Please, “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?”

Fred Rogers, host of Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood.

We all need this man’s fine philosophy today, and we need to embrace and share these ideals. I encourage you to go see this movie, and support all of us by sharing the trailer or  YouTube link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FhwktRDG_aQ.

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Calling all young writers, artists, and creatives…

This is a Call for Submissions for young writers and creatives (ages 15-ish to 25-ish)—and selected professionals—to submit content for potential inclusion in The Storytelling Book of the Ancient Traveler. James Artimus Owen—author/illustrator of the Chronicles of the Imaginarium Geographica—contributed his brilliant work to jump-start the book with his opening pages. For this, we owe him a HUGE thank you.

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If selected for the one-of-a-kind, hand-bound, leather volume, your creative work will be published alongside entries from other young creatives and professionals. Simply select one of the items on the Ancient Traveler’s List of Objects below, write a short story or create an illustration following our guidelines, and submit it by email. There is no cost to submit your work. Submissions are due on the first of each month through Jan. 15, 2018.

 

This “synergy arts” project concept is the brainchild of Joanne de Biasi, who hand made the book (pictured). The project will be brought to fruition through Absolutely Wild! Enchanted Faerie Portals & Other Whimsy, who will auction the completed book to support creative endeavors of young writers and artists. See their list of charities on the AW Web site.

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LIST OF OBJECTS

Pick one topic for your story or art. We’d love to see a story and an image for each object.
Objects in bold are from James A. Owen’s list (pictured).

Code for already selected objects:
√w = writing
√a = artwork

 

31a.R.S. Mardina (Catherine Hong)-Jeweled Girl CMYK 6x5in
Object 31: We received this exceptional entry called “Jeweled Girl” from R.S. Mardina, age 16

1.          A marble [√a]
2.         Three frogs
3.         An emperor
4.         Underwear

5.         Noble dogs
6.         A comet

7.         Evil cats

8.         A doll

9.         Zombie lawyers

10.       Willow Trees

11.        Kilt-check awards

12.        A piece of chalk

13.        A kite

14.        Demigods 
[√w]
15.        A watch
16.        The cursing curse

17.        Oatmeal

18.        A book
19.        Flying pigs
20.        A kettle

21.         A dragon of unusual size
22.         Train tracks
23.         Amethyst eyes [√w]
24.         Royal children
25.         Stone
26.         A faerie portal [√a,w]
27.         Mythical creature
28.         Wood
29.         A friend
30.        A dolphin
31.         Blonde hair [√a]
32.         Volcano
33.         Presents
34.         Pizza
35.         A typewriter
36.         Wand
37.         A bag of jewels [√w]
38.         A stringed instrument
39.         Hearts
40.         Falling water
41.         A heart
42.         Other (only a few pages available)

 

Absolutely Wild! coming soon

My long-time creative friend, Cherie Scott and I are creating a line of customized faerie doors and tales: Absolutely Wild! Enchanted Faerie Portals & Other Whimsy.
After you fill out one of our questionnaires asking about a few of your favorite things, Cherie crafts a faerie door incorporating those details, and I write a short story about your portal. One line of doors and tales will tie in with my Delfaerune Rhapsody novel series, which served as Cherie’s inspiration for this idea in the first place.
Here’s the first one she created, with an excerpt from the story I wrote about it.
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Fidget’s Visitor

(Excerpt)
The fluffy cinnamon-spotted dog sniffed at the wee wooden door. His yips made the spindly mushrooms lining the front walk vibrate in time with the fairy’s gossamer wings.

The tiny creature inside the door risked a peep through a thin crack in the wood, and trembled when a giant brown eye moved closer. It blinked, and she whipped back against the stone wall of her kitchen, throwing her hands over her eyes.

What could he want? Did he smell the ChocoLavendar cookies baking in her wood stove?

She found her courage and turned to peer through the crevice again. The dog cocked his head and one ear flopped into the crackling leaves blown against the door from her garden. He gently nipped a small Aspen-illustrated card from a basket hanging around his neck, and nudged it under her door with his nose.

The fairy jumped. Her arms flailed and, on tippity-toes, beat a quick retreat.

Mustn’t come in contact with the paper! It could be laced with poison! Or, at the very least, contain a highly threatening message.

Careful not to move too close, she used a sprinkle of fairy dust to open the card, and gingerly leaned forward to read the large scribbles…

 


Want to help us make Absolutely Wild! the most whimsical faerie doors ever? Give us some ideas and we’ll give you credit in our marketing. (Jot your comment below.)

My Mom, a Mary Poppins doppleganger, inspires increased book sales using a unique personal trait

A word-of-mouth marketing example from the lens of Ann Narcisian Videan
to inspire your book “village.”
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A vintage Rocky Mountain Post article about my mom, who entertained at parties as Mary Poppins. Do you have a unique trait you can leverage to market yourself or your book?

I’m counting on this post to inspire you to find your own special talents, traits, experiences, or even your looks—like my mother did—to entice your audience to talk about you. Find something unique that also pertains to your book and, víola!, instant word-of-mouth book book marketing.

I hear you thinking, “What?!”

Think for a second. Say you looked like Mary Poppins, and wrote a book about professional organizing. You could relate the movie theme to your book marketing. “Spit, spot!” Organizing made easy! Everyone  who wants a magically clean room/home can relate to the scene of the Banks’ children putting away their toys while their nanny sings, right? A unique, fun, emotional mental image. Exactly the techniques to compel readers into talking about you.

Or, maybe you’re a musician. How can you use that to tie into your books? I wrote a “soundtrack” to complement my first book, Rhythms & Muse. That became a Wow! moment for my readers. My next chat-worthy project will use my art skills. I’m creating customized faerie doors and short stories, as well as a faerie door coloring book, to complement my book Song of the Ocarina. (It’s book 1 in my Delfaerune Rhapsody series about New Zealand Fae who use Earth energy and music to make magic.)

Think now, what about you or your book would inspire someone to say, “Wow, that’s cool!” or to write a newspaper article about you? I encourage you to put some thought into this and come up with something outrageous to drive word-of-mouth marketing.

What do you do, or what’s in your book, that would entice readers to talk about you?

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Write on!
Ann Narcisian Videan
Write • Edit • Self-publish • Word-of-mouth
Check out my Book Shepherding sessions.
avidean@videanunlimited.com

Life’s Little Pleasures — the coveted Videan family gingerbread kids recipe

A word-of-mouth marketing example from the lens of Ann Narcisian Videan
to inspire your readers or tribe/village.

(You may want to subscribe to my LINC enewsletter announcing
more word-of-mouth marketing examples.)
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Gingerbread orchestra.
Gingerbread orchestra.

The good story behind the goodies

My mom was famous for her gingerbread kids. She baked dozens and dozens every Christmas, and her friends waited all year for them to arrive on their doorstep.

To try our family gingerbread recipe is to love it. Really. Everyone who tastes them, raves about how tasty, soft and chewy, and uniquely iced they are. Not to mention highly tasty.

We’ve continued, and slightly enhanced, the tradition. We still give them away as gifts at holiday time, only usually in one or two of my “scrapboxed” tins. I use my scrapbooking materials to creatively cover the many tea tins I accumulate from Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf every year. Plus, my family loves to make the kids’ icing unique. One year, we iced on car logos. Another year, Harry Potter characters. Last year, the dwarves from The Hobbit (which will have already seen if you subscribe to my LINC enewsletter.)

My tins are perfect for our award-winning Molasses Crinkles, too! :)
My tins are perfect for our award-winning Molasses Crinkles, too! 🙂
 My "scrapboxed" cookie tins for cookies and gingerbread
My “scrapboxed” cookie tins for cookies and gingerbread

I thought this year I’d add to your holiday cheer by sharing the recipe. Enjoy every morsel!

Gingerbread Kids

(makes 70 mini gingerbread boys)
From the kitchen of Madge Narcisian, via Ann Narcisian Videan

1/2 c. soft shortening
1 c. granulated sugar
1/2 c. light or dark molasses
1 egg yolk

Beat shortening, sugar, molasses until creamy. Add egg yolk and beat well.

2 c. all purpose sifted flour (maybe just short of 2 cups)
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. baking soda
1 t. baking powder
1 t. ground ginger
1 t. ground cloves
1-1/2 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. nutmeg

Sift flour with salt, baking soda, baking powder, ginger, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg. Blend into sugar mixture. (If the dough is too granular, add a tablespoon or two of milk.)

Chill dough for more than one hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. On lightly floured board, roll out dough to 1/4” thickness. Using two-inch gingerbread cookie cutters, stamp and place 1/2” inch apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 8-10 minutes.

Icing

1-1/2 c. confectioners sugar
1 egg white
1/2 t. cream de tartar
Use water not milk to thin icing.

Why not share one of your favorite family recipes, below in the comments…

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Write on!
Ann Narcisian Videan
Write • Edit • Self-publish • Word-of-mouth

Montezuma’s Castle: Living 100 feet up a cliff face

A word-of-mouth marketing example from the lens of Ann Narcisian Videan
to inspire your business tribe/village.
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Montezuma's Castle, just off I-17 south of Flagstaff, AZ.  @2013 ANVidean
Montezuma’s Castle, just off I-17 south of Flagstaff, AZ. @2013 ANVidean

On the way back from Northern Arizona University, where my daughter took a college tour recently, she and I stopped to play tourist at Montezuma’s Castle.

The Native American ruin lies just over 30 minutes south of Flagstaff, and a short jaunt down a narrow road into the desert. You think you’re in the middle of nowhere when suddenly the Visitor’s Center parking lot looms ahead.

Hand-packed mud holds  the walls together. ©2013 ANVidean
Hand-packed mud holds the walls together. ©2013 ANVidean
Another ruin, probably housing 100 people, in greater disrepair lies at the bottom of the elevated dwelling
Another ruin, probably housing 100 people, in greater disrepair lies at the bottom of the elevated dwelling. ©2013 ANVidean

Along an easy 1/3-mile loop trail along Beaver Creek, you can witness how native Arizonans lived in a structure built 100 feet up in a cliff face. They made use of all the materials available to them: a natural cave, stones, soil, Arizona Sycamore trees, and nearby water to carve out an amazingly robust and protected life for themselves.

Humans are truly ingenious, are they not?

I totally suggest a visit, and a chat with the knowledgeable ranger staffing the center there.

What other impressive sights can you recommend in Arizona?

Word-of-mouth photos: Communing with springtime in Phoenix

A word-of-mouth marketing example from the lens of Ann Narcisian Videan
to inspire your business tribe/village.
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He spent a moment sizing me up, then returned to a more important task.    ©2013 ANVidean
He spent a moment sizing me up, then returned to a more important task. ©2013 ANVidean

The Desert Botanical Garden and Phoenix Zoo rank high among my favorite Phoenix-area walking sites, especially in the springtime. I picked out a few charming camera captures to share with you.

Go find some for yourself… and feel free to share in the comments below.

Write on!
Ann Narcisian Videan
Write • Edit • Self-publish • Word of mouth
Roadrunner. If he catches you, you're through! ©2013 ANVidean
Roadrunner. If he catches you, you’re through! ©2013 ANVidean
Entrance to the DBG with glass sculptures by Chiluly. ©2013 ANVidean
Entrance to the DBG with glass sculptures by Chiluly. ©2013 ANVidean
The Phoenix version of snow... cotton from the Cottonwood trees. ©2013 ANVidean
The Phoenix version of snow… cotton from the Cottonwood trees. ©2013 ANVidean
Beautiful songbirds grace the DBG.     ©2013 ANVidean
Beautiful songbirds grace the DBG. ©2013 ANVidean
The wildflower trail at the DBG...perhaps my favorite destination in spring.     @2103 ANVidean
The wildflower trail at the DBG…perhaps my favorite destination in spring. @2103 ANVidean
Lazy lizard wonders what I'm doing on his path. @2103 ANVidean
Lazy lizard wonders what I’m doing on his path. @2103 ANVidean
Not winning any races today, tortoise.   @2103 ANVidean
Not winning any races today, tortoise. @2103 ANVidean

Coeur d’Alene: Rhythms & Muse’s hometown in pictures

Coeur d’Alene, Idaho

The following photos, taken by author/singer/songwriter Ann Narcisian Videan, helped inspire her Rhythms & Muse novel and music CD. The flashbacks sections of her story take place in 1970s Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, where Ann spent her junior high and high school years.

[The book is available at CreateSpace novel eStore (best value to author), and Amazon.com (convenient). Music CD and MP3 files are available via CreateSpace CD eStore and on Amazon.com, which also provides audio samples of each track.]

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