With Scranton StorySlam just a week away, I'm excited about sharing my story and also aware that I should probably put all of my thoughts and visions into words. I know the story that I want to tell. I've told it to friends and acquaintances many times but I don't think it's ever been contained to five minutes. If Twitter has taught me anything though, it's that I can say something important and profound in fewer words, it just takes more self-control, discipline and effort. So in the next few days I'll be working out the actual words I want to use to tell my story about making a friend in France. I want it to be moving, interesting, funny and organized - everything that at story should be. And I don't want it to end on a flat note and leave audience members saying "Well I thought that was going to end with something bigger than that." I want my story to build to a climax that gives the audience more than their money's worth. I want them to feel something, to take something away - even if it's "Ya know, I don't think I really care for that Jeannine and her story" at least it's a feeling and I think for me that's better than a neutral or apathetic reaction. 

Switching gears, I have another story on my mind this weekend: "Wartz & All," the children's book that I am currently working on, thanks in part to a Lackawanna County Arts and Culture grant. I am really excited about where the story is headed, not just because of the story and illustrations - which are wonderful by the way and being drawn by Clarks Summit resident Mindy Mendicino- but because this gives me an opportunity to tout a beautiful part of the greater Scranton area. I started this website so that I could promote all of the gems in and around the Scranton area - the people, places and events that are sources of pride to me.  Because I'm using an area of the trail in Archbald to feature as the setting for this book, I get to promote some of the incredible beauty that I enjoy when I run. I hope that people will be curious to see the trail and the pond and river and all o the other features that appear in the book. I hope that families will put on their sneakers and head out for a walk, bike ride, stroll and take in all that nature has to offer. I have some ideas about how I can promote the book and encourage people to get active on the trails that have me really fired up - in a good way! I cannot wait to share this book with the community. 

This afternoon I met Mindy by the pond in Archbald to share it with her. She now has new enthusiasm for the project and the knowledge to include some really great details in her drawings. 

Time to get back to my stories. 

The end - for now!

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