever moral to lie?  Do ends justify means?  It’s rare for a book to be both an escape from reality and an illumination of truth, but this one qualifies. “Lies have a complicated half-life.”

Don’t we all play roles in life?  Teacher self, party-goer self, church self, date self . . . but how far do we take it?   Can one lose oneself in the pretense?  I found myself thinking of those flip books with the pages cut in thirds, to switch heads, bodies, feet. I used various-colored post-its to highlight significant passages and distinguish characters.  My book is now a rainbow porcupine. 

I believe this book will speak to many people, on a deep and intimate level, exploring issues that affect us all. I don’t want to “spoil” with too many details, but this story mirrored friends’ experiences with fertility clinics, false promises given to the hopeful.  Boston’s snowy spring and car crashes awakened memories of a trip one spring break, surprised by the snow still on the ground and carrying the weight of a student’s fatal crash just a week before . . . so many links to real lives, so many details magnifying the theme of mirrors and deception.  I want to be in a book club to discuss every nuance, and I’ll be re-reading in August when the book comes out because, as a favorite professor said, “Any book worth reading is worth reading twice.”

Ellen Meister’s LOVE SOLD SEPARATELY

My college drama professor told us that if there were anything else we could convince ourselves to do instead of acting, we should. The first pages of Ellen Meister’s LOVE SOLD SEPARATELY reminded me of his advice, as financial problems mount and Dana has lost her “day job” in retail.  Things look bleak, but best friend/agent Megan  arranges an audition at The Shopping Channel, something with which I am unfamiliar, but now feel I know a bit about.  The salary would solve so many problems, but a non-compete clause would mean giving up her theater group, Sweat City, but how can she let down her friends?  There are so many more complications, murder and mayhem, sabotage, intrigue and romance, but I won’t put “spoilers” here. 

I couldn’t put it down and at the end wished it could go on and on. I liked the characters and wanted more time with them.  I also appreciate the insight into the rewards for those called to be actors, getting lost in a character, using nervous energy to power the performance, working as a team.  The plot is rewardingly complex and the ending is satisfying.  I love when I think I know what’s coming, and then get a surprise twist.  

A bit of universal wisdom: “She needed this to be a mellow day at work.  But that wasn’t the way it went down.” (It never is . . . we used to pretend a lack of urgency to keep the school copier from messing up).

Crime Travel / edited by Barb Goffman 

Anthologies of short works are  wonderful “palate cleansers” between larger and sometimes heavier works and a way to discover new writers, after I’ve read my favorites.  I was going to name some favorites, but I can’t, as they were all so good!  I don’t want to give too much away, but I did enjoy the ghosts, the hard decision, and the guest appearance by a famous mystery writer. 
I read this over a few weeks and am now looking back with awe at the quality of the whole, with much to think about, much variety, a satisfying tally of wrongs set right, and overall a quality of writing far beyond the norm.   Even the physical package of the “tree book” pleases, lovely cover, perfect size, clear print . . . one could get spoiled by such attention to details. 

RESISTANCE WOMEN by Jennifer Chiaverini

Don’t ever get used to evil.  Don’t treat it as normal.  This was not an easy book to read at this time of escalating criminal malfeasance, but that makes it even more important a work.  I was reminded of Scheherazade, who couldn’t be happy and safe elsewhere when loved ones were in danger. There were echoes of READING LOLITA IN TEHERAN, as freedom, jobs, books were stripped away, and warnings “Where they burn books, in the end they will also burn people.”

A character says, “ . . . celebrate while we can.  What’s the alternative?” — fighting back . .
I had to take breaks, as when I read NIGHT, but their courage and loyalty is an example of the strength needed to combat evil.  Persist!  The more who join the resistance, even if we have to do it at a social distance right now, the more lives are saved. 

I knew of Martin Niemöller, but until I read Jennifer Chiaverini’s RESISTANCE WOMEN, I hadn’t heard of Mildred Fish Harnack.  Perhaps this book should be added to reading lists.  The author’s note says 9/16, her birthday, is celebrated in Wisconsin.

Annette Riggle Dashofy‘s UNDER THE RADAR kept me reading until 4 a.m. — yes, THAT good!  It’s twisty and full of conflicts and uncertainties, none of which will I spoil.  There are burglary, bullying, a blizzard, and bridal planning woes.  (Is there a word like “bridezilla” for the mother of?)  Oh, and there is news of a new half-brother, as well as serious questions about whom to trust, and a too-close-for-comfort election for coroner.  Is it any wonder my attempts to sleep failed?  Add to that a smoothly flowing writing style, which looks effortless, but we English teachers know is the result of careful revision and editing.  This book is a pleasure, the continuation of an excellent series, and there will be another soon. 

 (Purchased and read during Corona isolation closing of libraries — thank goodness for the invention of e-books!) 

ALL THE WAYS WE SAID GOOD-BYE  by White, Williams, and Willig

At first I resisted yet another book with multiple POVs and timelines, but then I fell right in.  It was surprisingly easy to follow, with clear labeling of each change, and sweet details tying them together, almost like the fade-out/fade-in of good cinema.  The reward, good characters and fascinating settings.  This is a book filled with courage, beauty, honor, sacrifice, and love and forgiveness, with mysteries to resolve and characters to love . . . and hate.  

Words of courage, for now and always:

“It’s nothing, it’s a raindrop in a thunderstorm.”

“It’s not nothing.  Not to those we save.  To them, it’s everything.”

“Don’t ever lose yourself thinking of the ones you couldn’t save.  Think instead of the ones you did.”

NO FIXED LINE by Dana Stabenow

Kate Shugak is a woman of courage, ready to stand up to “bad men” and fight for good, with courage to hope for better times, as she sees the younger generation in action, activism for good.

“The younger generation . . . Johnny and Van . . .weren’t buying houses, .. . believed in climate change, Medicare for All, dumping the Electoral College . . . voting.”

Not just the youngsters, either, the aunties hold things together. “Don’t mess with the aunties!”  Strong elders’ influence saves villages.
Dana Stabenow is also a woman of courage, willing to write about issues despite those who want dissenting voices silenced.  To stand up for right in compelling and rewarding fiction is brilliant! Powerful writing can make a difference, as did UNCLE TOM’S CABIN and GRAPES OF WRATH. Kate and Dana are an example to us all. 

“You can’t save them all, Kate.”
“No . . . more’s the pity, but I can save the two in front of me.”

 

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek  by Michele Richardson

I was caught up in the action and conflict of this book, nesting comfortably out of winter weather, as the Pack Horse Librarians faced all the hazards.  I had heard of the blue people and was fascinated by explanations of (methemoglobinemia) lack of enzyme, otherwise healthy, undeserving of others’ fear and hatred.  “Colored” laws applied, and discrimination could turn deadly.  I was touched that Cussy and her father, each worried about dangers to the other, while each insisted on doing important work.  My heart warmed to the special folk who didn’t judge color.  

“Anyone knows a Kentucky man ain’t gonna let the wandering legs plant themselves anyplace other than here” reminded me of storyteller Stephen Hollen’s mountain tales.

Mention of a “children’s moon” in the daytime was sweet but sad. Hunger meant early bedtimes,  “That there were stores full of the cure for hunger kept me awake with . . . anger”

 

THE GIVER OF STARS  by Jojo Moyes

Very moving — I loved the sisterhood of horseback librarians, sticking up for each other and challenging the corrupt mine-owner and the restrictions of “woman’s place” and working, despite danger, to help others.  I cared about these women and the men who supported them and their work.  (I confess to a few tears, not a common reaction for me these days).  It started a bit slowly, but I’m glad I went back to it for a second look . . . another book with some moral ambiguity in the resolution — I suspect I’d have had more trouble debating right or wrong when younger. 

LOUISE’S CROSSING  by Sarah Shaber

Crossing the ocean in a welded, not riveted, Liberty ship with a full load of ammunition and other supplies for the Allied forces is a dangerous undertaking.  Add the discomfort of no heat in sub-zero weather, and throw in a possible murderer aboard, but with so much at stake, investigating takes a back seat to surviving the crossing.  This was an adventure I could not put down, as Louise Pearlie persists in her unauthorized search for justice.  

Sarah Shaber’s writing is clear and compelling, descriptions feel real, so real that I had to bundle up a bit from imagined cold and appreciate baths and plentiful food.  

Wisdom, “After allowing myself an extensive pity party, I pulled myself together . . . I would make the best of it.”  “I thought about my future.”   7th in the excellent series

The American Cafe  by Sara Sue Hoklotubbe

Sadie Walela, another fine mess you’ve gotten yourself into . . . good thing there are good people to help you through.  A lovely childhood dream, to own and work a small cafe, a timely opportunity to purchase and rename the Liberty Diner, a bonus discovery of a loyal, helpful group of Regulars who show up early to have coffee and help, how could that go wrong?  It can, with murder, gun threats, broken window, familial disputes, and a reluctant agreement to sub at the bank.  I bought a used copy because my library, having ordered it months ago, still didn’t have it.  It arrived days after mine (of course — I should have ordered sooner).  I couldn’t resist reading their fresh new copy, but I’ll be glad to have mine to keep.  This is second in a series, read out of order because of difficulty getting a copy.  I’m ready for a fifth, whenever that shall be.  ** I looked up Cherokee tear dresses — beautiful!

 

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Christmas Letter 2014

Happy Boxing Day (2nd Day of Christmas) and may all be well with you and yours!

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I’m learning to live as a Human Be-ing and not so much a Human Do-ing . . . enjoying a “broad margin to my life” as stated by Thoreau. I’ve taken to calling the little pond near my house Walden Pond. I can see it well in winter because the leaves are gone, one of nature’s little trade-offs. Today it’s sparkling in the sunshine. A Y friend and I agreed that our doing less now is partly because home is so very comfortable. I cook more, using the veggies from my Terripin Farms CSA. I had a great Christmas Eve with storytelling friends. enjoying raclette while telling stories and laughing and generally having fun . . . and reading Green Eggs and Ham in Latin — who knew?

My comfortable little eco-home is a bit less quiet, as builders work to “complete the subdivision.” We knew it had to come, and it has brought some very nice new neighbors, but the wildlife will miss the empty lots. There is still common ground, what a friend called “decorative woods” (I hope it’s enough), and the process of building homes is quite fascinating to watch . . . our own Bob the Builder!  Their piles of left-over wood remind me of the scrap wood blocks my dad made and this story https://storytellermary.wordpress.com/2013/12/06/santa-dreams-a-new-toy/

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A dozen or so favorite authors keep me happy by writing books I love. Students used to ask, “Is every author your favorite?” Here are just a few recent loves: Elaine Viets, Susan McBride, Louise Penney, Laurie King, *Hank Phillippi Ryan, Julia Spencer-Fleming, Margaret Maron, Nancy Martin, Brandon Mull . . . Edith Maxwell writes mysteries set on an organic farm much like this one

My wonderful library keeps me supplied with books and DVDs (all sorts of favorite shows from PBS, plus old favorites like Twilight Zone and Quantum Leap). Readers and Stitchers, book groups, and our monthly Second Monday Story Swap are all fun. I still knit apple baby hats for friends, and am currently making socks for myself with yarn from a shop called Hanks. I have to take more breaks to massage my “angry” thumbs, but it’s not a race.IMG_0114

Gateway Storytellers meets every other month, and I am in the process of handing over the newsletter responsibility to new officers in January. I’ve been doing it forever, and there should be more than one person able to carry on a task. Our Riverwinds friends meet in Illinois, and the Festival will continue, first weekend in May as it has for 30+ years.

The body requires maintenance to stay mobile. I teach tai chi twice a week, because Charlotte couldn’t keep doing it, and was very good about teaching me enough to be able to step up. I’ll be giving a short class at the New Year’s Day open house (free t-shirts and snacks for attendees). I don’t teach aqua aerobics anymore (a new rule about having to retrieve a ring from the bottom of the 5’ water which I couldn’t do), but I attend. Going over in a bit to do the old routine, which I’ve missed, with whoever shows up (no one, so I did it by myself; maybe more will be there Monday). There are no classes right now . . . doing our own thing is a good break in routine.

I used to mail holiday letters (closer to New Year’s because teaching was so all-consuming), then switched to mostly email, with only two friends needing paper copies. I’ve been neglecting email lately and do most of my (over?)sharing on “social media,”
sporadically on this blog
and daily on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/mary.garrett.37604 plus a few videos
My videos on YouTube   one more video here

Lovely surprises: warm enough weather for a sunset walk. Then when I went out to open/close the mailbox so the paint wouldn’t stick it shut, I saw a beautiful moon! Also, in addition to finding the little auto-parts bird in the “Room of Requirement,” I also found my official Certificate of Credibility, issued after a student, denied some concession, told me that was “why you have no credibility with your students.” Colleagues, including Cindy Menkhus, Sherri Pogue, Donna Wallace, signed it, and then most of that class asked to also sign — take that, ornery student! Fun times remembered . .

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Wishing you all the best in the coming year!

P.S.

On the Third Day of Christmas, I just read in Deborah Crombie’s _A Share in Death_ “. . . your life isn’t trivial or inconsequential. If the things that matter to us every day weren’t important, no one’s death . . . would be much loss.” Good reminder to savor the ordinary!

Back from the library, having put the rest of my planned errands on the mañana list AKA “not today.” Rainy and a bit dreary I could handle, but the tires slipped a bit on the road and as Dad always said, “Watch out for those other drivers.” When Stephen Michael Hahn was small, the Parents as First Teachers visitor asked what one does on rainy days, with expected answer being wearing raincoats, boots, etc. He said, “Stay home.” She wasn’t allowed to give credit for that answer; I’m saying now he should have gotten extra credit (I’ve been called the Queen of Extra Credit), and that answer should have been added as the best possible answer. Think of how many problems would be prevented if people stayed home in treacherous weather . . . . Y’all stay safe! ❤
Post Office was on my list . . . postponed by rain. I mailed Christmas letters with Harry Potter stamps. Still don’t know what happened to the stamp order I posted two weeks ago.

P.P.S. (part of my response to a friend’s email)

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I’ll put in a photo of the little bird.  It was a gift from a worker when I went to a junkyard in search of a window handle for my Pinto, rather clever work.  I had lost it in the move, half-thought I might have given it away, but I went through a bag of things in the spare bedroom (Room of Requirement is a Harry Potter reference), the same bag in which I found lost photos.

Angry thumbs might be arthritis, possibly related to the sarcoidosis, or just years of use.  My chiro says a majority of post-menopausal women have thumb issues.  As with all such problems, the key is to keep using them, but respecting the limits.  My aunt’s doctor told her to keep doing crochet so her hands wouldn’t stiffen — she made doll clothes, easier to hold and quicker to complete.  I’m making baby hats and socks for myself, though there is one sweater I should finish.

I can relate to the fear of getting lost, no sense of direction at all.  Perhaps walking a short route or taking a friend . . . Dr. Paul Lam’s tai chi DVDs are pretty easy to do.   One can also work short stretch/movement breaks into the activities of the day, and it does warm one up, too.  Hardest for me is to try to remember to do occasional stair climbing . . . the second floor condo made that automatic, but now if I want to be able to climb when I need to, I have to consciously do some stairs sometimes, down to the basement, or at the Y.  Stairs also help me relieve some of the lower back stiffness.

CDs and Books Information

CDs– Frog and Friends     Courage and Wisdom: Stories Make the World Go Around

Prince the Frog Picture Book  (Click here to see on YouTube )  — and Books by Daddy John 

CDs and Books available from  Mary Garrett      

CDs available from Mary,  CD Baby and iTunes.

From Aesop to Uncle Remus, stories have been a way to entertain as well as illustrate life lessons and simplify complex situations. Stories delight children and adults alike, and they enhance critical thinking and problem solving.  This CD  presents some favorite stories that both entertain and enlighten. I hope you’ll enjoy them as much as I do.   More details and mp3 links below.

•Each CD is $10.00 U.S. and $2.00 for shipping and handling to anywhere in the continental U.S.  Add $0.50 shipping for each additional CD.

Prince the Frog Picture Book  $10   Click here to see on YouTube     and here for another Prince story.

•Daddy John stories collected and edited by Mary Garrett    $10 each or all 3 for $25

To order or ask questions, please e-mail me.

Storyteller Mary Garrett  —  Stories make the world go around

Frog and Friends CD

Prince, the Eastern Grey Tree Frog who came to stay

To hear  short snippets, click on the link for CD Baby or iTunes.

Frog and Friends

by Mary Garrett

**Music by Mike Anderson!

Frog Prince (4:02)

Wide-Mouth Frog  (5:30) (Trad.)

Frog Songs – Prince Trilling (0:59)

Bill’s Iguanas (5:15)

One Wish (5:26) (Trad.)

Grandmother Spider (9:23)  (Elizabeth Ellis’ story, from a dream)

Princess Joy (5:26)

More Than a Match (13:02)  (written by Aaron Shepard )

C.J’s Lost Puppy &Lost Purse (9:11)

10 Daddy’s Lightning Bug Story (3:15)

11 Carnival Elation Tall Tale (10:37)

12 Prince Has Left the Building (3:57)

Mary Garrett combines folk tales, humorous tales, and personal stories in the saga of Prince, the tree frog who spent the winter.  Mary believes in the world of story and the power of story to make this world a better place.

“Let’s look for tree frogs!” Coverdell Elementary students.

“Your stories held me captive.” Justin, Boys’ Help, Girls’ Help, St. Louis

“I don’t want to go have snacks. I want to hear more stories!” Castlio student

“I love the story, and even more I love the emotion in the teller’s voice,” Kevin Young.

Listening to Frog and Friends made me smile–I mean really big, even though I was all alone!  It is so much fun!  Both the music and the stories are artful, and I love the enthusiasm that bubbles up in your young listeners.  I’m getting ready to run another errand, and I can hardly wait to hear more “Frog and Friends.”–Mary Grace Ketner  http://talesandlegends.net/

I just spent an happy hour listening to Mary Garrett’s new CD. Mary deftly weaves the story of her “adopted” frog, Prince, throughout the CD. Listeners will learn the difficulties of frog feeding in “My Frog. Prince.” Her take on “Wide Mouth Frog” is too cute. I can just see the frog with his survey clipboard.

You just have to hear “Bill’s Iguana” to learn how this pet creates a Thanksgiving dinner dilemma and how he saved the family jewels! “One Wish,” “Grandmother Spider,” “Lost Purse,” and “Lightning Bug Story” add just the right combination of traditional and original tales with the perfect amount of imagination and wit.

“Princess Joy,” another original story, provides a very important lesson for listeners of all ages.     Way to go, Mary!

Let the Stories & Songs Begin!   Carol Connolly        WWW.TALESNTUNES.NET

Mary has given us a very rare and wonderful gift… bringing us some beautiful stories intertwined with her personal experiences with a precious friend!  She seamlessly weaves in the story of her endearing little tree frog Prince with some traditional tales … you’ll hear her adaptation of Aaron Shepard’s tale More Than a Match… with an assist from some delightful little friends.  Listen in to Story Lovers World and enjoy your journey from “here” to “there”! !! It’s a wise tale told so well!     http://thmm.com/ksvy/  Thanks, Mary, for sharing your stories with us!

Jackie Baldwin  Story Lovers World    www.story-lovers.com

Courage and Wisdom:  Stories Make the World Go Around 

Courage and Wisdom: Stories Make the World Go Around

By Mary Garrett

To hear  short snippets, click on the links for CD Baby or iTunes.

1) Real or Make Believe (5 min.)

All good stories contain truth, and this one actually happened. My father was my first storyteller, and I joyously carry his gift of story along with my kindergarten teacher’s gift of respect as I invite listeners into the world of make-believe.

2) Smell of the Bread (2 min.)

This story can be found in many variations. I have heard it as Jewish and Arabic in origin. On a flight from Istanbul, a Chinese medical student claimed it as Chinese. Stories travel light and need no passport.

3) Innkeeper’s Wise Daughter (11 min.)

Riddles within riddles, and a love story. I’ve seen it attributed as Jewish or European (and I loved it on Corinne Stavish’s tape).

4) Mary Culhane (8 min.)

I told this scary story at an Irish festival in St. Charles. Afterward, a woman asked if she could buy it on CD, which put this project on my “to do” list. Now if I could just find that woman . . .

5) King Solomon (2 min.)

Shall we live forever? Karen Chace found this story of King Solomon’s toughest judgment — a bit of perspective on life, wisdom, and coffee.

6) Scheherazade (10 min.)

The frame story of 1001 Arabian Nights. Scheherazade became my hero the first time I heard her story, and I’ve loved every version since. Could stories save the kingdom? The world? I hope so!

7) King Solomon (1 min.)

This wonderful Sufi tale is my mantra on difficult days. I first heard it as told by Doug Lipman, and it was my farewell story when I retired from teaching.

8) Minstrel Queen short (10 min.)

This story is also known as “The Lute Player.” I learned it for my friend Susan’s wedding. The tiny bit of singing in it is only possible because of the “Singing for People Who’ve Been Asked Not To” class at COCA (Center of Creative Arts).

9) Heaven and Hell (3 min.)

I used to tell this story early in the school year to set a tone of cooperation for my classes. In the Chinese story the problem is very long chopsticks.

10)Broken Fan (4 min.)

A Spanish story remembered from high school, a favorite at the Renaissance Faire.

11) Black Bubble Gum (13 min.)

Inspired by a John Steinbeck story, told with help from Brianna, Hannah, and Josiah.

Praise for Courage and Wisdom: Stories Make the World Go Around

We absolutely love your cd! The music and nature sounds add a very nice touch! Well done!

—  Annie Gross (and Hannah, Josiah, and Marc)

I really enjoyed your CD. Your voice is not pretentious, but is in the natural, conversational tone that makes good storytelling. I felt like I had sat with you for the time and just had a “talk.” Congratulations, you have a created a product to be proud of for a long time.

—  Mike Anderson

Thanks to

Mike Anderson at http://www.dulcimerguy.com for the use of his music, •”Simple Gifts” and “The Minstrel Boy.”

•Mike Ehrhard at Sidetrack Recording Studios, 314-432-0447

•Elizabeth Ellis for holding me in the light through this project and to many other storytelling friends for help and support

•My former students for listening and commenting. One young man asked, “Are all your stories about women?” Not all, but I do love strong women stories and tell them often. Not only is feminism not a dirty word, but it’s also not new. There have always been strong and capable women, and thank goodness for that!

Each CD    Courage and Wisdom     Frog & Friends   is $10.00 U.S., and $2.00 for shipping and handling to anywhere in the continental U.S.; add $0.50 shipping for each additional CD.

Also available

  1. Prince the Frog Picture Book  $10
  2. •Little chap books of father’s stories, collected and edited by Mary Garrett
    $10 each or all 3 for $25  plus $2.50 shipping
    Bedtime Stories by Daddy John (Fussner) 35 pages
    “Sweet dreams,” stories of fairies and nature
    Stories from the Land of Make Believe by Daddy John (Fussner) 53 pages
    Dough Doughy and friends build a church, face a blizzard, enjoy life.
    Homespun Stories from Uncle John 32 pages
    Old time tall tales in dialect: mosquitoes big enough to eat a car, a mixed-up hen, pet skunks