Wednesday, December 24, 2008

DEC 28th performance in Fitchburg

Let your imagination travel to Italy as you listen to acclaimed storyteller and children’s book author Norah Dooley tell Italian folk tales.
Storyteller and author Norah Dooley will tell Italian folk tales from 2:30 to 3:15 p.m. Dec. 28 at the Fitchburg Art Museum, 185 Elm St. Admittance is free for members and children 12 and younger; $7 for nonmember adults; and $5 for seniors and teens. For information, call (978) 345-4207 or

Sunday, December 21, 2008

$mas and commerce and a big fat *sigh*

Everyone loves this season and I am always enthused about the joys of gathering and celebration in the darkness and cold.But I hate shopping and commercialism more and more. I yearn to do something different without hurting feelings and causing drama on the holidays. Not this year, again.

But here are some folks who do ... More videos here:

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Jennifer's Dance for Joe NOV 9

Dancers reel in funds for Colombian students from steve bagley on Vimeo.

for full story click here or paste this in browser

Saturday, November 8, 2008

What President Obama means to me...

We in the US are good people, not all the fools we are thought to be. And those who said, as many did , that in privacy of a voting booth white voters would be not be able to vote for a black man were wrong. The numbers show it. We are, as a people, as an electorate, thoughtful and fair judges of character. We are not prejudiced but open to ideas and policy on their merit. We are not the people FOX news tells we are - or to be. President Obama! Yeah! Those words make the people in the USA seem reasonable and intelligent - something that has not happened in the last 8 years. I thought the election of Obama showed who we really are. It makes me glad beyond words. I feel like we are finally waking from an 8 year nightmare.

Whatever else happens after this election we now have the numbers to show - there are and always have been more good people than morons in this country. We just have had some very BUSY bad people running the joint. Good people must be active to make a diff - like Yeats says "The best lack all conviction, while the evil are full of passionate intensity."
Avanti Populo !

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Long time, no blog

Been busier than a cat covering in an empty litter box?
Been busier than a bee in clover field?
Been busier than a one-eyed cat watching nine rat holes?

And then some.
Check this out - Vote for Obama!

Monday, August 11, 2008

massmouth has first mouthoff tonite! Aug 11

Share some of your stories at Toscis tonight where massmouth
will meet for the first time
. We are having our first mouthoff August 11th.
mouthoff n.slang -1. a meeting of storytellers and spoken word peeps of massachusetts where we bring the art of storytelling to the public for free, for fun 2. to speak your mind

Think of MOTH in NYC except add in the best ice cream and the smoothest espresso ever.

massmouth plans regular gatherings where we tell stories in public places bring our stories to the people
this mouthoff has a theme - 5 minute stories about money $$$
we will also meet to brainstorm and decide what kind of things we want to do.

First mouthoff meeting at Toscaninis in Central Sq
August 11th from 7-9PM at Toscaninis .
Location: Toscaninis Street: 899 Main St.
City/Town: Cambridge ,Mass. Website or Map:
Contact Info: 781 871 5892 (andrea) or 1 61720460 3544(norah)
massmouth(dot) ning(dot)com - events for more information.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Norah's performance Schedule for July 28th- 31st

My last week of READ BOSTON 2008 Storymobile Full Summer Schedule as a pdf. For more information, please visit or call 617-918-5290. All performances are open to the public. Each performance is about 1/2 hour in length. Sometimes, a show be even shorter if there are volunteer readers. At the end, each child gets to pick out a book to read and keep.
Contact me a few days in advance @ if you want to meet me. I travel by bicycle when the weather permits. I recommend googlemaps for directions.

Escuelita Boriken - 85 West Newton Street 02118
South End Library - 685 Tremont Street 02118
1:15 AM
St. Mary's Women's and Children's Center 02125

10:00 AM
Salvation Army Children's Learning Center - 26 Wales Street, Dorchester 02124
Crispus Atticus Children's Center - 105 Crawford Street 02121
1:15 PM
Marshall School Age Program - 35 Westville Street, 02124

JP Head Start - 315 Centre Street JP 02130
Lena Park Child Development Center - 150 American Legion Highway Dorchester 02124
Bromley Heath Housing - the Cave - 30 Bickford Street JP 02130

Jackson Mann Community Center - 500 Cambridge Street Allston 02134
Commonwealth Tenants Association - 35 Fidelis Way Brighton 02135
Oak Square YMCA - 615 Washington Street Brighton 02135

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Norah's performance Schedule for July 21st- 24th

READ BOSTON 2008 Storymobile Full Summer Schedule as a pdf. For more information, please visit or call 617-918-5290. All performances are open to the public. Each performance is about 1/2 hour in length. Sometimes, a show be even shorter if there are volunteer readers. At the end, each child gets to pick out a book to read and keep.
Contact me a few days in advance @ if you want to meet me. I travel by bicycle when the weather permits. Look at this blog for next week's schedule. And I recommend googlemaps for directions.

West End House - 105 Allston Street, 02134
St. Columbkille School, McElroy Hall on BC Campus
1:15 AM
Honan Allston Library - 300 North Harvard Ave, 02134

10:00 AM
Suouth Side Head Start - 19 Corinth Street, Roslindale 02131
beetoheven Elementary School - 5125 Washington Street, 02132
1:15 PM
English High School - 144 McBride Street, 02130

Jeffries Point - 425 Sumner Street, 02128
EB YMCA @ Harborside Community Center -- 312 Border Street, 02128
EB YMCA @ Guild School -- 195 Leyden Street, 02128

United South End Settlements -- 48 Rutland Street, 02118
Tadpole Playground on Boston Common , next to the Frog Pond
Red Oak at Josiah Quincy School -- 885 Washington Street, 02111

Friday, July 11, 2008

This says it all ...from The Onion

Working on a campaign this time? Not me. Working on election reform, yes.
Show me how and where and I am there.
Diebold Accidentally Leaks Results Of 2008 Election Early

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Norah's performance Schedule for July 14- 16th

READ BOSTON 2008 Storymobile Full Summer Schedule as a pdf. For more information, please visit or call 617-918-5290. All performances are open to the public. Each performance is about 1/2 hour in length. Sometimes, a show be even shorter if there are volunteer readers. At the end, each child gets to pick out a book to read and keep.
Contact me a few days in advance @ if you want to meet me. I travel by bicycle when the weather permits. Look at this blog for next week's schedule. And I recommend googlemaps for directions.

Dimock/ Smart Kids - 1880 Columbus Avenue, 2nd floor Roxbury 02119
Children's Services - 520 Dudley Street Roxbury 02119
1:15 AM
DotWell Atlas Adventures - 1353 Dorchester Ave. 02122

10:00 AM
Sociedad Latina - 1530 Tremont Street, Roxbury 02119
Parker Hill Fenway Head Start - 716 Parker Hill Street, Roxbury 02120
1:15 PM
Mission Main Summer Program - 39 Smith Street, Roxbury 02120

YMCA,Kids Stop 1208 VFW Parkway, West Roxbury, 02132
Willow Path Child Care - 5-7 VFW Parkway, Roslindale 02131
Agassiz Community Center - 20 Child Street Jamaica Plain 02130

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Tonight at Gulu Gulu Speak Up- thanks!

Thanks Tony T, Bob S and Don White and all the good folks at the spoken word open mic at Gulu Gulu Café , Lynn MA . Mad props to all who cooked, served, listened, read, ranted, raved, emceed and told. A great place and a great night of words, ideas and passion. Here is the link to the podcast I mentioned about Boys Wearing Pink Click on the link or cut and paste.
For more stories about people doing good in the world see:
Sending you all peace love and courage. See you next time when Laura Packer is the feature!
Gimundo Canada: Students Wear Pink to Stop School Bullying

School can be as traumatizing as any battlefield. There are the locker room wedgies, the Dodgeball attacks, the lunchroom shunnings. But even the most cringe-worthy moment from your high school days probably doesn't compare to the humiliation felt by one freshman male from Central Kings Rural High School in Nova Scotia, who dared to wear a pink shirt on the first day of school last year. The poor boy paid dearly for his fashion choice: A group of older students mocked him relentlessly, threatening to beat him up. The incident might have served as a warning for other males at the school to avoid anything in pastels. But instead, two senior boys, David Shepherd and Travis Price, took up the bullied boy's cause as a rallying cry.
"Kids don't need this in their lives, worrying about what to wear to school," Price told The Chronicle Herald. "That should be the last thing on their minds." The two seniors were sick of the abuse – so they came up with a plan to make the bullies see red. Or rather, pink.
The following day, the two boys came to school armed with a pile of 75 pink tank tops, which they handed out to all of the male students to wear – including the bullied freshman. As word of their mission spread through the school, more students showed up wearing something pink of their own. Shepherd and Price estimated that around half of the school's 830 students put on something pink in solidarity. "The bullies got angry," Chase said. "One guy was throwing chairs (in the cafeteria). We're glad we got the response we wanted." The stunt proved so popular, in fact, that it's led to an official Anti-Bullying Day in Nova Scotia on the second Thursday of every school year. British Columbia has recently adopted their own version, on February 27th of each year. For both holidays, students are encouraged to dress in pink to show acceptance of their fellow students, proving that there's nothing wrong with showing your true colors after all.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Norah's performance Schedule for this week July 7- 11th

Storytrain @ 10 take the commuter rail to Rockport MA from North Station. There will be public performance @ lunch time in Rockport, MA at Millbrook Meadow. For details contact: Sara Collins 978-526-7711:

Roxbury YMCA, 285 MLK Blvd., Roxbury MA
HBCooper Community Center, 1891 Washington St., Roxbury
Vine Street Community Center, 339 Dudley Street, Roxbury

Theater of the mind -listener feedback
Today, at the end of a story session a teen aged girl came up to me and said, " That was great, I totally saw and heard everything you said." Music to my ears! I thanked and told her this was the highest praise. What we storytellers are doing is theater of the mind and it is sweet when the words and movements work well enough that a listener can tell you that they saw and heard everything - that they actively created the story as they listened.

Speech and learning

Thanks to Karen Chace [ ]
for this interesting article:

Rising number of primary pupils unable to speak in sentences

Polly Curtis, education editor
Tuesday July 8, 2008
The Guardian

The number of children who arrive at primary school unable to speak in full sentences is rising, according to a government review which today reveals that 7% of children now have a serious communication problem.

A rise in "home-related" speech problems, shown by children who are not encouraged by their parents to speak from an early age, is fuelling the increase, according to the Tory MP John Bercow, who has carried out a review for the government.

In some of the most disadvantaged areas of the country, up to 50% of children had speech problems, he said.

Bercow's review calls on schools to monitor speech development from the start. It will request more information for parents on what to do if their toddlers do not start talking.

Children's problems range from stuttering and a general "impoverishment" of language if not encouraged to speak to autism and speech difficulties among those with hearing loss. "The 7% are those who have big difficulties with speech or language - they are likely to need specialist or targeted intervention," Bercow told the Guardian. "For others, the home is a factor. If a child is exposed to a relentless diet of TV and computer games and deprived of interaction at home, that is very damaging."

He said schools had neglected the issue. "Instead of being an optional add-on, communication skills should be at the heart of the primary curriculum ... speech and listening have been elbowed out of schools for literacy and numeracy for too long."

The report describes speech difficulties as the "unrecognised" problem in the education system, much as dyslexia was 20 years ago. It calls for children to be monitored and for better training for teachers, nursery workers and childcare workers.

Ministers are expected to respond to the report tomorrow with a promise of funding for a school programme that will encourage better communication skills and help teachers identify problems.

Bercow, who has a son, aged four, with speech problems associated with autism, said he was told regularly that his child's issues would "sort themselves out" in time. "It doesn't get sorted out - people have fewer options through life if they cannot speak," he said.

Virginia Beardshaw, chief executive of I CAN, a speech charity, said: "Communication is the fundamental life skill for the 21st century."

Monday, July 7, 2008

Read Boston & Norah's Schedule for this week July 7- 11th

READ BOSTON 2008 Storymobile Full Summer Schedule as a pdf. For more information, please visit or call 617-918-5290.
All performances are open to the public. Each performance is about 1/2 hour in length. Sometimes, a show be even shorter if there are volunteer readers. At the end, each child gets to pick out a book to read and keep.
Contact me a few days in advance @ if you want to meet me. I travel by bicycle when the weather permits. Look at this blog for next week's schedule. And I recommend googlemaps for directions. The Story Train ( see July 9th) is the brainchild of NOBS - a consortium of North Shore Librarians. Try Sara Collins at Manchester by The Sea Library for info or any Children's Room Librarian on the Rockport T line.

Wang YMCA - 8 Oak Street, West. Boston
1:15 AM
Salvation Army - 1500 Washington St., Roxbury

10:00 AM
Log Preschool 222 Bowdoin St., Dorchester
Codman Square Library, 690 Washington St, Dorchester
1:15 PM
Murphy Community Center, 1 Worrell Street, Dorchester

Storytrain @ 10 take the commuter rail to Rockport MA from North Station. There will be public performance @ lunch time in Rockport, MA at Millbrook Meadow. For details contact: Sara Collins 978-526-7711:

Roxbury YMCA, 285 MLK Blvd., Roxbury MA
HBCooper Community Center, 1891 Washington St., Roxbury
Vine Street Community Center, 339 Dudley Street, Roxbury

Friday, June 27, 2008

Shakespeare + Julius Caesar in Royalston - July 2nd

People think I know what I am doing BEFORE I do it, sadly I haven't a clue. Happily, I really enjoy finding out what we all need to be doing and somehow, it all works out. "It is a mystery!" as the director said in Shakespeare in Love. See the Royalston Shakespeare Company blog for more pics and blather about the project.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

J.K. Rowling Rocks Hahvad Yahd

A friend sent this to me. J.K. Rowling, author of the best-selling Harry Potter book series, delivers her Commencement Address, June 2008 "The Fringe Benefits of Failure, and the Importance of Imagination," at the Annual Meeting of the Harvard Alumni Association. Full text attached.

"..... You might think that I chose my second theme, the importance of imagination, because of the part it played in rebuilding my life, but that is not wholly so. Though I will defend the value of bedtime stories to my last gasp, I have learned to value imagination in a much broader sense. Imagination is not only the uniquely human capacity to envision that which is not, and therefore the fount of all invention and innovation. In its arguably most transformative and revelatory capacity, it is the power that enables us to empathise with humans whose experiences we have never shared....." JK Rowling for the full text as a word doc, email me at

Monday, June 16, 2008

new gig

There was not much time left but Ms.Ewing was kind enough to invite me to see what PHA was like during the last day before finals. I visited with 2 classes, checked in at the teacher's room and hung around at Homework help. I will be the new performing arts teacher starting in AUG 2008 at the Prospect Hill Academy, in Somerville. It is a bustling middle school with a 5th grade in it. Ms. Ewing has some pretty big shoes to fill. She will be a very hard act to follow.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Life as I know it...

Yup, we messed up on the schedule last THURS and some people did not get a chance
to test their spelling skill and throw a cream pie at me. By the way , mad props to Dan for catching a great bunch of action shots. if you missed it, live and in person, I am a woman of my word...

So, here is my offer -

1. If you have the means to clean me up in 5 minutes ( cover me first in plastic - bring a change of suitable clothes - running water of suitable pressure nearby -- pie me carefully ?)
2. and promise to never interrupt a performance or a class
3. and promise to never delay the start of a performance ( so that means - not at the beginning nor the middle but...)
4. And promise to clean up everything
5. And you can spell a word of my choice from the 4th grade spelling book ( you get three words )
6. And you have a pie tin with whipped cream ( no shaving cream for me)
7. other conditions may arise at various sites and you agree not to bother anyone else but me.
8. And you are a 4th grade Inventor 2007 - 2008 who has not had a turn ?

Then I. O. U. one (1) Spelling Quiz Pie-o-Rama.
You spell a word from our list and take as many steps back as the word has letters.
Good spellers get harder words.
Extra step back for each word you misspell. One chance to hit me.
That is it.
Let the games begin.
My schedule is public. Especially in the summer
12 venues a week at at Read Boston. Check my here at my blog for updates.

This offer is valid outside only when temp is above 80° or
must be inside. One pie per student.
Have a great summer!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

People matter and their stories matter...Story Corps

Dave Isay, founder of StoryCorps, speaks about StoryCorps' history, its future, and its importance at the Orlando Public Library on January 12, 2008. He said many wonderful things..."People matter and they want to know that they won't be forgotten." And he said that as a people, we Americans are much better than we would know, if we looked only at the media portrait of ourselves. Our stories, the stories of ordinary people are as important or more important than the "... slush we are fed by the media"

Monday, May 19, 2008

Loren Niemi at Passims

We went to Fata Morgana with Loren Niemi tonight.

We took a lot of taxis.We walked part of the way. There were deserts and oceans and an oasis. And there was a baker, a contessa, a murderous victim of violence and a map maker who looked like Santa Claus and was a Jungian psychologist and laughed some people's pain away. There was also a dervish who had red dreadlocks and mojitos were served. A police riot and a little red dog that might have been a fox also came into the story. Murder, rape and toe (or was it finger?)sucking played their roles as well. I was bemused, beguiled and sometimes, bewildered. Loren has great charm, warmth and wit. And a "seething brain". I was never bored.

Two of many take away thoughts -
1. Who the hell was Fata Morgana ? I thought I knew but I wanted to google so bad as I listened.Here is the quick version from wikipedia:
Fata Morgana is the Italian name for Morgan le Fay, the fairy half-sister of King Arthur (both "fata" and "fay" mean fairy.) The other uses of the phrase below derive from this use, all meaning an illusion, or illusory prospect: A Fata Morgana (mirage), a mirage and optical phenomenon

And my fave line, hope I am not mangling it?
2. "
Respite or destiny ? Your choice. They lead to the same place".

What did you all see, hear, think? I'd love to know.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Dead Serious and Political

A youtube digital story, from my high school days.
The Kent State shootings, May 4th, 1970, led to protests and a national student strike, causing hundreds of campuses to close because of both violent and non-violent demonstrations. The Kent State campus remained closed for six weeks. Five days after the shootings, 100,000 people demonstrated in Washington, D.C., against the war and protesting the killing of unarmed students on a college campus.

The Jackson State College shooting occurred on Thursday/Friday May 14-15, 1970, at Jackson State College (now Jackson State University) in Jackson, Mississippi. A group of student protesters were confronted by city and state police. The police opened fire, killing two students and injuring twelve.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Promotional CDs and DVDs: Is it worth making one?

Folks in the storytelling world were debating spending money on producing a DVD. In my humble opinion expensive demo CDs ( I am all for making CDs as albums and works of art) and DVDs are not necessary anymore. Especially a professionally taped/produced DVD, unless you have loads of bucks burning holes in your pockets. Your own homemade dvd without a professionally designed cover with good graphics, in a standard case will not be taken seriously. You cannot even give such an item away to libraries. Few people will accept a CD to put in their computers from a stranger (I am thinking cold call here). Most commercial festivals insist on a sonicbids account to apply. People will not take attachments in their emails either. The way around this is to post your work on the web and send emails. And I make phone calls before I even send emails - so many venues have outdated contact information. Not hearing back does not mean someone is ignoring you. You may not have gotten that far.

A short, punchy email with links like the ones in this post is the best. When prospective presenters see the links in email and are interested enough to look at your posted materials, they may request more. If they do request more, simple demo CDs are easier than ever to make on your home computer.

I feel a much better "investment" than an expensively produced DVD is a free youtube channel and a sonicbids membership. These create web presence and are worth their weight in gold ( of course they do not actually weigh anything ). Files uploaded to the web allow perspective presenters to see your work with a simple "click". As for audio on the web, many of us are already on, yes? And no? Or, like many New England tellers, are you still putting off turning your cassette tape into digital files ? Mp3s are a must. Go
to and check out some of the links for information on how to do this.

As for youtube, you must have access to or own a digital video camera. These are not as expensive as they once were. Mine works fine and cost under $300. It is a Canon zr800 and uses DV tape and downloads right into my computer via fire wire. I chose it because it has a mic in jack so , one day I will be able to get high quality audio with the video. One must have an up to date computer and software to do simple edits of your video. I use a Macbook - the best equipment investment I made in my professional career after my portable sound system. One must have a high speed internet access or a fave cafe where you can bring your laptop and use their wifi. This is what I did when I started with video on the web last year. I sat in Toscaninis in Cambridge where I edited and uploaded some clips of my live performances.

The easiest and cheapest way to keep all this web presence together is a blog. It is a multimedia and free mini-website that you manage. I use
In this way we can have complete and flexible control over our material and the ability to add and subtract to our web presence with a few keystrokes.

But, you may say - What???? Are you nutz? We cannot afford a $1200 computer and $300 video camera and all the necessary connecting cables and the like. Agreed. Many people have an adequate computer already. But if you do not, I understand. A new enough computer was beyond my budget or ability to use for many years too. Finally, I put one on a credit card, something I NEVER do. Then I took lessons in computer skills and studied hard all the while trying to do things on my own. Now I have a "One on One" lesson account at Apple for my computer. Up to 52 lessons in a year and it cost only $100. Adult Ed classes are also good. Paying someone to come to your house to teach you is also a good idea. Another great investment.

I have an idea though. If groups of 3-5 compatible tellers join together, you can buy or pool equipment and learn to use it and encourage and motivate each other to create. Or small groups could go to cable access stations and learn to shoot and edit video using their material as the "talent" for the "shows" cable stations need. Basically, I am suggesting there be many small coops with in guilds, state organizations and regional groups....I'd like to try to help organize something like this for folks. But that is another idea and will have to wait for another post.
th-th-th- that's all folks,

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Thanks Albany, family and friends

My heart is full and my head so full of words I cannot think of what to write first. I guess the first big thanks is to the Riverway planning committee who thought to have me. And then to all the librarians, storytellers and other volunteers who work so hard all week and all year to make the Riverway such an amazing event. Just phenomenal. Mary Fellows of the Upper Hudson Library System and co organizers, Barry Marshall and Geri Burns (they are the StoryCrafters) who make you feel like a treasured friend and contributor. And Barry who carted us from hotel to each performance space. And then the other featured tellers, Gayle Ross, Baba Jamal Koram and Leeny Del Seamonds who were so generous and kind to me, and John Porcino, new to the festival scene tellers. The sound was uniformly excellent, thanks to the fine work of Mike Seddon and Josie! Grazie, car'amici! Every one was so welcoming. The emcees were terrific. I loved my school gig in Clarksville, NY - what great listeners the students were. I was especially moved by the youth storytellers,their mentors and teachers,( Mary Murphy, Darlene Miller and so many others) Stephanie and Sherwood who performed with us - ? - you guys rocked my world! I mean it. Teachers - the work you do inspires! And those kids were shining yesterday. The Capitol area storytelling community was fabulous. The show case was excellent it was wonderful to see our New England tellers ( Andrea Lovett, Cindy Marshall and Rona Leventhal ) so well received. All the audiences were warm and loving. If I have not mentioned YOU, I have not forgotten you. I tell you - I am deeply grateful to ALL. I am flying. Will be hard to go back to the 4th grade grind.

Last and certainly not least, thanks to Robert for gracioulsy combining his birthday celebration with my work and to las chicas muy guapas, Rosie and Vika, for coming to Albany.

Albany NY, Riverway Storytelling Festival!

FR|Left to right:John Porcino, Leeny DE, Mary Fellows,
MR|Norah Dooley, Charles Keirnan and Gayle Ross
BR| BabaJamal Koram and Barry Marshall
Wow! What a fun festival. We are having a blast,listening to each other tell amazing stories.New Englanders would do well to come on over to Albany, NY and check out this festival. An amazing chance to see some people from the Northeast and out of the area BabaJamal and Gayle Ross - and all the rest are not to be missed. Here:
Riverway Festival
Also 3 LANES tellers are showcased this AM
"Click here for information on all of our 31 events, and don't forget to check out our 2008 Festival tellers! Leeny Del Seamonds, Norah Dooley, Baba Jamal Koram, John Porcino, Gayle Ross, and many more tellers will be onstage for your listening pleasure."

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Cheap camcorder

Looks like a web presence with video is in your grasp no matter how small your budget.
Check out this, sent to us by Stu Mendleson.

Vistaquest VQ-DV7 SD Card Digital Camcorder for $80 + $1 s&h
New: Vistaquest VQ-DV7 SD Card Digital Camcorder for $80 + $1 s&h offers the Vistaquest VQ-DV7 SD Card Digital Camcorder, for $79.84. Shipping adds 97 cents or choose free Site-to-Store. Even with shipping, it's the lowest total price we could by $10. Sales tax is added where applicable. This 5-in-1 device has a digital video recorder, 5-megapixel digital camera, MP3 player, voice recorder, and webcam. It features a 2" LCD screen, 8x digital zoom, SD card slot, 640x480 resolution, and USB connectivity.

Note: An SD card is required for use, but is not included. Walmart...

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Storytelling for Children ~ Keene, NH

Wow! What a time! I played music with John Porcino and got to hear Laura Simms' amazing keynote. The concert at 3PM included Motoko, John Porcino's 3rd grade student, ( who rocked the house with her rendition of "How to Change a Bad Habit") John Porcino his own self, KR Glickman and Tony Toledo all in one day. For those who took my workshop, you will find a pdf of materials here: All best wishes to old and new friends.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

STF workshop notes -- are ready, email me.

Yours truly, the STF '08, photographer

What a great group at the workshop today. Thanks for your patience, support and participation. I really appreciated how Andrea, Dave, Kevin and all added to the collective wisdom and to Jo and Lorna who created blogs while we sat there. Bravi ragazzi! Thanks to Ari for letting us use her name and info.Special thanks to Doria for being such a gracious and hard working host and Andrea for use of her snowball mic and all her support.Mad props to Vernon for the digital projector and Kevin and Vernon for bringing "power to the people". Check out resources and links in the sidebars at

Link to your handouts follow.I have posted notes as pdf's for all who care to check it out or fear they may lose them in a tsunami of emails. Anyone may down load class notes at: or email me for a pdf.

All the best,

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


Robert is an impovising kinda guy. Here is a short sample of his work.

Monday, March 10, 2008

More on Freedom Stories from Tim Van E.

Tim sent an email full of good info:

"A man captures a bird, and it asks him to tell its friends and relatives what became of it. When he does so, they fall to the ground apparently lifeless. Heart-stricken, the man returns home and reports this to the bird. The bird immediately falls to the floor of the cage and lies still. The man sorrowfully takes the body outside to dispose of it, but as soon as he lays it down the bird spreads its wings and flies away. The version I remember hearing from Gioia Timpanelli ends with the bird saying "I knew I could get good advice from my friends and relatives!" I saw a speaker on PBS talking about Taoism who told this tale as a parable, with the bird telling the man that what his friends and relatives taught him was that to be free in life, you have to "die" first.

You can find my "First Takes" recording at

Angela Klingler looked through her collection when I later told her I was trying to track down this story, and found it as a fable attributed to Rumi, "The Indian Bird," in Tales of the Dervishes, Teaching Stories of the Sufi by Idries Shah, Penguin Books, 1967, ISBN 0-14-019358-8.

Also, I looked up "Freedom" in the Storytellers' Sourcebook, and the one entry is an Aesop's Fable: Wolf prefers liberty and hunger to dog's servitude and plenty." Various books are cited including Aesop's Fables pub. by Grosset & Dunlap, 1947 pp 22-24, Aesop's Fables retod by Anne Terry White, Random, 1964, pp 75-74, & the Fables of Aesop, Joseph Jacobs. Macmillan, 1950, p.55.

Good luck with your program!"


Friday, March 7, 2008

Freedom stories - help from LANES-listserv

Thanks all who sent information to LANES listserv! I wish we had a blog for our organization. A blog would be perfect for this kind of woolgathering and all would benefit.
Here is what some people said [ If you'd rather not be referenced here, tell me and I will remove]Most people referenced David Holt's version of Freedom Bird which can be found here:
Perhaps the Freedom Bird? I'm convinced that the story was one of those created in a society were people were not aloud to speak out and or speak out for freedom so they hid the message in the story --- i.e. you can kill one of us but hundreds more will rise up.
-- Johnny Porcino

You can look at the NSN American History story book - lots of not well known stories from US history- many are about freedom- also has workbook with exercises.
Of course there are books like Spinning Tales, Weaving Hope
and Peace Tales
that have freedom themed stories in them. There are Julius Lester's versions of Brer' Rabbit stories, which are always fun and Stanfield's book on High John the Conqueror. Also the People Could Fly book. Also, Stories of the Spirit, Stories of the Heart. Freedom can be a very broad subject!
-- Stu Mendelsohn

Another freedom story is ‘Fly Eagle, Fly’ from Africa. ‘The Cat Who Came Indoors’, another from Africa (also a great woman story and VERY funny – I bet you LOVE it).,M1
Another Moe/Asbjornsen story: ‘The White Cat in the Dovre Mountains’ freedom from Trolls – you can really have a lot of fun with this one. It is a laid back tale, as I tell it!
-- Simon Brooks

My freedom story ideas would include Exodus stories.
--Cindy Rivka

The People Could Fly
was originally released in 1985 as the title story of a set of folktales collected by Virginia Hamilton, and illustrated in black and white by Leo and Diane Dillon. This time, the story appears in picture book format, once again illustrated by the Dillons, but this time in magnificent color.
--Laura Packer, Judith Black, Mike Lockett, Rona Leventhal, Katie Green and others I may have forgotten.

Thanks All!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

A Dog, a Cat and a Rat

Dunno about the sponsoring group but the video is interesting, no? There is a story here, for sure. A friend sent me this:

"This is a video of one of the homeless in Santa Barbara and his pets. They work State Street every week for donations. The animals are pretty well fed and are mellow. They are a family. The man who owns them rigged a harness up for his cat so she wouldn't have to walk so much (like the dog and himself). At some juncture the rat came along, and as no one wanted to eat anyone else, the rat started riding with the cat and, often, on the cat! The dog, will stand all day and let you talk to him and admire him for a few chin scratches. The Mayor of Santa Barbara filmed this clip and sent it out as a Christmas card."

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

New Podcast and Other news

Well, I have been busy, working on taxes, trying to get my CDs back into "print" and working full time at a small private school. All I can say is "mad props and serious kudos" to real* classroom teachers. The amount of work, care and creativity that goes into this vocation( it surely isn't just a job!) is astounding.

So, with this dearth of free time I took a notion to make a podcast.
Why? I just do not know. My ADD gets worse as I get older.
Anyway podcast Vol. 2.#1 includes the legend of the King of Denmark. In it I read Carmen Deedy's beautiful telling of the story and tell some other true stories of bravery and creativity. See more about Carmen Deedy at:

I found out about David Shepherd and Travis Price while searching the internet for information about King Christian and other social issues. David and Travis are high school seniors at Central Kings Rural High School in Nova Scotia They did a simple thing. They stood up for a fellow student and acted with courage and creativity.

Give a listen and pass the link along at:
SeatofHerPants Podcast Vol 2.1: Sticking your neck out.

To see what I am doing in school click on the link below:

* i.e. people who have been doing this for years. I am unfit to even sharpen their pencils

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Learning to tell a story...

Talk! Talk! is a tale from Ghana in West Africa. The apprentices
learned this story through the oral tradition. This session is 2
weeks before the performance on DEC 18th at the Gavin Middle School.

We shared the story frame and they created their own dialogue and movements.
Norah Dooley, Andrea Lovett and Doria Hughes have volunteered
as teachers in a storytelling apprenticeship.
Terry, Christline, Isaak, Carlos, Calvin, Kenny, Alfredo and Ashley, are
some of the junior high storytellers in Boston MA who became storytellers this fall. Please check us out on youtube too: (less)