Tag Archives: gratitude

Thank you Grandmother Moon Supporters!

BeckyVlatkaGMOMBecky Parker Geist and I are celebrating! Our print book of Grandmother Moon and Other Mother Stories: Book One just arrived! It is our first book that we have published together and we are reveling in the joy of it.

Becky and I want to take a moment to thank everyone who helped us:

Professionals:

Ruth Stotter, Jay O’Callahan, Andy Parker, Natasha Tasiyana Kolida, BAIPA (Bay Area Independent Publishers Associations) and BAIPA Mastermind authors. Also, Ruth Schwartz, the Wonderlady, Linda Jay, and Mark Coker of Smashwords.

Friends and People who have bought the book:

Jeann Iris Brick, Rachel Marsh, Allison Cox, Letticia Quinn, Jessica Barrilleaux, Lyn Marsh, Ines Sinon, Glen Carlson, Marjorie Thorne, John Koch, Lazaris, you whose name is not mentioned and of course our wonderful families!

Thank you everyone for your support and contributions! It’s such a joy!

If we missed you off of our gratitude list, please let us know and we will add you to our list!

Grandmother Moon Blessings!

Vlatka and Becky

Grateful for Becky’s audiobook of Grandmother Moon!

I just finished listening to Grandmother Moon and Other Mother Stories: GrandmotherMoon1Book One on my phone. It is the audiobook by Becky Parker Geist of Pro Audio Voices. Becky is not only a business partner but a friend. Listening to the Grandmother Moon audio book on my iPhone I was flooded with gratitude. Becky has done such a beautiful job with all the character voices, and music and sound effects. It really makes the stories fun to listen to, and I really like having them on my phone. There is an audio sample at Becky’s website. The stories are for children 4 and up.

http://proaudiovoices.com/product/grandmother-moon-mother-stories-book/

This whole project has been a labor of love with the focus on having fun creating stories that celebrate mothers and children. Becky and I hold a vision that these stories will contribute to that special bonding time that mothers and children share, full of warm hugs and giggles.

Here’s a little about the stories on Book One:

Grandmother Moon and Other Mother Stories: Book One offers traditional and new original folktales that explore the love, joy and challenges between mothers and children. Perfect for mothers and children to read aloud, or you can listen to the audiobook by Becky Parker.

“Epaminondas,” a traditional folktale told to Becky Parker Geist by her mother, is about a boy who tries so hard to please his mother, but can’t seem to get it right. “Grandmother Moon and the Homeless Child” is a touching story about searching for home. A little blue bird and a rock child play major roles in “Abuela and the Rock People.” And Louisa-May’s mischievous little sister Angel causes trouble in “Mama, Angel and the Tree Dragon.” In “Strawberry Moon,” Mother Moon helps her daughter express herself colorfully.

“The stories are clear, dramatic, inviting and delicious. I love them. This is marvelous work! Bravo!” — Jay O’Callahan, Storyteller. National Endowment of the Arts recipient. Lifetime Achievement Award National Storytelling Network, Commissioned by NASA to create and perform a story in honor of NASA’s fiftieth anniversary

“A delightful collection of lovingly told and affirming stories filled with timeless magical transformations and a traditional humorous folktale — all addressing the mother-child relationship.” — Ruth Stotter, Past Chairman, American Folklore Society Aesop Committee; Former Director, Dominican University (California) Certificate-in-Storytelling Program

Copyright © 2014, Vlatka Herzberg, all rights reserved. You may not reproduce materials without permission from Vlatka Herzberg.

Becky Parker Geist: http://proaudiovoices.com/

Illustration by Natasha Tasiyana Kolida: http://www.tasiyana.com/

Design by Andy Parker: http://andyparkerdesign.com/

How the People Learned to Thank Water #3, Conclusion

She dreamed of droplets of water dripping onto her face. Drip, drip, drip. And she heard tiny giggles. “Stop it. I’m getting all wet!” she yelled and awoke from her dream. She was startled to see a sprite, skin as green as olives, hair like grass, hovering over her. Her dress was wet with dew and when she giggled the dew drops sprinkled all over Shenna’s face. All the commotion woke up Brock. He saw the small green sprite. “A pixie!” he yelled. “I’m not a Pixie! I’m a Sprite! Don’t you know your elementals?!” she frowned at Brock. Brock shook his head with disbelief. He had never seen a real sprite before. “Can you show us where a spring might be? Our village is experiencing a drought and we need water.” The Sprite inspected the two children. “There is no village close to here. You must be very far from home,” she said. Shenna nodded. “I will take you to a spring,” said the Sprite, “but it isn’t what you expect.”

And so it is that the Sprite sprang, tumbled and flew to the Spring. Shenna and Brock both rode the old nag after her. It was the only way that they could keep up. When they got to the spring, Shenna thought it was mistake. She was expecting to see water gushing and flowing out of the spring, but instead there was only a trickle. “But that isn’t enough water to help our village,” said Shenna. “No. It is not,” said the Sprite. “What are we going to do?” asked Brock. They both slumped down on the wet rocks near the spring.

“I’m going to dance,” said the Sprite and she began to twirl under the droplets of water streaming down the rocks. There were  times when her body merged with the water and looked translucent. Brock poked his finger right through her. She giggled, “That tickles.” “I don’t understand,” Said Shenna. “Does this mean that the drought is everywhere?” The Sprite stopped twirling and nodded her head, “Yes.” Shenna started to cry. She was sad for her people. She was sad for her parents at home worrying about their crops. She was sad for all the people in the world that didn’t have water. Shenna’s cheeks began to tickle. The Sprite was wiping her tears with her wings. “There’s another way to see things.” “All you see is that your world is without water. Your people do not see that the Undines are stressed.” “I don’t understand,” said Shenna.

“Here take my hand,” offered the Sprite. Shenna and Brock held the Sprite’s hand and they began to spin and shrink until they were dripping into a pool of water. They plopped into the pool, transforming into water spirits. Shenna’s body was blue. Brock poked her. “You’re see through,” he laughed. “So are you,” she poked him back. “What are we?” asked Shenna. “Why you’re Undines of course,” said the Sprite.“But what will mother and father think?” frowned Brock. “You won’t stay this way, just long enough.” And before she could say another word, the Sprite jumped and bounced away. Shenna yelled, “come back,” but the Sprite ignored her. Instead the water formed a large mouth and said,“Stop making so much noise. It makes me ripple.” “Who said that?” demanded Shenna. “I did,” said the Undine who shape shifted itself into a face that Shenna and Brock could see. It was a watery face with a twig for a nose and a very squiggly mouth. “Now why are you here?” The Undine wanted to know. Shenna told the Undine the whole story. Brock ended it with, “yep that’s the way it happened. Can we stay water spirits? This is fun!” The Undine listened, then said, “Hold on they were going for a ride!”

They followed a tricking stream to the river. It was very low. They passed skinny cows, and parched fields, until they fell into deep, dry cracks. “Woa!” yelled Shenna and Brock. “Hold on!” said the Undine. They followed veins of moisture to an underground stream, flowing all the way back to the spring they had come from. “Wow, that was cool! Do that again!” said Brock. The Undine frowned, “Do you know why there is a drought?” “Because the water spirits are stressed,” said Shenna. “Yes, the water is stressed. All the pollution is choking us up. We need your help,” said the Undine. “But how can we help? We are only children.” “You can start appreciating water and sending healing to it.” Then the Undine taught the children a ritual of placing their hands over the water and filling it with their gratitude for all the ways that water gives to them, for food, drink, bathing, cleansing, and all nourishment. The children learned a healing song that they could sing to the water, and promised that they would share it with others.

When they were done the Sprite came back. “Are you ready to go home?” “Yes!” said the children. They thanked the Undines and sang them a song. The Sprite danced on their hands and they turned back into children! Brock poked his sister. She giggled, “Hey stop it!” “Just checking if you are back to normal,” laughed Brock. The children took only enough water in their canteens for the remainder of the trip home.

Shenna and Brock were happy to be home. Their parents rushed to embrace them, “Where have you been? We’ve been so worried!” Shenna and Brock told their parents and all the villagers their story. When they were done they showed everyone how to cup their hands over water and fill it with their gratitude. They taught all the villagers, young and old how to sing songs of gratitude. If people forgot, they could make it up. What mattered is what they felt in their hearts. The people learned how to feel gratitude for every droplet of water. They became more conscious not to waste it. Eventually the drought ended. People lessened their pollution. The Undines relaxed, receiving healing, and eventually the water started to flow again. The rains came, and the cycle of life flowed.

From that day on whenever people walked by a river, spring or the ocean, or when it rained, people would sing: “Bless the water in the sky, bless the water in the earth, it’s alive and flowing. Thanks be to water. Thanks be to air. It gives all life. Treat it with great care!”

Copyright © 2014, Vlatka Herzberg, all rights reserved. You may not reproduce materials without permission from Vlatka Herzberg.

 

How the People Learned to Thank Water #2 by Vlatka Herzberg

Mother and father gathered their children and hurried to the Gathering Hut where all the villagers met. The leader of the village was Terra, a matriarch, and a woman of wisdom. Her face was clouded with concern. “The elders of Atwon have spoken of this day for some time, the day of the rain was stolen. A day when our land would be shrouded in dust and a fierce heat. A time of great imbalance.” The people of Atwon looked very concerned. Babies cried, older children were fidgety. Something was very wrong. The harmony they knew for so long was gone. “Who had taken the rain?” Shenna was determined to find out.

Early one morning while mother and father were busy trying to figure out how they would survive without water Shenna and Brock snuck away. How would they bathe? What would they drink and use for cooking? What about their animals and crops? Mother and Father were trying to figure that all out, while Shenna and Brock made a clean escape. Shenna put Brock on top of their father’s old nag. Brock slid into the sag on the horse’s back. “We’re off on an adventure,” he smiled.

“How do we bring the rain back?” Brock asked his bigger sister. She was older, she knew everything. Feeling the pressure to know, Shenna concentrated until the squiggle in her brow released with the excitement of an explanation,“Well, we must journey to where the water comes from?” “Where is that?” asked Brock. Shenna’s squiggle furled and unfurled, “we must go to a natural spring, a place where the water comes from deep underground not from the sky.” “Oh,” said Brock, never doubting his sister’s wisdom for one second.

They traveled for hours under the sweltering heat. “I’m thirsty,” complained Brock. Carefully rationing out the precious drinking water, Shenna gave Brock his portion for the day. Brock drank it down fast. He didn’t see the concern on his sister’s face. She hoped they would find the natural spring before they ran out of drinking water.

The sun set they found a place to camp, and still no spring. Shenna sang Brock to sleep, and only when he was fast asleep did she cry. She spoke to the moon. “Moon, I’m lost. I don’t know where the spring is and we are out of drinking water. Please help us.” The Moon did not answer Shenna, but she knew it would, so she settled into a deep and wondrous sleep. (To be continued.)

Copyright © 2014, Vlatka Herzberg, all rights reserved. You may not reproduce materials without permission from Vlatka Herzberg.

 

How the People Learned to Thank Water #1 by Vlatka Herzberg

The people of Atwon village were happy people. They worked and played in cycles. There was a time to work, and a time to play. They planted and harvested in cycles. There was a time to seed and a time to pick the crops. There was a time for birth and a time for death. The people of Atwon knew these cycles intimately and life moved along rhythmically and harmoniously. It wasn’t until one day that the rhythm and the harmony were disrupted.

The people of Atwon were not the only people who inhabited the earth. There were many other villagers spread out through many different lands. And not all of the villagers of these many lands respected the cycles of work and play, of life and death. Not all of the villagers knew the steady rhythm of harmony. The elders of Atwon village warned that there would come a day when their own village would fall into disharmony, when the balance would be disturbed.

And so it is that day had come. Shenna, a young child of 10 was playing with her younger brother, Brock, making mud pies, running with a hoop and stick the way children do. She spotted cracks in the earth . She ran to her mother and father. “The earth is breaking!” she cried. Shenna thought that mother and father would know why. Shenna took them to see the cracks in the earth. Mother and father were very concerned. Mother touched the cracks; a tear ran down her cheek. Father’s heart was heavy, “The earth is very thirsty,” he said. “This is very serious.” (To be continued)

Copyright © 2014, Vlatka Herzberg, all rights reserved. You may not reproduce materials without permission from Vlatka Herzberg.