Wednesday, February 3, 2010

We're Moving!

"Wendy…was just slightly disappointed when he admitted he came to the nursery window. "You see, I don't know any stories, none of the lost boys know any stories." "How perfectly awful," Wendy said".
- From Peter Pan by Sir James Matthew Barrie

If you have been a subscriber to  my storytelling/teaching newsletter this is new information you will need if you would like to continue receiving it. If you would like to receive it, hop on board!

Beginning with the March 2010 issue I will be moving my bi-monthly newsletter from Vertical Response to Feedburner. If you wish to continue receiving the newsletter when it changes over you will need to resubscribe. It's fast and easy. Go to  and

1. Follow the instructions in the subscription box in the lower left hand corner.

2. Double and triple check your email address before clicking the subscription box. If you type it incorrectly you will not receive the newsletter.

3. Final Step - Make sure you click on the link in the confirmation email that will be sent to you. If you fail to finish the final step you will not receive the newsletter.*

4. “White list” my email address

*Previously, on Vertical Response I could see if someone had not completed the confirmation process and email them a reminder. This will not be possible with Feedburner so please make sure you confirm your subscription. I would hate for you to miss out on the stories and fun!

After you subscribe, whenever I upload a new issue, you will automatically receive an email notification and a link that will take you directly to the newsletter. Feedburner will allow me to correct any errors and update links that become broken. As an extra bonus, you may always access previous newsletters at , which also has a Google search bar. Looking for a site you read a while ago but can’t remember in what issue it appeared? You can use the Google bar to narrow down your choices by typing in a keyword.

The March 2010 newsletter will be the first one sent using Feedburner so there is time for you to switch over but why not do it now while it is fresh in your mind? Again, just go to  and type your information in the box at the lower left and follow the instructions. It will only take a few seconds. Again, please make sure to click the link in the confirmation email that will be sent to you after you subscribe.

As always, if you have any questions please don't hesitate to contact me at . Thank you again for being part of “Catch the Storybug!”

Celtic Fury, Fun and Frivolity!

You don't want to miss this opportunity to hear one of the most influential and talented storytellers. Marni will be winding her way from New York to Massachusetts for one, wonderful St. Patrick's Day show! On Saturday,  March 6, 2010 Marni will be our feature at the ArtWorks Story Cafe. Don't miss one word!

Mythical heroes, magical gods, and a notorious clan chieftain’s daughter inhabit the tales Marni Gillard will lure us to as we head toward St. Patrick’s Day. You don’t have to be Irish to bask in the glow of this Irish smiler or warm yourself at the fire she stokes in your imagination.

Marni’s been telling tales, teaching tellers, and writing about the process of artistry for three decades now. She is the author of Storyteller, Storyteacher, co-edited Give a Listen: Stories of Storytelling in School her recording, Without a Splash: Diving into Childhood Memories, includes great models for life tale-telling. Marni works as a teaching artist and coach throughout the Northeast and co-founded Children at the Well (interfaith youth) Storytelling Project.

“You bring your wisdom and spirit wherever you go and it opens people and changes them. I love working with you.” Storyteller Jay O’Callahan

“Your story was tight and faceted. I loved the singing and humor.” Brian Schwartz, filmmaker, Somerville, MA.

ADULT OPEN MIC: Sign up for your ten minute (maximum) turn at the mic beginning at 7:00 p.m. Share your own story, song, music, essay or poem.
TIME: 7:00 P.M. – 9:00 P.M. (Feature begins at 8:00 P.M.)
LOCATION: Artworks, 384 Acushnet Avenue, New Bedford, MA
ADMISSION: FREE (pass the hat for the featured performer)
AUDIENCE: 18 and older

For more information email Karen Chace at or call Artworks at (508) 984-1588
For directions:
Local restaurant information:
Parking: Elm Street Parking Garage and Custom House parking is within easy walking distance to ArtWorks.

Sponsored by Artworks! Partners for the Arts & Community
ArtWorks! is supported in part by the MCC as well as business and individual members

Monday, February 1, 2010

A Day of Renewal and Hope

Tomorrow is more commonly known as Groundhog Day but it is also The Feast of Candlemas, a celebration of light, renewal and hope. Whichever you choose to celebrate, and whatever this month may bring, I wish you the warmth of a winter fire and the beauty of flickering candlelight.

If Candlemas be fair and bright,
Come, winter, have another flight;
If Candlemas bring clouds and rain,
Go winter, and come not again.

By Hal Borland

Tomorrow brings that secular occasion known as Groundhog Day, when an almost incredible amount of guesswork, speculation, superstition, and error is taken for divination. The groundhog, or woodchuck, is supposed to rouse from hibernation, emerge from its den, and decide about the weather for the next six weeks. If the sun shines and the woodchuck sees its shadow it will return to its bed and winter will continue for another six weeks. If it is cloudy and the woodchuck sees no shadow it will end its sleep and winter will be at an end.

That is the old belief that reaches back to primitive times. Early tribesman credited various animals with the ability to forecast weather. The Egyptians relied on bears. Europeans turned to wolves for prophecies. In England they put their faith in otters and badgers. Early English colonists in America, never skilled in identification, mistook woodchucks for badgers, which often were called groundhogs in England. The badger was the Candlemas forecaster in England, so the American marmot inherited the prophet's mantle. And just to round out the tangle of identities, the name "woodchuck" came from the Algonquin "wejac," which means fisher, a cousin of the weasel.

And that is the way the old Candlemas legend was credited to a misnamed creature that usually slept right through the event. Not even countryman put stock in the old belief, anyway. But in upper New England there is a wry twist to it. Folks up there hope for sunshine so the groundhog can see its shadow. That, they say, means there will be only six more weeks of winter.

This is one year we can echo their hope. May the sun shine bright on Groundhog Day.

More interesting information on the Feast of Candlemas

All  theYear Round by Charles Dickens

Traditions on Candlemas Day from around the world:
  • In Ireland, Feb. 2 was also the festival day of Brigid, known in various sources as the pagan goddess of fertility, grain and fire. Candles were lit on her festival day.
  • In some cultures, children brought money to school so their teacher could buy treats. The boy or girl bringing the most money was crowned king or queen of Candlemas.
  • In Luxembourg, children sang and carried candles door-to-door. They were treated with candy at the houses where they stopped.
  • Any Christmas decorations not taken down on Epiphany were to be left up until Candlemas. At that time, all decoration had to be taken down.
Before Groundhog Day, It Was Candlemas - New England Historical Society 

And of course, one of my blog posts with stories about candles. 

Countless Candles and Gratitude 

Candlemas is a celebration of light, the day of candles, but in many parts of the world it is thought of by both young and old as pancake day!

For the children. Help the groundhog find his shadow:

Please note, websites change at a rapid pace and weblinks may change or break without notice. I cannot be responsible for redirected or broken links.  At the time of this posting all links were in working order. Thank you for understanding.


Karen Chace ©

This blog post was researched and compiled by Karen Chace. Permission for private use is granted. Distribution, either electronically or on paper is prohibited without my expressed written permission. For permission, please contact me at Of course, if you wish to link to my blog via your website, blog, newsletter, Facebook page or Twitter please feel free to do so; I greatly appreciate your support and personal integrity.