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Every Life is a Story
    A place to share my own family stories

Monday, November 30, 2015

Books for Christmas!

I am THAT Aunt that gives books at birthdays and Christmas.  This makes me fairly unpopular when it comes to gift giving occasions. Last year, my opened the birthday present I got him, and his face fell in disappointment as it was JUST books.  I’m not worried about it, because I overheard this very same nephew at Christmas looking over the books that I got him and saying, “These are really cool books.”  I have no regrets, and I don’t plan on changing things. For those of you who believe in giving books, or who want to start a new tradition, I am here to help.
This last year has been amazing in terms of writing.  Not only did I get my first short story published, but many of my friends, who always dreamed of becoming writers, began fulfilling those dreams.  Not only that, but writing has led me to an association with many other amazing local authors, everyone trying to succeed in the publishing business.  Over the next few posts, I am going to make a few book recommendations from local Utah authors who are all dealing with the publishing business and struggling to get their work noticed.  These are books that I personally liked and would recommend to others to read.  Most of these are books for adults, but I will make suggestions for young people as well.  

To start, for the young girl in your life, I have a wonderful recommendation!  The Ravenous Gown: And 14 More Tales about Real Beauty by Steffani Raff.  Steffani is a fellow storyteller.  I have seen her perform telling stories at various events, and she is an excellent performer.  She creates amazing modern folk tales and fairy tales, then tells them to a captivated audience.  Here, she has created original fairy tales all about what it means to be beautiful.  The stories are delightful.  The princesses are smart and strong, and learn a thing or two about what it really means to be beautiful.  Princes also learn about beauty, and show us that even a prince can struggle with body image.  In this day of negative body image, and dangerous media messages about what is beautiful, these are stories that entertain and teach messages that counteract those negative messages.  It is a must read for any girl over the age of eight.  

Monday, November 9, 2015

Halloween is Over...Time to Tell Ghost Stories!

Christmas is the time to tell ghost stories!  At least, it was in Victorian England.  It makes sense.  There was no Halloween, it was dark earlier, it was very cold, so people weren't out and about.  There was no television, or radio, and as the family gathered around the fire in the evenings after dinner, it makes sense that it was the time to tell ghost stories.

Charles Dickens gets much of the credit for continuing the Christmas ghost story tradition.  He managed to tell a ghost story, and bring in the warm spirit of Christmas both at once with A Christmas Carol.  That wasn't his only ghost story, and it was only one example of his love of ghost stories.  Every year he would release a periodical at Christmastime featuring ghost stories contributed by several writers.

There was a bittersweet moment at the end of the evening on Halloween, where I didn't want to say goodbye to the spooky holiday.  As I look to the upcoming Thanksgiving and Christmas traditions, I think it's time to resurrect the Victorian tradition of telling ghost stories!  It's a tradition that should never be allowed to go out of style.

"To be a person
is to have a story to tell."

- Isak Dinesen  

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