Aesop for Inspiration has Aesop’s Fables available. One of the short tales is:

The Farmer and the Snake

ONE WINTER a Farmer found a Snake stiff and frozen with cold. He had compassion on it, and taking it up, placed it in his bosom. The Snake was quickly revived by the warmth, and resuming its natural instincts, bit its benefactor, inflicting on him a mortal wound. “Oh,” cried the Farmer with his last breath, “I am rightly served for pitying a scoundrel.”

The greatest kindness will not bind the ungrateful.


The Snake” is a song and single by American singer Al Wilson, written by Oscar Brown in 1963. The lyrics tell a story inspired by Aesop’s fable of The Farmer and the Viper. (wiki)


Al Wilson at youtube.

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On her way to work one morning
Down the path along side the lake
A tender hearted woman saw a poor half frozen snake
His pretty colored skin had been all frosted with the dew
“Poor thing,” she cried, “I’ll take you in and I’ll take care of you”
“Take me in tender woman
Take me in, for heaven’s sake
Take me in, tender woman,” sighed the snake.
She wrapped him up all cozy in a comforter of silk
And laid him by her fireside with some honey and some milk
She hurried home from work that night and soon as she arrived
She found that pretty snake she’d taken to had been revived
“Take me in, tender woman
Take me in, for heaven’s sake
Take me in, tender woman,” sighed the snake.
She clutched him to her bosom, “You’re so beautiful,” she cried
“But if I hadn’t brought you in by now you might have died”
She stroked his pretty skin again and kissed and held him tight
Instead of saying thanks, the snake gave her a vicious bite
“Take me in, tender woman
Take me in, for heaven’s sake
Take me in, tender woman,” sighed the snake.
“I saved you,” cried the woman
“And you’ve bitten me, but why?
You know your bite is poisonous and now I’m going to die.”
“Oh shut up, silly woman,” said the reptile with a grin
“You knew damn well I was a snake before you took me in.
“Take me in, tender woman
Take me in, for heaven’s sake
Take me in, tender woman,” sighed the snake.
Today’s Assignment:
Write down your interpretation of the lyrics to Al Wilson’s song.
Jack Hanna can be seen in Borneo with the snakes in Season 4 — Episode Screen Shot 2016-01-14 at 9.11.27 AM
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(available on Netflix)


Bob Dylan and David Walker

Well known musician, Bob Dylan, and illustrator, David Walker, have teamed up to create this delightful children’s book:

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Find it here.

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Find more from David Walker at his website here.

George Harrison (yes, of the Beatles) sang this Bob Dylan song: If Not for You.

Click here for George Harrison on youtube.

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Sing along with the lyrics:

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See how these lyrics can be appropriate for all ages?

Isn’t it magical when creative minds come together to create something that becomes a classic cultural thread?

Today’s assignment:

1. Write a poem that holds meaning for all ages. Remember song lyrics are a form of poetry. 

2. Create an illustration to accompany your poem.

For Film and Novel: Point of View in Your Story (board)

One of the major goals when creating a storyboard is to analyze P.O.V.

(point of view)

In a film: logical details included in a scene provide information to the audience.

In a written story: details given should also be logical and plausible to the reader.

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More from here.

Consideration of the characters’ cone of vision applies to both film and novel storyboards.

When creating a storyboard for a novel or written work, it is not necessary to create graphics (unless you want to.)

Today’s Assignment:

1. Take a look at this article from

Note the use of the word chiaroscuro.

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Generally the term chiaroscuro refers to visual light and dark, however, in the

written word, writers should ensure that all characters possess some

characteristics of lightness and darkness (goodness and not-so-goodness.)

2. Write down a blurb about each scene/chapter in your novel. Indicate which character’s point-of-view the reader is sharing. (Perhaps different colored sticky notes will help you with this.)

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Above you see a sticky-note storyboard with each color showing a plot thread

from Erica Ridley. (Thanks, Erica!)

3. It is not necessary to use sticky-notes. A storyboard for your novel can simply be a written list. This list should give the following information:

Chapter and name

Whose point-of-view does the reader share for this chapter?

Briefly, what is happening in this scene/chapter?

Indicate the energy/action of each chapter. Is the character happy or sad at the beginning of the chapter? What is that same character’s situation at the end of the chapter?

Is it plausible? (Some suspension of disbelief is allowed in fiction.)

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The Gleaners

This photo of the gleaners at First Fruits Farm in Louisburg, NC yesterday . . .

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(in spite of the downpour and mud) reminds me of Jean-Francois Millet’s painting

entitled The Gleaners.

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Granted, there are differences: the first group at First Fruits Farm are gleaning sweet potatoes voluntarily to feed the hungry; the group in Millet’s painting is gleaning wheat, perhaps for their own use.

You can hear more about this painting from Khan Academy here.

Gleaners are mentioned in the Bible several places:

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Today’s assignment: Remember that, as writers, we glean a little information from every situation we encounter. Using these experiences will add depth to our writing. Enjoy today.

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glean at

Writing Your Author Bio

Writing an author bio is a bit like taking a “selfie” in front of a mirror!

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Richard Ridley has an excellent article regarding writing your bio.

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He says:

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For more words of wisdom from Richard Ridley and to read his complete article, click


Today’s Assignment:

1. Read Richard Ridley’s article.

2. Write your bio. This should be the short version (less than one page).

Bonus points:

For more on this topic–  read an article from writer Heather Hummel: here.

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Deus ex Machina = god out of the machine = a too-convenient solution

Generally Deus ex Machina is considered a plot weakness — an unsatisfying, easy fix to a conundrum, or problem, developed throughout the tale.

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Click here for more from TVtropes.

Euripides was an ancient Greek playwright who first used Deus ex Machina. Many say his writing was weakened by the use of this technique, however, many others say that he used this technique more as an epilogue.

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More at literary devices.

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More at jstor.

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More at Tragic Drama of the Greeks at Forgotten Books.

An example of Deus ex Machina is The Wizard of Oz.

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More at: youtube Wizard of Oz movie clip.

Today’s assignment:

1. Write a short story.

2. Include a problem with no apparent solution.

3. Conclude your story using Deus ex Machina. (It’s okay to make it comedic.)