PODCAST Author and storyteller, Kathryn Ross, invites you to a cozy retreat through the power of His Story! God’s riches in history, the arts, and the glories of Creation, take center stage at The Writer’s Reverie Podcast. Dramatized readings ignite a love of learning and literacy for the Christian family, as biblical truths come to life for children of all ages. Engaging topics inform and enrich seeking hearts, with sweet morsels of thoughtful reflection. Words to lighten both the day and the darkness–because telling His Story always leads to all good things and beauty.
ENCORE EPISODE #7–Betsy Ross: Patriots, Petticoats, and Providential History
Teaching and learning accurate American history is vital to securing and stewarding our national sovereignty, culture, values, and hard won liberties under God. The stories of our founder’s lives become a beacon of light to model in turbulent days when our nation’s very existence is under attack. Men and women of fatih risked everything to secure our freedom. Here’s a short story about the life of Betsy Ross, whose life should be a role model for modern women in critical times. Links to the print version published in the 2018 July and August issues of RUBY Magazine as Part 1 and Part 2 are provided.
EPISODE #25–Vintage Book Treasure Hunt: Training Up Children by Seeking Old Paths
We live in perilous times of societal confusion and chaos. American families, faith, and traditional values built into our Judeo-Christian heritage are under full assault by powers seeking to destroy them. What hope is there for contemporary families who are raising the next generation through such challenging times? Jeremiah 6:16 gives us God’s direction to walk in the ways of the old paths wherein is peace. My latest Vintage Book Treasure Hunt uncovered an 1885 gem, The Home Instructor: A Guide to Life in Private and Public, packed with sage advice and timeless truths we can apply to our lives today in our charge to “train up a child in the way he should go.” I lay out the problem and the preface to this book that will be fodder for a continuing series. Stay tuned.
SPECIAL UPDATED EPISODE #5–Excerpts from The Gatekeeper’s Key
My latest book, The Gatekeeper’s Key, was nominated for the Christian Indie Awards for 2018 in the devotional genre. Check out this updated post with the audio dramatized abridged excerpt from chapter one PLUS links to three other abridged excerpts, originally published as podcast posts in 2016, that became the foundation for chapters in the book.
Episode #24–Vintage Book Treasure Hunt: Lamplighter Books Making Old New Again
I love old books! Lamplighter Ministries loves old books, too. For over twenty years, they’ve been reintroducing classic family literature to modern audiences that have been out of print for over one hundred years. Learn about their vision for family literacy and a special book review on the 2017 Book of the Year, The Secret Bridge, by Amy LeFeuvre. Contact links included!
Episode #23–Vintage Book Treasure Hunt: Reading Resolutions for 2018
It’s a new year and time to take a good look at those bookshelves you’re organizing. I’ll bet you’ll find some terrific reading you forgot all about! This month I share some reading resolutions I’m making for myself–and a list of resolutions you may consider to aid the development of a Family Literary Lifestyle. On the priority list is this vintage book of Bible stories, perfect for reading aloud–a necessary part of binding hearts and minds as a family and to the Lord. Click to listen and read all about it in Ruby Magazine!
Episode #22–Vintage Book Treasure Hunt: Have Yourself a Dickens of a Christmas
We’re all familiar with Charles Dickens’ classic, A Christmas Carol, but have you spent Christmas with Mr. Pickwick at the Wardle’s family festivities? Six years before Scrooge and Tiny Tim, readers across England and America delighted in the traditional joys of Christmas Eve celebrated in this 1836-1837 classic. A bit of literary history and dramatized readings from the Christmas party chapter make this a joyous addition to your holiday reflections.
Episode #21–Vintage Book Treasure Hunt: The Courtship of Miles Standish
When acclaimed American poet, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was challenged to write a poetic tale about pilgrims and Puritans, he didn’t need to go any further than his own family tree for research. Longfellow was a descendent of Mayflower pilgrims, John and Priscella Alden. But, the family story of how they came to be wed is a fascinating slice of colonial American history and lifestyles of the pilgrims living on Plimoth Plantation in the 1620s. Listen in on the details found in Miss Kathy’s antique volume of The Courtship of Miles Standish.
Episode #20–Vintage Book Treasure Hunt: Sticky Stories for Family Read Alouds
When I see the leaves fall and feel that chill in the air, the spiders come out to weave sticky business on the eaves of my house, reminding me of a sticky story from my childhood. A cautionary tale Mother read aloud to me, Mary Howitt’s, The Spider and the Fly. Listen in as I share about the vintage poetry book I still have from my mother’s collection, and the bonus dramatization of the classic poem.
Episode #19–Vintage Book Treasure Hunt: Restoring the Family Altar
WWI had ended as the new year 1919 dawned. Hope for renewal mingled with the tears and trauma of the destruction of lives and fortunes suffered over the course of four years. At the close of his own life, Pastor John Wilbur Chapman penned his final admonishment to the church in an effort to right the ship and, like a compass, return the Christian family and Western society to the sure anchor of peace and healing: the restoration of the father-led home and family altar of devotions. Stirring words for such a time as this one hundred years later.
Episode #18–Vintage Book Treasure Hunt: A Book for Laura
Welcome to the first in a NEW SERIES of posts and podcasts titled, Vintage Book Treasure Hunt. Each month, I’ll extract selections from some of the wonderful antique and vintage books in my collection and introduce you to both the obscure and the famous writers of the 19th and early 20th century. What did they know about the realities of life that we in the 21st century might be wise to ponder as truths for living today? What is, has been. We are wise to learn from those who have walked the paths before us. In this podcast episode, we’ll meet Laura, Emma, and Sadie, and wonder at the words in the book of devotions gifted to Laura at the close of World War I in 1919. Who was Laura and what clues can we discover about her based on the handwritten poem and prayer she etched in the back of this volume in a season of great loss and changes in our nation’s history? Join me on this Vintage Book Treasure Hunt!
Episode #17–Stopping Along the Way in Fragrant Fields
Today, I’m on a collision course with God’s grace. As I round a curve in the road, Jesus meets me face to face in the guise of a Fragrant Field. Join me as I share an excerpt from my book, Fragrant Fields: Poetic Reflections for Journaling. Discover the rest, renewal, and restoration of stopping by the side of your highway of “busy” to bask in the inspiration of God’s Spirit through the glories of His Creation.
Episode #16–Discover the Handmaiden of History
My love for history exploded with fresh perspective when I surveyed the stages of time with a view to setting, plot, and characters played out in scenes as determined by the Master Playwright and Storyteller. History as His Story sent me on the path to discover the place of literature in human societies as the Handmaiden of History. Listen in on my journey to laying the cornerstone to a Family Literacy Lifestyle.
Episode #15–Irish Storytelling: Legend and Love
Storytelling is an important facet of Irish culture. Their tales descend from olden days, when the first Celtic societies settled the rugged, green Irish landscapes. The Irish have always understood the power of story and were instrumental in restoring literacy and learning to Western Europe after the fall of Rome thrust civilization into the dark ages. Stories of legend and love permeate their culture–and one in particular is my favorite. I share my own adaptation on The Legend of the Claddagh with a wee bit o’ the Irish brogue and a slice of melodrama for a sweet St. Patrick’s Day podcast.
Epidode #14–The Key of Love and Locked Iron Gates
Have you felt stuck on this side of a locked iron gate, able to see through to the other side where so much promise awaits–but for the KEY to unlock and open the way for crossing thresholds? Yeah–it’s about “what the starling said” and some dramatized scenes from Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park.
Episode #13–Vintage Conversations: A New Year Meditation
Settle down with a cuppa tea and some conversation with two voices from over one hundred years ago as I share this dramatized chapter reading on entering a new year in The Joyful Life, by Margaret Elizabeth Sangster, published in 1903. You’ll love these “vintage voices” talking about topics that are still relevant to Christian women in 2017. A sense of sisterhood across the generations binds us together no matter the years that pass. Take Joy!
Episode #12–A Vintage Voice from a Christmas Past
I came into possession of a glorious antique book by Margaret E. Sangster, a prolific writer and magazine editor in the 19th and early 20th century. The green and gold embossed, cloth covered treasure featured a collection of her devotional thoughts in a glorious 1903 edition titled The Joyful Life. I’m sharing some excerpts from a chapter called, Christmas Holly, with Mrs. Sangster’s thoughts for marking the day in your home, with your family, and the community at large, authored over a century ago. She writes eloquently on five specific topics:
- On the Glory of the Season
- On Children and Christmas
- On Christmas Ornamentations
- On Christmas Presents
- On the True Meaning of Christmas
Episode #11–Salt on the Table
Has your salt lost its flavor? Looking at the condition of our nation in present times, with the uptick of ungodliness and unrighteousness in our land, it would appear that the Christian’s “God Flavors” have been far too contained in our cozy pantries rather than being spilt out liberally to heal our land in crucial places, and restore our God-given republic. Let’s talk about that . . . for such times as these . . .
Episode #10–Election Year Message: Come Down to Earth and Be Still
In this stormy election year, we feel like we’re on a pendulum swinging to and fro with unrest. What a whirlwind season we are living through on God’s historical timeline! Are you feeling short of breath, void of peace, perplexed in mind, and weary in spirit? Welcome to Election 2016. But, more to the point–welcome to my Election Year Message via podcast: Come Down to Earth and Be Still.
Episode #9–Why Reading Aloud as a Family Matters Today
How did a poetry book from 1925 from a love story with a sad ending set me on a course for the passion I have for books and reading? When modern living with all its rush-about busyness, and the stresses of life in the 21st century, fractured families need to come to a complete STOP! and take into consideration a tried and true activity to restore the authority of the home, cement familial relationships, enhance academic prowess on all levels, and make cherished memories one with another. We turn back the clock to learn what the family understood to be true to these purposes 100 years ago. Defining the terms of “family literacy” is my back-to-school message this year with the why, how, and recommendations for making reading aloud together a priority in your home.
Episode #8–When Mice Make Way for the Lion’s Roar
Ever feel like you’re just too small to make any difference when big scary schemes threaten to upend your world? I think a lot of folks have been feeling like that of late. Perfect time to re-read C. S. Lewis’ classic for one of the most underrated scenes in the story–but one that is relevant to our calling in such times as these. Dramatizations featured from The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe—plus additional resources and journal prompts.
Episode #7–Patriots, Petticoats, and Providential History
When George Washington commissioned Betsy Ross to create the first American flag in the spring of 1776, his design featured a six-pointed star. He thought cutting equal sides in a six-pointed star would be easier than five points. However, Betsy knew better. Learn her story in this month’s podcast titled: Patriots, Petticoats, and Providential History.
Episode #6: Spiritual Keepsakes on Trial-Laden Road Trips
When the road trips of your life become one mountain peak after another with seemingly no end, the travel companions you allow in the passenger seat can make all the difference between steering madly off a cliff and trucking on with patient endurance until you’ve arrived at your destination. I lived this first hand the year I moved to Idaho and had to cross the Grand Teton Mountains. I’m living it now–in circumstances that feel like unending mountains in my life. How about you? What kind of souvenir keepsakes will you take home from a trial-laden road trip? This is the audio version of an article published in the June 2016 issue of Ruby for Women Magazine.
Episode #5: UPDATED The Gatekeeper’s Key–Nominated Indie Book Awards 2018
Are you seeking gatekeepers in your life? What must you do to be worthy of an invitation . . . to be worthy of a Key to Opportunity so you can cross the threshold of your portal to potential? Enjoy this abridged version of chapter one from the 2017 book release of The Gatekeeper’s Key: Crossing Thresholds through Portals of Potential. In this metaphorical short story, Miss Kathy introduces you to Weaver, whose words are threaded together into a tapestry of story. When she meets with others in the marketplace where tales are traded, she shrinks back from venturing forward to petition the Master Story Weaver–the Gatekeeper–for the Key to Opportunity. But, what happens on one particular day could change her world . . . if she accepts the Invitation. Will she GO? Whether you’re a writer or other creative, or whether you’re seeking to step fully into the Field of Your Dreams, whatever they may be, you will be inspired and challenged by this tale. Want to read more? Purchase the complete book HERE.
Episode #4: Holy Moments in No Man’s Land
Once again, Miss Kathy takes her listeners back in time to Christmas Eve of 1914, in the trenches of France where the British and Germans were dug-in a scant 30 feet away from each other–No Man’s Land. But, what’s that sound rising from their hiding places in the ground? Miss Hilda remembers it well as she sits almost lifeless in an assisted living common room listening to Miss Kathy tell the tale. What’s that sound rising from her own voice when Miss Kathy begins to sing the familiar carol, Silent Night, in German? Not a dry eye will be had as this true story linking yesterday with today and the power of Christ’s coming celebrated at Christmas come full circle through the power of story.
Episode #3: From Leyden to Liberty
Take a whirlwind trip through time to events leading up to the Plimoth Plantation Thanksgiving in 1621! Miss Kathy lays the foundation for a deeper understanding of this historic event in American history and it’s impact on us today. From the English pilgrims unrest in their homeland due to persecution, to their uneasy stay in the secular culture of Holland to the treacherous crossing of the Atlantic and establishing of a colony in the cold climate of the Massachusetts Bay on Cape Cod, this true tale of Christian faith and resilience, miraculous provision, and truly grateful hearts is always inspirational. Learn the folk ballad sung on Plimoth Plantation about the daily trials of living in this fledgling colony–and how they always “praised Jehovah for our God is good.”
Episode #2: When the Pageant Wagon Comes to Town
When I was teaching in a Principle Approach school some 20 years ago, I had to create a curriculum about the history of drama and storytelling. Little did I know then how my research and teaching of that course would become part of the fibers of my being. When I studied the impact of the Pageant Wagons of the middle ages on the landscape of Europe for the purposes of advancing the Gospel and restoring literacy and learning to the masses–through the power of story and the arts–I knew this would become part of the rest of my life. Learn the epic tale that was the seed-bed of my literacy advocacy speaking programs and publishing as Pageant Wagon Productions and Pageant Wagon Publishing. Grab a cuppa tea and enjoy a 20 minute epic adventure of story!
Episode #1–Expect the Extraordinary: What I Learned from a Woodchuck
In this debut episode, Kathryn Ross shares a “burning bush moment” in the guise of a woodchuck. Have you ever been stopped in your tracks by coming face to face with the “extraordinary” in the course of your very “ordinary” day? Do you rush by–or stop. And take the time to hear God’s voice whisper to your heart. SPECIAL FEATURE: Read along with the storytelling in this short spoken word dramatization of an article of the same name published in the FREE online Christian magazine Autumn 2015 issue of Ruby for Women.