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Annette Simmons

Women’s March 2017: My Personal Experience

It is 5:00 a.m. Thursday January 19, 2017. I have no plan except to drive my car 1,193 miles to “show up” in D.C. for the Women’s March. I gas the car; pick up Valerie, and swing by “Southern Maid” for a king cake. Images from “Thelma and Louise” excite and frighten me. We will

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Annette Simmons

Dark Magic: Tony Schwartz’s Abuse of the Story Arts

Most of this post comes from the July 25, 2016 issue The New Yorker by Jane Mayer you can read in full here. Storyteller and writer Tony Schwartz feels “deep remorse” for ghostwriting the 1987 bestseller The Art of the Deal an “autobiography” of Donald Trump that arguably crafted the beguiling character now running for

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Popular Posts

Contrasts, Not Conflicts

 “Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies.”  Groucho Marx Troublemakers erode trust faster than we can build it back right now. Yet, many of these “troubles” are invented conflicts that distort predictably contrasting values. It helps to know what to look for. And once

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Storyteller’s Confession: My Secret Mission

I’ve been trying to infiltrate the halls of power for decades. My secret mission is to increase the diversity of thought by teaching those without a voice how to tell their stories and by teaching leaders how to find and retell stories that broaden everyone’s understanding.

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Stories with a Moral Blueprint – part 8 of 8

We need a Magic School for Storytellers Thirty years before J. K. Rowling created Harry Potter, Ursula Le Guin’s Earthsea series imagined a magic school that taught apprentice sorcerers how to avoid abusing the power of magic. Le Guin points out early in the series that “even to light a candle is to cast a

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Stories with a Moral Blueprint – part 7 of 8

Truth in Storytelling When I wrote the first edition of The Story Factor twenty years ago, I began with the idea that people don’t want more information. They want faith in you and your positive intentions. I never suspected that two decades later we’d be discussing an explosion of stories that intentionally undermine this faith. Without

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Stories with a Moral Blueprint – part 6 of 8

The Moral Dilemmas of a Lion, a Scarecrow, and a Tin Man Frank Baum’s original introduction to The Wizard of Oz, written in 1900, made it clear that he felt children no longer needed the stereotypical “old-time fairy tale” that “may now be classed as ‘historical’ in the children’s library.” Baum claimed the time had

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