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Spring 2019

The beautiful spring came; and when Nature resumes her loveliness, the human soul is apt to revive also. -- Harriet Ann Jacobs


Dear Reader,

Welcome to the Spring Issue of Inkling Magazine! As the snow melts and the flowers start to bloom, spring ushers in a time of renewal and rebirth. Many fresh and exciting events will arrive during this time at the Storyteller’s Cottage. One of our most thrilling new events includes the Script to Screen Summit, a weekend-long series of screenwriting workshops featuring film industry professionals from all over the country. We can’t wait to meet all the talented writers, directors and producers who will be traveling to Simsbury to share their expertise with aspiring screenwriters! A series of exciting changes will take effect at our Cottage this spring, including the addition of a multi level Membership Program. Perks vary but include discounts on events and access to member-only nights. We are also thrilled to announce the launch of our new Literary Tea Room (see below). Stop in anytime Tuesday through Friday from 10:00am to 4:00 pm for literary-themed baked goods and tea.

New Literary Tea Room


In this issue, we are featuring the talents of our local youth writers, with an array of lovely poems and fascinating prose by writers aged 9 to 16. You’ll be amazed at their capability and flair; soon we’ll be reading their published books (just like those we’ve reviewed in this issue by local adult authors Steven Parlato and Lana Bennett.) Also in this issue, learn about one of our favorite literary destinations, Edith Wharton’s house, The Mount, in Lenox, MA. Then mark your calendar and plan to attend one of our upcoming literary-themed events this spring. Perhaps we’ll see you at the Murder on the Orient Express Live Mystery Party, Fine Parlor Magic show, or our “Alice in Wonderland” signature Midnight Dinner! All the best,

Alanna Hammond Inkling Editor

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TABLE OF CONTENTS INSPIRATION

Script to Screen Summit.....................................8 Field Trip: Edith Wharton’s “The Mount”..........10

LOCAL AUTHORS

Upcoming Author Salons..........................28 All Access Authors Events........................30 Dinner with an Author............................... 32 REVIEW; The Precious Dreadful ............. 34

SPRING EVENTS Alice in Wonderland Midnight Dinner ........... 16 Live Murder Mysteries ................................... 18 Fine Parlor Magic.............................................20 Spring Calendar ..............................................24

REVIEW: Truly the Fairy ........................... 36

CREATIVE WRITING “Literary Unleashed” Column .................40 Writing Submissions................................42

by Julia Tannenbaum...................42 by the “Get Published” Class ..... 44 by Bradley Pair .............................46 by Margo! Weiser .........................47 by Ella Pass ................................. 48 by Samantha Almeida ................ 49

CHILDREN’S EVENTS Spring Calendar....................................... 52 Dungeons & Dragons Day ..................... 54 School Vacation Activities....................... 56


Andrew Gernhard

Carole Kirschner

Ben Houser

Script to Screen Summit

While Hollywood California is synonymous with the film and television industry, blockbuster movies are actually filmed on location all over the country. The state of Connecticut has hosted quite a number of popular film productions, including such surprises as “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull,” “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants,” “Die Hard with a Vengeance” and more. The Connecticut Office of Film, Television and Digital Media keeps busy providing resources for film producers looking for specific locations for their shoots, as the state is chock full of charming and historic settings. Simsbury in particular (the home of the Storyteller’s Cottage) is built around a delightful historic town center, as many of us who are fortunate to live in the area already know. Simsbury is about to step into the film industry spotlight, as the Storyteller’s Cottage will host a unique weekend-long retreat for directors, producers and screenwriters in town this spring. On April 6 & 7, 2019, the Script to Screen Summit will draw over one hundred aspiring screenwriters to Simsbury to learn from a host of nationally-recognized key figures in the film and television industry. The weekend will feature keynote speeches, workshops, panel discussions designed to provide practical information for new screenwriters as they take their first steps into the business. Workshops and presentations will be held at several lovely historic locations, all within walking distance of each other, including Eno Hall, the Historical Society, the Simsbury Free Library, and more. With The Storyteller’s Cottage at the center, the weekend will present Simsbury in its best light, cementing its status as a delightful historic throwback, full of charm and beauty. In between workshops, participants can join a wide range of social activities designed to facilitate networking and show off Simsbury’s appeal, including mystery room games at The Storyteller’s Cottage, a production by the Theater Guild r ere fo e of Simsbury, meals at the new Metro Bis location, h k c i Cl t th a hike to the Heublein Tower, and more. it e abou Get ready to start working as an extra in the scores of films that are likely to begin production in Connecticut after this event!

m mor n Sum e e r c to S Script


Barb Doyon

John Bucher

Colin Theys

WORKSHOPS WILL INCLUDE: Welcome to the Film Industry: Insider Secrets for Opening Doors (Barb Doyon) Telling A Better Story: Joseph Campbell, the Importance of Ghosts & Writing with Purpose (John Bucher) Producing the Independent Film or Television Movie (Andrew Gernhard) Welcome to the Television Business: How It Works for Writers (Carole Kirschner) Wicked Stepmothers, Evil Geniuses & a Tornado Filled w/Sharks: Crafting the Key Antagonistic Force in Your Story (John Bucher) The Ultimate Character Workshop: Building Universal, Relatable, and Life-Like Characters for Any Story (John Bucher) ​ Myths, Monsters, and Waking Sleeping Beauty: The Necessity of the Underworld Journey for Writers (John Bucher) ​ Producing the Independent Film or Television Movie (Andrew Gernhard, Synthetic Cinema) Artist’s Playground: Improv Workshop (Doug Wood) ​ Screenplay Craft and Structure (Pamela Perry) Sportswriting for the Enthusiast (Ben Houser) Adapting Your Novel into a Screenplay (Pamela Perry) Getting an Agent to Contact You (Barb Doyon) Producing an Independent Film on a Budget (Marinak) Develop a Killer TV Pilot (Carole Kirschner)

SHORT FORM SCREENPLAY CONTEST First place: $500, Second place: $250 Third place: $100

SUBMIT YOUR ENTRY HERE


A Bookworm's Dream Estate A Visit to Edith Wharton’s Home “The Mount”

Photos: Alanna Hammond

You find yourself in a lush forest filled with tall trees, ferns and blooming flowers. As you follow a winding path, you suddenly spot something in the distance. It’s a gorgeous Georgian Revival country house surrounded by a charming ivy-covered wall. What mysteries lie here? This beautiful country home is The Mount, located in Lenox, Massachusetts in the Berkshires. The Mount was built in 1902 as the home of Pulitzer prizewinning author Edith Wharton, famous for her 1920 novel Age of Innocence, and her biting satire of wealthy New York society.

If you’re interested in visiting The Mount yourself, the address is: 2 Plunkett St, Lenox, MA 01240


The 49-acre estate consists of a main house, stables and gardens, and transports guests to another time through the design and architecture that Wharton created. In addition to her prolific literary talent (she wrote 40 books in 40 years), Edith transformed her privileged upbringing and her natural instinct for classical art and design into an unlikely career as the definitive expert on architecture and garden design for the wealthy. Edith Wharton was born into an affluent New York family in 1862. She spent her childhood primarily traveling Europe where she gained an appreciation for architecture and literature. In a time where women were only meant to marry well, Edith rejected these strict values and focused on writing stories and poetry. She received a basic education but read books from her father’s library. She did put aside her writing for a few years to swan through society as a debutante, but she shrewdly used the time to study her privileged world and the changes that were occuring in it. Edith would later draw on these experiences and knowledge in her writing.

“It is an autobiographical house, one that embodies the spirit of its creator.�


Before building the Mount, Wharton spent many summers in Newport, Rhode Island. She and her husband Teddy also lived there for some time, but Edith did not like their home and found it ugly. She then purchased property in Lenox and created The Mount that we know today. Wharton built The Mount using design principles from her book “A Decoration of Houses” (1897). She wanted the house to suit her everyday needs especially as a writer. Edith put her heart and soul into the estate and created a place where her writing flourished, and where she wrote some of her most famous works, including “House of Mirth” and “Ethan Frome.” Edith Wharton built her home to be a place to entertain her closest friends and family. Upon entering the home, guests find themselves in a grotto-like room with textured walls and fountains. Acquaintances who came calling were required to leave calling cards and come back another day if Edith permitted it. Only close friends were allowed immediate entrance into the home. Edith did not put on giant dinner parties as seen in shows like Downton Abbey. Instead she had a smaller dining table with just enough seats for family and friends and room by her feet for her beloved dogs. She entertained many close friends at the estate, including author Henry James. Besides being a place of professional triumph, The Mount was also filled with emotional turmoil. Edith’s marriage had been rapidly unraveling because of her husband Teddy’s mental illness. The couple sold the Mount in 1911 and divorced in 1913. Edith moved to France, where she created a number of important charitable organizations during WWI, including “workrooms for unemployed seamstresses, convalescent homes for tuberculosis sufferers, hostels for refugees, and schools for children fleeing war-torn Belgium.” She was also one of the very few journalists allowed to visit the front lines during the war.


To this day, Edith Wharton’s legacy still lives on and continues to inspire contemporary works. Edith was the first woman to receive a Pulitzer Prize, along with membership in the American Academy of Arts and Letters and an honorary Doctorate of Letters from Yale University. Many modern works have been influenced by her writing, including the Gossip Girl series by Cecily Von Ziegesar and The Nanny Diaries by Emma Mclaughlin & Nikola Kraus. Even Downton Abbey writer Julian Fellowes has credited Edith with influencing his work. The Mount is the perfect literary destination for any bookworm looking to take a step back in history. Fans do not have to have read all of Wharton’s work to enjoy touring her home. This marvelous estate is an unmissable destination for any lover of books! -- Alanna Hammond


Spring Events “The sun just touched the morning; The morning, happy thing, Supposed that he had come to dwell, And life would be all spring.� -- Emily Dickinson


Alice in Wonderland Midnight Dinner From tea and cakes to quirky party games, this dinner will be a trip down the rabbit hole! At the stroke of midnight on Saturday, May 25th, an exclusive coterie of lucky guests will experience one of the most unusual and extraordinary events in the Farmington Valley. Painted lips will sip exotic tea from decorated porcelain cups while in the background, the hypnotic ticking of dozens of clocks reminds guests that they’re not at any normal dinner party. Surrounded by charming hints of the master of whimsy himself, Lewis Carroll, diners will not only celebrate the advent of springtime, but will be able to immerse themselves in the kind of curious, unconventional evening that they’ve previously only read about.


Lewis Caroll’s classic story ‘Alice in Wonderland’ introduces readers to the ultimate fantasy world full of pecularities. Originally intended for children, this charmingly absurd story has had a long-lasting effect on all audiences, with eccentric characters that live on in the hearts of readers to this day. The signature Alice in Wonderland Midnight Dinner at the Storyteller’s Cottage not only pays homage to this reknowned surreal fantasy, but provides fans with a chance to become characters in this beloved story. Guests are encouraged to dress in their idiosyncratic finest, whether it be top hat and tails, patterned petticoats, or royal frippery. Upon their arrival at the magical hour 11:00pm, they will be met with a houseful of enchanting nods to the master himself, from outlandish characters and creatures to remarkable decor. The evening begins in the Victorian Steampunk Library, where guests may create their own “potions” of loose leaf tea while enjoying enticing drinks and distinctive hors d’oeuvres, Dinner begins at midnight, and is interspersed with secret party games, an exceptionally clever four course gourmet meal, and the most curious and unconventional literary conversation guests have ever experienced.

Reservations Available


Calling All Detectives! Live murder mystery nights immerse amateur sleuths in vintage who-dunnits “Of course I saw the murderer! I caught him lurking quite suspiciously outside my window at eight o’clock!” exclaims the fading actress, Fiona English. “You saw no such thing! I know for a fact that you were dancing on the tables in the bar car at eight o’clock madame,” counters the dashing playboy, Sir Robert Chadwick. “Well, I never!” huffs the Duchess of Hopmeadow, turning to her ladies’ maid. “It was I who saw the murderer while I was out for my evening constitutional. I never miss a thing!” she pronounces, as she trips over a small dog.

Nestled in the center of historic Simsbury, Connecticut, a quaint Victorian house hides a shocking secret… MURDER has taken place, and the house is teeming with suspicious characters, all of whom have a motive for mischief. It is up to a clever collection of amateur detectives to uncover the holes in a raft of fragile alibis by asking just the right questions to bring the perpetrator to justice. For those whose favorite hours are spent unraveling thorny mystery plots, the quarterly live murder mystery parties at the Storyteller’s Cottage provide a thrilling opportunity to jump through the pages and become a character in a real-life mystery story. Held every three months, these immersive parties feature a dozen talented actors spread throughout the vintage Victorian house. Guests are encouraged to arrive in period costume, and are tasked with speaking to each suspect to determine what he knows and what he might be hiding. While mystery aficionados have long been able to play-act murder scenes at home using “mystery dinner in a box” games, the chance to inhabit a dashing detective character in costume, in a historically decorated manor house, while interrogating live suspects without a script or limits of any kind, is an exceptional thrill. “It’s the addition of agency [allowing the players to have a hand in the direction of the story] that sets the games at the Storyteller’s Cottage apart,” says Celia Pearce, professor of game design at Northeastern University. “It’s much more fun when you can BE the character and shape the story.” Celia specializes in multi-player live-action games, and traveled from Boston with her partner to participate in a recent Murder on the Orient Express live game at the Cottage.


The Actress

The wide variety of guest characters who participate in these live mystery nights add unexpected twists to the underlying storyline as the night goes on. At one recent event, a guest who in real life is a local police officer offered to nip out to his car and grab his handy polygraph machine to administer a lie detector test to a dubious suspect. And as every guest is encouraged to ask any question they like of the potential culprits, unexpected subjects (for which the actors have not prepared) push the story in unforseen directions. “I knew when I asked the Gatekeeper to show me what was in her purse and she wouldn’t that she was definitely up to something sinister,” recalls a recent guest. “I kept a watch on the stairs to see who was trying to divert attention or sneak off!” The talented crew of potential criminals (also known as the Storyteller’s Cottage staff) alternate between four storylines at the four parties per year. In March and September, the company presents “Murder on the Orient Express” and “Murder on the Trans-Siberian Express” (where the house is transformed into a train but the murderer is not the same as that in Dame Christie’s iconic work), then in June and December the production becomes “Murder at the Ivory Tower” and “Murder at the Timeless Cottage” (where players dress as their favorite author and travel through time to meet with famous writers from past and present). Custom murder mystery nights are also available for parties of 10 - 35 guests, a particularly entertaining and offbeat option for groups of friends and family who would like to rent the entire house for a dramatic and unusual affair. All of the live murder mystery parties include elegant food and drink, period music, plenty of opportunity to mix and mingle with like-minded bibliophiles, and prizes for the detectives who successfully identify the killer. Our March 23rd event is sold out, but tickets for the next mystery on June 15 are available online, and full details about the custom mystery parties can be found here.

The Judge

The Cook

The Playboy

The Chauffeur


Fine Parlor Magic Through the candlelight, a flicker of magic hangs in the air. Beneath the ornamented Victorian chandelier, shadows of illusions linger. Lace, velvet and gilt flash through the room as guests are transported to another world.

Every season, magic fills the Storyteller’s Cottage at the wildly popular signature event, Fine Parlor Magic. One of the most unique live magic shows in Connecticut, this up-close event features expert magician David Reed-Brown performing fascinating sleight-of-hand tricks right before the eyes of the formally dressed audience, perched breathlessly on the edges of their seats in the red and gold Victorian parlor. From items that disappear and reappear in unexpected places, to impossibly linked rings and mysteriously floating furniture, David’s illusions never fail to thrill.


The Fine Parlor Magic show stands apart from the typical magical production because of its formal vintage flair and unusual up-close access to the magician. Guests are encouraged to dress in their cocktail finest, and the evening begins with brain-teaser games over elegant hors d’oeuvres and drinks. The mysterious Victorian atmosphere in the Jules Verne Library sets the stage for a fascinating and immersive experience. Sherlock Holmes and Charles Dickens would feel right at home observing this enchanting spectacle. David has been performing as a magician for over twenty years, and has loved magic since he was a small child. The magic that he performs does more than entertain people, it gives them the experience of wonder and hope. “These days the world is so very dark. I get to shine light,” David says. “Some people say that magicians practice misdirection. I think it’s the other way around! I am directing your attention towards very real wonder and magic and inspiration in our world. After all, the only place the magic really exists is in your experience. I’m just helping you paint the magical picture on your canvas.”


Also an ordained minister, David was recently named an instructor at McBride’s Magic & Mystery School in Las Vegas, where he himself studied with master magicians Jeff McBride and Eugene Burger. Each Fine Parlor Magic show actually features two distinct programs. First, David performs close-up magic in the charming English Country Kitchen while guests nibble on dainty appetizers between applause. Later, the group moves to the Victorian Library to enjoy larger and more dramatic illusions in the glittering vintage space. These evenings are a fine time to meet dozens of other fans of history and illusion. Before the show begins, guests are tasked with working together to solve puzzling mental riddles, like identifying famous book titles by looking only at cryptic clues. During each portion of the show, David incorporates audience members into his illusions, sometimes at their (imagined) peril. By the end of the night, guests who have “survived� the excitement feel like family!


David’s favorite illusion to perform comes at the end of his show when he levitates a table with a lit candle on it. Without moving a muscle it rises in front of David and flies around the room. “Even a woman from the audience gets to do it. I can perform it most anywhere, and it just seems impossible,” David says. “When [the table] first ascends into the air, it moves people deep inside. Like whoa... people often make a low guttural sound. Levitating something in air gives a lot of people hope -- hope that they can overcome the things that hold them down. That I do it with a voice like Yoda’s only ads to the joy.” The elegant period atmosphere at the Storyteller’s Cottage transports guests back to the Victorian era, the golden age of magic, and the house seems a part of the illusion as well. Fine Parlor Magic occurs quarterly, and the next show takes place Saturday, April 13th from 8:00-9:30 pm. Tickets are $50, and include soft drinks and dessert. Don’t miss this spectacular evening!

Tickets Available


Spring Events MARCH, APRIL & MAY Fiddle & Harp Concert & CD Release Party March 9 ............................................................................................................ Grand Tour Book Brunch: Guatemala March 10 ............................................................................................................ Author Night: Jacqueline Sheehan March 14 ............................................................................................................ Dread of Winter: Ghost Stories by Candlelight March 16 ............................................................................................................ St. Patrick’s Night Limerick Contest March 17 ............................................................................................................ Author Night: Deborah Levison March 21 ............................................................................................................ Murder on the Orient Express: Live Murder Mystery Party March 23 ............................................................................................................ All Access Authors: Echoes of the Past March 28 ........................................................................................................... . Once Upon a Book Club meeting March 29 ............................................................................................................ Author Networking Brunch March 31 .................................................................................................

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Author Amanda Bannikov: Launch Party March 31 .......................................................................................................................... Author Night: Nancy Palker April 4 ........................................................................................................................... Script to Screen Summit in Simsbury April 6 & 7 ........................................................................................................................... Fine Parlor Magic April 13 ........................................................................................................................... “Girl Power” Ladies Night Out & Vendor Fair April 18 ........................................................................................................................... All Access Authors: From a Place of Love April 25 ........................................................................................................................... William Saroyan Night: Armenian Brandy Tasting April 27 ........................................................................................................................... Grand Tour Book Brunch: Alaska April 28 ........................................................................................................................... Storytelling Workshop: The Power of Women’s Stories May 5 .......................................................................................................................... Book Odyssey: Sci Fi Author Night May 9 ........................................................................................................................... Members Only: Harry Potter Bash May 11 ........................................................................................................................... Mother’s Day Live Storytelling: Tales of Wise Women May 12 ........................................................................................................................... Gilmore Girlish Day May 19 ........................................................................................................................... Alice in Wonderland Midnight Dinner May 25 ......................................................................................................................... Grand Tour Book Brunch: Denmark May 26 .......................................................................................................................... All Access Authors: One Nation, One Flag May 30 ..........................................................................................................................


Local Authors “But she wanted me to live the best life, wherever it took me. To find happiness wherever I could.” -Deborah Vadas Levison ‘The Crate’

Local authors Penny Goetjen, Elsa Kurt and R.C. Goodwin entertain guests at the Jaunary All Access Authors Night with tales of their publication processes.


Upcoming Author Salons Join us on Thursday evenings at 7pm for intimate discussions with local authors in our Jules Verne Library

JACQUELINE SHEEHAN: Thursday, March 14th “The Tiger in the House” “Delia Lamont has had it. Though she loves her job at Portland, Maine’s child services agency, its frustrations have left her feeling burned out and restless. She’s ready to join her carefree sister Juniper and start a seaside bakery, celebrating and serving life’s sweetness for a change. Then the call comes: a five-year-old girl has been found at the side of the road. She reveals that her first name is Hayley, but little more. The only clues to her family lead to a shadowy web of danger that reaches closer to Delia herself than she would ever guess.

Jacqueline Sheehan, is a New York Times Bestselling author and a psychologist. Her novels include The Comet’s Tale, Lost & Found, Now & Then, Picture This, The Center of the World, and The Tiger in the House. She writes NPR commentaries, travel articles, and essays including the New York Times column, Modern Love.

As she seeks to discover where Hayley belongs, Delia is forced to reexamine her own painful history. With no guide but her own flawed instincts, Delia must decide how deep to venture into the unknown, whether in shaping the destiny of the child who has no one else to turn to—or in exploring the fierce dark corners of her own soul.”


NANCY PALKER: Thursday, April 4th “Magic and Tragic Rosebud” It’s 1973. Join a young woman from Connecticut who accepts her first nursing job with the U.S. Public Health Service and finds herself immersed in a culture very different from her own on the Rosebud Sioux Reservation in South Dakota.

Nancy Palker has retired from nursing and lives in Maryland with her husband and nearby family. Her career spanned more than forty-five years in health care as an aide, registered nurse and nurse practitioner in gerontology.

Nancy Palker relives the days of unrest on the Dakota reservation punctuated by kidnapping, death threats, and shootouts between the FBI and members of the American Indian Movement. Meet unforgettable characters--the patient who jumps out of a hospital window; the man who drives cars without motors; the pilot who lands a plane at night without lights; the nurse who jiggles an electrical plug to power the hospital. Find out what happens when the budget and supplies run out in the Indian Health Services Hospital. Witness miracles of survival as well as poignant tragedies. Learn along with her about the rich Lakota Sioux traditions, hear the drums and flutes. Celebrate lasting friendships and the resilience of the human spirit.

DEBORAH LEVISON: Thursday, March 21st “The Crate: A Story of War, Murder and Justice” After surviving the horrors of the Holocaust – in ghettos, on death marches, and in concentration camps – a young couple seeks refuge in Canada. They settle into a new life, certain that the terrors of their past are behind them. They build themselves a cozy little cottage on a lake in Muskoka, a cottage that becomes emblematic of their victory over the Nazis. The charming retreat is a safe haven, a refuge from haunted memories.

Deborah Levison is an award-winning journalist and publicist. She writes for regional, national and international media. She attended the Royal Conservatory of Music and the University of Toronto, and now lives in Connecticut with her husband and children.

That is, until a single act of unspeakable violence defiles their sanctuary. Poking around the dark crawl space beneath their cottage, they discover a wooden crate, nailed tightly shut and almost hidden from view. Nothing could have prepared them for the horror of the crate’s contents – or how the peace and tranquility of their lives would be shattered. Now, their daughter, Deborah Vadas Levison, an award-winning journalist, tells the extraordinary account of her parents’ ordeals, both in one of the darkest times in world history and their present-day lives. Written in searing, lyrical prose, THE CRATE: A Story Of War, A Murder, And Justice examines man’s seemingly limitless capacity for evil... but also, his capacity for good.


All Access Authors

Enjoy unprecedented access to three talented authors in one night. Held on the last Thursday evening of each month at 7:00pm, these intimate evenings include a book discussion and signing, followed by a light reception.

March 28: Echoes of the Past

Kathryn Orzech Asylum In 1899, twelve year old Maggie witnesses a shocking scandal, and the next day finds herself locked in an insane asylum to ensure her silence.

David Garnes Waitin’ for the Train to Come In Live the years 1943-1946 and the War to End All Wars through the eyes of the Stewart family of Springfield.

Margaret Dopirak Missionary Kid Born in India to American missionary parents, Margaret learned to straddle two worlds, until WWII tore them both apart.


April 25: From a Place of Love

Bernice Rocque Until the Robin Walks on Snow In 1920, a midwife struggles to save the premature baby of an immigrant family in this novella inspired by true events.

May 30th:

Deborah Ann Davis Kristen Tsetsi How to Keep Your Daughter from Slamming the Door An “Awesome Mom” handbook and roadmap to surviving the teen years.

The Age of the Child First a mother, then a daugher struggle against strict pro-life legistlation in this chilling dystopian fiction, where even getting pregnant requires government approval.

One Nation, One Flag

Joseph McGee

Douglas Buck

Beth M. Caruso

Letters for Annie

Consitution for a Free People

One of Windsor

The untold true story of the Lombardo family letters from WWII (now also available on DVD)

All the principles and tools needed to create a charter for freedom for any government: city, state, nation, or the Moon.

A chilling true story from Connecticut’s earliest town and the home of Alice ‘Alse’ Young, the unfortunate first victim of the Connecticut Witch Trials.


Dinner with an Author Featuring: Penny Goetjen A fascinating night spent exploring the hidden world of this talented local mystery author The Storyteller’s Cottage hosted its inaugural “Dinner with an Author” event on January 31st, featuring national award-winning murder mystery author Penny Goetjen of Simbury. Guests were given unprecedented access to this talented author while enjoying a delectable dinner. Lively conversation bubbled throughout the evening, with guests asking many questions about Penny’s writing process, her road to publication and her mystery novels. Both Penny’s characters and their social environment play an important role in her novels. Penny’s fascination with the paranormal weaves itself into her novels which makes for intriguing twists and turns, and interestingly, Penny shared that she loves to write at night and embraces the writing process by not planning her novels ahead of time. This process allows her to be as surprised as her readers to how her stories end. Penny also offered fascinating and useful advice for the aspiring authors in attendance. She started her publication journey by looking through the reference book, Writer’s Market, to determine which publishers might be interested in her novels. She then sent a great many query letters to publishers over the course of three years until she finally received a positive answer, and was ultimately published without using an agent. She strongly advised the group that a good query letter is the key to an author getting published.


Penny also described the heart-wrenching process of having her work edited after she landed that publisher. She related that she had always loved the idea of books having a prologue and epilogue, and included these in her first draft. However, her first editor was not a fan, and deleted these. Penny was crushed, but in the end, she realized that the editor was right. By not having an epilogue that wrapped up her story too neatly, Penny was free to write two sequels to that first novel. Guests at her dinner received a signed copy of the second book in her series, “Murder Beyond the Precipice’ with the price of their ticket. ‘Murder Beyond the Precipice’ follows the Livingston family, who are no strangers to tragedy. Losing both parents at a young age in what authorities ruled an accident, Lucretia Livingston, the sole heir to the estate, is left to pick up the pieces. But many locals question the circumstances surrounding their deaths and if the family’s wealth was an irresistibly seductive motive for crossing the line. Elizabeth Pennington returns to the coast of Maine after receiving an unexpected wedding invitation. Hoping to surprise her friend, she arrives unannounced at the Livingston Estate-turned-inn, only to discover no one knows her whereabouts. Just as disconcerting is the disappearance of the innkeeper’s young bride, Lucretia. Frantic for answers, Elizabeth becomes tangled in a tortured trail of betrayal, deception, love lost, and murder. Look for the next Dinner with an Author in September featuring Avon’s favorite daughter, Marilyn Simon Rothstein.


Mining the Fascinating World of the Subconscious A Review of “The Precious Dreadful” by Steven Parlato

“I stop short at movement in the shadows by the ice cream cooler. Bracing for a herd of mice, or worse bats, I stiffen. There are footprints, smaller than mine, oozing up from the dust, muddy. They lead behind the cooler… On my knees I inspect the tracks. Smudges of dried mud. Whoever made them had to be small – and walking on tiptoe. Sniffing, I note a faint chlorine smell. The temperature drops. I expect to see my breath. I hear my name again. This time, it’s not Aidan, but a whisper from behind the freezer. Followed by this eerie giggle.” When Teddi Alder, a slightly nerdy, slightly lonely girl perched on the cusp of summer, decides to join the teen writing group at the local library to pass the time, she has no idea that the journaling prompts she’ll be assigned will open a long-sealed well of memory. What seeps darkly from Teddi’s subconscious changes the course of her whole life. Local author Steven Parlato paints Teddi’s world of teenage angst with sharp, sarcastic humor. Trying to carve out a stable life from the constantly-shifting sands that underpin her life as the only child of a capricious and unpredictable single mother, Teddi doggedly examines her own strengths and weaknesses, searching resolutely for her place in the world. Though she has habitually leaned on her best friend Willa for direction, the addition of boys to this summer have blown the girls onto different courses. Teddi’s bold step toward independence places her squarely in the path of not one, but two mysterious young men, who vie to become Teddi’s source of support as her summer journal opens a disturbing portal to the past. Moving swiftly, The Precious Dreadful examines the fascinating world of the subconscious, mixing in drops of insight, sparkles of exhilaration and trickles of horror. Author Steven Parlato weaves an enthralling adventure that takes Teddi swirling through past and present, setting her as the knight in her own story, as only she can save herself. Steven Parlato is an Associate Professor of English at Naugatuck Community College, as well as an author, poet, artist and actor. He received the NISOD Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2012, and the NVCC Presidential Medal of Honor in 2017. The Precious Dreadful is his second novel. www.StevenParlato.com This young adult novel is appropriate for readers aged 14 and up (contains a few references to sex and drugs), and can be purchased through the Storyteller’s Cottage online bookstore at www.StorytellersCottage.com/shop.


Shop our Booktique books available for purchase at the storyteller’s cottage Support local artisans! Stop in to our Booktique, or check out our online shop full of signed books by an array of talented local authors! Prices range from $10 - $25, and books are available in all genres and for all ages.


Truly the Fairy's Great Adventure by Lana Bennett

Reviewed By Mamta Madhavan for Readers’ Favorite

Truly the Fairy’s Great Adventure by Lana VanValkenburgh-Bennett will take readers on an epic adventure along with Truly the Fairy. Truly lives in a forest known as Hopsmeadow. It is a lively little village full of Dinkyhop families who live in quaint huts made out of birch trees. There is a fairy school, shops, market, and a library in this village. Truly’s favorite place is the library and she spends a lot of time there reading adventure and mystery stories. Truly is not like the other Dinkyhops at her school. Her wings are a dull green and she blends in with the woods. One day Truly is feeling lonely and she buzzes over to Sycamore River. Her magical adventure begins from there. Let us join Truly on her adventure and watch her discovering the clues that will take her to the most magical places she has ever been. The story is fun, fast paced, and interactive and will keep young readers glued till the very last page to see where Truly is going. The illustrations are done by the author and are adorable, bright, and charming, adding to the whimsical vibe of the story. I like the idea of giving color to the colors and they add to the radiance along with the illustrations. They also help children to distinguish colors. This magical adventure is a good book for classroom and school library read aloud and story telling sessions. It encourages children to read story books like Truly the Fairy and go to the library just like her and find their happy place. Available for purchase at The Storyteller’s Cottage Booktique


Literary Submissions

“Spring is the time of plans and projects.” -Leo Tolstoy


A new monthly column by C. Flanagan Flynn Writer-in-Residence at The Storyteller’s Cottage

FIVE WAYS WRITING IMPROVES YOUR LIFE As writers, we’re often focused on the value of our productivity and ignore the value of the process of writing. Oftentimes, we’re pursuing a goal – a byline, publication, or winning a literary award. It’s important to remember what the act of writing brings to our lives. What are five ways writing can improve your life? 1. Writing is healing. Forming sentences, paragraphs, and chapters out of life’s moments is a way to make sense of life’s events. Memoirists plumb their lives for meaningful insights, exploring formative experiences to illuminate their personal history. Novelists create fictionalized stories and, through their imaginations, escape into the worlds they’ve built. That immersion into the self for memoirists and novelists has equally cathartic aspects. 2. Writing feeds your soul. When you’re immersed in writing you’re activating your subconscious. Many writers talk about being in flow state or getting into the zone. That’s when writing quickly pours onto the keyboard (or from pen to paper) as if your fingers’ sole purpose is to transcribe your mind’s thoughts and ideas. Accessing your subconscious allows you to tap into joy and passion, bringing a sense of fulfilment and peace.


3. Writing is learning. Areas of the temporal lobe in your brain fire up when you write. The temporal lobe handles comprehension (among other things). Writing requires you to cohere your thoughts and focus. Added to that, writers are usually logophiles. As such they’re consumed with searching for the perfect word, thus increasing their vocabularies. Additionally, a quest to capture the right details or ensure accuracy, whether writing fiction or nonfiction, leads writers to research subjects, interview people, or question assumptions. In the process writers improve their critical thinking skills. 4. Writing is remembering. Writing helps retrieve memories which might not be otherwise accessible. A writing prompt, something as simple as write about the color yellow can trigger a writer to focus on a tiny and forgotten detail. Then it’s as if a window to the past has opened. Memoirists suddenly see and remember scenes from their lives. Similarly, novelists envision scenes steeped in or informed by memory. 5. Writing is community. Writing is a way to engage with others and ward off depression and loneliness. As a writing workshop leader, I’ve seen how writing facilitates bonds. When we share what we create and why we’ve created it, we feel less alone. When we allow ourselves to be vulnerable and invite other writers to offer feedback on our writing, we open up to new possibilities. A new perspective on our writing. A new idea we hadn’t considered. And we have no way of knowing when the exact moment might occur when a writing acquaintance becomes a friend. The next time you sit down to write, allow yourself time to do just that: Write. Remove the pressure of meeting a goal and allow yourself to enjoy the process. If you find yourself stymied or stuck, search for an inspiring vocabulary word. Remember a certain hue of yellow. Use something random like a fortune cookie’s message as a prompt to write. And if you feel like you’re writing in isolation, then seek out a writers’ workshop or a writing group. Find your writing tribe, and write, write, write. C. Flanagan Flynn is the Writer in Residence at The Storyteller’s Cottage. She leads the Six Months to Your Manuscript Workshop, Write Your Memoir or Novel Workshop, as well as oneday workshops on writing and publishing.


Excerpt from

Changing Ways by Julia Tannenbaum

I discharge from Connecticut Treatment Center’s psych ward on November 11th, two days after my father’s forty-third birthday. Mom helps me transfer my belongings from the hospital to her car, where Jamie is waiting in the backseat. He greets me with a hug, and I cradle his head against my chest, stroking his overgrown hair. I guess Mom hadn’t managed to get him to the barbershop after all. As we drive home, listening to “Nineties at Noon” on Light 100.5, I gaze out my window at the affluent neighborhood we’re passing through. Potch Lane, nicknamed “Posh Lane” for owning the most expensive houses in town, is no longer boasting beautiful fall foliage and extravagant Halloween decorations, but bare trees and rotten Jack-O-Lanterns that squirrels hungrily feast on. My house is the same as I remember it, aside from a few small differences due to the rapidly changing weather. I kick off my moccasins next to Mom’s heels and breathe a sigh of relief. The familiar smells of coffee grinds and citrus air freshener embrace me like a warm hug. “Welcome home, Grace,” Mom says. “Here you go.” She hands me a duffel bag, then begins huffing the second upstairs. “I didn’t realize I’d brought you so much clothing.” “I didn’t wear most of it,” I respond. “I mainly stuck to sweats.” “Comfort before cool, huh?” “Yeah, except they made me take the strings off. Isn’t that dumb?” “Rules are rules.” “I know, but I still think it’s dumb.” I walk into my room and toss the bag on my floor with an audible thunk. “Everything about that place was.” “At least you’re home now,” Jamie says. “I missed you so much.” “Not as much as I missed you, kiddo.” Jamie cracks a small smile. “You wanna bet?” “All right, that’s enough,” Mom says. “Save the competition for another time. I imagine you’re pretty tired, Grace.” “Exhausted.” “Then we’ll give you some space until dinner. How does pasta sound?” “Pasta’s fine.”


“Okay. Just—just let me know if you need anything.” “I will.” “You know I’m always here for you, right?” “Yeah, Mom. I know.” “Good.” Mom kisses my forehead. “When was the last time things were this quiet?” “I can’t remember,” I respond. “God, it feels so freakin’ amazing.” “You never realize how much you miss something until it’s gone. Here, I bet you missed this too.” She takes my phone out of the pocket of her jeans and hands it to me. “I thought you’d want to let Lou know you’re home.” “Sweet. Thanks, Mom.” “You’re welcome. Tell her I say hi.” “Okay, I will.”

Poetry submission

Once she’s gone, however, I toss my phone aside and collapse onto my bed. I’m too tired to text and too disinterested to bother with social media or worse, my school email, which is probably overflowing with dozens of unread messages. I don’t know what will happen with school moving forward—or most of my future, for that matter—and that worries me. As much as I’ve tried living minute by minute, I cannot dismiss the anxiety I feel simply imagining everything that could go wrong now that I’m no longer bound to clear-cut rules, like I was in the hospital. While Mom was signing my discharge papers with Dr. Bennett, my roommate Ryan sat beside me on my cot. “Will you be all right?” “I hope so,” I responded. “How ‘bout you?” Ryan shrugged. “Right now, hope’s all I’ve got too.” “This all feels so surreal,” I said. “Is it bad to be scared?” “Nah, I think that’s normal. I was pretty scared too when I discharged from my first hospital.” “Yeah?” “Big time.” Ryan was quiet for a moment or two, gazing out the window with a distant look in his blue eyes. Finally, he said, “I’d wish you luck, but I know you’ll kick ass.” I grinned. “Thanks.” That’s when Mom announced that it was time for us to leave. Ryan and I hugged, and I thanked him one more time. When I walked through the door, this time without a stretcher and an EMT, I didn’t look back. I knew if I did, I’d cry. Now that I’m home, the tears I’ve suppressed all afternoon stream down my cheeks. I’m scared, and I’m conflicted, and I’m more confused than I was before—if that’s even possible. So, I grab my phone, insert my earbuds, and drown out my troubling thoughts with the Goo Goo Dolls until I’ve drifted into a soundless sleep.

Julia Tannenbaum discovered her love for writing when she was thirteen, and since then has been featured in the anthologies Dear Mr. President, Girls Write the World, and Inside My World. Drawing from personal experiences, she often incorporates her struggles with mental illness into her fictional work. She is a currently a high school senior and lives in West Hartford, Connecticut with her family and four cats. Changing Ways is her debut novel.


POETRY SELECTIONS FROM THE

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YOUTH WRITING CLASS

Summer By Ella Pass

Summer Is Spring’s delight It depends On flowers And life

Snowflake By Margo! Wiser

When the ground is cold From the frosty air Nipping at its grass, I flutter down from heaven. I am the ground’s blanket, Soft and light. And when it no longer needs me, I slowly melt away And a new warmth comforts the ground. This is when flowers sprout And birds chirp And the grass takes my place. But I don’t mind, Because I know I’m the ground’s favorite.


Winter By Bradley Pair

Snow, snow, snow Everywhere you look The forest and field are covered in a white blanket of snow As if it were a bed Just waiting to provide warmth for the night.

War

By Samantha Almeida the first shots ring out The world cries in terror Ignore Some people do land becomes a graveyard The world helpless The sun seems to be covered by the mist sounds cries screams DEATH. The world After a war Luck Peace Gone Replaced by Fear Anger all that remain Mistakes everyone makes War destroys people The world cries in terror.


Nico and Cody are 14-year-old boys that have magic deep inside them. They have known each other for as long as they can remember and love the local sport of Bot fighting. A legendary wizard took on Nico as an apprentice, and he now lives with the wizard in a world far away. An excerpt from:

Nico and Cody II: Revenge of Vallios By Bradley Pair Grade 3

Chapter One Cody sat up in bed at the unusual sound of the fire alarm. “What the heck?!” He yelled. He looked around and saw his robot, ACE, playing with matches. “ACE!” Cody exclaimed. “Sorry,” ACE said. Cody, a freckled and black-haired boy who always wore his “I Love Robots” t-shirt and a wristband remote control for ACE, thought about how he and his friend, Nico, used to bot fight together and wondered how he was doing. Then he and Ace went back to sleep. Chapter Two Nico, a handsome boy, with freckles on his cheeks and a kind personality, was in a room filled with potions. He walked into a separate room and sat down at a chess board. This was no ordinary chess board; dragons roamed the board shooting fire and ice at each other. He touched one of the dragons as it attacked another, and it attacked even more aggressively. Nico stepped away from the chessboard and all of the sudden fell into a hole in the middle of the floor. “Aaaahhhhhh!” he shouted as he went down. Chapter Three Cody ran to school at full speed, running late, as usual. When he got to school, he couldn’t believe his eyes. Nico fell so far that he fell asleep. He woke up to the sound of someone screaming. He looked around and noticed a frog looking at him, and the frog was the one screaming. “Aaaahhhhhh!” Nico screeched in surprise. Nico formed an axe with his bare hand. “Woah!” he exclaimed with amazement, looking at his new weapon. He destroyed the frog with the axe. “Cool!” he said, impressed with this new power he had. Chapter Four Cody saw a giant steam train in his classroom! He boarded the train and it lurched forward, rapidly picking up speed. As its chuffs got faster and faster, the whistle blew. Light appeared in the distance. The light got closer and closer until the train hit it. Cody was now at the front of the train. He looked at the piston rods, and they were going so fast it appeared as if they were going backwards. “Cody!” somebody cried, and he felt someone hug him. “Nico!” Cody yelled back with surprise. As the friends reunited, the train passed through darkness. After darkness, light. After light, darkness. After darkness, magic! The train stopped, and the two boys looked at each other. Cody’s eyes had turned purple and he had a glowing purple scar across his right eye. Nico’s eyes had turned white and his hands had also turned white. “Woah!” Nico said. “I hope this isn’t permanent.’’ “You look powerful.” Cody said. “I am,” Nico responded, and told his friend about how he had formed an axe with his bare hand. Nico noticed movement in the forest. “Oh no!” he exclaimed. “The rougesters!” The rougesters were humans that had been hypnotized by the evil villain, Vallios. Cody, using his own powers, formed a sword at Nico’s alert. Nico did this as well. The swords were on fire, and the fire glowed a brilliant white.


Note from author: In the beginning of each chapter of my story, “No Fairy Tale,” I adapted a line from a famous book. In the following excerpt, Chapter one begins with a line inspired by the opening of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, Chapter Two incorporates the first line from Moby Dick and Chapter 3 begins with a variation of the opening line of Pride and Prejudice. An excerpt from:

No Fairy Tale By Margo! Wiser Grade 5

Prologue The notebook looked worn, and used. I ran my fingers slowly along the cover, which read, “Do not read. Gloria’s diary.” The leather felt cool and smooth on my fingers, like ice. The diary looked important. Fingers shaking, I opened the first page of the book. Suddenly, a bright light washed over me, and I shielded my eyes with my hands. In a second I felt sick, like I was spinning, until I landed on my stomach in the middle of a forest. Chapter 1 Pepper, of number four, Privet Drive, is proud to say that she is perfectly normal, thank you very much. Or so she thought. “Where am I?” I asked the air. I blinked. I opened my eyes. I blinked again. I stood up slowly. In front of me was an array of grass-covered mountains, blanketed with fog. It was the most amazing sight I had ever seen, though, living in Connecticut, there weren’t many grass-covered mountains, blanketed with fog. Again, I asked the air, “What? What happened?” Then I heard a giggle. Soft, but definitely there. I bent down slowly, carefully. Picked up a rock. Then suddenly, she was in my face! I through the rock, but the little sparkly “thing” dodged it carelessly. “Stop! I’m not here to hurt you, silly!” she said. My eyes focused, and I saw -- and I know you won’t believe me, but it’s true, I swear -- a fairy. Pinch me. Chapter 2 Call me Ishmael. Just kidding, call me Pepper. I was pooped. I didn’t ask. I had stayed up all night last night doing homework, so I just went with it. “What’s your name?” I asked, instead of the expected, “Y-y-you’re a fairy!” “Alfreda,” she said in a sing-songy voice. “Let’s cut to the chase,” I said. “Can you take me home?” Here’s what the fairy said: “Oh, yes, but we must find the fairy queen, who lives far away. We must go through obstacles, and…” Here’s what I said: “Yeah, yeah, there’s always obstacles in fairytales. Just take me to the fairy queen.” “This is no fairy tale,” she said. “This is real life! Fairy tales have things called “dogs,” “presidents,” and these weird creatures that look like unicorns, just without a horn.” I sighed. Chapter 3 It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single Pepper in possession of a good fairy, must want to GO HOME. And so, we fought ogres, killed some dark fairy princess (who wanted to take over the world? I dunno). We were helped by unicorns, learned life lessons and whatnot, blah blah blah. Nothing you haven’t read before. And honestly, fairy tale life? Not as exciting as you might think. The real exciting part was when we met Gloria, the fairy queen.


An excerpt from:

A Journey to Earth By Ella Pass Grade 5

Chapter 1: First Day Visit Hello, I’m Food, but my nickname is Foodie. I live on Restaurantea, a planet where everything is named for different foods (I am not kidding, they call bolts blueberries). Anyway, I wanted to go on a journey. Out of my foodish world. I flew out of my planet’s atmosphere in my hot dog (a.k.a. my space ship). When my ship got into the earth’s atmosphere, my ‘hot dog’ hovered over a part of the earth called Tennessee. I planned to skydive (we food aliens can survive a long fall without a scratch). I grabbed my pineapple, a.k.a. sword, and a bag of bolts, a.k.a. blueberries, and skydived down to Tennessee. I crashed through a house roof and landed in a cake. A little boy said, “Mommy, look! An alien.” I ate all the cake, without a crumb left. Then he screamed “HE ATE MY……..” (I would like to pause here for a second. OK, so I ate the kid’s 4th birthday cake. So what? Lets continue.) “CAKE!!!!!!!!!” he screamed. His mother said “Charlie it’s just cake. It only cost 100,000 dollars.” I also forgot to mention that we food people can jump super high. So I jumped through the hole I made and went back to my hot dog. And then to the nearest planet – well, really, the moon. Chapter 2: A Fashion Fail While on the moon, I planned to research humans on my sandwich, a.k.a. computer. I found out that girl children love this princess named Lisa. So I decided to find this princess. I left the moon and hovered my hotdog over a place called The Big Apple (later I learned it was also called New York City). I did the usual -- got my pineapple and my blueberries, and skydived out of my ship. I crashed through a glass roof of a huge building, huger than the one in Tennessee. And into a room full of dresses and makeup (I learned that it was called a dressing room). A person came in with a dress in her hands. “OK, you’re going to be Lisa -- wait a minute.” I froze. “Wait here I will get your costume…. Oh, you are wearing it! Nice alien costume – yes, yes. Um, do you know where Sara is? I need her to put on this costume -- the Lisa costume.” I shrugged. Then I heard someone yell, “Everyone get into a line! It’s time!” Soon enough, we were all lined up. I was behind the Princess Lisa! She had a gentle voice and seemed kind. “Act just like your character, and give the kids a feeling you are real!” the yelling person instructed. We started marching onto the stage. Lisa the princess posed, and I followed. Suddenly, there was a loud rip. “You just ripped a rare silk! I will get you,” she said in a loud, grouchy voice. “Ahh,” I screamed with the rest of the kids. And ran back to the dressing room, jumped through the hole in the roof, got into my hot dog, and flew to the planet Mars. I didn’t know humans could be this -- how do you explain it -- unexpected.


Kate has won against her mother, and freed her fellow Hexters. But then an eye-opening event shows her that her mother is a puppet, not the real villain -- and has control over everyone Kate loves. Except for one. The human. In “Kate and the Shadow of the Woods,” the sequel to “Kate and the Menace of the Woods,” see how Kate has to struggle against what is controlling her family members and friends, and whether she can figure out how to stop it, before she can’t fight anymore. An excerpt from:

Kate and the Shadow of the Woods By Samantha Almeida Grade 5

Chapter One Sometimes I wake up at night, scared by how my mother turned on me. During the day, I always replay the events in my head, to try to understand what has happened. 1) Brent was in an endless void. 2) My dad was in an endless void. 3) My best friend was in an endless void. 4) All this happened because of my mother. Even now, I can’t understand it. “Hey Sadie!” I grinned as I shuffled into her den. It went a lot deeper than my den, and she had a bunch more food in her storage. “Hey Loser,” she grumbled. My grin turned into a frown. “What’s wrong?” I asked. She gritted her teeth and frowned. Her look gave me the chills. “Just because I’m in a bad mood, doesn’t mean something is wrong. You don’t know me at all!” And she marched out of her den. She kept repeating, “HAIL LILY.” I smiled. “Sadie what a prank! Bravo! Bravo!” I cried. Yet Sadie didn’t stop her nonsense yelling, she just went on and on and on. Then, my heart stopped. “Brent?” My brother was there, too. The way he walked came out zombie-like. He was following Sadie, chanting, “HAIL LILY.” Then he stopped and looked at me. Brent stepped towards me. “Loser,” he grumbled. Then he continued marching towards, whatever. My dad followed Brent, and Ellery and Margo followed him. I heard a scream. I followed the noise. Sure enough, it was Ella. Ella Kings is the only human I really know. She is very kind, but wearisome. She is kind of scared of foxes, which doesn’t work well with me. “WHAT IN THE WORLD OF DUCKS ARE THEY DOING?” Ella cried. “THEY TRIED TO KILL ME!” I grabbed her and shoved her into the hollow opening of a log. “Shhh,” I whispered. “Be quiet!” Ella’s eyes widened. “Have you lost your mind? Like them??” she gasped. “No I haven’t. They have,” I pointed to the Hexsters, lining up, small to big, on the grass. These shapeshifters were currently foxes, but one girl was a human. She clearly did not take the hint. Ella tapped her chin. “Maybe you turned a little more human when you fought against your mother, so if you get recharged, you’d be like them!” I looked at Ella. “Which means,” I probed. “Which means you aren’t at full strength, which means we’re finished!” Ella smiled. “Is that what you were looking for?” I frowned. “Kind of.” I stared her down. “Why aren’t you affected, Ella?” I asked. “I’m just a regular human!” She smiled. I shook my head. “There must be more to it.” I looked out of the log to see Hexsters bowing to a queen. “I know her,” I whispered. Suddenly, I had a flashback. I was seven, and that lady was playing with Brent. She walked up to my mom and said “What a girl you have.” I came back to the log, but realized I was still staring at her. I nudged Ella. “Let’s move.”


Upcoming Writing Workshops Write Your Memoir or Novel

Starts on Thursday, March 7 -- If you have a desire to make writing your memoir or novel a priority,

this collaborative workshop will provide you the necessary guidance, structure, and writer’s tools. In this 6-week workshop, you’ll learn how to draw upon your life experiences to write a memoir or to craft fiction from your imagination. With C. Flanagan Flynn. Register

Learn to Submit Your Work

Starts on Saturday, March 9 --Writing is the fun part! But many people put off submitting their work

because it can feel like time-consuming drudgery. Whether you write fiction, nonfiction, or poetry for adults or literature for young readers, this workshop will improve your professionalism and give you the confidence and know-how to market your creative writing using Submittable and Duotrope. With Pegi Deitz Shea. Register

Unapologetically Fearless

Saturday, March 16 --Writing at the heart of an issue and not around it. This nonfiction workshop will focus on teaching writers how to be fearless when writing the truth — no matter what that truth looks like. With Nikki Sambitsky. Register

Short Story Writing

Saturday, March 16 -- We may be in a new golden age for the short story, a flexible form that writers can

use to strengthen all the skills they need to create a novel, but stands as a rich form all by itself. Using writing prompts and recent examples, instructor Steve Liskow will help you focus on the few absolute basics to create a satisfying short story. With Steve Liskow. Register


Building an Editorial Calendar for your Blog

Saturday, March 23 -- Have a blog set up but struggling to create consistent content? In this two-hour workshop, we’ll review types of posts you can write, and we’ll brainstorm content specific to your website. With Beverly Army Williams. Register

Introduction to Journalism

Saturday, March 30 -- Do you love a good news story? Are you naturally curious about the world around you? Do you like to write? You might enjoy news writing! In this workshop, you’ll learn the basics of news reporting, what makes a good story, how to interview a source, the power of headlines and how to write a news story people want to read. Bring a notebook and a pencil or pen to class. Then submit your articles to the new “Simsbury Today” monthly magazine. Your byline will be seen by every resident and business owner in town! Intermediate Journalism follows on May 4. With Tracy McKee. Register

Overcoming Writer’s Block

Saturday, April 13 -- Get ready to work your writing muscle with this fun and engaging group workshop.

Includes quick writing drills, provocative prompts and constructive feedback from your fellow “wordthletes” to get you revved up and ready to write. With Tracy McKee. Register

Plot Your Novel

Saturday, April 20 -- Even though many agents and editors want memorable characters who drive a series, they aren’t enough to save a weak story. This workshop takes participants through the process of developing an idea into a workable premise that can generate a full story. With Steve Liskow. Register

Point of View Writing Workshop

Saturday, May 18 -- One of the most overlooked and crucial decisions concerns who actually tells your

story. Using recent examples, instructor Steve Liskow helps you understand how to choose the narrator who can give your story that extra punch. Register


Youth Calendar

MARCH, APRIL & MAY Dr. Seuss’ Birthday Storytime March 2 ............................................................................................................ Tea Party Club: Mary Poppins March 3 ............................................................................................................ Book Riot (It’s Lit) featuring Julia Tannenbaum March 5 ............................................................................................................ Dumbledore’s Army: Potions & Ancient Runes March 10 ............................................................................................................ Teen Mystery Room Night March 15 ............................................................................................................ Dungeons & Dragons Day March 17 ........................................................................................................... Book Riot (It’s Lit) April 2 ............................................................................................................ Tea Party Club: Charlie & the Chocolate Factory April 7 ............................................................................................................ Spring Break: Mystery Rooms Open All Day April 9 - 12 ............................................................................................................ Sing-a-long with Fern Michonski April 9 ............................................................................................................ Once Upon a Time Club with Truly the Fairy April 11 ............................................................................................................ Storytime with Amanda Bannikov April 12 ............................................................................................................ Storytime with Katie Melko April 13 ............................................................................................................ Dumbledore’s Army: Ghoul Studies & Charms April 14 ............................................................................................................ Teen Mystery Room Night April 19 ............................................................................................................ Mad Hatter Tea Party April 20 ............................................................................................................ Tea Party Club: Peter Rabbit May 5 ............................................................................................................ Storytime with Joyce Lapin May 11 ............................................................................................................ Dumbledore’s Army: Review & OWLS May 12 ............................................................................................................ Teen Mystery Room Night May 17 ............................................................................................................ Alt Prom May 31


Dungeons & Dragons Day On Sunday, March 17, spend the whole day immersed in a fantasy world! Games available for kids & adults.

For the uninitated, the game Dungeons and Dragons is a mysterious nerd magnet, full of murky rules and a vaguely sinister back story. In fact, the current D&D resurgence is due to its position as the ultimate roleplaying strategy game, the grandfather of them all, if you will. Though D&D was created in 1974, the year 2017 was the game’s biggest selling year ever, thanks in part to the popularity of the Netflix show Stranger Things, and to the newly-available streaming games on the internet. Each player in a D&D campaign creates his own fantasy character, complete with magical powers and rich history. An all-knowing Dungeon Master oversees the direction of the story, but as this band of misfits travels through a treacherous land of danger and daring, it is their choices and their rolls of the dice that truly shape their fates. Most new players begin by playing a readymade adventure (available from the game publisher Wizards of the Coast, and all over the internet) using standard characters. Simple rules allow newbies to jump right in. All that’s required is a set of polyhedral dice. Much like a Choose Your Own Adventure story, D&D allows players to decide where they will


go and how they will react to obstacles in their path on their way to their goal. But to make things more exciting, players roll dice to determine specific outcomes. For example, if a player happens upon a sword on the ground, they can roll to see whether that weapon is a valuable prize (high roll) or a dastardly trap (low roll). The Dungeon Master is also able to steer the story, introducing a variety of monsters and challenges into the scenario as play progresses. D&D is the ultimate storytelling game, and campaigns can last for weeks. For gamers, the opportunity to play D&D for a solid five hours is Nirvana, which is why the Storyteller’s Cottage (where we love immersive storytelling) will host a D&D Day on Sunday, March 17 from 1:00 - 6:00pm. Campaigns will be available for adults and kids, and new players should email Lisa@StorytellersCottage.com for character sheets to fill out before they arrive.


School Vacation Activities

Discover new adventures this April! Sing-a-long with Fern Michonski Tuesday, April 9

Join us at 10:00 a.m. for a fun sing-a-long with children’s songwriter, Fern Michonski! This is the perfect way for kids to get their energy out and express themselves. FREE

Spring Break Read-A-Thon

Tuesday - Friday Join the Spring Break Read-a-Thon for a chance to win a free youth membership for one year! Drop in anytime between 10:00am 2:00pm Tues - Fri and read your favorite book here. Each hour you read earns you another ticket toward the prize! FREE

STORYTIME: Amanda Bannikov Friday, April 12

Enjoy the adventures of “Tippy and Kimothin,” the girl knight and her friend the dragon, with author Amanda Bannikov from 10:00-11:00 a.m. FREE


STORYTIME: Lana Bennett Friday, April 10

Hear all about the adventures of Truly the Fairy, a shy fairy who loves to read and who comes regularly to the Storyteller’s Cottage! Lana will be reading from 10:00-11:00 a.m. FREE

Once Upon A Time Club Thursday, April 11

Spend a fun morning in our secret castle room learning how to make your stories come to life! Lana Bennett, creator of our very own storybook series, Truly the Fairy’s adventures, will use fun activities to help young writers get their stories from their imagination to paper with engaging activities like crafts, drawing, creative writing and more! Have the kids pack a snack and their imagination and we will do the rest. (Grades 1-5) Cost $20 per child REGISTER


A Look Back... Children’s Winter Events


Murder at the Ivory Tower


A Christmas Carol live storytelling with Jennifer munro


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“All the spring may be hidden in the single bud, and the low ground nest of the lark may hold the joy that is to herald the feet of many rose-red dawns.” -- Oscar Wilde

“I will be the gladdest thing under the sun! I will touch a hundred flowers and not pick one.” -- Edna St. Vincent Millay

Spring Recommendations

Reading is one of the most beautiful forms of escape that humans can find. Even as the weather warms and the bustling of life begins again, we believe there are slow moments that can be dedicated to ourselves -- and our books. The first rays of sunlight fall on books that have been stacked at a bedside table. A cup of tea is steeping next to them, waiting to be enjoyed with your next unread novel. Mindful mornings are the bridge to enjoying a slow springtime. Plants placed by the windowsill are reaching for the more abundant sunlight and sweaters are being shed as the afternoons become mild. Collecting berries in a basket while reading Anne of Green Gables, swinging your arms in the sunlight, spring has finally arrived. Flowering can be seen everywhere and you spend all your free moments between the pages of your favorite books. Each turning of the page is another adventure. The birds are singing and your bookshelf is calling. It’s time to lose yourself in this season of blooming.


Books to enjoy this season.. These books are perfect spring reads because spring is a time of renewal and rebirth and a time for books that are light and airy.

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett Gmorning, Gnight!: Little Pep Talks for Me & You by Lin-Manuel Miranda, illustrated by Jonny Sun

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen


Would you like to see your ad here? Reach thousands of fans of literature every quarter through direct mail and social media sharing of Inkling magazine. 1/4 page ad: $50 per issue 1/2 page ad: $90 per issue Full page ad: $165 per issue Email Lana@StorytellersCottage.com for details


Publish your book with The Storyteller’s Cottage!

Introducing:

Why publish your book with us? The Storyteller’s Cottage is the center of a vibrant booklover’s community. We prioritize local authors, and will use all of our reading, writing and book distribution contacts in the area to launch your book and bring as much local attention as possible. We will also work to introduce your book to new readers with national bookstore chains and online booksellers. You’ll receive personalized, human attention and be part of our local book “family!”

What do we offer authors? -Small initial print run -Hard cover & soft cover options -Upload of ebook and paperback on Amazon -Editing resources -Book design and layout services -Book illustration resources -Author website design assistance -Author social media account launch -Personalized marketing

Personalized Marketing

How do we spread the word?

-- Launch Party at the Storyteller’s Cottage -- Author Salon (book reading & signing) -- Dedicated page on our website -- Storytimes (for children’s books) -- Media blitz (incl social media) -- Featured space in our Open Houses -- Feature article in “Inkling” -- Creation of an educational lesson featuring -- Bookmarks, stickers and coloring your book, to be used by local schools & pages to match your book posted on Teachers Pay Teachers cover or illustrations -- Inclusion in a Field Trip Package -- Foam board signs for in-person events for local schools -- Feature space in our Booktique -- Opportunity to lead a creative writing class book--store on the premises and feature your book -- Book Trailer on YouTube -- Help designing an author web page & Facebook page

Call Lana to set up a free consultation! (860) 877-6099


SIGN UP TODAY


Inkling Staff Lisa Natcharian - Editor in Chief Alanna Hammond - Managing Editor Heather Murray - Art Director

The Storyteller’s Cottage Staff Lisa Natcharian - Owner Lana Bennett - Publications & Operations Manager Alanna Hammond - Advertising Director & Property Manager Heather Murray - Creative Director Svenja Volpe - Director of Mysteries & Membership Maddie Fabian - Game Master & Guardian Jen Cook - Game Master & Guardian Casey Croft - Summer Guardian Dave Murray - Game Master Juan Aguilar - Game Master Emily Scott - Game Master Dylan Reader - Game Master

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Inkling Magazine Issue 4 / Spring 2019  

The quarterly literary magazine of the Storyteller's Cottage

Inkling Magazine Issue 4 / Spring 2019  

The quarterly literary magazine of the Storyteller's Cottage

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