First I heard the stories that my mother and father told me.

This is where the core of my stories came  from to begin with, this little girl who loved stories so much. I remember the AA Milne books and the Book House book. There was the story about the dog in the manger which Mama read to me over and over (I think I must have been very stingy with my little sisters), and the poem about the Sandman who was scary, bending over the children when they were asleep and sprinkling dreams into their eyes.  In one of our AA Milne books there was a poem about bad King John who was not a good man, but wanted a big, red, India rubber ball for Christmas.  I felt kind of sorry for that bad king.  I remember even when I was that young thinking about how long ago people had believed in God and being reassured by “the grownups'” beliefs.  I pictured a peasant in the snow with ivy and holly above his head at Christmas.  He stood waiting outside a tall door.  I’m not sure what he was waiting for. I think this memory must have come  from Christmas songs about people trudging through the snow and the greens of the season.  My parents imparted the idea that the old tales held all the promise and all the guidance that I or anyone else needed.  That was not entirely true but when I look back now, I don’t think I’ve learned much that those stories didn’t tell me one way or the other. So it’s not just the writing of the stories that’s important. The reading is just as much so if not more.  Enjoy what’s here all you want. I usually enjoyed writing them, most of them.  Thanks – Marianne


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