Language, Literacy, and Storytelling – Part 3

A Teacher's Reflections

In Part 2, I shared worrisome statistics about children who enter school excited to learn to read, and the dramatic drop-off when they are not exposed to books and hearing words.  I talked about the next step, engaging children in both conversation and thinking – writing picture stories.

Part 3
There is proof in the pudding down the road.  Language, literacy and storytelling makes a difference, and not just with children.  Well, there’s more. Adults. That proof is in the high quality of Cuban cigars. It’s a great story, one of my favorites.

Reading aloud never gets old. It weathers time and generations. For adults, when we are read to, we listen, think and feel. And, we have to stretch our brain. When we only hear the words it sharpens our mind, and our performance is much better.

The Cuban cigar industry understood this. That’s why they make…

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Free books or the price of ignorance…

“A room without books is like a body without a soul.” – Marcus Tullius Cicero

“If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.”  – Haruki Murakami 

“You don’t have to burn books to destoy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them.”     – Ray Bradbury

For Jack Eason and the other authors who keep us in stories despite the struggle. Please visit Jack at his blog: https://havewehadhelp.wordpress.com/ and do all you can to support our independent authors, presses and publishers.  I owe so much to the books in my life as well as the neighbor’s daughters that taught a three year-old how to read. It saved me.

Free books or the price of ignorance…

The author says nobody wants to buy

Real books, waiting for kindle

Or what they can get for free

Long ago I learned that

Precious little is free

Waiting to see the strings attached

Or what might appear

From behind someone’s back

I will admit to a “free” book

But I did have to exchange one

Of my own precious volumes

The price to be paid

Yet Jack is right

The author deserves his compensation

When one writes, much of who we are

What we believe is invested in each word

Writing is not merely work, a job

It is opening veins and pouring

Out your blood, opening oneself

To the acid tongues of the critics,

Those judging not only your work

But your life, who you are

Fiction’s DNA, the authors reality

To take what is produced

Without re-numeration, theft

 

 

Remember, purchasing a good book is a gift you give yourself. It needs no batteries nor electricity and is easily shared. 

 

Bisous, 

Léa

 

 

Quotes – Pearls of wisdom…

Quotes – Pearls of wisdom? Or perhaps they are the spark for inspiration? If a quote speaks to you, explore the reason it does. If it is something you do not except, why doesn’t it? If quotes were charms for a bracelet I could not lift either arm. Anything that can get me thinking, defending my position, looking at something in a new light, it has served me well. Quotes are a powerhouse and just wait for us to discover them and examine what they mean to us as individuals. Perhaps there are a few you can take for a walk across the page, canvas… It is my hope you will find something among what is offered here and see where it takes you… Often I find my best work when I attack a statement I have strong feelings about regardless if they are positive or negative. In fact, the negative ones are often the most enlightening. 

“If you haven’t changed your mind lately how can you be sure you still have one?” Author unknown

A learned fool is more a fool than an ignorant fool.” – Moliere

We die only once and for such a long time.” – Moliere

Writing is like prostitution. First you do it for love, and then for a few close friends, and then for money.” – Moliere

Dreams do come true, if we only wish hard enough, you can have anything in life if you will sacrifice everything else for it.” – J.M. Barrie

I am not young enough to know everything.” – J.M. Barrie

The life of every man is a diary in which he means to write one story, and writes another; and his humblest hour is when he compares the volume as it is with what he vowed to make it.” – J.M. Barrie

For several days after my first book was published, I carried it about in my pocket and took surreptitious peeps at it to make sure the ink had not faded.” – J.M. Barrie

Those who bring sunshine into the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves.” – J.M. Barrie

We never understand how little we need in this world until we know the loss of it.” – J.M. Barrie

If you live to be a hundred, I want to live to be a hundred minus one day so I never have to live without you.” – A.A. Milne

One of the advantages of being disorderly is that one is constantly making exciting discoveries.” – A.A. Milne

You will be better advised to watch what we do instead of what we say.”   – A.A. Milne

Weeds are flowers too, once you get to know them.” – A.A. Milne

The third-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking with the majority. The second-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking with the minority. The first-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking.” – A.A. Milne

Promise me you’ll always remember: You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” – A.A. Milne

Begin at the beginning and go on till you come to the end; then stop.”          – Lewis Carroll

I can’t go back to yesterday – because I was a different person then.”            – Lewis Carroll

But I don’t want to go among mad people,’ said Alice. ‘Oh, you can’t help that,’ said the cat. ‘We’re all mad here.” – Lewis Carroll

That’s the reason they’re called lessons, because they lesson from day to day.” – Lewis Carroll

Why sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.” – Lewis Carroll

The secret of getting ahead is getting started.” – Mark Twain

Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please.”                      – Mark Twain

Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.” – Lucius Annaeus Seneca

*

Bisous,

Léa

 

Just the facts…

Consistency is the last refuge of the unimaginative.
– Oscar Wilde

Just the facts…

You are the brightest point of the candles flame

The dandelions in my clover

The first bite of cheesecake

And the solstice of my summer

*

You are the oasis I’ve searched for In my forty years wandering

The checkered flag and hurrahs

At the finish line

You will never be the chip in my teacup

The croutons in my salad

Nor a frog croaking by the pond

*

And you are not the stapler on my desk

You are the warmth of the fire

Chasing away my chill

And the conductor of the symphony

Spilling from my harp strings

*

Perhaps you are the lavender sachet

Tucked beneath my pillow – scenting my dreams

The rhubarb in my pie

And the vibrant oils layered on my canvas

*

Did you realize that I am the foam

Riding the crashing waves, spilling across your rocks,

Pilings and coastlines

the chocolate in your milk

And the peanut butter for your jelly

*

I am the wick for your lantern

The molasses in the gingerbread; full, thickly sweet

With a kick

And the firefly when you lose your way

*

But more than all of this

I will be the suede patch on the sleeve

Of your tweed coat

Hoisting a pint at the Everyman Bistro near

The Mercy River while Beatles on the jukebox take you back in time

I will be the Eleanor Rigby of your memories

Bisous,

Léa

Magical smart phone

“Technology can be our best friend, and technology can also be the biggest party pooper of our lives. It interrupts our own story, interrupts our ability to have a thought or a daydream, to imagine something wonderful, because we’re too busy bridging the walk from the cafeteria back to the office on the cell phone.” – Steven Spielberg

*

Magical smart phone

Only two apps I think
Invisibility cloak
And time traveling

*

No, I do not have a ‘smart phone’ and am technically challenged. But if I had the above two applications to choose from, I will admit there would be temptation. I would start at The Algonquin Hotel and search out Mrs. Parker and friends then off to visit with Jonathan Swift… Where would such applications take you? What apps would you want or create and where would they take you?

Bisous,

Léa

Imagination and a pile of junk

“To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk.” – Thomas A. Edison

imagination and a pile of junk

The junk lies all around me

But does it fit in my poem?

There are several stacks of

Unread books, stories to be told

Genealogy charts, and research

From Sweden’s icy tundra

Spilling loosely across my desk

But does it fit in my poem?

A journal from the 1890’s

Confessions of an ancestor

Crossing the American plains

Covered wagon adventures

Will they fit in my poem?

This most unusual plant

A succulent – leaves like tiny chili peppers

Dark green and growing sporadically

It couldn’t possibly

Fit in this poem, could it?

There are postcards from villages

And towns around France

Stamps for posting to Europe

And beyond

Post-it notes, pens, camera, computer cables

Glasses and more – alas, nothing bears promise

Of fitting in this poem

Imagination regrets its failure

Building junk into a poem

 

Bisous,

Léa

Donnez-moi

“A woman is more beautiful than the world in which I live; and so I close my eyes.”   –  Paul Éluard

 

“Larmes sont les pétals  du coeur.”  /  “Tears are the petals of the heart.” 

– Paul Éluard

 

 

Donnez-moi

Un homme

Whose tongue

Drips with honey

Éluard has had

His way

Avec moi

À plusieurs reprises

Verse that

Strips me naked

And leaves me

Pleading for

More

My knees

Wobble

Each breath

A labored

Entreaty

Even my

Sixth sense

Pushed to its

limits

Addicted to

Pleasure

Donnez-moi

Donnez-moi

Spent

I luxuriate

As his presence

Lingers

A prelude

Pour des rêves

*

Bisous,

Léa