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Time Traveler Tales





Tuesday, May 19, 2015

You're the first to know: We’re going for it. Finally. There’s still a long way to go before we achieve a thriving and successful venture. But after years of foundation building, we find we can't truly grow without capital.

So we’re organizing a crowd-sourced funding campaign on Kickstarter to raise money for the production of the next Story App Tour to be released by Time Traveler Tours & Tales.

I'd like to say: “We’re kicking off with a Kickstarter campaign,” because of the fun alliteration. But it feels more like we’re taking a plunge, because of the inherent risk. To be honest, this adventure is super scary most times (especially at night when I'm tired and still haven't managed to reach the end of the to-do list). But each morning I wake up and dive right into the task again. Why?


Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing, Baby!


Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing, Baby!

Hi everyone! I've just returned from a week enjoying a big tasty bite of the Big Apple. Even in chilly January, that most amazing city welcomed me with warm open arms.

I went for meetings. Lots of them. On Wednesday, they went on for 10 straight hours!

I met with some of the most inspiring leaders in the world of digital storytelling -- the funders and directors of NYC's top cultural institutions and philanthropic organizations -- as well as a few serial start-up entrepreneurs, mentors all, and an angel investor.

And now there are meetings here in London to follow those in NY.

I'm pitching the TTT&T concept to validate whether or not we're on the right track before the Team and I rev up our engines to mach speed. Do we know our audience well? Are we responding to real needs? Are we offering the right solution for them?


That No Young Person Says, “History is Boring,” ever again!


That No Young Person Says, “History is Boring,” ever again!

We’ve hung up a new calendar. We've ushered in a shiny New Year.

This should be an exciting time. But in the past, I've tended to focus on what I did not accomplish in the previous 12 months, on the items I did not tick off the to-do list. This had me stepping into each January working from an emotional deficit.

Well, I made up my mind to change things up this year.

To keep a positive outlook going into 2015, I set aside a healthy chunk of time this holiday season to focus on my personal and professional successes of 2014. And I asked members of Team TTT&T to join me.

First we identified, and celebrated, all that we achieved in 2014:



Introducing the Newest Member of Team TTT&T: Meet Dan Blank

Dan Blank is the founder of WeGrowMedia, where he helps writers share their stories and connect with readers. He has helped hundreds of authors via online courses, consulting, and workshops, and has worked with many amazing publishing houses and writers' organizations. His client list includes Random House, Workman Publishing, Abrams Books, Writers House, The Kenyon Review, Writer’s Digest, Library Journal, CLMP and others.

Dan joins Team TTT&T as Marketing & Outreach Consultant. Already, his input is positioning us to grow an engaged community of active readers, contributors, clients, and fans.

Additionally, Dan brings to Team TTT&T valuable expertise accrued earlier in his career, working in the corporate sector. He is excited about applying this knowledge to help us launch a start-up publishing concern whose mission and goals he passionately believes in.

I was immediately taken by Sarah and her team’s mission to combine storytelling, education, and publishing. The focus on crafting compelling narratives, and marrying history with first-hand experience, deeply resonated with me. I am thrilled to be a part of this team!

And we are honored to have Dan on board: his enthusiasm is infectious, and his experience profound.

Please join me in leaving Dan your words of welcome in the comments sections. Thanks!



70 Years On... Paris and the Legacy of D-Day

Today's post comes from my awesome assistant and Community Manager over at Time Traveler Tours & Tales, Caitlin Hoffman. Caitlin (bio here) has been fascinated by history for as long as I've known her. We met when she was a high school student at the International School of Paris. From there she went on to read History at Royal Holloway, University of London. For her high school senior thesis (those of you who are IB aware will know it as the Extended Essay), Caitlin researched and wrote about the US's little known 23rd HQ Special Troops, whose main mission was to deceive the Nazi army with inflatable tanks and fake radio transmissions.

No wonder they were referred to as the Ghost Army!

Caitlin knows so many great tales and tidbits of trivia about World War II, especially from the French perspective. So on this occasion of the 70th anniversary of D-Day, I asked her to share a few.

Thanks, Caitlin, for this thoroughly enjoyable post!

70 Years On... Paris and the Legacy of D-Day

Living in Paris, I am always impressed by the little nods that the city gives to those who fought in World War 2. You see it in the very fabric of the city. So next time you’re in Paris look out for these reminders:

The Ringing of the Sirens

On the first Wednesday of every month, air raid sirens can be heard throughout the streets of Paris. Don’t worry - they aren’t preparing against an invasion. It’s meant as a tribute to the city under occupation. It also has the bonus side effect of testing out the equipment.

Next time you’re having a stroll, listen out for the siren that stands out oddly against the bustling sound of a modern city.

Bullet Time

If you’ve been to Paris before then odds are you have either seen or been up the Eiffel Tower, but have you ever looked closely at the building way across from it, on the other side of the Champs de Mars?

The Ecole Militaire, also known as the French Military School, has some interesting stories to tell. During the liberation of Paris in August 1944, the Nazis were convinced that hiding in beautiful old buildings would stop them from getting bombed.

They were right, but this didn’t stop the French Resistant fighters from engaging in guerrilla  warfare. In fact, you can still see the bullet holes on the side of the building today!

It’s the only monument in Paris that has kept them as a reminder of the fierce fight for liberation.

The Writing on the Wall

On almost every residential building in Paris you can see a plaque on a wall. Sometimes it’s about a famous person who once lived there, but often it’s dedicated to a fallen French soldier during the Second World War.

Next to the plaque is usually a metal ring, which during national holidays holds bouquets of flowers. It gives the city a colorful tinge as you walk down the street, reminding us to celebrate the freedom that these individuals lost their lives for.

You can follow these plaques around Paris like bread crumbs, piecing together the entire war from occupation to liberation.

Let’s hope that humankind never forgets. But if the memory begins to fade, Paris has thousands of reminders.

Do you have any historical tales and trivia tidbits you'd like to share?
Contact me or Caitlin here.