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  1. Halloween Bedtime Story: Tabitha’s Night Out

    October 31, 2022 by asteffann

    For lovers of fall, a story that aired on the Get Sleepy podcast today just in time for Halloween!

    Follow along with sassy black cat Tabitha as she roams her neighborhood on Halloween, observing all the trick-or-treating, the parties, and the decorations. This soothing seasonal treat is chock full of fall atmosphere, minus any scares that might keep you awake…this is a sweet walk down memory lane for anyone who grew up celebrating the holiday.

  2. New Bedtime Story: Legends of the Owls Head Light

    October 22, 2022 by asteffann

    Just in time for Halloween, we have an atmospheric fireside tale for you!

    Our lighthouse researcher, Emma, is making another stop in midcoast Maine, where she will learn all about the spirits who faithfully tend Owls Head Light. If you like this story, be sure to check out the previous ones in this series, about the Portland Head Light and the Rockland Breakwater Light. Stay tuned for another one coming up at the end of the year!

    For links to all my other stories, including fairytales, nostalgic memories, and travel tales, check out my Bedtime Stories page!

    If you’d like to find Get Sleepy as a podcast, just search it on your favorite podcast platform.

  3. New Bedtime Story: The Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse

    September 26, 2022 by asteffann

    Continuing the tale of Emma, who is researching lighthouses along the coast of Maine, this story brings us to the city of Rockland. The lighthouse there is interesting, but it’s the mile-long breakwater walk to its front door that will really capture your imagination. To learn more about Rockland and the midcoast of Maine, visit my other website for our vacation rental, Sadler House.

  4. New Bedtime Story – Dreams of the Portland Head Light

    August 24, 2022 by asteffann

    I am really excited about this story, which is the first in a series that will be coming out over the next few months. Part travel, part history, you will be able to join Emma, who is researching the historical lighthouses of the Maine coast. I am really privileged to have the fabulous Abbe Opher narrating, and I feel optimistic you may not be able to stay awake to the end.

  5. New Bedtime Story: A Lazy Summer Day in 1982

    August 6, 2022 by asteffann

    My latest bedtime story is close to my heart! Like the characters in this story, I was 10 years old in 1982. So this story is for all of us who are turning 50, but my hope is that anyone who grew up in the seventies or eighties will find fond memories in this tale of Brian and his friends.

    Whether it’s a BMX bike, some tetherball, sitting on the curb at the convenience store, or a pile of baloney sandwiches, my guess is that part of your childhood summer made in here. Sweet dreams, X’ers! Listen to it at this link on YouTube or find it on the Get Sleepy podcast on any podcast platform you may use.

  6. New Podcast Bedtime Story: A Retelling of the Fairy Tale “The White Slipper”

    July 7, 2022 by asteffann

    My latest reimagined fairy tale is on the free podcast feed and the YouTube channel! This one is also narrated by the soothing TK Kellman and it’s sure to whisk you off to dreamland.

    Travel to a beautiful, faraway city on a river, where a king has a problem almost nobody can solve. In the end, we’ll find that a little bit of reading and a lot of courage can make all the difference.

  7. New Podcast Bedtime Story: The Country Antiques Market

    June 10, 2022 by asteffann

    I loosely based this relaxing sleepy story on a real antiques market near where I live in Loudoun County, VA. The narration by TK Kellman is perfect and I truly hope you can’t stay awake until the end. Enjoy!

  8. Chronotopes: They Sound Complicated, but They’re Cool

    December 15, 2012 by asteffann

    …and make sense.

    What is a chronotope?

    There’s an old saying that “Hindsight is 20/20,” meaning that events often seem clearer with the benefit of distance and objectivity. Consider whether or not you have ever looked back upon an event from your past and had a new perspective on what happened than you did at the time. Do you think you would tell the story of that event differently now than you would have then?

    According to the influential literary theorist Mikhail Bakhtin, any story, told by any person, is firmly entrenched in the time and place in which it happened. Not only that, but the story is also influenced by the biases and experiences of the narrator or the writer…and even by your own biases as a reader! It sounds very complicated but it is, in fact, a pretty basic concept. In short, stories are always told from someone’s unique point of view and they are received by readers through yet another lens of experience.  He calls the unique worlds created by these stories “chronotopes.”

    In his essay “Forms of Time and Chronotope in the Novel,” Mikhail Bakhtin explains it this way:  he states that readers “must never confuse…the represented world with the world outside the text” (253) (the “real” world, if there is such a thing). He explains that the phenomenon of chronotope in literature is a function of “the intrinsic connectedness of temporal and spatial relationships,” (84) but that “out of the actual chronotopes of our world…emerge the reflected and created chronotopes of the world represented in the work” (252). To put it more simply, the teller of the tale will show you a story that is one version of what happened in that place, in that time, from his or her point of view. This is a unique chronotope would have changed if the story had been moved elsewhere or happened years later. Each story is inseparable from its setting and its writer.

    Are events clearer in retrospect? Or not?

    Are events clearer in retrospect? Or not?

    photo: lowjumpingfrog

    Works Cited

    Bakhtin, M. M., and Michael Holquist. “Forms of Time and Chronotope in the Novel.” The Dialogic Imagination: Four Essays. Austin: University of Texas, 1981. Print.

  9. Want That Job? Don’t Forget to Write!

    February 27, 2012 by asteffann

    Today I came across an article by the managing editor of Business Insider that reiterated something my mother taught me at a young age:

    Thank you notes matter.

    When I was in college, searching for my first job in business, I wrote these on the typewriter in my room. In each note, I was sure to do all of the following:

    • Spell the interviewer’s name properly
    • Say something that indicated I remember what we discussed in the interview
    • Reiterate my interest in the position
    • Say something about why I would be a good fit for the job

    All of this was done with proper block format and then I signed the letters by hand. These letters were always mailed within a day or two. Waiting more than a week was considered lax.

    It’s not surprising, in the digital age, that emailing such a letter is considered acceptable. This doesn’t mean, however, that you should slip into sloppy habits like those you’d use when emailing friends. Despite the temptation to think of it as just a causal missive, you always have to remember that you will be judged one more time by the content and style of this email. In fact, as this article points out, your worst mistake of all is not bothering to send one.

    Whether you’re applying for an administrative, a technical, or an executive job, give this article a look. It provides compelling evidence that even those of us who do not envision using writing in their careers are still going to need to express themselves clearly and persuasively to get ahead.

  10. Say What?!

    December 6, 2011 by asteffann

    A friend of mine from my advertising days posted this link today, and I couldn’t agree with it more.

    Whether it’s in business or in academics, many of us are feeling overloaded with jargon. Writing is needlessly complicated. Meaning is lost. Sincerity is compromised.

    I really appreciate what Dan Palotta has to say in this post called I Don’t Understand What Anyone is Saying Anymore and I challenge myself and all of my students to be less concerned with sounding “smart” and become more concerned with clarity!