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Becoming a Storyteller Starts With Telling Stories
The purpose of this publication is to tell original stories, primarily to entertain children in the spirit of an ancient tradition.
When I was growing up, my mother told my siblings and me amazing stories. They were always funny and imaginative, and often remarkably dark. She always joked about publishing her stories some day. Us kids would nag and cajole her to get to it. We believed some of these stories had legs.
Truth be known, my dad’s stories weren’t too shabby either. In fact, many people in my family were pretty good at winding colorful yarns. Some of them were rooted in truth, many complete fabrications. Either way, my family loved telling stories.
Over the course of my adult life, mostly unconsciously, I established a professional career in the varied realms of digital content—writing, editing, content marketing, and all that jazz. I gravitated toward this world by instinct and because it paid relatively well for an English major. But while this career track had its moments, all the best aspects of “storytelling” were largely absent: playfulness, adventure, simple morals, myths, fears, legends, and stories just for the story’s sake. No CTAs.
About a year ago, my mother, already well into a late-life struggle with cancer and congestive heart failure, took a rough turn and spent a week in the hospital. Though she recovered from that spell, I resolved myself at the time to surprise her by rewriting and publishing a few of her short stories. I hoped to show them to her before it was too late.
Fast forward six months or so, and I had re-written one of her most oft-remembered children’s stories, and even focus grouped it with my 6-year-old twins. I also engaged a freelance artist to work on some sketches, and completed a few of my own. I was well on my way.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be. Early in 2023, my mother’s health declined suddenly and rapidly, and she passed away on March 27th. I was out of the country when it happened and never had a chance to say goodbye. I also hadn’t finished the stories, nor had even told her I was working on them. It was after all meant to be a surprise. I just didn’t “get to it” in time.
One of my mother’s great laments was not finding the time to do more of the things she loved, especially later in life. She was a natural procrastinator, which from my vantage point appears to be hereditary, and it cost her in the long run. I don’t want my kids to see the same thing happen to me.
What is the goal of Gilded Tales?
The goal of this publication is to tell entertaining stories, to create a consistent cadence of these stories, and accompany them often with unique audio recordings by me. Parents, children, and anyone else who likes imaginative stories will be able to access the stories here for free.
On a personal level, my motivation is to fight against a legacy of internal resistance, return to the simple innocent narrative formulas of childhood, and fulfill one of my mother’s greatest wishes. Not the wish to publish her stories, but to delight and entertain children. There are few things nobler, perhaps, than stoking the imagination of a young person. That’s what I endeavor to do.
What makes Gilded Tales unique?
The stories here exist nowhere else. They provide an alternative to the books you’ll find at school or in public libraries. Though they may at times contain simple lessons, the goal is not to lecture or instruct—kids get enough of that elsewhere. The stories here are designed to entertain, inspire, and create a sense of wonder. I want kids to dream and laugh and experience a world where anything is possible. I want them to be open to the majestic, spiritual, mystical, and fantastical. This is meant to be fun.
It’s also meant to be convenient and easy. Need some completely new bedtime stories and don’t have the energy to make them up? Gilded Tales is at your service. Take the stories and make them your own, or read them out loud to your kids at night. Or, play the audio recordings of them. There will be plenty of stories for all interests.
How often will Gilded Tales publish new stories?
The initial goal is to add a few new stories every month. Subscribers will get an alert when a new story goes live. Over time, we will build a large library of original stories.
Are the stories appropriate for all ages?
The stories here should be appropriate for any child over the age of 5, but this is ultimately up to the parents to decide. I think of the stories here as falling between a G and a PG rating, to compare them with movie ratings. But these days, there is a pretty wide spectrum of interpretation depending on the family. You can probably expect cartoon-level action and violence and sometimes scarier/darker concepts, such as you might find in Grimm’s Fairy Tales. If anything changes, I’ll label the story accordingly.
What kinds of stories are told here?
The stories here are meant as homage to the great tradition of oral storytelling, as our ancestors have been practicing for thousands of years. Themes involve adventurous quests and solving mysteries. Fantasy elements, magic, and supernatural creatures will be common. But there will also be stories that take place in modern settings. Legends and myths will explain things, sometimes in a surprising or funny way. There will be lots of surprise endings and downright silliness meant to generate giggles. You can also expect challenges, villains, and bad luck. Kind of like real life with one major exception. Here, happy endings are the norm.
One word of caution. This is not a progressive space that envisions the creation of a new society, encourages transformative value systems, or injects ideological subtext into the stories. If anything, my stories are based in traditional values passed down through the ages of human beings. They may be extremely diverse in their portrayals of cultures and civilizations inspired by a variety of histories. They’re original, but often rooted closely with timeless stories from the Bible, Greek mythology, classic literature, and cultural myths from around the world. There may be morals and educational material in some tales, but they’ll be time honored and universal, not heavy handed, fashionable, or du jour.
So why should you care? Because this is a place where you will find 100% authentic English language stories with heart and soul. Not half-thought out and poorly written. Not roughly translated. Not created by AI. Not “written” by an offshore content farm. Every story here is one you will not find in any other place. All published in an ad free and easy-to-consume format. Sometimes there will also be images, videos, or original audio recordings accompanying them.
You’ll get magic and wonder. Good beating evil. Adventures and dreams. Suspenseful mysteries. Hard challenges and majestic quests. Traditional moral values and strong family bonds. Love and loss, and lots of kindness. Fun and laughter. The golden rule above all.
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