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About Me

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Corfu, Greece
Liana Metal lives in Greece, on the island of Corfu. She is an EFL teacher(MAEd -Applied Linguistics), book reviewer and freelance writer. Liana is also an artist. Her drawings/paintings can be found both online at www.aggelia-online.gr and at several shops in Corfu town. To contact the artist visit http://LianaMetal.tripod.com or her blog at http://LianasKerkyra.blogspot.com Η Ηλιάνα Μεταλληνού διδάσκει Αγγλικά στην Κέρκυρα, γράφει άρθρα και ιστορίες για έντυπες και ηλεκτρονικές εκδόσεις σε όλο τον κόσμο και ζωγραφίζει. Μπορείτε να την επισκεφθείτε στην ηλεκτρονική διεύθυνση http://toasprosaligari.blogspot.com και http://www.coffeetimecorfu.com


A book for kids/ 3 stories in English

Friday, January 2, 2009

How the idea of the White Snail developed...

Read this little story to get to know my Snail secret! There is a snail recipe at the end of the story!

Happy New Year!

Christmas snails!

“Mom,” my five year-old daughter, Lisa, begged, “Shall we make cookies? Please!”

I was tired after five hours work at school, and a couple of more of doing housework, but I couldn’t resist her enthusiasm. After all, in two days we would have Christmas and she deserved a treat!

“Cookies, animals…please!” she kept on shouting.

Forming the pastry was one of her favorite tasks, and so was mine! Art in the kitchen was fun. In no time we started making the dough.

The kitchen was small and crammed as our new flat was too small for the three of us, and soon, all four of us-a baby was on the way. We tried to find a bigger flat in the town, but our income did not allow more space, at least for the time being.

I placed a big bowl on the square kitchen table and pushed a stool nearby for Lisa to stand on. She had already found a long apron and I helped her tie it around her tiny waist. Then she washed her hands in the kitchen sink. Now she was ready to start.

She gave me the flour, sugar and yogurt and I mixed the butter and eggs. I had to stir everything using a big wooden spoon, as the mixer was in the box-no room to place it anywhere! Now the dough was ready. Lisa took a small piece and played it in her tiny fingers humming a tune.

“What are you making?” I asked her across the kitchen table.

“A snail,” she said seriously.

She formed a long strip of dough and then made one ring over another, shaping a snail.

“Clever girl!” I said. “I’ll make one, too.”

In no time we managed to fill a tray with big and small snails, a whole snail family. I brushed them with lemon juice and sugar, and put them into the oven. The kitchen soon smelt of vanilla. When the cookies were ready, I let them cool on the kitchen table. But Lisa couldn’t wait!

“Let me have one snail, a tiny one!” she begged.

“They are still too hot! Be patient! A few more minutes?”

I knew I had to do something to distract her from the cookies.

“I’ll tell you a story, with snails!” I announced her. “When the story ends, you can have a snail!”

“Okay Mom,” she agreed.

And my first kids’ story came out.

“There was a big family of snails, living in a big garden…,” I went on and on, pausing every now and then to invent the rest of the story. Lisa heard the story asking questions in between, like “why?”-that was her favorite- and then, it was time for the cookies.

When Lisa went to bed later that evening, I sat at the kitchen table looking at the snails on the tray. An idea flashed over, and that was it! I grabbed a piece of scrap paper and started sketching a family of snails: Big ones, small ones, a big garden with flowers. Soon the whole story emerged, the story I had told Lisa before eating her tiny snails. I did not write a single word at that time, I only sketched and sketched dozens of snails till I had produced the whole story on paper.

It felt so good! I had fun and I liked it! Then the doorbell rang and my husband was at home. That day was a long, but surely an interesting one. I put the scrap paper aside and forgot all about it.

Years later, when I took up a creative writing course, I remembered my snail story. I searched my files and luckily, I found them. I always kept things that were related to my kids, such as their first paintings, poems, and so on. It was really exciting to reproduce the same story in words. I also painted the pictures of the story carefully. And I finally created a picture book.

I self published it for my students at school, and I distributed it to them. They were motivated to draw their own pictures and add them to the story. They liked it and they encouraged me to go on. I sent a copy to Lisa, who lives now in UK, and I know that this little book will always remind her of her early years at home.

This little snail story was the beginning of a new outlook in my life –now that Lisa and my son are away studying- a new creative challenge to help me go on with my life. What is sweeter than some snail cookies for Christmas?

Xmas Snails recipe



4 cups of flour

1 teaspoonful baking powder

½ tsp baking soda

A pinch of salt

1 cup margarine or butter

1 ½ cup sugar

1-2 eggs

1 lemon –the rind grounded only

½ cup yogurt

Vanilla essence

Lemon juice



Mix flour with baking powder, soda and salt. Beat butter and add sugar. Add the egg and lemon grind. Add flour, yogurt and vanilla. Make snail cookies and place them on greased tin. Wet the top with lemon juice and sprinkle sugar. Bake at 180 C or until golden for 15 minutes.

Visit the new edition of the White Snail at http://support49100.blogspot.com


Please, feel free to pass this little story along to your friends or to other blogs.


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