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December 2014

foxsantaA Good Year Gone and A Great Year Coming!
It has been a rich and rewarding first full year in Bishop Hill, Illinois, with a dozen things to smile about: Lucia Nights just wrapped up; we had a wonderful series of Dreaming Tree house concerts and storytelling around the bonfire: we hosted our second annual well-attended Chautauqua; created a few new websites for www.historicunitedstates.com; and most of the heavy lifting is done with remodeling the Twinflower Inn. This weekend we are hosting our annual Winter Solstice programs in Bishop Hill and at The Fox Pub in Peoria. And next year is already brimmingly full with another writers' retreat, my History...In Person project coming to fruition, a few more web sites under construction and several new Chautauqua in the works. Following are a few presents for my friends. Please share this newsletter and spread the good cheer!'
First: The Present of a Story: The Cobbler’s Christmas

This Holiday season I have been blessed with the opportunity to share A Prairie Christmas on the Spirit of Peoria, I performed for three straight hours the past two nights at Bishop Hill's Annual Lucia nights, and I have three performances of "A Winter Solstice" with Barry Cloyd this coming weekend! I learned several new stories about the Tomten, the 'little people' of Sweden, like elves or gnomes, these are the creatures who look after the forest and all of its creatures. But one of my favorite holiday stories is The Cobbler's Christmas! I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

writersretreatWriters' Retreat with a Focus on the Personal Memoire
January 16 -19, 2015 @ The Twinflower Inn, in Bishop Hill IL
Hear wondrous stories and learn to tell a few of your own! Spend a rich weekend with a dozen other writers in a supportive and nurturing environment. This Writer's Retreat, sponsored by The Twinflower Inn, will provide a balance of instruction, coaching and a lot of quiet time to write. If you wish to learn more about building a solid story structure, finding the universal aspects of a personal story, participating in constructive conversations, and outlining your manuscript, then this workshop is for you. Folks are encouraged to attend the entire weekend, but if locals wish to show up for just one or two of the classes that is also encouraged. If you register and pay before January first it is only $100. ($125 after). Click here to download the flier. E-mail me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to register.
A Third Annual Visit to Denver: Gregor Mendel and Genetics

Gregor Mendel was a man so far ahead of his time that the significance of his research was not appreciated until almost 50 years after he had passed. It was the hole in Darwin's theory though there is some proof they may have been at the same conference in Paris and Darwin may have catalogued the paper without reading it. Come to the Denver Museum of Nature and Science to meet this ingenious scientist who changed history, participate in an inspiring conversation on the future of genetics and ethics.

Four of my History…In Person! programs have already been filmed!

historyinpersonThis fall, we filmed four of the characters I portray including John James Audubon, Meriwether Lewis, Edgar Allan Poe and Steamboat Captain Henry Detweiller. In the next few weeks I am planning to film four friends of Lincoln including his childhood friend Austin Guliher, Billy Herndon, General John A Logan, and Walt Whitman. By the end of February I plan to film Charles Darwin and Gregor Mendel. Each of these manuscripts are at various stages of writing, rewriting, and editing. My goal is to have a dozen multimedia books ready sometime this spring, all with audio, video and e-book formats. Please hit reply and let me know which I should finish first. Also let me know if you would like to be in the audience when we film in early January and later in February.

If you see that that I will be in your area and you would like to book a program to share expenses, please Contact Fox.
December 20, 21, 2014 I will perform "A Celtic Winter Solstice: A Celebration in Story and Song" with Barry Cloyd Saturday in Bishop Hill at the Welcome Center at 7:00pm and Sunday at the Fox Pub & Cafe in Peoria, IL.  Reservations recommended.
December 31, 2014 I will perform at the 28th Annual First Night Springfield.  Performances are at Lincoln's Home Visitor's Center in Springfield, IL.
January 9, 2015 I will perform at the Festival of Cranes in Decatur, AL
January 16-19, 2016 I am hosting "A Writers' Retreat with a Focus on the Personal Memoir" in Bishop Hill, IL .  Registration is required.  Click here for a flier.
January 24-25, 2016 I will perform as John James Audubon at Starved Rock Eagle Days hosted by the Illinois Raptor Center.