Wednesdays are for wishes

Wishes are magical desires for dreams and hopes to come true. Although wishing traditions vary around the world, all cultures have beliefs and stories surrounding wishes. (In fact, I am headed off to tell a few of my favourite tales about wishes tomorrow morning.)

Do you wish on falling stars? Eat moon cakes under the moon? Throw  lucky pennies into a wishing well?  Search the forests for Leprechauns or the Kapre?

One wishing tradition that I love to practice is a variation of the wishing tree. Around the enchanted tree house, Wednesdays are referred to as Wishing Wednesdays. On every single Wishing Wednesday, we write down one wish and tie it around the branch of our wishing tree.

This wishing tradition started when  I lived in Florida. I would hang my wishes in a banyan tree because in Hindu mythology, the banyan tree is referred to as  kalpavriksha meaning "wish-fulfilling tree."  Since all trees (or even houseplants) are filled with magical enchantments, they love to be used as wishing trees! Add some magic into your life by incorporating Wishing Wednesdays into your week! 

Here is what you need: Scrap paper, scrap ribbon or string and a pen

Step One: Write your wish!

Step Two: Roll your wish!

Step Three: MAKE YOUR WISH!!

If you knew your wish would come true, what would you wish  for? Dream big because on Wishing Wednesday, wishes come true! Xx

Psst...Here's an enchanted contest just for you!

Photos of Enchantment Contest 2011

Where do you go to be surrounded by magical enchantments? Perhaps you are like me and find the deep, dark woods filled with magic, danger, refuge and adventure! Or perhaps the urban forests are more your cup of tea. No matter your preference, throughout the magical month of October, I want you to share the enchantments in your neck of the woods! (And by sharing a bit of your own magic with the Emmy Blue storytelling community, you could win a personalized fairy tale as well as other magical prizes!)

To enter the Photos of Enchantment Contest you need to take a photograph or photographs of your very favourite enchanted location. (If you don't have a favourite location, then you have a whole month of exploration adventures ahead of you!) 

Once you have a photograph, either (1) Post the photo on your own blog, facebook page or google + page and then post the link in the comment section below; or (2) Post the photo on a free image hosting site such as yfrog, flickr or twitpic and then post the link in the comment section below.

Bits...

  • The enchanted photograph may be urban or rural. The photo may be taken in a land far, far away or right in your own backyard.
  • You may enter as many enchanted photographs as you would like for the entire month of October.
  • You may enter the contest as an individual or a family. If you are a teacher or leader of an organization, then you may enter your entire class or group. (**Please see note below**)

and Bobs...

  • The more the merrier! Feel free to copy the contest logo from above and paste it on your blog or Facebook page to encourage others to share their magic with us too!
  • The winners will be mentioned in a very special October 31st holiday blog post!

Grand Prize: Chosen by a random drawing, I will write the first place winner, and/or whomever else they choose, as the heroine(s) or hero(s) of my next original fairy tale or forest legend. He or she will receive a digital and hard copy of the one-of-a-kind story and illustration. This exclusive package would make a unique birthday present and a magical surprise for a loved one or even your school!

Second and Third Place Prizes: Chosen by a random drawing, the second and third place winners will receive limited edition Emmy Blue postcards and bookmarks featuring my magical characters and tales. If a class or organization wins, then you will receive a box of enchanted surprises for everyone.

What are you waiting for? Get your camera and start your exploration adventures immediately! And remember, don't worry about the quality or quantity of your photographs, just have fun finding a bit of magic in your own neck of the woods!

Happy October! Xx

**Note: If you are a teacher or organization, you can incorporate this contest into your literature or creative writing curriculum by adding reading or writing components to the photo contest. I would be happy to post links to your class blog or post links to student short stories and poetry. Just let me know how I can support your enchanted projects!

Yes, demon slime babies (and sneeze pizzas) can be magical too

Yesterday, as the sun slipped behind the trees, I took the enchanted pup running in a park filled with children playing soccer. My decrepit running shoes plodded along to sounds of slobbery puppy pants and cheering soccer families. Then, after four laps around the park, a gang of bored soccer siblings ambushed the enchanted pup with hugs and handfuls of weeds. I believe it is the enchanted pup's enormous dangly tongue that attracts children (not to mention, it is her tongue that has parents cringing and reaching for hand-sanitizing potions).

image

After introductions, a boy, with what appeared to be purple jam smeared across his forehead, got into my face and yelled, "WHAT DO YOU DO? ARE YOU A LAWYER?"

"I'm a storyteller," I replied.

"WELL, TELL A STORY THEN!" another child snapped.

When disclosing my profession to a child or an adult, this is the most common response. And I typically oblige due to my rule to accept every storytelling opportunity offered. (Even when panting, sweating and wearing worn out jogging shorts and a t-shirt covered with neon sheepies circa 1993).

"What type of story would you like to hear?" I asked as the gang of sticky and sugar-fuelled children and I made our way over to the rusty bleachers.

Noting the female to male ratio, I was expecting to hear the usual cliché answers (princesses, princess fairy tales, Disney princesses and fairy princesses or even Taylor Swift, Selena Gomez and Bella Swan). But then a pig-tailed four-year-old girl rolling on top of the enchanted pup yelled at the top of her lungs, "DEMON SLIME BABIES!"

"Ah, yes, demon slime babies. Great idea! Well, I could tell a story about demon slime babies or I could tell you the story of a magical little creature who lives in the forest right over there."

She pushed my pointer finger down and said, "NO! DEMON SLIME BABIES!"

"What about the story of a peculiar little girl who finds a magical stalk of broccoli that..."

Whilst lifting his eyelids with his fingers until only the whites showed, a boy shouted, "WHAT?! MAGICAL BROCCOLI IS BORING, LADY! TELL A STORY ABOUT...ABOUT...*achoo*...PIZZAS!"

He proceeded to wipe nose sludge onto his bare arm and kneecap. "Sneeze pizzas?" I asked.

The children giggled and burst into the chant, "DEMON SLIME BABIES! DEMON SLIME BABIES! DEMON SLIME BABIES!"

Several parents joined the crowd upon hearing their children shout these words at a complete stranger. Knowing I had no stories about demon slime babies or sneeze pizzas in my repertoire, I looked at the growing audience of parents, curious joggers and chanting children and made a rash decision. "Okay," I squeaked. "A story about demon slime babies and sneeze pizzas it is."

"AND IT BETTER BE A GOOD ONE!" a child shouted.

This is why I love working with children. They they don't hold back their thoughts and they give instant feedback. Since I identified myself as a storyteller, they expected me to tell an award-winning story about demon slime babies on the spot. And if I so much as failed to entertain or if I allowed one single mind to wander, the children would not only blatantly deliver harsh criticism, but they would walk away.

I was both excited and terrified. On the one hand, storytelling to children of mixed ages in a location where they normally run wild without rules is an ultimate challenge. On the other hand, spontaneously writing and performing a story in front of a large group of potential clients in a brand new market is risky.

The only way to improve my skills as a storyteller is to do uncomfortable things and take risks.

To my relief, I whipped out a story (complete with audience participation) that engaged the children. (Phew!)  I know my story about demon slime babies and sneeze pizzas was not my best. However, as the children's faces lit up and smiles crossed their lips, I saw that this storytelling experience was magical to them (and as I floated away on a cloud of accomplishment, I realized that this storytelling experience was equally magical to me.)

The seed of this tale is that you must take risks in order to spread magic and feel magical! Are you taking enough risks in your life? 

Xx

Filed Under: MAGICAL BROCCOLI IS BORING, LADY! 

Storytelling Survey

Greetings from deep in the forest! Whilst preparing my new collection of stories for some upcoming events, I decided that nothing would make me happier than to share one or two of my newest tales with you!

Which storytelling format would you prefer to see on this blog?

A.) Reading Stories (Text + Illustrations)

B.) Storytelling (Audio)

C.) Storytelling (Audio + Visual) 

You can leave "A," "B" or "C" in the comment section.

Thank you! Xx

 

 

 

 

P.S. The ol' trickster coyote howled in my bedroom room three times last night. Keep your eyes peeled for some crafty pranks in the forest today and for a bit of mischievousness in my tales next week!