Tell me if you have a topic you'd like to see. (Contact: LoiS-sez@LoiS-sez.com .)
Please also let others know about this site.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Cox - Jack, the Giant of the Sea - Keeping the Public in Public Domain


While traveling I try to always visit local antique stores.  Whether something historical, musical, or in print, serendipity rules and may show up on my blog or in programs.  This past week I found a most unusual book by Palmer Cox, the Canadian author/illustrator best known for his series of children's books about The Brownies.  Cox first produced the mischievous characters for children's magazines like the legendary "St. Nicholas Magazine" and "Harper's Young People", and in newspaper comic strips until a book, The Brownies: Their Book in 1887 compiled some of these vignettes for the first of many books about them plus two very successful plays.  Their enduring popularity was shown in a 1988 Tuttle reprint of the Brownie Yearbook.  Earlier in 1971 Tuttle's reprint of Bugaboo Bill about how a village got rid of a troublesome giant is reminiscent of today's story.  I'll give the tale first and then say more about Cox, his Brownies, and the source of today's story.
 
Great story?  Dunberidiculous!  The "bones" of a story, however, are there, so it would be an excellent starter for story creation with a group of young future writers.  After that it would be good to share Palmer Cox's version including his lively illustrations which, frankly, have more detail and character than his fairly simple story.

Two online biographies of Cox tell about some of his work, the omnipresent Wikipedia article and a Canadian Masonic article, which says there were 25 books in all, but neither article nor the many online at Internet Archive nor the few available from Project Gutenberg list them all, nor include my own battered unlisted anthology, Palmer Cox's Book of Fairy Tales and Pictures, which was inexpensively produced back in 1896 and 1897 by Hubbard Publishing Company and in 1902 by Hurst & Company.  The Masonic site says that many books used Cox's name with his illustrations and previously published selections.  Since he also wrote for many magazines, including "Ladies Home Journal", there was plenty of material to compile.  The paper quality is poor and the stapled binding is only attached to the book's back, but as a result it is possible to copy even if every other page must be on an angle.  The original owner, Orlo F. Jones, clearly loved the book subtitled "A Selected Collection of this Famous Artist's Best Efforts for the Amusement and Joy of Our Young Folks." It is mainly anthropomorphic stories about animals, although one Brownie tale, "The Brownies' Kind Deed", is included.

Those Brownies have their own, earlier hotlinked, Wikipedia article, relating their inspiring a wide variety of merchandise, even Kodak's inexpensive "Brownie Camera", yet Cox is reported to have received nothing from the commercial use of his creatures.  Still he clearly did well enough as that same Canadian Masonic site shows Cox's 17-room dream home, Brownie Castle, that his brothers built it to his design at the start of the twentieth in his hometown of Granby, Quebec.  Brownie Castle was constructed with six staircases, a Brownie stained-glass window, and a four-story octagonal tower.  A running Brownie weather vane topped a nearby barn.
************************** 
Now for the "fine print."
This is part of a series of postings of stories under the category, "Keeping the Public in Public Domain."  The idea behind Public Domain was to preserve our cultural heritage after the authors and their immediate heirs were compensated.  I feel strongly current copyright law delays this intent on works of the 20th century.  My own library of folklore includes so many books within the Public Domain I decided to share stories from them.  I hope you enjoy discovering new stories.  



At the same time, my own involvement in storytelling regularly creates projects requiring research as part of my sharing stories with an audience.  Whenever that research needs to be shown here, the publishing of Public Domain stories will not occur that week.  This is a return to my regular posting of a research project here.  (Don't worry, this isn't dry research, my research is always geared towards future storytelling to an audience.)  Response has convinced me that "Keeping the Public in Public Domain" should continue along with my other postings as often as I can manage it.
Other Public Domain story resources I recommend-
  • There are many online resources for Public Domain stories, maybe none for folklore is as ambitious as fellow storyteller, Yoel Perez's database, Yashpeh, the International Folktales Collection.  I have long recommended it and continue to do so.  He has loaded Stith Thompson's Motif Index into his server as a database so you can search the whole 6 volumes for whatever word or expression you like by pressing one key. http://folkmasa.org/motiv/motif.htm
  • You may have noticed I'm no longer certain Dr. Perez has the largest database, although his offering the Motif Index certainly qualifies for those of us seeking specific types of stories.  There's another site, FairyTalez claiming to be the largest, with "over 2000 fairy tales, folktales, and fables" and they are "fully optimized for phones, tablets, and PCs", free and presented without ads.

    Between those two sites, there is much for story-lovers, but as they say in infomercials, "Wait, there's more!"
The email list for storytellers, Storytell, discussed Online Story Sources and came up with these additional suggestions:            
         - David K. Brown - http://people.ucalgary.ca/~dkbrown/stories.html
         - Richard Martin - http://www.tellatale.eu/tales_page.html
         - Spirit of Trees - http://spiritoftrees.org/featured-folktales
         - Story-Lovers - http://www.story-lovers.com/ is now only accessible through the Wayback Machine, described below, but Jackie Baldwin's wonderful site lives on there, fully searchable manually (the Google search doesn't work), at https://archive.org/ .  It's not easy, but go to Story-lovers.com snapshot for October 22 2016  and you can click on SOS: Searching Out Stories to scroll down through the many story topics and click on the story topic that interests you.
       - World of Tales - http://www.worldoftales.com/ 
     
You're going to find many of the links on these sites have gone down, BUT go to the Internet Archive Wayback Machine to find some of these old links.  Tim's site, for example, is so huge probably updating it would be a full-time job.  In the case of Story-Lovers, it's great that Jackie Baldwin set it up to stay online as long as it did after she could no longer maintain it.  Possibly searches maintained it.  Unfortunately Storytell list member, Papa Joe is on both Tim Sheppard's site and Story-Lovers, but he no longer maintains his old Papa Joe's Traveling Storytelling Show website and his Library (something you want to see!) is now only on the Wayback Machine.  It took some patience working back through claims of snapshots but finally in December of 2006 it appears!
    Somebody as of this writing whose stories can still be found by his website is the late Chuck Larkin - http://chucklarkin.com/stories.html.  I prefer to list these sites by their complete address so they can be found by the Wayback Machine, a.k.a. Archive.org, when that becomes the only way to find them.
You can see why I recommend these to you. Have fun discovering even more stories!

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Babbitt - The Pennywise Monkey - Keeping the Public in Public Domain

Monkeying around implies doing dumb things.

 We all do dumb things from time to time, sometimes even in clusters.  My husband refers to expensive ones as paying "Stupidity Tax."  Yep, been there. . . recently.  Rather than sit and bemoan dumb things done, it pays to look at whatever positives you can find.  There may not be many.  In my case I now have a newer version of Android on a newer tablet.  As for the other things that went wrong. . . 'nuff said.

Sometimes it also helps to read or watch a story about something even worse.  First I would like you to make a return visit to a very short story from Ellen C. Babbitt called "The Stupid Monkeys" and it's in her second book of Indian stories called More Jataka Tales.

If you clicked on that story you found a discussion about how proverbs make a great starting point for writing a story, especially a fable with animals.  Then the question was whether or not to tell the moral (the proverb or lesson) of the story or let the reader or audience draw its own conclusion.  Babbitt never tells, but lets you draw your own conclusions.  If indeed you read the story I posted back in 2015 (my this has been a long time!), I don't comment on how it wasn't half as stupid for the monkeys as it was for that human gardener and I doubt he kept his job.

Monkeys are numerous in India and so they are also numerous in the Jataka Tales.  That 2015 article also told about the origin of the Jataka Tales.  Babbitt did a very tellable slender pair of books for her version.  Buddhist literature has them for their earliest literature and Aesop Fables and also the Hindu Panchatantra share some of the same stories.  This isn't one of them, but maybe it should be.

Hmmmmm.

That almost sounds like it should go to the heads of our world governments.

Guess it's time for me to quit monkeying around.
(But I like to include the following "fine print" about ways to find more stories.)
**************************
This is part of a series of postings of stories under the category, "Keeping the Public in Public Domain."  The idea behind Public Domain was to preserve our cultural heritage after the authors and their immediate heirs were compensated.  I feel strongly current copyright law delays this intent on works of the 20th century.  My own library of folklore includes so many books within the Public Domain I decided to share stories from them.  I hope you enjoy discovering new stories.  



At the same time, my own involvement in storytelling regularly creates projects requiring research as part of my sharing stories with an audience.  Whenever that research needs to be shown here, the publishing of Public Domain stories will not occur that week.  This is a return to my regular posting of a research project here.  (Don't worry, this isn't dry research, my research is always geared towards future storytelling to an audience.)  Response has convinced me that "Keeping the Public in Public Domain" should continue along with my other postings as often as I can manage it.
Other Public Domain story resources I recommend-
  • There are many online resources for Public Domain stories, maybe none for folklore is as ambitious as fellow storyteller, Yoel Perez's database, Yashpeh, the International Folktales Collection.  I have long recommended it and continue to do so.  He has loaded Stith Thompson's Motif Index into his server as a database so you can search the whole 6 volumes for whatever word or expression you like by pressing one key. http://folkmasa.org/motiv/motif.htm
  • You may have noticed I'm no longer certain Dr. Perez has the largest database, although his offering the Motif Index certainly qualifies for those of us seeking specific types of stories.  There's another site, FairyTalez claiming to be the largest, with "over 2000 fairy tales, folktales, and fables" and they are "fully optimized for phones, tablets, and PCs", free and presented without ads.

    Between those two sites, there is much for story-lovers, but as they say in infomercials, "Wait, there's more!"
The email list for storytellers, Storytell, discussed Online Story Sources and came up with these additional suggestions:            
         - David K. Brown - http://people.ucalgary.ca/~dkbrown/stories.html
         - Richard Martin - http://www.tellatale.eu/tales_page.html
         - Spirit of Trees - http://spiritoftrees.org/featured-folktales
         - Story-Lovers - http://www.story-lovers.com/ is now only accessible through the Wayback Machine, described below, but Jackie Baldwin's wonderful site lives on there, fully searchable manually (the Google search doesn't work), at https://archive.org/ .  It's not easy, but go to Story-lovers.com snapshot for October 22 2016  and you can click on SOS: Searching Out Stories to scroll down through the many story topics and click on the story topic that interests you.
       - World of Tales - http://www.worldoftales.com/ 
     
You're going to find many of the links on these sites have gone down, BUT go to the Internet Archive Wayback Machine to find some of these old links.  Tim's site, for example, is so huge probably updating it would be a full-time job.  In the case of Story-Lovers, it's great that Jackie Baldwin set it up to stay online as long as it did after she could no longer maintain it.  Possibly searches maintained it.  Unfortunately Storytell list member, Papa Joe is on both Tim Sheppard's site and Story-Lovers, but he no longer maintains his old Papa Joe's Traveling Storytelling Show website and his Library (something you want to see!) is now only on the Wayback Machine.  It took some patience working back through claims of snapshots but finally in December of 2006 it appears!
    Somebody as of this writing whose stories can still be found by his website is the late Chuck Larkin - http://chucklarkin.com/stories.html.  I prefer to list these sites by their complete address so they can be found by the Wayback Machine, a.k.a. Archive.org, when that becomes the only way to find them.
You can see why I recommend these to you. Have fun discovering even more stories!

Friday, September 14, 2018

The EU and How It Will Affect EVERYBODY

As a storyteller,I know it might sound like I'm crying "Wolf!", but 
as a librarian the tiny aggravation in our Inboxes before on the EU 
policies were just a warm-up to a truly Internet breaking policy that 
affects the entire Internet.   

Today I received this (my own comments follow), also I put in bold 
type the part affecting everybody:  

   *This is terrible:* The EU Parliament just caved in to giant 
corporations and passed a massive overhaul of copyright law that 
threatens to ruin the Internet as we know it.    The Parliament 
approved the requirements for taxes on hyperlinks and censorship 
upload  filters for any website that publishes content. 
1 If these policies become law, websites like Reddit and Wikipedia 
could be wiped out entirely.  And it would pave the way for similar 
policies here at home.   But the good news is that the EU Council 
gets its say, and we're going to make sure these devastating policies 
are rejected.
 

OpenMedia is pressuring EU member states to stand up to corporate 
interests and vote  down the Link Tax and Censorship Machines for 
good. Will you donate to help our efforts?   
https://act.openmedia.org/stl-vote-sbs?src=162909  
 
The Link Tax would affect not just Europe, but the entire Internet 
ecosystem. Requiring websites to use automated content-filtering 
technology would cost millions of dollars and thousands of manpower 
hours, likely decimating small online businesses and startups. 
2   This legislation stems from pressure from gigantic publishers who 
would rather destroy the free and open Internet than admit their 
business models are obsolete. They want Google and other data 
aggregators to pay up when they link to original sources-but that 
means that we'd also have to pay, changing the way we share 
information with each other. 
3   And the legislation also calls for content sites to have YouTube-
style upload filters.  But most sites don't have the manpower or 
financial resources of YouTube, which paid tens  of millions of 
dollars to put its filter in place. These Censorship Machine 
requirements will put smaller sites out of business for good. 
 
We've seen the effect that Europe's new  privacy requirements have 
had on websites we use here at home-dozens of new terms of  service 
agreements have come through our email inboxes.  That's why it's 
essential that  the entire world become involved in the fight against 
the EU's new copyright legislation.   And as a global organization 
with campaigners around the world, OpenMedia is uniquely suited to 
take up the fight. 
************************************ 
When this came up earlier I posted on storytelling sites what I could 
find about the  EU Council.  A Canadian storyteller who is also a 
librarian, Elinor Benjamin, added "I managed to harvest all the email 
addresses from the site so I could send one message to all of them - 
freely adapted from Lois' point. Here they are if anyone wants to do 
the same. . .  

francis.zammitdimech@europarl.europa.eu
emil.radev@europarl.europa.eu
pavel.svoboda@europarl.europa.eu
sylvia-yvonne.kaufmann@europarl.europa.eu
enrico.gasbarra@europarl.europa.eu
mady.delvaux-stehres@europarl.europa.eu
tadeusz.zwiefka@europarl.europa.eu
antonio.marinhoepinto@europarl.europa.eu
jozsef.szajer@europarl.europa.eu"  

Please consider how you, too, might respond before the EU Council 
takes steps affecting all of us whether we have a website or not, 
since we all use the internet. 

LoiS(hocked and you should be, too)

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Along Came Anansi

I understand spiders creep a lot of people out.  One of my daughters is definitely an arachniphobe.  At the same time I know many wonderful stories about Anansi the spider and love using my easily made puppet.  Ages ago I lost the first one, but knew I could easily replace it.  Take a pair of cloth garden gloves and cut off three fingers on one glove.  Sew the extra fingers in gaps between the thumb and fingers for one of the cut fingers and sew the other two just past the little finger.  Stuff them.  It's up to you if it's easier to stuff them before or after attaching.  The head is a ball that fits in the top of the glove hand.  Add a ribbon for a necktie and eyes.  Yes, one of the buttons on my Anansi is loose.  At the moment it gives him "personality", but may eventually need further work.


An example of a past program
I thought of Anansi because it's almost time for spiders to be coming in to houses and trying to find ways to get through the winter.  Here are some facts about why you might be wise to carefully permit it:  "4 reasons why we should learn to live with spiders."  That first one, especially about eating mosquitoes, has always made me treat spiders with respect.  There are also many spider stories in Native American folklore from Grandmother Spider among the Southwestern nations to what is often a  trickster, Iktomi, for the Plains people.  Wikipedia goes international with its Cultural depictions of spiders, which takes you all over the world.  The African section mentions the name varies, and is sometimes Ananse, or even Aunt Nancy when those tales were brought by African slaves over to this hemisphere. 

I have spider tales from all over, including when I've worked in Jamaica, but most are not in Public Domain.  Does that mean I can't tell them?  Dunberidiculous!  Folk tales are meant to travel farther than a spider swinging on a web's strand.  We can re-tell them in our own way and also send people to the many books where others have shared their stories, art, and living with spiders. 

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Daudet - The Last Lesson in French - Keeping the Public in Public Domain

As schools start up again, imagine being suddenly told you could no longer speak the language you normally speak!  This has happened at times.  Here in the U.S., when many Native American children were shipped off to "Indian" boarding schools in the late 19th and early 20th century, it almost resulted in the loss of those languages.  (There's a lot more to say than the Wikipedia link.  Search using the term "Indian boarding schools."  Here in Michigan the topic is in The Tree That Never Dies.)  Even today some are told they may not use American Sign Language, although much less than in the past.  To return to the idea of being told your language was forbidden, imagine the northeastern U.S. being told French only or, vice versa, Quebecois told no French.  In the southwest or Mexico it would be Spanish or English being forbidden.

Today's story is by Alphonse Daudet, a French author not from Alsace-Lorraine where this story is set, even though he tells it as if it was a memory from his childhood.  I'll say more later, but it's true that area has been at times French and at other times German depending on who was controlling the area over the centuries and various wars.

My copy comes from Child Life in Many Lands, a 1911 textbook meant as a Third Reader.  I mention the textbook along with others in my One-Room Schoolteacher program.  As a result it begins with vocabulary words.
 
I found the Wikipedia article on Daudet interesting, especially how he began as a teacher, only to find it intolerable and claimed for months afterwards "he would wake with horror, thinking he was still among his unruly pupils", but used it in his writing.  The story's certainly realistic enough and also re-tells easily.  This happened repeatedly over the centuries in the area where he set it, especially when he tells about it during the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-1871, but also in the two major wars of the twentieth century.

Daudet was primarily a novelist and sometimes wrote for children.  It took detective work to find the story originated in Contes du Lundi (1873; English: The Monday Tales, 1900; short stories) .  While searching I found a teacher's lesson using the story to raise many questions and ideas about the importance of language and cultural identity.  I also found an article on this short story from the National Council of the Teachers of English which explained Daudet was so nearsighted he wasn't a soldier during the war, but did observe the area and the times while serving in the French National Guard and used it in many of his books.

May the 2018-2019 school year be a good one for you.  And now for something called in English, "the fine print."
**************************
This is part of a series of postings of stories under the category, "Keeping the Public in Public Domain."  The idea behind Public Domain was to preserve our cultural heritage after the authors and their immediate heirs were compensated.  I feel strongly current copyright law delays this intent on works of the 20th century.  My own library of folklore includes so many books within the Public Domain I decided to share stories from them.  I hope you enjoy discovering new stories.  



At the same time, my own involvement in storytelling regularly creates projects requiring research as part of my sharing stories with an audience.  Whenever that research needs to be shown here, the publishing of Public Domain stories will not occur that week.  This is a return to my regular posting of a research project here.  (Don't worry, this isn't dry research, my research is always geared towards future storytelling to an audience.)  Response has convinced me that "Keeping the Public in Public Domain" should continue along with my other postings as often as I can manage it.
Other Public Domain story resources I recommend-
  • There are many online resources for Public Domain stories, maybe none for folklore is as ambitious as fellow storyteller, Yoel Perez's database, Yashpeh, the International Folktales Collection.  I have long recommended it and continue to do so.  He has loaded Stith Thompson's Motif Index into his server as a database so you can search the whole 6 volumes for whatever word or expression you like by pressing one key. http://folkmasa.org/motiv/motif.htm
  • You may have noticed I'm no longer certain Dr. Perez has the largest database, although his offering the Motif Index certainly qualifies for those of us seeking specific types of stories.  There's another site, FairyTalez claiming to be the largest, with "over 2000 fairy tales, folktales, and fables" and they are "fully optimized for phones, tablets, and PCs", free and presented without ads.

    Between those two sites, there is much for story-lovers, but as they say in infomercials, "Wait, there's more!"
The email list for storytellers, Storytell, discussed Online Story Sources and came up with these additional suggestions:            
         - David K. Brown - http://people.ucalgary.ca/~dkbrown/stories.html
         - Richard Martin - http://www.tellatale.eu/tales_page.html
         - Spirit of Trees - http://spiritoftrees.org/featured-folktales
         - Story-Lovers - http://www.story-lovers.com/ is now only accessible through the Wayback Machine, described below, but Jackie Baldwin's wonderful site lives on there, fully searchable manually (the Google search doesn't work), at https://archive.org/ .  It's not easy, but go to Story-lovers.com snapshot for October 22 2016  and you can click on SOS: Searching Out Stories to scroll down through the many story topics and click on the story topic that interests you.
       - World of Tales - http://www.worldoftales.com/ 
     
You're going to find many of the links on these sites have gone down, BUT go to the Internet Archive Wayback Machine to find some of these old links.  Tim's site, for example, is so huge probably updating it would be a full-time job.  In the case of Story-Lovers, it's great that Jackie Baldwin set it up to stay online as long as it did after she could no longer maintain it.  Possibly searches maintained it.  Unfortunately Storytell list member, Papa Joe is on both Tim Sheppard's site and Story-Lovers, but he no longer maintains his old Papa Joe's Traveling Storytelling Show website and his Library (something you want to see!) is now only on the Wayback Machine.  It took some patience working back through claims of snapshots but finally in December of 2006 it appears!
    Somebody as of this writing whose stories can still be found by his website is the late Chuck Larkin - http://chucklarkin.com/stories.html.  I prefer to list these sites by their complete address so they can be found by the Wayback Machine, a.k.a. Archive.org, when that becomes the only way to find them.
You can see why I recommend these to you. Have fun discovering even more stories!

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Ransome - Fool of the World and the Flying Ship - Keeping the Public in Public Domain

Because I knew I would be away for several days in a workshop about arts accessibility for individuals with disabilities, I went looking to see if I could find a good story about an individual considered disabled.  Rather than choose a story where a disability is "cured" like the Native American "Cinderella" tale of "Scarface, I specifically wanted a story where the individual remains different.  I say different because today's tale at times seems hard to qualify and yet it does.  The title character is called a fool and the opening describes him as basically being childlike, even though the people in his life describe him as "simple."  How often is someone with Down's Syndrome or even some on the Autism Spectrum possibly perceived and dismissed this way?  His own parents consider him worthless and focus on his brothers.  Added to that, the company the "Fool" keeps are all different from the typical person. Are they disabled or is it just the way they are perceived?  Perhaps the term "differently abled" is appropiate.  The Tsar's servant dismisses them as just "a lot of dirty peasants."

The great thing about storytelling is it leads us into making pictures in our minds.  "The Fool of the World and the Flying Ship" is one of my favorites in a book of favorite tales -- Arthur Ransome's classic Old Peter's Russian Tales.  Three illustrators have enjoyed making their own pictures of this story.  It's great when more than one illustrator's version of a story can be compared, BUT it should come only after the story's audience has made their own pictures in their minds.  The book has illustrations but mine are more recent than the 1916 edition.  I removed them as they are still under copyright.  Don't let that bother you.  Your own images are just as valuable.  I'll show the covers of the three illustrated picture book versions at the end.  The story is long and involved, but every part of it proves important.
All right, when he wore fine clothes, he was judged quite handsome and was liked by everyone.  I can't help wondering if he changed or, more likely, the royals and the court changed their opinions and only then found value in his way of thinking.  It reminds me of yet another story, "Hans Clodhopper" by Hans Christian Andersen.

I also want to recommend you look at the UPDATE I made on my previous post.  It's at the end of the very short article.  It takes you to Autistic Mama's website and an article about "Autism in Adults -- Signs That May Have Been Missed in Children."

As summer winds down I'm not ready for winter, but wouldn't mind a little bit of that straw to cool summer's heat to slightly cooler temperatures whenever it starts to flare up again.

Amazon offers these three illustrated versions (given in order of their publishing).  If you're good at illustrating, maybe there will be yet a fourth, but we all should have illustrations in our minds.

Illustrated by Uri Shulevitz (& Caldecott winner)

Retold & illustrated by Christopher Denise













Illustrated by Valeri Gorbachev
**************************
And now the "fine print" for Keeping the Public in Public Domain.
This is part of a series of postings of stories under the category, "Keeping the Public in Public Domain."  The idea behind Public Domain was to preserve our cultural heritage after the authors and their immediate heirs were compensated.  I feel strongly current copyright law delays this intent on works of the 20th century.  My own library of folklore includes so many books within the Public Domain I decided to share stories from them.  I hope you enjoy discovering new stories.  



At the same time, my own involvement in storytelling regularly creates projects requiring research as part of my sharing stories with an audience.  Whenever that research needs to be shown here, the publishing of Public Domain stories will not occur that week.  This is a return to my regular posting of a research project here.  (Don't worry, this isn't dry research, my research is always geared towards future storytelling to an audience.)  Response has convinced me that "Keeping the Public in Public Domain" should continue along with my other postings as often as I can manage it.
Other Public Domain story resources I recommend-
  • There are many online resources for Public Domain stories, maybe none for folklore is as ambitious as fellow storyteller, Yoel Perez's database, Yashpeh, the International Folktales Collection.  I have long recommended it and continue to do so.  He has loaded Stith Thompson's Motif Index into his server as a database so you can search the whole 6 volumes for whatever word or expression you like by pressing one key. http://folkmasa.org/motiv/motif.htm
  • You may have noticed I'm no longer certain Dr. Perez has the largest database, although his offering the Motif Index certainly qualifies for those of us seeking specific types of stories.  There's another site, FairyTalez claiming to be the largest, with "over 2000 fairy tales, folktales, and fables" and they are "fully optimized for phones, tablets, and PCs", free and presented without ads.

    Between those two sites, there is much for story-lovers, but as they say in infomercials, "Wait, there's more!"
The email list for storytellers, Storytell, discussed Online Story Sources and came up with these additional suggestions:            
         - David K. Brown - http://people.ucalgary.ca/~dkbrown/stories.html
         - Richard Martin - http://www.tellatale.eu/tales_page.html
         - Spirit of Trees - http://spiritoftrees.org/featured-folktales
         - Story-Lovers - http://www.story-lovers.com/ is now only accessible through the Wayback Machine, described below, but Jackie Baldwin's wonderful site lives on there, fully searchable manually (the Google search doesn't work), at https://archive.org/ .  It's not easy, but go to Story-lovers.com snapshot for October 22 2016  and you can click on SOS: Searching Out Stories to scroll down through the many story topics and click on the story topic that interests you.
       - World of Tales - http://www.worldoftales.com/ 
     
You're going to find many of the links on these sites have gone down, BUT go to the Internet Archive Wayback Machine to find some of these old links.  Tim's site, for example, is so huge probably updating it would be a full-time job.  In the case of Story-Lovers, it's great that Jackie Baldwin set it up to stay online as long as it did after she could no longer maintain it.  Possibly searches maintained it.  Unfortunately Storytell list member, Papa Joe is on both Tim Sheppard's site and Story-Lovers, but he no longer maintains his old Papa Joe's Traveling Storytelling Show website and his Library (something you want to see!) is now only on the Wayback Machine.  It took some patience working back through claims of snapshots but finally in December of 2006 it appears!
    Somebody as of this writing whose stories can still be found by his website is the late Chuck Larkin - http://chucklarkin.com/stories.html.  I prefer to list these sites by their complete address so they can be found by the Wayback Machine, a.k.a. Archive.org, when that becomes the only way to find them.
You can see why I recommend these to you. Have fun discovering even more stories!



Thursday, August 16, 2018

VSA Michigan soon to become ...?

Would you like to win $500?
Not everything I do is publicly posted.  My classroom work is a perfect example and, when it's through VSA Michigan. it's even more private as I work with students in special education classrooms or occasionally mainstreamed classes.  Their award-winning organization has been around since 1977 and I recommend them often.  Now I can't even know what name to tell people about this wonderful organization.  Their name is changing, but not their focus.

In 2019, after being an affiliate of the international network of the VSA and Accessibility Department of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC, VSA Michigan now faces a new and exciting challenge of being an independent non-profit organization-- and the need to change its current name. 

Whatever their name, my storytelling and theatre work with them is only one of the many arts disciplines they offer to classrooms and community programs for work with  children and adults with disabilities.  For example, I helped young adults with autism put together and perform a puppet show of Snow White and the Dwarves for their school district's early childhood programs.  They may have learned a bit about theatre, but I learned a bunch, too, from them.

Beyond that I worked as a storyteller in residence over a semester at two locations in Genesee County at five classes with students, culminating in a Show and Share.  Additionally Flint's Institute of Arts hosted Project Choice with several of us as teaching artists involving school groups from the Genesee ISD.  That county is part of 10 Affiliate and Partner organizations throughout the state with programs conducted annually reaching more than 25,000 individuals annually.  

When I mention their focus, it's upon ability, not disability, and upon creativity and achievement.  With some students non-verbal and possibly with severe movement impairments, it's been challenging as I worked for audience involvement.  When I say challenging, I'm still learning and seeking to learn even more because I want to bring stories that enrich the student's lives, or as VSA Michigan says:
•Every person deserves access to appropriate learning experiences in the arts.
•The arts promote understanding and communication for everyone.
•The arts are more than a product, they are a process – it’s the journey that counts.
•The arts in their many forms enhance a person’s humanity.


When I tell people about their work, I find myself recommending people get in touch with them to see about bringing their arts education to yet another community.  Their educational work is well known, but community arts and cultural organization also can benefit from their expertise in aiding accessibility.  I still will recommend them, but what will the name be?  

At the same time their training for teaching artists, educators, college students, and community arts education providers continues with their annual Community of Progress Workshop.  It runs from August 19 to 21.  (This is why I'm posting this earlier than my usual Saturday schedule.  It's last minute, but not too late to get involved.  If this sounds like you, too -- go to the organization's link at the beginning of this article).  I'm looking forward to its emphasis on learning strategies for teaching students on the autism spectrum and with  behavioral challenges. This isn't the first of these sessions I've attended and know it will give practical ideas to learn inclusive strategies to create a successful environment in the classroom and for teaching the arts to differentiated learners.  I closed out the past school year craving even more training and will travel to the Workshop knowing there will be tons to absorb.  I'm told it uses the principles of Universal Design for Learning while minimizing behavioral problems.  (Hmmm, sounds like that enhances all work or personal interaction.)  The workshop is up north at Higgins Lake near Roscommon and expect to be offline, so the second half of next week will mean playing "catch up."  

I expect next week's article will be a posting of Keeping the Public in Public Domain prepared this week.

UPDATE:
This is perfect as an update to the VSA Michigan (name soon to change) Conference I just attended. Also go to <https://autisticmama.com/signs-of-autism-in-adults/> which points out how we grew up at a time when this was misunderstood. It's a Spectrum with great variety. Even w/o having autism, there are overlaps to help people understand more.
Have you wondered if you might be autistic?
You've GOT to check out this post!