Getting published is happy ending to storyteller’s tale

This article originally appeared in the Dec. 31, 2015 issue of The Press Enterprise. View clip online.

Once upon a time, Cynthia Orme read bedtime stories to her seven children. She introduced them to Mother Goose, Peter Pan, “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” and more.

Orme read to her children to expand their imaginations and teach them to read, just like her mother did for her.

As the years passed, Orme’s children grew up. Some had children of their own, and some of those children had children, too. Because they lived far away, Orme had no one to read to anymore.

In 1992, Orme moved to Hemet to live in a big, white castle. The Camelot is a retirement home ringed with rustling palm trees and protected by a big, black gate.

One day in June, at 2 a.m., Orme awoke. A bedtime story was inside her head, needing to be told. Out it came, from pen to paper.

Orme wrote about a little, yellow star who was sad because she had no twinkle. The Man on the Moon told her to find another star without a twinkle. So she traveled the universe until she found one, a blue star tinier than she. The two little stars became friends, and the spark of their friendship made them both twinkle.

Orme named her story “The Star Without a Twinkle.” Then she had an idea. She knew Holiday Retirement, which owns The Camelot, was looking for bedtime stories for a book of its own.

The book was the idea of Jamison Gosselin, who works for Holiday Retirement. He hoped it would encourage children to ask their grandparents to tell them stories and for grandparents to share stories with their families. The book would teach children how to write their own stories.

Money raised from book sales of “Bedtime Stories: Original Tales Shared from One Generation to the Next” would benefit the National Center for Families Learning, which urges families to spend more time with each other, Gosselin said.

Orme submitted her story and crossed her fingers. One day she heard the news: It would be published.

“They only chose five, which is quite extraordinary,” she said. “I was flattered.”

Soon after her story was accepted, Orme got more good news. Her youngest son, Jason, became a father to a little girl named Alessandra. He told his mother someday she could read her bedtime story to her new grandchild.

Orme was happy. Soon she would again be sharing her love of stories with a child.