Great StoryTelling Network Newsletter
Volume 11, Issue 20 – 3 December 2014
Click here for the online version of this newsletter
How To Tell A Great Story |
Clickbank Link
Columnists’ Books|
Aneeta Sundararaj|
Ladoo Dog|
Website Makeover|
My Cholesterol Journey in Malaysia|
Stranger Than Fiction!|
Charles Bonasera|
How in the Hell Did This Happen to Me? |
The Mental Side of Golf|
Eric Okeke|
Corruption, Stop it!|
Rohi Shetty|
200 Humorous Tweetable Quotations |

I am sorry for our long absence – there were some family issues I needed to sort out. In this edition of the newsletter – the last one for this year – our columnists have chosen different topics to focus on. I hope you enjoy reading all our stories.

I wish you a Merry Christmas/Season’s Greetings and Happy New Year!

Happy storytelling.

Aneeta Sundararaj

ARTICLE – ‘Circum’ – ‘Scum’: Small Difference? by Aneeta Sundararaj

“My husband cannot come to kenduri because in our kampung, we have scum session,” said this gentle lady I was giving a lift to. She was very helpful to our family in the last few days as she had been assisting with the housework. She explained that she needed to return home early because her niece was getting married in the evening and she wanted to attend the festivities at the ‘kenduri’.

I smiled politely even though I had no clue what she was saying….“You know,” she spoke again, “scum session. Orang Melayu kata sunat.

I quickly glanced out the window. I didn’t want her to see my smile and feel hurt. What she’d meant to say was that she had to leave early and her husband couldn’t accompany her to the wedding feast because he was involved in the circumcision ceremony of several young boys in the kampung.

Later in the day, it got me thinking about where we should go to learn how to say something correctly. In the time of dot i.e. when I was born and growing up, we turned to the dictionary to discover anything at all about words. We looked at it to find the definition for a word, how to use that word correctly or even how to pronounce it. …

To read more, please click here.

STILLNESS AND FLOW – The Surprising Scientific Reason for Your Unhappiness

“My mind wanders a lot, but fortunately it’s too weak to go very far.” ~Bob Thaves

Our happiness and success is influenced by the ability to focus our attention on our present activity. One of the biggest problems we face, especially while writing, is the tendency of the mind to be constantly distracted. In addition to external distractions such as phone calls, email, and social media, our ability to focus is severely challenged by mind-wandering.

Mind-wandering means our attention is on something other than what is happening in the here and now. We may be sitting in front of the computer, apparently working, and instead we may be thinking of something else:
•the fight we had with our friend,
•dinner at the posh new restaurant next week or
•the assignment you should have submitted a week ago.

We all know that mind-wandering is a universal problem. But how much does it affect our happiness?

To answer this question, Harvard-trained psychologist Matt Killingsworth created Track Your Happiness, which uses smartphones to monitor and analyze people’s moment-to-moment happiness in daily life all over the world.

To read more please click here.

THAT’S LIFE – Mental Health: The Forbidden Concept

I began my career in the early ‘60’s. My chosen professional goal was to try and reach as many people as possible in an attempt to help change the negative connotation of mental health into a more positive framework. It is now almost sixty years later and I’ve not completely succeeded in my quest. Mental health is still the bastard child of medicine. To some, the very mention of this concept, or god forbid, the words ‘mental illness,’ seems to be avoided with even more trepidation than the word ‘cancer.’ In most auspices serving the public, like school systems and clinics, mental health specialists are usually the last to be hired and the first to be fired. Why?

I’m sure that there are a number of plausible reasons for the kind of avoidance and stigma that mental health and illness experience. The one that I believe might best suits the explanation, unlike a physical condition, is not able to be as readily visible or even diagnosed. In the turn of the last century, those with mental health problems would be locked away in family attics or in mental institutions. The classic movie, Snake Pit touched on the horror of those days.

People make jokes about mental illness. Since it has to do with the mind, there is a tendency for people to be afraid of what is considered to be an unknown entity of the human person. That which cannot be seen may be considered to be evil … like a curse … which has been cast on an individual. The obvious reality is that a person is made up of both physical and mental components that can become ill, needing specialized care and understanding. Social workers, psychologists and psychiatrists have labored within the parameters of their professional specialties not only to treat but to find ways of eradicating the devastating effects of mental illness through medical and pharmaceutical research, direct services and the greater availability of services and programs. …

To read more, please click here.

W.I.S.P. – A Football Chant: Ancient and Modern

Here’s something Association Football fans amongst our readership may be surprised to learn. That is to say, when a capacity crowd of 98,767 Catalans thronging Barcelona’s Camp Nou football stadium sings the praises of its favourite team: ‘Barca! Barca! Barca! – they are inadvertently chanting the surname of the Barca family whose most famous son, Hannibal (the “elephants”, not the “cannibal” one), crossed the Alps in 218BC to threaten the gates of Rome itself.

And lest we make any mistake about it, be it noted that had the outcome of that ancient conflict been different – that is to say, if Rome had lost the Punic Wars and Carthage had won, then those Catalans chanting: ‘Barça!’ at Barcelona’s Camp Nou would not nowadays be speaking another word we might recognize – and we, ourselves in the UK and elsewhere would be speaking a language totally different from what is sometimes referred to as the Queen’s English!…

To read more, please click here.

ZODIAC’S CHILDREN – Sagittarius’ Child (November 22 – December 21)

When I was a young teenager, I was a natural leader of our group of girls who had all become friends. During our first year in High School, our group was split up over two different lunch periods with half of us going to the first lunch and half going to the second lunch. The group of girls who had a different lunch then my own had found a new hero. They talked about her constantly. She was smart, funny, exciting, enthusiastic, cheerful, clever, and extremely extroverted. They sang her praises constantly and being a very insecure teenage girl, I was a nervous wreck that they would love her more then me and would no longer look up to me as their leader. I was becoming more and more insecure that she would kick me off of my pedestal and take all of my friends away from me.

One day, as I stood at my locker swapping out my books for the next round of classes, someone walked up to me with a twinkle in their eye and a sly twisted smile on her face. She handed me a small neat green envelope and just stood there not saying a word. I looked at the envelope and then back up at her, “Who are you and what is this?” She laughed as she introduced herself and told me it was an invitation to her upcoming birthday party. This was the new girl everyone had been talking about. She explained to me with complete logic that everyone who was anyone knew that no slumber party would be any fun if I wasn’t there. She told me very matter of factly how important it was that I attend her birthday party because everyone had said so. She immediately made it very clear that she knew all about me and my pedestal and that I was to remain there. She had come to pay homage to me as the leader and to have my sacred blessing cast upon her birthday party. Didn’t I want to allow her to worship me the way that everyone else did? In that brief introduction, she charmed and manipulated me so that I had to like her, trust her, and see her brilliant mind at work all in just a handful of well chosen words. Everything she said in that moment was charming, funny, logical, magnetically appealing, and somehow I got the sense that we were sharing a secret joke just between the two of us. We were instantly wonderful friends…

To read more, please click here.


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