read stories

The Shocked Librarian And Don Quixote – A True Story

Don Quixote true story book coverDon Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes
the book was the one on the wire rack in the school library
that caught my eye that day.
I’d heard it was a crazy story, but good.

The cover was crisp,
seemed like not a soul had ever bothered to open it.
I went to the counter and put my library card and the book down.

The librarian looked at me with big round eyes,
like seriously, she was shocked.
“Are you actually going to read this?” she said in horror.

She was actually trying to get me to turn back and check out a different book.

I had never heard of a librarian trying to stop someone from reading a book before.
“Yes.” I said with confidence.
But now inside my confidence was shaken.

She raised her eyebrows but didn’t say anything more.

Well to be honest there was so much going on in my teenage life.
Things at home weren’t great, and I was trying to figure out my place and how to handle things.

I was starving half the time, hinting at friends for food.
Didn’t know when we would have to pack up and move again at a moment’s notice.
It was hell, crazy hell.

I was looking for a book that would let me escape into a different world,
even if it was only for a while.
But I let myself be intimidated by the librarian’s attitude
and never got far into the book.

I quietly returned the book when it was time,
feeling very small.
The book was only slightly less crisp than before.

Today while writing this post
and thinking back on it all,
I decided to make a resolution to read the book
as a toast to my old self…

…and as a flip of the finger to that librarian with the raised eyebrows.


P.S. How about you?? Have you ever had a librarian (or someone like that) try to discourage you from reading a book? Tell me your story in the comments below!

read stories

Odin’s Magical Ravens – Huginn and Muninn

Odin With Ravens Huginn MuninnEver noticed a raven in a tree and realized it was looking down at you, like it was watching you with intelligent eyes?

For us in modern day times seeing a raven like this is just a curiosity. But if you were living in old Norse times the experience would stop you in your tracks and put you on your best behavior.


Because for people living in old Norse days, being under the watchful eye of a raven meant that you might have come to the attention of the most powerful of the Norse gods, Odin.

Yes that Odin. The god with one eye, father of Thor and Loki, ruler of Asgard.

And since he’s the king of all the mighty Norse gods, it’s tempting to think that all he really needs to do is sit on his throne looking intimidating.

But the truth is that Odin often felt insecure. He was always craving more strength, more magic, and more knowledge to defeat his enemies.

Odin Marvel Thor Story

He even went so far as to dig out one of his own eyes and drop it into a magical well in exchange for the knowledge it offered.


But on the average day he relied on a less gruesome way of getting knowledge: two ravens, one named Huginn and the other named Muninn.

Odin gave these ravens many magical abilities, to the point where he had even taught them to understand and speak different languages.

Huginn and Muninn liked to perch one on each of Odin’s shoulders. In the morning he would send them out into the world. They would spread their wings and fly all over, gathering information and even using their voices to find things out.

Huginn and Muninn on Odin's ShouldersThey were able to fly around the world in a single day, and at the end of their rounds they would come back to perch on Odin’s shoulders.

There they would whisper in his ears the things they had found out, while he ran his hand through his beard in thought.

Odin used Huginn and Muninn as extensions of his senses, and some say his very mind. The name Huginn meant ‘thought’ and Muninn meant ‘mind’.

“Hugin and Munin fly each day
over the spacious earth.
I fear for Hugin, that he come not back,
yet more anxious am I for Munin”


Huginn and Muninn became so important to Odin that he was seldom seen to go out without them, and they became part of his symbol. Artwork of Odin on old armor and jewelry show him with a pair of ravens flying overhead.

It is said that even during Ragnarok, the epic battle at the end of the world, Huginn and Muninn will be right there with Odin whispering advice into his ears.

Sounds like some friends that I would like to have on my side for sure.

So next time you see a raven that’s watching you…or even better, two ravens…give a wave. You never know, it could be Huginn and Muninn watching over you.

story talk

It’s Been A Long Time Since You Sent Your Stories: Shoutout This Week To Nehal

Girl With Floating Balloons On StorybookThe shoutout this week is to a reader named Nehal, who wrote me an email:

“Hey Anita

It’s been a long time since you have sent any of your stories.

I love your stories and I am desperately looking forward to hearing from you.”

Hi Nehal! Sorry for being gone so long and leaving you all without any stories to read here.

To be honest I had fallen into a depression due to various personal things and stopped writing about stories for a while.

Which anyone who has been following this blog knows is totally crazy. Stories and writing about them have saved me more times than I can count …not to mention they were the whole reason I started this blog back in 2008.

Well I snapped out of that real quick when I read Nehal’s email and started thinking about things. I realized I needed to start exploring stories again and sharing them here like in the old days.

I actually felt a little better right away, like I had let light back into my life again or something.

Let this be a lesson to me and anyone reading this: if you are having troubles in your life you need *more* stories, not less.

Life is definitely better with stories!