Annie's story

The talk she gave at a writing conference...

Tonight I'd like to tell you three fables.

The first is about RABBIT who hopped every day to the corner store and paid 10 cents for one of her favorite candy bars - Carrot Crispy, Fudge-Covered Celery or Parsley Praline.
Then Rabbit heard about a huge discount store that sold candy bars in bulk for only 7 cents a piece. Unfortunately, the store didn't sell Parsley Praline Bars. But it did sell Carrot Crispy and Fudge-covered Celery bars so Rabbit bought a box of each.
She felt badly as she hopped past the corner store, but one didn't wiggle one's nose at a bargain.
When Rabbit went back to the huge discount store, it no longer sold Fudge-covered Celery Bars. But the store still carried Carrot Crispy Bars, so Rabbit bought a box.
On the way home, she was tempted to go in to the corner store and buy a Fudge Covered Celery Bar or a Parsley Praline Bar, but she felt uncomfortable paying retail.
The next time Rabbit went to the huge discount store, there were no more Carrot Crispy Bars!
"We only sell popular brands," said the salesman. "Try these milk chocolate bars."
Rabbit shook her head, thumped her paw and hop, hop, hopped to the corner store.
Alas, a banner across the door said OUT-OF-BUSINESS.

The second fable is about Turtle and Frog.
Turtle's favorite books, WHERE THE WILD REPTILES ARE, and IF YOU GIVE A TURTLE A TART inspired her to write a book. She wrote every day, took writing classes, attended conferences, met with a critique group, revised and submitted her stories to publishers. With no success!
Living in the same stream, Frog, star of such mega-hit movies as RIBBET JONES' DIARY and DANCES WITH AMPHIBILIANS was inspired by his darling tadpoles to write a book. He completed his story in just 20 minutes. Immediately a publisher snapped up the book and introduced it with a one-million print run. Even though the reviews were terrible, the book began with phenomenal sales. But it didn't take long before thousands of second-hand copies appeared for sale on SOUTH AMERICAN RIVER.COM. Soon the book was out-of-print.
Meanwhile after 223 rejections, Turtle finally sold a story. Because she was a new author, the initial print run was a mere five thousand. However, her reviews were glowing. Her book is now in its 27th printing.

My last fable is about Chihuahua who loved splashing and kicking in the pond so much his mother checked his chest for gills.
One day, while watching a t.v. special about Great Long Lake, Chihuahua determined to swim across it. He started working out immediately, swimming in the pond for an hour a day.
His mother checked his back for scales.
But Chihuahua's shoulders stiffened and the vet ordered no more swimming. But Chihuahua had a dream. He increased his workouts to two hours a day.
His Mother checked his legs for fins.
Unfortunately his mother's work necessitated a move to the city. Did this put an end to Chihuahua's dream? Absolutely not. Every morning he rode the subway 47 minutes to the pond and increased his workouts to three hours a day.
His mother didn't need to check her son anymore. She knew he was a barracuda.
Chihuahua kept on swimming and swimming until . . .
This is where the fable becomes a true story.
Chihuahua is actually my 33 year old son Jonathon who on October 3rd of this year completed a solo swim, not across Great Long Lake, but across the English Channel. In 11 hours and 49 minutes.
If you think I'm telling you this story because I'm a proud mom . . ., you're right. I'm proud because my son lived the moral of Chihuahua's fable. Never give up your dreams . . .

He lived this moral the same as every writer here tonight, in spite of fewer outlets for our books and the hype for celebrity authors, persists dreaming stories and writing them down.
And you teachers and librarians, in spite of scripted lesson plans and yearly testing, keep dreaming of ways like this fabulous author's festival, to share stories with children.
We work together.
We follow our dreams.
May we never stop following our dreams.

Go back to some misc Channel stuff Go to the six-hour training swim
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