Reader Appreciation Award

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Thanks again to Uzoma for nominating me for this award. It’s an especially meaningful award, because it recognizes those who comment regularly on my blogs. Uzoma is a very talented poet and short story writer, do check him out –  Uzoma. 

Here are the rules for this award:

  1.  Assign your top 5 bloggers who have commented the most.
  2.  Be grateful.
  3.  You cannot award the prize to someone who already has it.
  4.  Do not forget to inform the bloggers involved with this award.
  5.  If you do not want to spend the money, no problem. Just admire it.

Here are five bloggers who you know read your blog because they make meaningful comments consistently.

1. http://yeehawranchmamasheri.wordpress.com/

2. http://ericjohnbaker.wordpress.com/

3. http://sherijkennedyriverside.wordpress.com/

4. http://repurposedredhead.com/

5. Professions for PEACE

Illimitable Beauty

Illimitable Beauty Kindle Marketing Cover

Magic happened when I saw my writing in publication, even if it’s just a Kindle Singles. I have a published work. Maybe I’m just one of thousands of Amazon writers, but I can say I have a book for sale. The magic is like fairy dust sprinkled over me making me feel golden and light. And then the magic exploded with a story idea I hadn’t seen coming. So, while I pursue print publication of my manuscript, The Ultimate Wonder, expanded from my story podcasts, I am researching for my next story. I feel a sense of excitement and adventure that is refreshing, energizing, and renewing. I feel like I’ve tasted the river of eternal youth and everything is possible.

This is the story description. For almost twenty years Jewel was an exemplary wife, mother, and high school teacher, but after an out-of-body experience her life changes completely. This story examines how one woman recognizes and resolves contradictions in her life and discovers the illimitable beauty an awakened consciousness reveals.

Below is the link that will take you directly to my author’s page and my book. Please buy it and share it with your friends and families. Everything I read about marketing these days says the key to success is word of mouth.

If you do not have an e-reader, or have friends or family without the latest technology, but would like to read my story, I will gladly send you the story in PDF, with the request for a supportive review on Amazon. (If you have criticisms you don’t want to share on Amazon, just send them to me in an e-mail. I can always make changes.) This offer is good for exactly one week and ends on January 19th.

To request the PDF please send an e-mail to skywalkerstoryteller@gmail.com

Enjoy.     https://www.amazon.com/author/skywalkerstorytellerbooks

Celebrating Our Wedding Anniversary

Wedding Photo

Today Brian Payne and I celebrate our 15th wedding anniversary. We were married at Udiyan Maitreya Kosha, a Buddhist Center, in Denver, Colorado at 11:11, January 11th. Gretchen Groth, now a Lama, conducted the ceremony that Brian and I wrote.

Even though, I’ve been spending the morning with head congestion and repeated sneezes, we’re having a cozy celebration in cold, snow covered, windy northern Arizona, Hopiland, the Center of the Universe.

The Ballad of Mama Queen and Her Darling Daughta

Today is my birthday and I feel the best way to celebrate is to share the story of my birth. I posted this poem in August and received some comments that it was a sad story. In a way it could be seen that way, as at the time it happened my mother she was sad. But, Mama always had a back-up plan. She left Reno and went to Las Vegas to join her high school sweetheart who was stationed at Nellis Air For Base. So it is that I became an only child with seven brothers and sisters.

I wrote this poem when I was working as a secretary for the Linguistics Department at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. As I looked through a dictionary of slang, written by one of the professors,  I came across very interesting expressions for the actions involved in conception and a child born out of wedlock. By that time, the three sisters I grew up finally knew I had a different father from theirs. And I had lived with my dad and met my three brothers and one sister who had not known about me. I feel blessed to have all of them in my life and it wouldn’t have happened any other way.

So, I hope you will now enjoy watching me perform this ballad with the sense of joyous humor in which I wrote it.

One Lovely Blog Award

In November the  talented writer, Uzoma,  nominated me for this award. I was grateful and flattered and intended to accept it by abiding by the rules:

1. Thank the person who nominated you and link back to their blog.
2. List seven random things about yourself.
3. Nominate 15 other bloggers for the award

It just took me longer than I thought to finally complete the rules. So, again thanks Uzoma. Check out his excellent poetry and stories.

Seven random things about me:

1.  I was a professional dancer and performing artist.
2.  I am an only child but have seven brothers and sisters.
3.  I have a collection of international dolls.
4.  I make dresses from old skirts and blouses.
5.  The spider is my totem.
6.  Riding in trains is my favorite mode of travel.
7.  In my life I’ve taken singing, piano, djembe, and wooden flute lessons.
Selecting 15 Lovely Blogs was a challenge – but here they are, writers, artists, photographers, and travelers from around the world. Visit their blogs if they are new to you.

 Sean Bidd
The Integral
Eric J. Baker
Professions for Peace
Repurposed Redhead
Jacqueline Valencia
Haunted Rock
Circles Under Streetlights
Stories by Williams
Leaf in the Streets
Toemail
Breathing Space
Zinc Comics
Watching the Photo Reels Go Round and Round
Fading Meta

May Peace Begin with Me

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When my husband said we were going to watch Fahrenheit 9/11 my mind, seeking entertainment, thought he was referring to the 1966 François Truffaut feature Fahrenheit 451. When I saw that we were watching Michael Moore’s documentary, I didn’t want to watch it because we had seen it in the theater and I knew it was depressing. The movie opens with the sad fact that witness after witness explained that the Florida election results were stolen from black voters, not one senator stood up to contest the results. All that was needed was one senator to have prevented the cascade of deaths and economic waste that began with Bush’s inauguration in 2001.

Also we’ve been watching Oliver Stone’s, “The Untold History of the United States.” This documentary reminds us that this country’s history is marked by one war after another. Founded by war, the American Revolution, then the War of 1812, the Civil War, the Mexican American War, World War I, World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Iraqi Wars, and now Afghanistan. Ironically this country, which began through a revolution, in addition to all of the above wars, as Stone’s documentary points out, has made a consistent business of interfering with other country’s revolutions for freedom from despots.

Once again, the cries for another “pre-emptive” strike on a sovereign nation is rising up against Iran. We were tricked once with Iraq, are we going to allow ourselves to be “fooled” again? Are mothers going to be tricked into sending their sons to a foreign war to “protect freedom,” only to end with the sons questioning what they are doing and the mothers crying in grief?  As W. E. B. DuBois wrote almost 100 years ago, “. . .until you and the Mothers speak, the men of the world bend stupid and crazed beneath the burden of hate and death.”

This burden is called karma. As long as the USA continues its violent course, it will reap the results of its karma in senseless mass murders of innocents. So, today, I intend to intensify my efforts to create peace in the world. As a Buddhist, I know that effort begins with me practicing peace in my daily life with the people I encounter. It means watching my anger and impatience, practicing kind and compassionate speech even when feeling vexed,wronged, or tired. Because I know that it is all of our little angers that ripple out in space to create a national hate and anger that leads to war.

If peace is your mandate, I invite you to join the efforts of groups like PeaceAction, Arms Control Association, and others. Anyone can be an internet activist by signing every petition to end the war in Afghanistan now, to end nuclear proliferation, to approve international arms treaties, and to refrain from attacking Iran or any country that has not attacked this country.

May this year lead more of us to make the intention to create peace within ourselves in order to create peace in our world.

The Christmas Story to Soothe All Hearts

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This morning as I was reflecting on this story, I thought of the children and adults who died on December 14. My prayer, from the day of this sadness, has been for these children and adults to be quickly reborn to share the grace and light gained from their sacrifices. Suddenly, I saw clearly that unknown to their families, these children and adults chose to be born to sacrifice their lives. As a Buddhist I believe that we are reborn until we attain enlightenment, which is freedom from all that causes suffering. In Buddhism people can choose to be Bodhisattvas, beings dedicated to returning to physical existence until all sentient beings attain enlightenment. And Buddhism is filled with stories of Bodhisattvas making sacrifices, including their lives, for the benefit of others.

Many cultures see the death of babies and children as signs that these were special souls returning for a brief time to fulfill some greater spiritual purpose. And in Christianity, the one whose birth this holiday season celebrates, chose to make his life a sacrifice.

This story, an African interpretation of the birth of Jesus, has him offer to sacrifice his life, as God’s small son, before he is born on earth, to save people from God’s anger. I trust that the gentleness of this story may bring some comfort to those missing the presence of their most precious loved ones.

Click on the link to hear the story.

http://storytellingtheater.com/storytellingtheater.com/PERFORMANCE/Entries/2012/12/23_The_Christmas_Story_to_soothe_all_hearts.html

Two Holiday Stories

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As the snow falls here in Northern Arizona that holiday feeling wraps with warmth. Today I share with you two of  my favorite holiday stories for your listening enjoyment as you sit around the fireplace or relax on the couch. Just click on the link below and turn your volume high.

http://storytellingtheater.com/storytellingtheater.com/PERFORMANCE/Entries/2012/12/15_Two_Holiday_Stories.html

CHRISTMAS MEMORIES

Payne Christmas

I didn’t celebrate Christmas for many years, after I left my parent’s home, until I moved in with Brian, my husband. We never bought a big tree, like his family, but we had fun finding perfect little gifts to pile under our small tree. The tiny wooden carving of an African dancer he gave me that first Christmas still dances in front of the window in my room.

This time I’d like to hear from you. Please share your favorite Christmas memories.

Denver Christmas

STORYTELLING LOVERS HOLIDAY GIFT

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Storytelling CD Holiday Sale

In the most ancient of times, when the heavenly gods and goddesses descend to earth, the Mother of Rain, finds her mate in a wise Zulu warrior.  And in the land to the west when the Osage people seek to choose their symbol, the Sky Clan Chooses Spider who weaves webs of story and gives other powers.  A Wife’s Portrait pushes a humble Japanese man to bravery. A Lion’s Whisker teaches the patience of love to an Ethiopian woman. In England an old woman experiences the magic of the Hedley Cow while an old Russian man share’s wisdom with the simple words, We’ll See. Now in the USA, the daughter who wrote The Ballad of Mama Queen shares with many children the American story of a little boy who proudly wears The Cap My Mother Made Me.  The storyteller learns from a West African tale, The Cow Tail Switch, what keeps a person alive. And knowing that secret, she shares the most important knowledge held in The Beautiful Heart.

As you celebrate this holiday season, share these stories with those you love by buying the Skywalker Storyteller CD for the special holiday gift price of $3.50 USA and $4.50 outside of the USA. This price includes shipping. Order today, supply limited. Click the link below to get your CD before Christmas!

http://storytellingtheater.com/storytellingtheater.com/SHOP_BOOKINGS.html