Thursday, March 26, 2015

"Paper Dolls" in DREAMS OR DUST

Glendalough Sigmaringen sings "Paper Dolls" in DREAMS OR DUST feature film musical, the third story of THE WHIRLWIND CHRONICLES novel/musical series. 

VERSE:                                  
People are as fragile as paper dolls.
They crinkle and they tear,
And when one of them falls,
You can’t always paste them back together.
So love them while they last.
Time goes by so fast.
People are as fragile as paper dolls.

VERSE:                                   
People are as dainty as paper dolls.
They smile, and they cry,
And if one of them lolls,
You should always wrap them in a feather,
And treat them like a gem.
Help and don’t condemn.
People are as dainty as paper dolls.

BRIDGE:                                
You have to act so graciously,
‘Cause you won’t have them forever.
You can’t approach tenaciously,
Or they might try to sever the bond
From you into their hearts.

VERSE:                                   
People are as lovely as paper dolls.
They brighten up your life,
And when one of them palls,
You must always trust in life’s endeavor.
Just hold them in your arms.
Keep them from all harms.
People are as lovely as paper dolls.

TAG:                                       
Can’t keep them in your pocket.
Find a picture locket and remember . . .
People are as fragile as paper dolls,
Paper dolls, paper dolls.

Copyright 2015 Jennifer Waters

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

A Good Egg: The Story of Darling Duck and Her Ten Little Chicks

Once upon a time Darling Duck came across a very good egg.
She was used to sitting on large white duck eggs, but this egg was brown.
Clearly the brown egg was from a Mother Hen that had gone missing.
“Where is your mother?” Darling Duck said, looking at the egg.
“You will surely die without a mother to protect you from the nasty world.”
Over the years, she raised many ducklings and never let them out of her sight.
“I might have to sit on the brown egg, so it hatches,” Darling Duck said.
“But it needs some color: pink, orange, yellow, green, blue, and even purple.”
So Darling Duck got out her paintbrush and decorated the brown egg into a masterpiece.
Indeed, her many ducklings helped her paint the egg with broad strokes.
“Find your manners,” Darling Duck said to her children as they splattered paint on each other.
“You’re supposed to be helping to paint the egg, not each other,” she said in a motherly tone.
“Momma, we’re looking for our manners,” the ducklings said to her, stretching their little necks.
“Maybe we’ll find them over here . . . or maybe over there,” the ducklings said as paint flew.
“Well, keep looking for them until you find them, because we have an egg to paint,” Darling Duck said.
After the egg was painted into a magnificent work of art, Darling Duck sat on it until its delivery date.
She sat on it through sunshine, rain, winds, even hail, to make sure the egg birthed its chick.
Every time the vultures tried to descend on the very good egg, she fought them off.
“Get away from my egg!” Darling Duck quacked as loud as she could until the vultures left.
Then one day, its shell split down the middle, and Darling Duck had never been more excited.
First a head, then feet, then a belly of feathers sprang from the shell . . . and then nine more.
“Ten little chicks!” she said, counting all her feathered children marching from the hatched egg.
“It must have been the paint! Ten chicks from one egg!” Darling said.
“Why don’t they look like us?” the ducklings said to their momma.
“Because they’re chicks,” Darling said to her ducklings. “Find your manners . . .”
“We’re looking for them!” the ducklings would say every time they poked the chicks with their beaks.
Of course, the chicks gave the ducklings many opportunities to find their manners,
And Darling Duck never lost her beautiful painted eggshell, which was once a motherless orphan.
Thus started the tradition of painting eggs that needed mothers during the springtime season.
Darling Duck taught her ducklings and chicks to paint all orphaned eggs and claim them as their own.
“These are Easter Eggs,” she would say to her children. “Out of them come the greatest miracles.”

Copyright 2015 Jennifer Waters

Dedicated to my mother, Darlene Waters, for her love of Easter eggs. 

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

THE ORCHESTRA'S TALE synopsis

LOGLINE
True Love demands expression, in the very best way.

PITCH
An orchestra’s instruments abandoned by their concertmaster languish in his closet as electronic instruments threaten to replace them. Led by Giuseppe the Violin and Johann the Flute, the entire orchestra comes to life and creates an amazing public concert. Their once-defeated concert master is re-inspired, a descendant of Johan Sebasatian Bach supports the orchestra, and the concert master’s son realizes that real music has more heart than machines and decides to apply his talent to real instruments.

SYNOPSIS 
The whole world needs to know The Orchestra’s Tale!

Giuseppe the Violin and Johann the Flute are sick of sitting on the shelf. Retired Conductor Franz Melodia of the Luneburg Symphony Orchestra lost his funding, so he cannot put on performances for the community. Even his son George has been more interested in electronic instruments and never plays the Violin and the Flute.

If Franz cannot interest his son in getting the Orchestra back on its feet, he will have to sell the instruments now in his closet. Only Clara the Clarinet has broken out of her box to come visit Giuseppe and Johann on the shelf. Once upon a time, she and Johann played gorgeous duets and have been madly in love ever since. Giuseppe and Johann decide that they will organize the return of the Luneburg Symphony Orchestra and free the true love between Clara and Johann.

Franz and George take their annual summer vacation, the instruments come out of the closet, and Giuseppe and Johann organize a revival of the Orchestra. They sneak to the Luneburg Symphony Concert Hall and practice concert material, playing their parts themselves. Upon their return Franz immediately notices that the instruments, including Giuseppe and Johann, are missing. George calls the police and puts out a reward notice for the missing instruments. However, the disillusioned Franz tells his son George that upon return of the instruments, he plans to keep the reward money, sell the instruments to the highest bidder, and put the past in the past.

The Instruments hide and advertise their Sunday afternoon concert. Franz buys two tickets for the concert and takes his son George, who is astounded to find the instruments playing on stage to a sold-out show. In the audience is Jonathan Bach II, a long lost relative of Johann Sebastian Bach, who recognizes the Violin and the Flute. He decides to finance the Orchestra, refurbish the Concert Hall, and conduct special performances, featuring many solos for Giuseppe and duets with Johann and Clara. 

Franz hugs Bach II in tears, grateful for his support. George decides he will learn to play the Violin and the Flute along with his other electronic instruments. Franz is thrilled that the Orchestra has come back to life.

ONE LITTLE LIGHT synopsis

LOGLINE
One candle fights the dark to bring light to the whole wide world.

PITCH
There was only one candle, but it still wanted to light the entire world. The darkness tries to blow the candle out, step on it, freeze it, cut off the air, chip its wax, dump water on it . . . but the nastier the darkness is, the bolder the candle becomes. No one will bully the candle anymore! The little light has become a bright sign of light and love. 

SYNOPSIS 
Once there was a candle that wanted to light the whole wide world. As that light grows, the shadows become angry, and it’s a nasty fight between the darkness and the light.

The darkness tries to blow the candle out, so the candle turns in the other direction. Step on the candle, it burns the person’s sandal. Dump water on it, the candle just burns hotter. Freeze the candle, it burns so hot the handle can’t be held. Cut off the air, the candle just holds its breath. Throw a towel on its flame, the candle burns it up. The candle refuses to waver. If the wick’s at its end, it stretches. Chip its wax, the candle melts to cover the gouges. The candle still shines even when it is sore. When people throw dirt, mud, or sand, the candle stands taller until the bullies put down their slime. The candle knows that darkness cannot compare to the light. Then one day a bucket covers the candle.

The candle is so upset it lights the bucket into a great wild fire that lights more candles. The sun, the moon, and stars shine, catch on and shine all the brighter. All around the world, people light lanterns, candles, and torches. Darkness cannot tamper with the spread of the light. The candle never gives up, and it never gives in. The dark side will not win. This little light has become a sign that love and light are simply divine.

THE LEGEND OF A SEA URCHIN synopsis

LOGLINE
Love knows Love, even when hidden by an evil spell.

PITCH
Princess Gabriella is a lovely, beloved, and talented girl with a Prince who wants to marry her when they both grow up. Her jealous aunt wants to get rid of her so her sons can rule, but when one of them tries to kill Gabriella, the aunt must bargain with a witch to hide him away and send Gabriella to the bottom of the sea—as a poisonous sea urchin. Gabriella’s parents die from grief, and the eldest son miraculously reappears and begins a reign of cruelty over the land. The Prince searches for Gabriella and is drawn to the ocean by the same song she made up for him years ago. Though he sees only a poisonous singing sea urchin, he declares his love, and the spell is broken. They exile her evil cousin and rule their united kingdoms with love. 

SYNOPSIS                                    
The beautiful Princess Gabriella is beloved by her parents and renown for her enchanting music. Prince Francis from the neighboring kingdom of Mirth hopes one day she would be his queen, and Gabriella makes up a song just for him. The Queen’s sister envies her niece’s talents. Morgana tells her oldest son Howard to take Gabriella riding. At first the ride goes smoothly, but then Howard tries to kill her. Gabriella fights back, escapes, and runs all the way home, weeping.

King Zephyr seeks to execute Howard. Morgana visits a witch who knows exactly what to do—turn Gabriella into a sea urchin and cast her deep within the ocean where only true love can break the spell. If anyone finds Gabriella, they will not be able to touch her without being poisoned to death by her spines. The next day, Gabriella is thrust to the bottom of the ocean floor, transformed into a sea urchin. She sings to calm the ocean and keep predators at bay. The King and Queen never find Howard and deduce he must have killed their daughter and then himself. But he’s hidden in the witch’s home as a servant.

The brokenhearted King and Queen die young, and the subjects of Wellington think it a miracle when Howard suddenly reappears after so many years. King Howard wreaks havoc in all of Wellington. Nearby in the prosperous land of Mirth, King Francis has never forgotten the beautiful Princess Gabriella and continues to search for her. One morning, he wakes to a crystal clear aria, crooning across the sea. It’s the one Gabriella made up for him years ago. He dives into the waves and scours the ocean floor, only to come across a singing sea urchin. As he reaches out to touch it, he stops short, realizing the sea creature can poison him with its venom. 

“Love expels every trace of terror!” King Francis declares, and magically Gabriella returns to herself. King Francis embraces Gabriella and kisses her until they float to the surface. Gabriella marries Francis, joining their kingdoms. The witch’s spell backfired because becoming a sea urchin had saved Gabriella from the evil Howard. King Francis and Queen Gabriella exile Howard to a faraway land and rule their new kingdom with love.

GUINEA PIG STEW synopsis

LOGLINE
Gertrude the Great saves a Guinea Pig’s fate.

PITCH
Eight-year-old Gertrude’s homework is to take care of the third grade class’s guinea pig for the weekend, but her Grandmother has a fear of pets and teases Gertrude with funny stories about eating animals . . . at least Gertrude hopes she’s teasing. The guinea pig escapes from its crate and Gertrude scrambles to catch him all over the place. If Grandmother grabs the guinea, Gertrude fears she will make Guinea Pig Stew and Miss Miller will make her retake the third grade. Grandmother threatens to cook the guinea like a steak but Gertrude bravely explains how it’s her weekend homework, so Grandmother says she cooks a “basset hound” instead. On Monday morning, the guinea pig makes it back to class and Gertrude has passed her exam with flying colors.

SYNOPSIS 
When eight-year-old Gertrude the Great’s third grade teacher says it’s her turn to take care of the class guinea pig for the weekend, Gertrude hopes to have sudden fame. But her Grandmother has a fear of pets and gets chills and sweats. She teases Gertrude with funny stories about eating animals . . . at least Gertrude thinks she’s teasing. Gertrude hopes her Grandmother will make concessions and act civil for the two days and two nights.

The guinea pig doesn’t even make a noise when first arriving at home. Then Grandmother tells Gertrude to go outside to play, and she grabs green grass to feed the pet. As she opens the cage, the guinea pig speeds away. Gertrude dives to catch him but he shoots all over the place. If Grandmother grabs the guinea, Gertrude fears she will make Guinea Pig Stew out of him, and Miss Miller will make her retake the third grade.

Grandmother hears Gertrude yelling, but she insists she’s just running laps before dinner. Then she catches the guinea pig’s tail and slides him into the living room. The guinea scurries behind the couch, and Grandmother comes charging from the kitchen, looming over Gertrude’s shoulder. Gertrude crouches beneath the couch’s leg, trying to grab the pig. 

Grandmother sees the guinea pig and thinks it’s a rat. She goes on full attack, threatening to cook it like a steak. Gertrude bravely explains how it’s her weekend homework. Then Gertrude grabs the guinea’s ear and slams her bedroom door in tears. As Gertrude puts the pig back in its cage, Grandma warns that Gertrude better hide the pig until Monday. Gertrude stands her ground until Sunday night, and instead, Grandmother says she cooks a “basset hound.” Monday morning, the guinea pig makes it back to Miss Miller, grateful to be alive. Gertrude has passed her exam with flying colors.

DAFFODIL HILL synopsis

LOGLINE
Dreams can come true in the strangest ways . . . even for a rabbit.

PITCH
Sally the rabbit lives with a girl with pigtails who gives her fresh carrots and pets her every day. Sally’s happiness is ended when the father declares her unclean, banishes her to a wire cage in the back yard, and tells the little girl: “Rabbits are dangerous.” Though sometimes fed by the little girl, Sally is never petted and her misery in the wet cold cage finally ends in a snowy winter sleep. Sally wakes to the little girl’s smile, her hands full of fresh food and a trip up to idyllic Daffodil Hill, where spring flowers and forest animals welcome them both and where they happily decide to stay forever. 

SYNOPSIS 
When Sally the rabbit first goes to live with a family, she runs free inside the house and is fed and petted by the little girl with pigtails, who also sings to her. Sally’s happiness ends when she is banished to a wire cage in the backyard by the father who declares: “Rabbits are dangerous.”

Though still fed by the little girl, Sally is never held or petted. Her life gets worse as rain and cold ruin her food and muddy her water. Her beautiful coat becomes dirty and her tail almost falls off. Brokenhearted, Sally despairs as winter comes. She digs a cave in the snow and hides there shivering, trying to get warm until she falls into a deep sleep. 

Sally wakes to the little girl’s petting, handfuls of fresh food, and a bright spring day. The girl tells Sally about a marvelous place called Daffodil Hill and together they set off. Nose twitching at the fresh smells, Sally is ecstatic to be out of the cage and back in glorious nature. The girl tells her more about Daffodil Hill, and Sally wishes they could both live there.

Yellow sunshine, green grass, butterflies, honeybees, deer, plump carrots, sweet-tasting tulips, a rippling stream—Daffodil Hill is everything the little girl with pigtails promised. Her eyes sparkling with tears of joy, Sally runs through the emerald field, feeling freer than she ever has been in her entire life. The little girl weaves daffodils into her pigtails.

After a while turns into a longer while, the girl stays at Daffodil Hill with Sally the rabbit. Of course, someone needs to help the farmer at Daffodil Hill plant the flowers and vegetables, and the girl decides that it would have to be her, because the Hill can never change. As long as the little girl lives, she needs the comfort of the hillside as much as Sally the rabbit.

MY THINKING CAP synopsis

LOGLINE
One curious little girl tackles all the world’s big questions and finds . . . even more questions.

PITCH
Twelve-year-old Judith Pearl always has questions so she decides to use her scientist father’s Thinking Cap to get some answers. But every question she asks results in even more questions deeper and wider and more mysterious than she had ever thought possible. Judith realizes that she herself must find out the answers and puts aside the Thinking Cap with the promise to tell it everything she learns.

SYNOPSIS 
Judith Pearl, age 12, has more questions than answers. Her quirky scientist father is a certified genius and assures her his Thinking Cap will give her the answers. She also hopes for added intelligence and maybe even a new creative idea.

Though reluctant to be pushy, Judith asks the boldest questions she can about the sun and moon, sky, clouds and stars. Why does the ocean wrap around the earth and how do whales give birth? What’s the worth of a sand dollar, and why are there creepy crawly things?

As Judith considers who made the green grass and trees, she apologizes to the Thinking Cap for her lack of patience. She can’t understand how she ended up with a button in the middle of her belly or why her toes sometimes smell. Why does she have five fingers instead of three? Why when she falls does she scrape her knee? She wants to invent a potion so no one ever bleeds, which seems like a very large need.

Judith wants to know where war and guns come from. Why would anyone shoot someone else’s daughters and sons? Why do some people not have enough to eat? Why do they get sick and how can they get well? What is loneliness? And can any person tell the future?

Judith is ready to take notes but the Thinking Cap just blinks, saying nothing. Is the blinking a code like a poem, song, or ode? What’s the mystery of music and math? Still no answer from the Thinking Cap. Judith sighs and decides that when she finds the answers she’ll let the Thinking Cap know, because her father’s invention only helped her question list to grow.

MR. FERRET AND THE PREPOSTEROUS PORCUPINE synopsis

LOGLINE
Some people just don’t know how to be nice, even when you save their lives . . . but maybe one day.

PITCH
Mr. Ferret relentlessly pokes fun at Mr. Porcupine, who has given up trying to be nice and now just ignores the smelly weasel. Threatened by a pack of wolves, Mr. Ferret does a ridiculous weasel war dance, but Mr. Porcupine sacrifices his full body of quills to drive the wolves away. Mr. Ferret begrudgingly admits Mr. Porcupine might have saved him, but the quill-less Mr. Porcupine is already back up in his tree, sleeping.  

SYNOPSIS 
Mr. Ferret is a nosy know-it-all weasel that likes to tell Mr. Porcupine that he is the most preposterous creature he has ever met. Every morning he hurls insults up the tree, but Mr. Porcupine pretends not to hear. Every ounce of Mr. Porcupine’s flesh wants to throw his quills at the ferret, but he’s afraid Mr. Ferret might get hurt. Or at the very least someone around him might lose an eye. When the kindly-offered leaves and herbs do not calm the weasel, Mr. Porcupine just stays up in his tree, especially when Mr. Ferret leaves behind his potent body odor of rotten eggs.
           
One morning Mr. Ferret slinks by the porcupine’s tree and calls out all sorts of taunting insults. Mr. Porcupine calls back, warning him of a nearby pack of wolves he can see from his higher perspective. Mr. Ferret laughs at him, so Mr. Porcupine sighs and decides to fall back to sleep. All of a sudden, the growling wolves lope over the bank. Every quill on Mr. Porcupine’s body rises in defense. The wolves don’t see him high up in the tree, but they do charge right for the smelly weasel. Instead of running away Mr. Ferret starts a little dance—the weasel war dance. He hops and bumps sideways, clicking and hissing. He squeaks this way and that, showing his teeth, and leaving hairballs at his feet.

Although he can’t stand Mr. Ferret, Mr. Porcupine would miss their morning routine. He often wonders if Mr. Ferret really wants to be friends, but just doesn’t know how to express it.

As the wolves get closer, Mr. Porcupine sends his quills spinning down. He secretly hopes the sharp spines will poke out the eyes of the fierce wolves, and Mr. Ferret will have enough time to run. Before the wolves know what is happening, the quills strike the pack like daggers. They moan, cry, and whimper away. Mr. Ferret keeps on dancing.

Mr. Porcupine climbs down the tree with not one quill intact, explaining that he saved the ferret’s life. When he does not get a positive response, he climbs back up his tree, and shuts his eyes. Then Mr. Ferret takes a step backward and lands on a single porcupine quill. He angrily admits it might have been the porcupine that saved his life and not his dancing. Mr. Porcupine is already snoring, dreaming that his quills grow back very soon. He decides to ignore Mr. Ferret, like he does most mornings, and maybe one day the weasel will save his preposterous porcupine life in return.

THE OTHER SIDE OF THE BASEMENT synopsis

LOGLINE
If you are adventurous and courageous enough, you can find unusual new friends in the most unlikely places.

PITCH
Twelve-year-old Tabitha Rainwater, lonely and bored, discovers a dragon behind all the junk on the other side of the crowded basement, but her parents ignore her excitement. Trying to protect her mom and dad, Tabitha befriends the lonely dragon, discovers its den, and goes flying high above town on its back. Tabitha’s parents admit they knew about the dragon and were only trying to protect her. Now all are relieved and make a cozy basement home for the amazing new addition to their family: Gentleness the dragon.

SYNOPSIS 
Curious Tabitha Rainwater, age 12, a bit lonesome, dares to explore behind the heaped-up piles of junk in her family's crowded basement and discovers a colorful dragon with toenails like long hooks. Her parents ignore her excitement. Sad not to be believed, she tries to pretend the dragon doesn’t exist but that’s really hard to do. Tabitha braves the scary noises and the danger in the basement, takes the dragon a snack, and bandages its broken wing.

Hoping he won’t breathe fire on her, Tabitha digs past all the old junk at the back of the basement, looking for his lair. Before the dragon can explain things to her, she discovers a cold dark tunnel and immediately dives into it, with the dragon, hurrying close behind. At the end of the tunnel is a dark, empty den. The dragon has no family, just a big nest. Tabitha realizes why the dragon must have liked her parents’ basement so much. Even if he was in hiding, he almost had a family and must have longed to be friends. She hopes that she hasn’t hurt his feelings.

Then Tabitha jumps on the dragon’s back, and he takes off in flight. They soar above the clouds and up to the heavens. The 8-year old is really excited that her family and home will now be renown. After a spectacular landing in her front yard, her parents admit they always knew about the dragon, but were trying to protect her from being scared, so they locked it away and piled high the junk.

Tabitha’s courage, compassion, and sense of adventure bring understanding to her parents. The dragon, now named Gentleness, was just looking for a family and friends. Tabitha clears away the junk and makes a cozy home for Gentleness on the other side of the basement. The Rainwaters are now one big, happy family.

SINGING LESSONS synopsis

LOGLINE
If a blind and deaf woman can learn to sing—just think what you can do!

PITCH
Fourteen-year-old Helen Keller—deaf and blind but very smart—comes to 1894 New York with her trusted teacher Annie Sullivan so Helen can take singing lessons to improve her speaking. Helen battles not only her physical problems but also her own wavering confidence and the frustrating difficulty of creating meaningful sounds. Through lessons and visits to the symphony and a dog show, Helen explores the “feel” of sounds; and after a trip to the inspiring Statue of Liberty, embraces a courage and new confidence that the freedom to sing is enough.   

SYNOPSIS 
The blind will see, the deaf will hear, and those people who sing off key will sound like angels. At age 14, Helen Keller and her trusted teacher, Annie Sullivan, 28, come to bustling New York City in 1894 so Helen can take singing lessons in order to talk better. Although deaf and blind, Helen is not timid enough to give up. She starts classes in lip-reading, math, English literature, U.S. history, and keeps a diary. Intimidated by singing lessons, Helen embraces the piano and physically senses the music. Recognizing the beauty others experience through music, she wants that, too.   

Helen’s progress is slow. She tries to keep her hand on her a professor’s throat or on the piano, but becomes confused easily. She is devastated that she must re-learn breathing. Helen longs to sound beautiful and make everyone stop and listen. She imagines beautiful birds singing, but her own singing is forced and her voice sounds bitter. She is embarrassed and not sure she wants to continue the lessons.

Meanwhile, Annie learns techniques from the school’s professors that may help her better teach Helen. Isolated by her physical impairments, Helen feels increasingly alone in her journey not only to speak, but also to sing. She improves a little in lip-reading but still cannot read rapid speech. She wants so much to persevere and succeed, if only she could talk and sing like other people.

Helen attends the symphony where she senses the magnificent music through her feet. At a dog show, the barking feels to a delighted Helen like a dog-orchestra. She enjoys the rhythm of the piano and asks for private lessons, hoping it will help her singing. She tries to hum the tones that she feels coming from the piano but is again frustrated by the barriers as she imagines writing wonderful hymns on the piano.

A visit to the Statue of Liberty inspires in Helen a renewed will to sing and talk more clearly. Though she wants others to think she sings beautifully, she now embraces the freedom to sing whether or not other people approve. At her next lesson, Helen imagines a beautiful, soaring voice . . . hers. She is finally free from judgment.

[Production Note: The nature of Helen’s journey can be told through variations in the sounds the audience hears: everything as usual; no sound when they see what Helen feels; then hear how she imagines the vibrations would sound. A palette of period-sepia goldens and browns would symbolize Helen’s blindness, while accents of blue would signal her varying emotions.]

THE HARP OF IRIS synopsis (THE WHIRLWIND CHRONICLES part four)

LOGLINE
When the Rainbow Bridge from one world to the next is broken, 10-year old Priscilla, the Queen of Zur, must brave the dizzying heights to find and repair the path for souls to travel.

PITCH
Priscilla, 10, is visited by Iris, the Keeper of the Rainbow, who pleads with her to help restore the Rainbow Bridge, so that people who die can make their way into the Whirlwind. There are deadly breaches in the Rainbow Bridge, and Iris needs Priscilla’s help to restore the path. The evil Countess T’zila Tzigane, thought dead, reappears to stop Priscilla helping souls to travel the Rainbow Bridge. Priscilla braves the Countess’ ire and sings the harp songs of Iris to restore the bridge. Braving her own destruction, Priscilla descends into the Whirlwind to get a new song that can free and save those who were lost on the broken Rainbow Bridge.

SYNOPSIS 
Ten-year old Priscilla, recently made Queen of Zur, is visited by Iris, the goddess of rainbows—the path for souls to reach the Whirlwind. Iris needs Priscilla to journey with her into the heavens, singing the song of The Whirlwind and helping to collect the dreamers lost because the Rainbow Bridge is breaking up.

Overcoming her vertigo and braving the dizzying heights and sharp breaches of the Rainbow Bridge, Priscilla sets out with Iris to collect the lost dreamers from many different planets and realities. When the evil Countess appears, Iris is sucked into a black hole. Priscilla catches Iris’ harp and sings its song until the Countess disappears because of its effects.

But not for long. The Countess reappears to plague Priscilla and prevent her from reaching The Whirlwind on the Rainbow Bridge. Finally descending into The Whirlwind, Priscilla confronts the Whirlwind with Iris’ harp, terrified that she will not return. She meets many dreamers from decades ago. She even sees Rafael, the man who first taught her about dreaming. He leads her to the deepest part of The Whirlwind, where he thinks she can find a new song for the harp to recreate the Rainbow Bridge.

After descending into The Whirlwind, Priscilla barely makes it back. She ascends from The Whirlwind with a new song in Iris’ harp, only to find Iris caught in a cosmic dust storm with Countess T’zigane’s shadow. Priscilla sings the new song from Iris’ harp until the Rainbow Bridge reconstructs itself, and the Countess’ dust shadow disappears. Priscilla returns to Zur with Iris’ harp as her own, ready to lead her people in the ways of here and beyond, to the benefit of all.

FATHER CHRISTMAS synopsis

LOGLINE
Before there was Santa Claus . . . there was Father Christmas.

PITCH
Toymaker Nicholas gets a mission from the angel Gabriel—defend and protect the neglected village children. He gives them coins and toys, sings songs, and tells tales of magical flying reindeer, much to the chagrin of the disgruntled village priest who insists Nicholas give his money to the church. When Nicholas gives a poor man with three daughters coins for their dowries, they name him “Father Christmas.” The priest cannot prove Nicholas is behind all the gifts that should be going to his church, until he catches Nicholas dropping purses down chimneys. He cancels Christmas Mass and orders all gifts returned to the church. Seemingly defeated, Nicholas gets another visit from Gabriel, who assures him the local priest will soon be arrested and insists Nicholas vow to protect the children. He reluctantly agrees. The priest tricks the unmarried women and children to gather in the monastery, holds them hostage, and insists Nicholas pay for their release. Nicholas jumps down the chimney to save them, and the priest is arrested. Heroic Nicholas is put in charge of the church, and as Father Christmas, ensures children are never neglected and unmarried daughters always have dowries. 

SYNOPSIS 
In a magical, golden olde world, toymaker Nicholas is visited by the angel Gabriel, who announces that God is sending the middle-aged childless Nicholas to defend and protect the neglected children of the village. Nicholas doubts he can live up to such a high calling, but grabs his purse and heads into the night. At each home he secretly puts coins in the children’s shoes sitting in doors and windows. The next morning, all the children have money for bread, meat, and even candy. Nicholas gives toys, sits on the cathedral steps singing songs, and tells tales of magical flying reindeer. The disgruntled village priest insists Nicholas give his money to the church and stop making up lies.

When Nicholas gives a poor man with three daughters coins for their dowries they name him “Father Christmas.” Although the priest suspects Nicholas is behind the gifts that should be going to his church, he cannot prove it.  But on Christmas Eve he catches Nicholas dropping purses down chimneys. The priest cancels Christmas Mass and orders people to return their gifts to the church, proclaiming that hungry children and unmarried women are better off living at the monastery than taking gifts from the toymaker Nicholas. Nicholas goes home in defeat, but that night there’s another visit from the angel Gabriel, who says the local priest will soon be arrested. Gabriel insists that Nicholas vow to protect the children and he reluctantly agrees.


Despite the irate priest’s threats, Nicholas continues to gift the village children and daughters. The priest tricks the unmarried women and children to gather in the monastery. He holds them hostage and insists Nicholas pay the church for their release. Nicholas jumps down the monastery chimney to save them and the priest is arrested. As hero of the village, Nicholas is put in charge of the church. Father Christmas makes sure children are never neglected, and unmarried daughters always have dowries.

THE PEACEABLE KINGDOM synopsis

LOGLINE
Unlikely friendships, personal courage, and loyalty can save the day and bring peace to a troubled Kingdom.

PITCH
This story series (for ages 4-9) features Shirley the Lamb, Roger the Lion, Chloe the Cow, the Little Child, Joe the Leopard, Martin the Goat, Leah the Calf, Gabrielle the Wolf, Todd the Yearling, Rachel the Bear, Harold the Ox, and Zachary the Cobra, with moral stories that have universal appeal, based on archetypes from classic literature. The tales are reminiscent of Aesop’s Fables with a child’s perspective, while the overall theme and characters are based on The Peaceable Kingdom in Isaiah 11 of the Bible.

Young Shirley the Lamb and Roger the Lion are the main characters, with Zachary the Cobra as the antagonist. The Cobra family disrupts the peace in the Kingdom, breaks up the friendships, and wreaks all kinds of havoc, while the other characters have to work together to maintain their friendships even though they are very different animals.

Each story features, in addition to Shirley and Roger, one of the animals and their particular abilities and foibles and how that gets them into trouble. Problem-solving by respecting each other’s uniqueness and by working together in spite of drastic differences shows how real people of great diversity can come together to make a better world.

The STORIES
“Meet Shirley the Lamb” – Romeo and Juliet
“Meet Zachary the Cobra” – Rumpelstiltskin
“Meet Roger the Lion” – Sleeping Beauty
“Meet Joe the Leopard” – Pinocchio
“Meet Gabrielle the Wolf” – Red Riding Hood
“Meet Martin the Goat” – Three Little Pigs
“Meet Leah the Calf” – Cinderella
“Meet Todd the Yearling” – The Ugly Duckling
“Meet the Little Child” – Goldilocks
“Meet Chloe the Cow” – Rapunzel
“Meet Rachel the Bear” – Alice in Wonderland
“Meet Harold the Ox” – Beauty and the Beast

SYNOPSIS – “Meet Shirley the Lamb”
Eight-year-old Shirley the Lamb doesn’t think she matters much to anyone. She doesn’t have a tail because a lion bit it off. Her family always makes fun of her, teasing her because she lacks the wooly waggler and looks incomplete to them. When Shirley becomes friends with young Roger the Lion, he never makes fun of her for missing a tail. Roger always walks beside her and makes a point not to wag his own tail since she doesn’t have one to wag. Sometimes, he even picks her up with his mouth and carries Shirley on his back. After spending time in the meadow together, Roger shares with her his secret of being afraid of the dark. Shirley teaches him to look for constellations up in stars at night, so Roger will never be scared again. Roger and Shirley fall in love, never knowing their families are involved in an age-long feud. Lambs and lions are supposed to hate each other.

When Shirley and Roger’s families find out from Zachary the Cobra about their friendships, they are forbidden to see each other. Shirley’s family tells her that lions do nothing but eat lambs and she’s lucky she only lost a tail. Roger’s parents tell him if he sees Shirley again he better not come back unless he eats her. Shirley cries herself to sleep that night as she looks up at the stars and thinks of Roger. A few nights later, Roger conquers his fear of the dark and using the stars to guide him, visits Shirley at her barn window. He promises her that they are still going to be friends, even if it’s a secret.

Days later, Shirley and Roger talk in the high grass by the river when Chloe the Cow tells them that Zachary is right, and they should go home before they start an all-out war in the Kingdom. After Chloe leaves, Roger tells Shirley that he has figured it out—the Cobras love to fuel feuds between families. They want everyone in the Kingdom to riot and kill the Little Child who is the future king. The Little Child’s father, King George, has been working hard to bring the land together in peace. The Cobra family wants to be in charge of the Kingdom and undo King George’s work.

When Zachary slithers through the grass to hear Roger telling Shirley about the Cobra family’s intentions, Zachary wicks out his sword-like tongue and tells them they will be sorry. A group of animals with Zachary are scared of him and do whatever he says. Joe the Leopard pounces next to Roger. Gabrielle the Wolf, Martin the Goat, Leah the Calf, Todd the Yearling, Rachel the Bear, and Harold the Ox join Zachary in intimidating Shirley and Roger. Before Roger can pounce on Zachary, the vicious snake slips away with the other animals. Shirley blames Roger for the argument and says her parents are right. She tells Roger that she never wants to see him again. She says lions are dangerous. Roger says lambs are weak.

Later that night, the Kingdom goes into a fury when King George is murdered and the Little Child is missing. Guards search for the Little Child and King George’s assassin. When they find a bloody knife in a potted plant on the porch of Roger’s family cave, Roger is held in suspicion for killing King George. Shirley stands up for Roger and says that he would never kill King George. That night, Shirley runs away with Roger to search for the Little Child. She apologizes for accusing him and tells him that they have to work together to find the Little Child. Shirley almost loses her life when the cobras attack and try to bite her tail, but she doesn’t have one so she gets away. She and Roger rescue the Little Child from Zachary’s family. Roger bites Zachary so severely that he almost dies. Thus, Shirley and Roger escape with the help of the other animals in the Kingdom, who sees firsthand the evil doings of the Cobra family. With the Little Child safely crowned and on the throne, Shirley and Roger are heroes in the Kingdom.