by Tasha-Rose Mirick
Many of our readers often tune in to Lamyka Lampry’s “Wiccan Podcast” or even her “Pagan Women’s Podcast.” To the delight of Pagan parents such as me, she also has her podcast “Pagan Bedtime Stories.” Recently Lamyka released a coloring book based on the stories shared on her show. I got the chance to turn the tables on this usual interviewer and ask her a few questions about her coloring book “Pagan Bed Time Stories: How Maui Slowed the Sun” and a fundraiser started to support her work.
LL: I was inspired to make a Pagan Bed Time Stories coloring book because I saw a severe lack of children’s materials in the Pagan community. When I was growing up I had Hawaiian coloring books that taught me the names of native plants & animals–you know, color in the Hawaiian Monk Seal or the Iwa Bird (frigate bird). I grew up with amazingly beautiful story books about our gods and heroes, the stories of our people. When I got a little older, maybe first or second grade, I had books telling the tales of other peoples. I grew up with stories from all over the world: Greek, Chinese, Japanese, African, and so many more. I wanted to bring and share my childhood with other Pagan children, who like I did, are growing up Pagan. I also wanted to help be a small part of creating the heritage that one day future Pagans will look back on.
TRM: Have you long been an artist?
LL: I wouldn’t really call myself an artist. I have the gift of words and storytelling but I’m not an illustrator, though I am pretty amazing at glass working. However, I think that’s in line with my storytelling, in a way, like Emerald Rose’s ‘Fire in the Head’ song–both require fire to slowly mold and reveal.
TRM: Do you have children of your own?
LL: I do not have children on my own yet, though hopefully one day. Though I always say, treat your community like your own children and siblings–that way any and all that you do is for them, just like you would for your own child. [It’s] hard to neglect the needs of your community if you think that way.
TRM: What if an adult Pagan wanted to color this book? How would recommend they approach it?
LL: This actually happened to me. A Pagan mother said that her daughter wasn’t “into” coloring books anymore but that if I made a paint-by-numbers book she’d definitely buy it. My reply to her was this: I advocate through the podcast and the coloring book, that it’s for adults and children, and I stand by that. My coloring book can be printed out and painted on, crayoned in, penned in, etc. but the main message is to perpetuate a culture of giving to our descendants. Color in this story book now and when your grandchild’s grandchild asks whose handwriting or brush stroke that is they can feel the love of their forbearers without ever having met you. It’s an e-book so you can print it out yourself and paint it in or blow it up try to put it on canvas–the possibilities are limited only by your imagination!
TRM: What sets your coloring book apart from the others that exist?
LL: I think what sets my coloring book apart from other coloring books is that they’re not fluffy–these are real stories, with real heroes and gods. You won’t find any cutesy Disney rip offs that teach our children next to nothing about the world we really live in. They’re also not manufactured to teach some moral–these are the surviving oral histories of indigenous humanity. It’s not all pretty or nice, but knowledge is the shield by which you can stand strong and wise.
TRM: Do you have plans for more books, perhaps a series?
LL: Pagan Bed Time Stories is a series that I’ve just started. But given enough support I’d like to expand into a whole range of children’s books from baby to teen. I used to be a teacher so I’ve definitely picked up a few tricks along the way that prove learning doesn’t have to be boring. In point of fact, boring and learning do not go together.
If you would like to get your hands on a copy of Lamyka’s “Pagan Bed Time Stories: How Maui Slowed the Sun” there are a couple of ways of doing so! You can visit her website and get your copy for $6.99 as a downloadable e-book. The other way you can get a copy involves helping to keep her podcasts live and going strong.
From her site:
While we have all been hit by hard economic times, I need your help to keep all that I’ve worked hard for alive. If you enjoy my show, love my bed time stories, or support the organizations I run, please go to lamyka.libsyn.com or paganstories.libsyn.com and donate. I have placed a PayPal donate button on both of these sites. My Goal is to raise at least $500. With this money I will be able to keep all my podcasts online as well as begin a special charity effort through the Proud Pagan Podcasters.
For each person who contributes $5 or more, in thanks, Lamyka will send you a copy of the coloring book. For contributors of $10 or more, she will send along the book and a handwritten note. For more information visit her site.
The bedtime story podcasts, which have so far included Hawaiian, Japanese, and Greeks stories, can be downloaded from her site. The stories are told in two parts.