Celebrate!!!!!

Is finally HERE !!!!!!!!

Norma Jean Morris and Nola Morris Stam proudly announce their first joint publication, Aspects of Love.  Nine different stories, each illustrating an aspect of love.

*  Kaelyn Cull, Femme Fatale of the high stars learns to love herself and change her life with help of a very unusual being.  (Hint: the story is titled Father Earth)

*  A cursed woman calling herself Quill is released by the true love of a prince.  (You were expecting something else??????)

*  Andra Allid, manufactured in a clone factory for the use of sentient machines becomes a truly autonomous human through selfless love.

*  A newlywed couple, Vonni and Thomas learn that for love to grow it needs more attention than sharing the same abode.

*   Karen McCall, Army test driver, finds out from a hero possessed car that love is as sweet as hot fudge.

*   Azzara, a dream caster who can no longer cast dreams, learns love is powerless without faith and hope.

The Squire and her Knight battle the ultimate challenge to their friendship and learn the true power of love of friends.

Britt, a young widow, faces off against Nazi Germany to prove the love of a mother for her disabled child is stronger than any Führer’s edit.

*  And Nada and Rosa, two broken hearts, discover the mending power of the love of Christ.

Available July 30, 2017 from SynergEBooks.

It can be purchased in either Kindle or Nook form.

No reader?  No problem!  Both Kindle and Nook have free apps for PC, Tablet and Cellphone.

Shared Stories

I am sharing stories about two men today, old time musician Buddy Holly and a mystery man.  I wanted to re-blog them but there was no way to do it on the sites so I am sharing the addresses.

http://www.flipslife.com/paul-harvey-now-know-rest-story/ is a tale about music loving insects and a bad land line.  Blogger Phil Beling “Flip” presents the story behind naming the group “Buddy Holly and the Crickets.”

In https://themanfromthesuitcase.com/ Blogger Becci tells of her quest to solve a mystery.  Years ago she bought an old suitcase from a second hand store full of letters and pictures from and to the same person.

I hope you check these out.  If you have a story worth telling, send it to me and I’ll tell it.

 

Still the Best Place to find a Story Part 2

The best place the Morris flock had to find a good story was the library, either Mom’s upstairs or at the Public Library in the Park.   If we had been born 200 years earlier, our story would have been much different.  In the 1700s, educational opportunities for females were few to none.  Unless a family was wealthy or clergy, book ownership was limited to the family bible and perhaps a few other volumes.  And there were no public libraries.  Women who wished to further their learning (usually the wealthy) would meet together to read and discuss books.  Literary salons then, were not only a precursor to today’s public libraries, but also book clubs and literary societies.  Rich men at the same time had subscription clubs.  For a monthly fee, a man could borrow a book to read for a while.  The fee would buy more books and a place to put them.  Closer, but still no Library in the Park.

this photo and the next credit:  https://dp.la/exhibitions/exhibits/show/history-us-public-libraries/beginnings

Benjamin Franklin, United States of America inventor, statesman, ambassador, printer, “Founding Father”, and all around brilliant guy, had a large part in setting up Public Libraries in the USA.  In 1731, he founded the first subscription club in the colonies.  He was a member of a group, mostly merchants, who met to discuss, as he described in his autobiography, “queries on any point of Morals, Politics, or Natural Philosophy.”  They owned some books and were looking for a way to get more.  So, Franklin used subscription money and a forty-shilling investment from each of the first fifty members to order more books from England.  The next time you think your order from Amazon is taking its sweet time, remember it took anywhere from 47 to 138 days for a ship to cross the Atlantic, if it made it at all.

The greater part of the first books were about education and religion.  As the collection grew, more topics were added.  Members of the club had free use of the books. A non-member could borrow, if he gave some sort of collateral.

Ray Memorial Library in Franklin Massachusetts

Then, in 1790, the town of Franklin Massachusetts (named for him) asked Franklin to donate a bell as a memorial.  He decided that sense was more important than sound and donated a collection of books.  The town voted to have the books available to all town members, thus starting the first Public Library.

As recorded in A History of US Public Libraries, https://dp.la/exhibitions/exhibits/show/history-us-public-libraries/beginnings:  “The first totally tax-supported library was established in Peterborough, New Hampshire, in 1833. While there were many other libraries that met new public-oriented milestones—like the Darby Free Library in Pennsylvania, which has been in continuous service since 1793—the first large public library was the Boston Public Library, founded in 1848. Boston Public Library opened in 1854 and all Massachusetts residents could borrow from its collection, which began with 16,000 volumes.”

It took until after the Civil War before board-governed and tax-funded lending libraries became commonplace in American towns and cities.  Now, Public Libraries have expanded their collections to audio books, movies and e-books all for free.  (Unless one decides to never take the thing back and let fines grow higher than any bookstore price.  Seriously now who would do that?!?)  Plus, most systems have an inter-library loan of some sort so if your neighborhood library doesn’t have the book you want, the one down the street does!  Public Libraries, brick and mortar or www., are still the best place to find a story.

 

Still the Best Place to Find a Story Part 1

Photo credit: http://cdmbuntu.lib.utah.edu/cdm/ref/collection/Shelley/id/274

Once every two weeks each summer, Mama Duck Morris and her four ducklings would waddle to the park, but not to swim in the pond, because there wasn’t one.  No, we went to immerse ourselves in the waters of literature.  Shelley Public Library, magic land.  Outside, it was a small, one room log cabin, left over I’m sure from when the land was not a park.  It stood behind the swings and slippery slide and under huge shade trees, no doubt as old as the cabin.  Inside it seemed like Doctor Who’s Tardis, bigger on the inside than the outside.

The first thing that hit you was the smell, a lovely, comforting combination of wood, paper, leather and dirt from the plants on the windowsills.  Then you heard the window fan that kept the place a little cooler than the outside.  Then you saw the librarians desk, usually with books on top, and the librarian’s smile.  (honestly, I don’t remember her name or what she looked like, but I remember we knew her from church.  Of course in Shelley, pretty much everybody knew everybody from church.)  Then, you saw books.  Books on shelves lining the log walls, books on shelves between the walls, books on tables wherever they fit.  There was just enough room to squeeze down the aisles and find the magic wrapped in hard cover.

The best part was watching the librarian stamp the card from the book’s front cover pocket.  That meant it was yours for two whole weeks.  The worst part was you could only check out six.  I could read six books in six days.  What was I to do the rest of the two weeks?  So, I read them again.  I wanted to read them all!  I actually did read all the Children’s books about horses.  I came close to reading all the Science Fiction too.

Photo credit as above.

Eventually that stuffed little house became too stuffed for the words.  When the bank moved down Main Street, the Library moved to Main Street.  It lost the atmosphere but gained a whole lot more magic wrapped in hard cover.

Photo credit:  http://www.americantowns.com/id/shelley/organizations/schools-and-libraries

It moved yet again and now it is down the street and around the corner in the old hardware and paint store.  Now instead of decorating your house, you can decorate your mind.  One of Mama Duck’s ducklings is now the Library Storyteller.  Patricia’s handy work, “Barbie” and friends dressed in homemade costumes, illustrate library display cases and story time.

Living Horror Story, Happy Ending Possible

photo credit: https://www.unicef.org/

Someone, cousin to the well know writer Anonymous, once said, “everyone loves a good scare.”  He was probably on the payroll of a movie company.  Some people love horror films or books.  The bookstore owner in the movie “The NeverEnding Story put it perfectly when talking to the protagonist, Sebastian, about his favorite books.  The owner said, “those books are safe.”  Sebastian could read them, be transported to a different world and then be safe and sound at home.  The special volume Sebastian was looking for however was not safe.  The reader would actually live the book and it would be different each time.

      

photo credits:  https://www.enca.com/africa/chibok-girl-refused-to-be-part-of-release-deal-nigeria   https://www.enca.com/africa/another-chibok-girl-escapes-boko-haram-says-nigerias-presidency 

Thousands of children in Nigeria are, I am certain, wishing their story would end.  We know part of it.  On April 14, 2014, a group of warmongers called Boko Haran captured a group of school girls from their dormitory in the town of Chilbok.  This started a well-publicized campaign called Bring Back Our Girls.  On May 6 of this year, 82 were released.  Twenty-one were release during a previous October.  They received attention and are in therapy.

photo credit:  http://www.thedailybeast.com/boko-haram-teaching-child-soldiers-to-rape

But what of the thousands of others?  Their story is beautifully and chillingly told in “The Scars of Boko Haram”, text by Aryn Baker, photos by Paolo Pellgro.  Time magazine, Volume 190, Number 2-3, 2017, pages 40-51.  To quote page 46:

“For every young woman who is whisked into a comprehensive reintegration program, thousands more traumatized Boko Haram abductees have been thrust, untreated into communities that are not equipped to tend to their wounds.  Parents have been reunited with children who were beaten, starved and forced to participate in ritualized massacres.  Some converted.  Others fought for the insurgents.  Many were raped.”

The article points out that abductees, child and adult alike were told they must punish offenders of the Boko Haram creed, even to the point of murder, or their lifes would be forfeit.  Some were coerced to kill their own parents, for “a child who can kill his parent can do anything.” (pp 47)

Living with what happened is horror enough, but after the victim returns home, the nightmare worsens.  Townspeople reject young women escapees for “sleeping with the enemy” (most were forced) and consider their babies as “bad blood”.  Because many victims will chant Boko Haram creeds when stressed, townspeople ostracize them as walking time bombs.

Try going to school, getting a job or, well, anything to prove you are not what you are being told you have become.  It’s next to impossible.  Because the country has been so torn by the war to stop Boko Haran, funds are short and available treatment is scarce.

photo credit:  http://bhekisisa.org/article/2017-04-25-handful-of-psychologists-deal-with-minds-racked-by-boko-haram-terror

So can they have happy endings to their stories?  It seems a far possibility as things stand right now.  Geoffrey Ijumba, head of the UNICEF field office in Maiduguri, stated: “If nothing adequate is done to help this generation of children, very soon we will have a bigger problem than the one we have now.” (pp 49)  The far light in the tunnel is therapy.  The Neem Foundation is an organization founded in 2016 to offer counseling to Boko Haram victims.  The group sessions are time-consuming and staff-intensive, but are considered the best way for a better if not happy ending.  Without this ending, the next chapter in the story is mental illness, drug use, and social crimes to hit back at the government that failed them.  (pp 49)

Think about your own life stories and those of your family and friends.  Would you write any of them into these pages?  Of course not!  I intent to put more than these words into this.  I intend to, after prayer, contact the two sources below and find out how I can donate some badly needed funds.  Please, share this blog with everyone you can and consider prayerfully if you too can help.  We may not help the entire nation, but we can help one more person.

http://support.unicef.org

http://www.neemfoundation.org.ng/