Anita's Notebook - Life is better with stories!


  • About This Blog

    A picture of Anita Wirawan in Anchorage, Alaska.

    My name is Anita Wirawan and I love stories :).
    Stories can: make you smile -- show a deeper meaning behind something -- or even change your life.
    I started this blog in 2008 after my brother Jody died & over the years it's become my notebook for stories.

    My mission is to find the best stories to share with you.
    So go ahead... look around and read some stories!

    If you have questions or comments, text (909) 264-8248 or email me using the form below...

    Yes I will answer :) just make sure you put in your email address:
  • **What are people saying about the stories on Anita's Notebook??**

    Love the stories I've read so far,can't wait for another one!
    -Melissa N




    hey anita this story was mind blowing and scary .I n my friends freaked out after reading this story ,awesome job man !!!!!!!


    i wanted to thank you for all of your amazing stories.
    -Paniz S


    i couldn't choose one so i chose all they were all gr8
    -Karina C


    I love it honey....stuff like that makes me tear up every just goes to show the bond of siblings no matter how much they agree and disagree.
    -Tonja H


    This is much more believable then that stupid rugrats theory thanks for putting the truth out there :-D
    -Ivy S


    Haaiiii (: i just started reading your blog, you are amazing :o!^___^ lol
    -Angie M




    that was soo scary ^ ^ those red eyes gave me the creeps lol


    I like more stories as it's near Halloween. I find them quite interesting while I'm in bed for the night. Keep up the good work
    -Tracey C


    That was an awesome story personaily i love slender man so this story just made my day
    -Evie M


    i read all of ur stories lol i just love scary stories ^ ^


    I enjoyed the article about Hello kitty's history. I learned many things throughout this article and had a few laughs as well.
    -Charity M


    I love this story, I love to read your storys before I go to sleep its very exciting and it just makes me wanna read more and more ... Anita, I love your stories just keep them coming. :)


    This is a beautiful and heartwarming story. Thanks!


    Loved both stories the scary one nd the boy with the coins nd mean waitress :) cant wait for more stories :D


    i liked it! can you send me all your new storys plz


    -Doralina P


    Hope you post more scary stories. :D, Loved this! Now we all just need a campfire and some smores :D


    it helps me to just come here and look up stories. it also helps me past the time by when im not tending to childern. i loved the story of bloody mary. its my favorite thing to read about. so thank you for puting up this notebook.
    -Desiray M


    I like this better than the more "traditional" Cinderella stories, frankly.


    Hi Anita, So this isn't a question, but I recently saw your posts about the Hey Arnold! truth and then, about the Rugrats truth. I just wanted to say thank you writing these posts. I have been wondering the real stories for a long time, hoping that the "truths" I kept reading about were untrue. And now I know they are. You saved my childhood=o) Also, I love stories too=o)


    The stories you've posted so far have really fueled my interest in legends
    -Joyce S


    Lovely. Last night I read it, as if I'm a child. The more I read the more I was delighted. I wanted that this be real :). Thank you, I love this.
    -Lizbeth W


    Oh my god , this is so weird i been looking for answers like this for many years thank you! : )


    More STORIES PLEASE ! I love them !!!
    -Brianna C


    I have been reading your stories for a long time and you have inspired me to look further in to things than just the obvious. you have made my life so interesting, THANK YOU. (:


*The Sound Of Music: The Surprising True Story Behind The Movie*

Picture of the original Sound Of Music movie with Julie Andrews.Jennifer and I were watching The Sound Of Music movie a while back, and like often happens after a movie is over, we wondered if it was based on a true story or not.

Jennifer got her phone out and it was only a few seconds before she said “Yup, it’s a true story!”

A little more reading into it though showed that the true story was quite a bit different than the movie…


The true story of The Sound Of Music starts when Maria was just a child, where even at a young age she didn’t have a place where she belonged.

Her mother had died when she was 2 years old, and her father didn’t want her around so he always made sure she lived with other people. Eventually she ended up in the care of her Uncle Franz, but maybe ‘care’ isn’t the right word.

Uncle Franz would go out of his way to punish Maria for anything and everything, or even nothing. Sometimes if she even dared to pick a flower on the side of the road on the way home from school Uncle Franz would use it as a reason to punish her.

Picture of the real Maria Von Trapp as a little girl.This kind of treatment would make most kids become shy, but for Maria it just made her more free spirited. She figured that if she was going to get punished anyway then she might as well try to have fun.

Maria developed an outgoing (and sometimes loud) personality, and loved being in groups of people. But despite all this, she still felt like she didn’t belong. There was, however, a building where she could find a bit of solace.


It’s hard to imagine it now, but in the time and place that Maria grew up music could be very hard to find.

Sure you could sing to yourself, but if you wanted to hear great music made by other people you had to have money to go see live concerts. For a poor girl like Maria that left her with only one other option: church.

Picture of the real Maria Von Trapp as a young woman.She wasn’t very religious at the time, but she was still drawn to her local church because there she could listen to the most amazing music she’d ever heard in her life. And she loved music with a passion. Each Sunday she’d sit in her seat and just soak in the music, and over the years the message of the church soaked in as well.

One Sunday Maria decided to dedicate her life to religion by becoming a nun and joining a convent. By this time she’d developed a big personality, and doing things full blast as usual she didn’t just join any old convent …she entered the strictest convent available to her. This, she figured, would show just how dedicated she was.

But things didn’t work out exactly as she had hoped.


Scene from the Sound Of Music where Maria is shocked to see The Captain calling his kids with a whistle.

Like in the movie, the free spirited and outgoing Maria was quite a shock to the strict convent. She ran around whistling loudly, sometimes giggling and skipping, even sliding down the old bannisters in the (once) quiet convent halls.

The other nuns admired her dedication to the church but one thing was for sure, she didn’t belong.

It wasn’t long before Maria found herself …volunteered… to take a break from being a nun and work as a live-in teacher for a local family, the Von Trapps.

In the movie Maria first meets the Von Trapp family when the stern and harsh father Mr. Von Trapp, aka ‘The Captain’, calls his kids with a little whistle from around his neck and they all line up like soldiers. Turns out that the real Mr. Von Trapp did actually call his kids with a whistle, but otherwise was a very gentle and easygoing father figure.

Picture of the real Georg Von Trapp aka The Captain in the Sound Of Music.His first wife had died some time before and he was a single father of 7 children. Unlike in the movie, the Von Trapp children already knew about music, but Maria brought them out of their shells by taking them on outings in the country where they would all play and sing.

And most importantly, she brought a joy to the household that handn’t been there since their mother died. Mr. Von Trapp saw how Maria made his kids happy so he decided to pop the question. Maria however, didn’t like him that way. Instead of saying yes or no, she panicked and ran back to get the advice of the head nun in the abbey.

Perhaps not real excited about the idea of the free spirited Maria back at the quiet abbey, the head nun told her that it was “God’s will” that she marry Mr. Von Trapp.

Picture of the real Maria Von Trapp on her wedding day.And so the strictly religious Maria agreed to get married. On her wedding day she was fuming, she felt angry at God and her new husband because really, all she wanted to do was be a nun and sing in church.


The kids weren’t exactly thrilled about the marriage either. They loved Maria but they looked to her as a sister, not a mother. While Mr. Von Trapp was 47 years old, Maria was 21 …only a few years older than the oldest of the Von Trapp kids.

Yeah, talk about awkward situations for everyone. To make things worse not long after the marriage, the bank the wealthy Von Trapps used completely failed. All their money was now gone. Mr. Von Trapp refused to get a job, however, because he felt like it was below his status to work for a living.

Picture of the real Von Trapp family from The Sound Of Music.Maria knew that she had to do something so she seized control.

She saw an opportunity for the family to earn a living doing something good so she pushed them to keep singing. A lot. Soon 6 hour singing lessons became a regular part of life and the family was performing concerts across Europe.

Audiences loved the Von Trapps, the wholesome, devoutly religious family who sang so beautifully. The problem was, so did Hitler. He had already been pressuring Mr. Von Trapp to come over to the Nazis and be a captain of one of their submarines, but with the rising fame of the entire Von Trapp family the pressure to join the Nazis was drastically increased.

Scene from The Sound Of Music movie where the Von Trapps go over the Alps.

In the movie the Von Trapp family is shown making a daring escape from gun-toting Nazis and climbing through the mountains. Their real life escape was very different though. With suitcases in hand they crossed the train tracks near their house, then simply walked to the train station.

Still, they were absolutely crushed. They had to leave behind their home and everyone they knew, or else end up in concentration camps. Their only hope now was in music and in Maria’s ability to help them make a new life in America.


Picture of the real Maria Von Trapp as an adult in America.In many ways life on stage was perfect for Maria’s outgoing and loud personality. She pushed the family to keep touring and doing musical performances, both in America and in countries around the world. And month by month the Von Trapps slowly built a new life for themselves through music, with Maria at the helm.

Once homeless, they now could be at home anywhere their tour bus could go. And with their earnings they were able to build a huge house for themselves in a beautiful part of Vermont, which reminded them of their home country.

People around the world absolutely adored the singing Von Trapp family, especially the mother and spokesperson of the group, Maria. She had finally found a place where she belonged, and the best part was that she could sing to her heart’s content.

Picture of the real Maria Von Trapp cameo in the movie The Sound Of Music.

Eventually a movie was made in America about her incredible life story, The Sound Of Music. As outgoing as ever, Maria showed up while the movie was filming and talked her way into getting a small part in the movie. She and her daughter can be seen walking across the archway as Julie Andrews walks to the movie version of the Von Trapp house.

How far she had come from when she herself walked the road from the convent to the Von Trapp house for the first time, feeling unsure of what the future would bring …and no doubt humming a song :).


*Scary Story Of La Llorona: The Weeping Ghost By The River*

Picture of La Llorona the weeping ghost by the river.In certain parts of the U.S. and Mexico many people, especially children, are afraid stand anywhere near a river after dark. The source of their fear? A ghost called La llorona.

I first heard of La Llorona from a reader named Ace, who wrote in the comments of the Slender Man Story:

Hey, have you done a story on “La Llorona” yet? It would be a nice nod to my heritage. :-P lol

Turns out that La Llorona is similar to Slender Man because she is a scary spirit that is known to go after children. But while nobody seems to be quite sure why Slender Man goes after children, in the case of La Llorona it’s clear, she does it from a sense of intense guilt and madness…


There are many versions of the La Llorona legend, but most are careful to mention that her name was Maria and that she was the most beautiful woman in town.

Picture of the man who mistreated La Llorona.Maria was from a poor family, but nevertheless had grown up used being the center of attention all the time due to her beauty.

One day a wealthy man came into town and as soon as he saw Maria he began to lavish her with gifts and attention far beyond anything she’d ever experienced before. He was a skillful sweet-talker and Maria soon fell head over heels in love with him. They started to live together and she bore him two children, twin boys.

But despite all his sweet talk the rich man eventually lost interest in Maria. His father had recently been pressuring him to marry a woman of his own status, and on top of that, he didn’t like to stay in one place very long.

He never even said goodbye to Maria, she just woke up one morning to find a coldly written letter on the table. He was gone, and it was over between them.

La Llorona when she was known as Maria, holding one of her two children.

Maria was out of her mind with grief for she really did love him dearly, but there was nothing she could do. The rich man had completely left town so she couldn’t even try to get him back. She did her best to put her life back together and care for her two sons, but wherever she went people were always whispering behind her back. Since the man had left her, everyone now saw her as tainted with scandal.


Some years later Maria was walking with her two sons on the road into town, which was next to a river. She was thinking about all the food shopping she needed to do when a fine carriage rode up and stopped right in front of her.

The man La Llorona loved was now married to a woman of high status.She looked up and her heart jumped to see that it was none other than the rich man! But then she saw that next to him sat a woman of high status wearing silk gloves and expensive clothing, and her heart sank lower than ever.

Nothing could prepare Maria for the things that happened next though. The man smiled a warm smile and cheerfully talked to the two boys, asking them how their life was going and explaining how he was now moving back to town. Each boy was holding onto one of her hands but the whole time the man talked he made a big point of ignoring her and not even so much as looking at her.

Eventually the conversation was over and the rich man waved to the boys and promised they would talk again later. Then he smiled at them one last time, making a big show of ignoring Maria completely, and drove the horses forward down the road.

Well something snapped in Maria right then. She was so brokenhearted, humiliated, angry, and about a thousand other feelings all at once that she could hardly think as she watched the carriage disappear down the road, leaving her standing in the dirt holding the hands of her two sons.

Picture of the river that La Llorona threw her children into.The events of the last few minutes played over and over in her mind, every little humiliation magnified and every second that he smiled lovingly at them and not her. Before she knew it she had walked to the edge of the road and hurled her two innocent boys down into the raging river.

She stood there at the edge, still in a daze but feeling strange with her hands so free. When she realized that the boys were no longer next to her anymore she looked around frantically, screaming “Mis niños! Donde están mis niños!” (“My children! Where are my children!”).

It wasn’t until she saw the two small figures floating far down the river that she realized what she had done.

Unable to live a moment longer Maria threw herself into the river, hoping desperately that she would soon be able to see her children again. But it didn’t work out that way at all.


Picture of La Llorona, the ghost by the river.People in the small town soon learned to fear the river, for after nightfall scary things had started to happen there.

People talked of seeing the eerie ghost of Maria, standing there with her jet black hair and white dress. They now called her La Llorona, The Weeping Woman, because she would wail in a haunting voice for her children “Mis niños! Donde están mis niños!”

The worst part was that once a person heard La Llorona she would later appear behind them and put her hand on their shoulder. And when she saw that they were not one of her children her face would become twisted with murderous rage. An adult might be able to run and escape with their life, but if it was a child La Llorona would throw them into the river or simply take them away, never to be heard from again.

You see, because of the horrible crime Maria committed she became stuck in between the world of the living and the dead, cursed to wander the Earth until she can find her children.

As time went on different towns along the river started to have La Llorona sightings. And through the generations people from all over learned to fear the weeping ghost by the river as she searches different rivers for her children.

So if you’re ever by a river at night stop and listen for a second, and if you hear a faint voice crying “Mis niños! Donde están mis niños!” then it just might mean that La Llorona has come to your river. Also …run :D.


*Everyone Has A Story To Tell*

Everyone Has A Story To Tell

The question is, did it change you for the better or worse?

>> Leave A Comment  

*Magical Me: JK Rowling And The Mystery Man Behind Gilderoy Lockhart*

Picture of Gilderoy Lockhart the professor from Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets.JK Rowling sparked big rumors when in an interview when she revealed some things about the character of Gilderoy Lockhart.

She said that not only is he based on a real person, but that she had “to endure for two solid years” the real life person who Lockhart is based on.

She was married to her ex husband for two years so it seemed a likely fit, and the rumors started to fly.

Gilderoy Lockhart, in case you don’t remember, was Harry Potter’s Defense Against The Dark Arts teacher who was way into himself. Whether it was constantly quoting from his Gilderoy Lockhart in front of a painting of himself painting himself.bestselling book ‘Magical Me’, or striking a pose in front of one his many giant paintings of himself, Lockhart had a talent for bringing the focus back onto him no matter what the situation.

JK Rowling’s ex husband is known for acting a bit like Lockhart by doing things like claiming he co-authored the first Harry Potter book, so that just added more fuel to the rumors.

Things got so bad that JK Rowling finally had to make a point of stating that Lockhart was definitely not based on her ex husband.

The book Magical Me by Gilderoy Lockhart of the Harry Potter books.Some people didn’t believe her but I think it makes sense. JK Rowling was afraid of her ex husband (even at one point having to take out a restraining order against him), while the character of Gilderoy Lockhart is goofy and mostly harmless.

If JK Rowling’s ex husband was the inspiration for any Harry Potter character it would probably be one of the Death Eaters, just sayin. But that still leaves the fact that Lockhart is based on a real person …who could it be?

Many people have speculated that it’s an old professor of hers but she’s staying mum on the true identity of the person, other than to say that he’s

probably out there telling everybody that he inspired the character of Dumbledore.

Ha!! Now that sounds exactly like something Gilderoy Lockhart would do, don’t you think?


Thanks for reading this blog :).

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