by: Zeitgeist Karen(White. Female. Opinionated & highly concerned. Detail Sleuth. Never heard a story I couldn’t tell better.)
I don’t know that it’s news that some people have forgotten how to drive in this quarantine. 🚗😱🚑
(My suspicion is that they are the people who have NOT been staying home, who have been driving on empty roads this whole time and now have to deal with more cars as quarantine restrictions are relaxed by people who don’t believe in science. BUT, since I have been abiding restrictions, I have no proof of this.)
Unfortunately, thoughtless driving is leading to run-ins like this.
I think we ALL know how this woman feels. Thoughtless driving by strangers is stressful on the best of days!
So be kind, everyone. And play by the rules! You never know who is having a hard day and what your lack of effort might do to them.
A small thing to you can be the straw the broke the camel’s back to someone else.
by: Capella Nion (Oracle to an ever-changing future. All prophesies have room for correction, unless otherwise stated.)
As the quarantine continues, an unspoken gap between two types of people is growing: The “essential” and the “unessential” worker.
“Essential” workers are doing well. Work and/or pay is largely uninterrupted (and might even be up!) and they have what they need. Some circumstances may not be ideal, but they’re not worried about paying bills next month.
On the other side of that spectrum (with many different degrees of “necessary work” in between), there are those who have received unspoken notice that they are “unessential” to the global economy.
Many of the workers who have just received this messaging are small business owners who — without notice — just traded 3 months of revenue for a $1,200 check and all their usual bills because they were too small to qualify for any kind of bailout.
And, unless they were flush going into this, these individuals are not okay.
Many are in trouble with little hope on their horizon, even if their friends and neighbors don’t know it yet.
It’s a conversation that’s coming in some homes, while others will get to skip those talks.
It was while pondering this looming future that I happened upon a wise New Age shop owner who–lack of public assistance aside–is turning every quarantine obstacle to her benefit.
Things are as much against her as they are for any brick-and-mortar small business right now, yet things are looking bright for her — perhaps, brighter than if there had been no quarantine at all!
So I asked her, “How are you doing it? How are you thriving where so many are struggling?”
“I just listen to Mother Earth,” she replied. “When this all started, and I asked her what this chaos was about, she said, ‘Give me your fear. All of it.’So I did. Until all I had left was my new plans for the future. So I’m doing them. And it’s going to be great!”
Wise words, if you ask me.
And so I share them with you.
For what better path is there out of a mire than to cast fear aside and follow bright thoughts someplace higher?
by: Zeitgeist Karen (White. Female. Opinionated & highly concerned. Detail Sleuth. Never heard a story I couldn’t tell better.)
OMG. Social media has been on 🔥 today!
SO much to keep up with. We are still not outside the Bell curve specialists say we should stay within to not create a second wave of sickness AND MY CITY IS OPENING UP!!!
Can you believe the insanity of it all? Will everything we’ve done up until now be for naught???
Several businesses are opening up, but most of my friends are staying smart by staying home. #staysafestayhome
I hear gyms are opening up to appointments only, and I’ll confess I did drive around downtown to see how businesses are complying with mandate.
An ice cream 🍨 store was open, and there wasn’t a mask to be seen. 😡😷
All the book stores are closed📚😞 (which is bittersweet) and restaurants seemed to still be take-out only. #asformeandmyhousewewillordertakeout #stimulatetheeconomy
One restaurant was unabashedly open, with tables 8 feet apart 👏👏, but it was empty when I passed by, saved for the skeleton crew onhand who can no longer claim unemployment.
I also passed by a cell phone store with windows facing the street and there were two men inside: an employee and a customer. Neither had masks on and they were NOT maintaining a social distance. 😨😨🚑⚕🩺💉💊🏥
If a second wave of this flu is on its way, WE’RE SCREWED!
For now, we wait to see if we have truly eluded doom with the HURCULEAN 💪🥇 efforts we’ve been taking for the past 6 weeks, or if death still waits for us like a hungry cat patiently coiled around the corner.
One of my favorite poems by my grandma is “One Sheep.”
In truth, I have many “favorite” poems by my grandma. I was around 20 when I first read it online. The internet was just becoming a thing and my uncle posted all my grandma’s published work on his website.
I was manning a receptionist desk when I discovered “One Sheep” — reading it again and again while marveling how well she captured a sentiment I think nearly everyone can relate to.
Below is a scan of the poem, as originally published, followed by a recording of me reading it.
I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
One Sheep. All rights Reserved. Copyright 1941, 1997, 2019.
The 2016 election caused a bit of a social kerfuffle in the US.
Uncounted conversations with friends in the aftermath led me to this write this poem:
by: Sheralyn Pratt
It is old wisdom that the way to weaken a people is to get them to think outside their sphere of influence. If it’s beyond their horizon, it is but a play on a stage. Spectators can watch but they hold no true sway. They can only cheer or speak outrage to claims and hearsay —hands tied, thoughts bound to a place far away— until those far-away thoughts disrupt their own day-to-day. This is no accident. It is all a design to train the masses to have impotent minds. For unempowered souls are easily led and when the 99 feel helpless… well, you know what comes next. The good news is returning to power is a flip of a switch. Every animal does it— it’s that easy to fix: Tend to your sphere and all you can touch. See to its care and make it top-notch. Then, perhaps, if a call leads you to go far-and-wide, you can go, you can give, and improve what you find.
Ask anyone who’s known me all my life and they’ll attest to the fact that I have never self-identified as a poet.
Yet as I get to know the fictional characters I write for, I find myself describing their POVs (points of view) in poetic fashion.
Or, as I like to call it: Poetisophical™ — philosophical bedrock that allows you to deduce the state of heart.
This is a little different than traditional poetry, in my opinion. Maybe it’s actually poetry upside-down.
Poetry is known for its invitation to sit for a moment in someone else’s experience. Good poetry inspires sympathy or empathy in the listener — transporting them into a vicarious experience that allows them to see something in a new way.
My “poetisophical” poetry is a bit different in that the genesis is often the motives of fictional characters in a story. They might be the good guy, they might be the bad guy, or they might be some form of chaotic neutral in the middle.
But they have their points of view and their motives, and the poems I write often speak to the bedrock of their character.
Then, to beat the character in the story, you must beat their bedrock.
Here’s one such poetisophical poem that has most people split 50/50 on loving it and hating it.
What do you think?
By: Sheralyn Pratt
A truth becomes a lie the moment it arrives. For truth cannot be stopped —sometimes it is, sometimes it’s not— it holds its space and plays its part but holding still is not its art. For truth is on the move, you see, it has things to prove and places to be. So if you spot it once and proudly mark its plot, remember this: truth cannot be caught.
“Would you like a sample?” a weathered man asked, holding out a sample stick with a twirl of honey at the end.
I looked up from the display of beeswax candles and Mason jars of honey — belatedly noticing the woman playing the harp behind his booth.
The harpist was far enough away so the man didn’t have to talk over her, but close enough that it was a good bet that the gentle tones of her playing were what had caused me to pause at their booth in the first place.
And now the question was: Did I want to sample local honey while listening to harp music?
Okay. Twist my arm. This tagteam had officially talked me into it.
Next to me, another customer stepped up to make an order. A regular. He wanted two large jars of honey.
They only had one large jar left.
A swipe of a card later, they had zero large jars left. Only medium and small remained.
When that customer went on his way, a couple stepped up in his place.
“Would you like a sample?” the vendor asked. “This is our signature honey — harvested 800 colonies from across the valley to create a flavor reflecting the botanical spectrum of the valley.”
Okay, he didn’t say that.
But those were the tidbits my brain pieced together as he talked to customer after customer — making three separate sales while decided whether I needed more honey in my life.
How long had it been since I’d had honey any more elaborate than what came in a squeezable bear bottle at the grocery store?
Finding myself mining childhood memories for such a time, I realized it might be time to lean into rediscovering honey as a delicacy.
And what better place to start than a local business that had turned selling honey and beeswax candles into a multi-sensory, harp-accompanied sampling experience?
Gotta support that level of local quality, amiright?
I was about to buy one of their few remaining medium-sized jars when the vendor looked at my bag and saw flyers I was carrying with me.
“What you got there?” he asked, pointing to them.
“I’m hosting a writing contest,” I said. “and giving flyers to anyone who’s interested.”
The harp player took a break as I said this and moved into the booth. The man looked her way, “She’s a great poet.”
“I’d love to see your work,” I said to her, handing over a flyer. “Please, enter.”
She took the flyer, then surprised me by reaching for a jar of honey.
“Poetry is important,” she said. “It’s a good thing to keep alive. Here. Can we give something to the winner? Some honey for a gift basket?”
I must confess this wasn’t an idea I remotely had on my radar, but the offer was so sincere and the honey was so good that there was only one answer:
“Yes. Someone in the poetry category can win your honey. I’m not sure exactly how that will play out, but we’ll make that happen.”
And that’s why one lucky poet will get a small jar of honey this year in The BATTLE of the BARDS. Because a local honey company believes in the craft and wants to thank you for keeping it alive.
What is the difference between a fairy tale and a parable?
Are either type of story the same things as a fable?
All 3 of these story types are considered morality tales with the goal of helping people better understand the world around them and who they want to be in it.
But how do you tell which type of story you’re writing?
Ask Yourself 3 Questions
Question 1 – Are all my characters animals or insects?
Question 2 – Are some of my characters animals and some humans?
Question 3 – Are all my characters human?
Check Your Answers
If your answer to Question 1 = Yes, you are likely writing a FABLE.
If your answer to Question 1 = Yes, you are likely writing a FAIRY TALE.
If your answer to Question 3 = Yes, you are likely writing a PARABLE.
Checking your answer to Question 1 is a good thing to do before submitting to the BATTLE of the BARDS competition because there is no Fable category. Only Modern Fairy Tales and Modern Parables.
So, if all your characters are animals, you will need to change at least one of them to be a human for this contest.
While fables deal with straightforward actions and consequences in nature, fairy tales and parables invite us to examine the human motives that can put us in tough spots.
In traditional tales, these decisions can lead to terrible consequences — up to, and including, death.
Originally, Little Red dies. So does the little mermaid; she goes all-in for the man of her dreams, loses her voice and turns into seafoam (then an earthbound spirit) while the Prince marries someone more suitable.
In fairy tales, little kids get thrown into ovens, boys who cry wolf are left to fend for themselves, and boys seeking treasure end up murdering to acquire the wealth.
Actions and consequences. Fairy tales and parables both explore this theme.
So what’s the difference?
The quick take you can use that will guide you right in choosing the correct category of submission in The BATTLE of the BARDS is this:
Fairy tales share principles, based on an understanding of basic human/animal nature — incorporating both animal and human characters as metaphors.
Parables share principles couched in an understanding of human cultures and practices — where setting and roles can replace the laws of nature as being the first line of consequences the characters have to deal with.
For example, if you have a morality tale about a girl in the woods who runs into three animals, you probably have a fairy tale; if you have a morality tale about an inmate in a prison who has a run-in with three other inmates, you probably have a parable.
Parables require an understanding of cultural setting to explore the world the character lives in.
Fairy tales require an understanding of basic natures to explore the character’s journey.
So, to summarize:
What’s in a parable?
One of the first signs that you are writing a parable is:
All the characters driving the story are human.
Setting, culture, religion, politics, or cultural circumstances are embedded into the dominoes of the actions and consequences.
The more you know about the culture/dynamics a story is set in, the better you understand the arc and outcome of the parable.
Take the parable of the Ten Virgins, for example.
Understanding the culture the story is set in can change your understanding of the 5 prepared virgins not sharing their lamp oil from:
Why didn’t they just give their friends half? What difference does that make?
Why didn’t the five girls who had the $10 bills to get into the party just tear their bills in half and give the other half to their friends so they could all get in?
Because, in parables, cultural practices and situations are context to the dilemma presented.
What’s in a Fairy Tale?
Fairy tales explore the dynamics we can all relate to, using both humans and animals as metaphors.
Anyone from anywhere — human or not — can relate to a wolf being at their door.
Everyone can relate to the temptation to play rather than work, stray off a safe path for a bit, or wanting to escape an isolated tower.
The use of universal metaphors in fairy tales makes them easy to understand across time and cultures.
Because whether they’re talking about losing a mom and gaining a step-mother who only cares about her own children or underestimating wolves, there is a level of understanding that can be universally applied by the audience.
Summary: Parables and Fairy Tales — Similarities and Differences
The thing that parables and fairy tales have in common is that they invite discussion and reflection on things we deal with every day.
The main difference is that fairy tales invite all to examine our basic, universal natures while parables invite us to explore situational ethics.
Said another way: Fairy tales explore different actions and outcomes tied to our basic natures; parables dive into the morality of our cultures, practices, and more complex behaviors.
Thus, the challenge for the fairy tale/parable author is to see the dynamics and drives of each character with clarity that leaves personal bias on the cutting room floor.
Keep these tips in mind as you submit and your entry should be solid!
Want to start a conversation?
Think more/better information should be shared on this page?
Share this link on social media and tag me. Let me know if there are any other tips that MUST be included, and I’ll add them below.