Hello and welcome back! Before Advent, we shared that we were planning on taking some time over Advent and Christmastide to focus on things non-internety and we encouraged you to avoid our site. Thanks for ignoring us!
We are very excited about things to come here at Story Warren. A conference. Books. And a shift in the orientation of the site. It’s this last one we can talk about now.
Warning: This is the kind of post some people like to read and many don’t. Don’t feel bad about skipping it and just coming back to see what’s cooking as it unfolds. I give you permission to feel OK about this. Patronizing? What, me? You’re so cute. If I could, I would reach through this screen and pat your precious little head.
The Family Advent Art & Reading Guide by James Witmer & Melissa Ellen Fink was a wonderful addition to our Advent practice. Our family loved it and I have heard from many of you who did as well. It was special for several reasons on its own, but it also felt like a prelude into the kinds of things we want to be about. We have wanted to move beyond talking about things so much (Art, Parenting, Beauty, Stories, Songs) and start being more direct. This “baby re-launch” is going to be partly about that. And now I shall talk a bunch about how we’re not going to talk about as much.
We’re still planning to share vision stuff, parenting with imagination, and a lot of what we’ve been engaged in from the beginning. Mondays will be all about that.
Wednesdays will be more discovery and resource-related. Story Warren has always been kind of easy to “get” for intuitive types, so-called “creatives” (don’t you hate that term?). But we have a keen desire to connect with and serve more concrete thinkers as well. We hope Wednesdays will at least be a step in that direction, while still being a natural fit for our weird and wonderful “Intuitives.” (It takes one to know one.)
Every Friday, we plan to share something with your children. We’re calling it Story Warren Shorts. (Short Works for Short People?) It will mostly be stories, both new and old, with the occasional poem, song, etc. We hope you will find a natural way to share these Friday posts with your kids. I would just view this as some friends sharing stories with your family. Some will be taken from old stories and given new illustrations by our exciting team of illustrators (more on them below).
As I said in an earlier post: We have tried to occupy a space of service that isn’t crowded. We didn’t know of anyone doing this kind of thing related to families and kids, and we believed it was crucial. But there are many websites dedicated to talking about imagination, about stories, about art and it’s importance, even from a kingdom perspective. But it’s always been a part of the Story Warren scheme to move beyond talking about things and actually move into creating and sharing. We are taking a step in that direction. It’s a baby step, so please don’t judge us too harshly. But we shall always be planning to grow up, and I hope you will be there with us as we toddle on toward maturity.
Saturdays will continue to feature Andrew Mackay’s The Warren & the World, which you can receive in your inbox. It’s a good way to stay caught up on what happened each week at SW and beyond. Andrew is my partner in leading this wonderful team and it would be an impossible task without his diligence, talent, and patience.
Sarah Clarkson is rejoining the team and is embarking on something I think we’ll all be excited about. I know I am. More on that later.
Along with our Regular Contributors, we have some Irregular Contributors: Sally Lloyd-Jones, Alyssa Ramsey, David Kern, and Josh Bishop, as well as our excellent guest posters. Also, there’s always these guys.
We have some wonderful, new additions to our Regular Contributors team and I am delighted to briefly introduce them.
Laura is an old friend, an expert on children’s books, and will someday be the world’s very greatest librarian. She may be a twin, but there’s no one like Laura. She has read books to my kids and I attest to her children’s lit credentials. I’m so happy she’s on the team.
Joe is a new friend and one excellent children’s book illustrator. You may recognize him from his work on Andrew Peterson’s forthcoming finale to The Wingfeather Saga, The Warden and the Wolf King. He’s also a musician and is awesome at leaning against brick walls. When I first saw his work, I was speechless. That is a small miracle and so is his art.
Aedan is a friend of several years now, a fifteen-year-old illustrator with fantastic skills and an even better personality. He’s also good with a grappling hook, though I won’t tell you how I know it. (Hey, neither of us are in jail.) I’m delighted Aedan will be joining the team and I can’t wait for you guys to see his wonderful work.
Liz comes to us through her friendship with Julie Silander. I have heard about Liz for a long time, about her passion for old books, and am so happy she’s joining us. Liz is a homeschooling mom, and she runs a great books lending library in Virginia.
Paul is someone I’ve known almost all my life. I once broke his wrist in a basketball game, for instance. He is a pastor and a very talented photographer/artist. His typographic/photographic offerings will be on display every Tuesday at Story Warren. (You can see a great example of this kind of work in the images above). Much of the photographic imagery you have and will see on our site is Paul’s work. I’m so thrilled he’s joining the team.
About all these wonderful additions, I can say the following. They are each gifted in ways I am not, in areas our team has had specific needs. I love that. I am so happy and grateful for each of them. I’m profoundly thankful for the entire team of people who make this enterprise happen.
And to you, whoever you are, reading this boring, explainy post. All of us want to say thank you for being here and for the great kindness you have shown us in giving us a place in your busy, beautiful lives.
We’re on your side.