Pen Jen's Inkwell Podcast

Pen Jen's Inkwell Podcast

Welcome to the Jen Waters' Pen Jen’s Inkwell Podcast! Jen wrote and performed all the original stories in the podcast. This podcast is produced by Eric Baines, who scored all the stories and poems in the series to public domain and original music. The podcast is associated with the blog of the same name, Pen Jen’s Inkwell,, which can be found on her website: It features the children's music and spoken word stories from her Apple Music releases, including WONDERLAND, WINTER WONDERLAND, IMPOSSIBLE THINGS, CURIOUSER AND CURIOUSER, ENTIRELY BONKERS, HANDWRITTEN, HOOPS TIME, THE GREAT PUZZLE, and more. During the summer of 1994, Jen attended Berklee College of Music in Boston, Mass. In 1999, Jen graduated as an S.I. Newhouse Scholar from the School of Public Communications at Syracuse University with a major in magazine journalism and minors in music and in English and textual studies. She took the TV, radio, and film classes in sound production. She also took classes at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs of Syracuse University. During her junior year, she studied abroad for a semester in London, England. Upon graduation, Dean Rosanna Grassi awarded her with the Henry J. Wolff Prize for the graduating senior deemed most proficient in journalism. She has worked for such Pennsylvania publications as HARRISBURG Magazine, THE PATRIOT NEWS, and THE TIMES LEADER. She also worked for seven years in the Washington, D.C., media, writing mostly human-interest stories. "Yellow Roses," a song Jen co-wrote, became the grand-prize winner in the country category of the 2005 Session-I John Lennon Songwriting Contest. She has performed at various places such as the ASCAP Writer's Showcase at the Kennedy Center with host Stephen Schwartz, Genghis Cohen, Hallenbeck's, Hotel Cafe, the Koffeehouse Sundance Film Festival Chateau, and the Durango Songwriters Expos. Music-industry veteran Judy Stakee has mentored her. In August 2014, Jen released a 33-song collection through Pen Jen Songs called WHIMSY. In April and May 2016, she re-released the WHIMSY songs as WHIMSY FOR ONE and WHIMSY FOR TWO, each with an original Christmas song. In March 2017, she released PURITY, a 12-song collection with a pop-classical influence. In April 2019, she released SIMPLICITY, a 20-song pop collection. In March 2022, she launched FATE, 17 original pop songs. Combining her love for music and children, she founded Pen Jen Productions and created a children's novel and musical series, THE WHIRLWIND CHRONICLES: THE MAGIC MUSIC BOX, THE HORSE GATE, and DREAMS OR DUST. She also wrote KISSES, a musical based on the life of chocolatier Milton S. Hershey. She is an ASCAP member and a nominee for the ASCAP Joe Raposo Children's Music Award. She has hundreds of stories and pop tunes yet to be written.


May 3, 2023 18 mins
A smile and a flower can change lives.
Daisy Dimple can't smile enough. At age 10, she plants flowers everywhere she goes, even in parking lots and sidewalks. She loves their scent and the beauty they bring to the world. Her 13-year-old brother Billy is a bully who’s jealous of her daisies and magic “hypnotizing” dimple. He calls her “Crazy Daisy,” and she nicknames him “Lil’ Boy Buster.” Daisy wishes she had enough courage to stan...
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With a little pink lemonade and a little musical magic, one special little girl can save her endangered neighborhood.
Mandy Dandie refuses to let Sherwood Neighborhood—which is going downhill fast—be turned into a major freeway. People are unemployed and don’t talk to each other except to fight. Ruben Gruff offers to buy their backyards, and they’re thrilled about the much-needed cash, but Mandy, 10, is upset about losing the old o...
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February 4, 2023 12 mins
Being a willing vessel in the hands of the Potter can bring never-ending miracles.
As legend has it, anyone who is a pottery student of Sage Conrad, a renowned potter in Charleston, South Carolina, is sure to experience a miracle, not like a hokey, made-up one, but a deep, mystical encounter that caused the person to change from the inside out. She is known for her studio called The Wheel. Like most mornings, her longtime friend Alf...
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December 23, 2022 15 mins
Everything is made beautiful in its time, even if the Hours tries to steal your minutes.
Time flies! In an abandoned lighthouse on the coast of Great Point in Nantucket, Massachusetts, an elderly bearded man opens the windows to a bright morning. Over time, he has converted the tower and its nearby buildings into The O’Clock Shop, where he makes and repairs clocks. His shop is filled with little clocks, big clocks, grandfather clock...
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December 8, 2022 31 mins
One girl’s love, faith, and courage turn the tides of Heaven.
Fourteen-year-old Joan Orleans is the wonder of the ages. In Medieval France, she has fallen madly in love with Michael, the youngest archangel. She loves to pray with him in the fields of France. Although she lives on Earth and he lives in Heaven, he visits her every day by traveling on Jacob’s Ladder and takes her to Heaven with him sometimes. Michael turns 17 and begin...
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October 11, 2022 20 mins
When a little girl’s mother dies of cancer, a Christmas reindeer makes the world a brighter place.
In 1939, when Robert May, a Montgomery Ward copywriter, decides to write a poem about a reindeer with a shiny nose, he hopes the world will become a brighter place. Many families could still feel the effects of the Great Depression. Instead of making the annual coloring book, Robert drafts an original Christmas story about an animal wi...
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August 29, 2022 18 mins
Unlikely friendships, personal courage, and loyalty can save the day and bring peace to a troubled Kingdom.
Eight-year-old Shirley the Lamb doesn’t think she matters much to anyone. She doesn’t have a tail because a lion bit it off. Her family always makes fun of her, teasing her because she lacks the wooly waggler and looks incomplete to them. When Shirley becomes friends with young Roger the Lion, he never makes fun of her for mis...
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August 14, 2022 19 mins
A magic camera leads a young photographer into mysteries only she can solve using the unexpected images that develop on her pictures.
Talented but gawky 14-year-old Mary Nose— also known as “Nosy Mary”—inherits her photojournalist grandmother’s magic camera and sets up a secret darkroom. Mary loves feeling special but is troubled by the extra people and things that magically appear in her photographs. Eighth grade teacher Mr. Rockwe...
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May 11, 2021 11 mins
Magic silkworms spin love in the most romantic way.
Night and day, Emma Souster spins thread on a spinning wheel in her home, causing calluses on her hands. Her thread makes cotton frocks for the women of Bourton-on-the-Water in the Cotswolds in England. Because she is always too busy spinning for someone else, her daughter, Velvet Briar Rose Souster, wears clothes made from the scraps. Most of the time, Velvet even sews them togeth...
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May 4, 2021 9 mins
The strength of a unicorn makes you strong enough to achieve anything.
Twelve-year-old Sunshine lives in the land of Gras whose best friend is a unicorn named Penrose. Because her father is King of Gras and her mother is the queen, she lives in a Scottish medieval castle. Penrose goes with her everywhere, protecting her from harmful beasts in the enchanted forest. She loves to play with him in her rose garden and splash with him in ...
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April 27, 2021 14 mins
If you ever wanted to live in a shoe, now is your chance!
Over the river and through the woods, there is an old woman who lives in an ankle boot in the Shoes Neighborhood, a neighborhood of footwear. Although her five children—the parents of her twelve grandchildren—live nearby, her grandchildren enjoy staying at her home more than any other place in the entire countryside, including the village candy store. Of course, she is a goo...
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April 20, 2021 13 mins
If the Evil Squid Ink doesn’t steal the Great Magician’s story magic, Ink Fairies just might deliver a book to your beside from the Timeless Library.
When the Great Magician in the Kingdom of Reynes runs out of ink in his jar, he calls the Ink Fairies for help. Like all magicians, the Great Magician has a special gift that distinguishes him in the kingdoms—his is storytelling. In fact, whether or not people know it, he is responsibl...
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April 13, 2021 11 mins
Time-traveling shoes offer a twelve-year-old girl a world of adventures, but her first mishap-ridden journey warns her to seek some experienced advice before her next trip.
Twelve-year-old Aiyana Mitchell has her Bubblegum Taffy Hot Pink High Heels on. She loves to sit on the back porch in the suburbs of Philadelphia. With her time-traveling shoes, she can travel to the future and the past. The shoes are a special, secret gift from ...
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April 6, 2021 14 mins
For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also, even at the bottom of the sea.
Frederick the Seahorse loves to scour the ocean floor, looking for the Titanic’s lost sea chest. Although Frederick’s father King Maris, and his father before him have ruled the Kingdom of Kaimana they have not been able to find the lost treasure. Afraid of running out of treasure and losing his kingdom like Uncle Makai, Frederick, an only chil...
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March 30, 2021 15 mins
A beloved six string guitar travels from person to person, magically helping them out in their time of need with inspiration, encouragement, and comfort . . . then makes its way back to the little girl who dreams of playing it in Carnegie Hall.
When 11-year-old Lyric Lark loses her beloved guitar Six Strings in a New York City taxicab, she is worried that she’ll never play at Carnegie Hall—her lifelong dream. Her teacher at the Broo...
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March 23, 2021 27 mins
Handwritten letters bind young lovers together despite hardships and tragic loss, from grade school through World War II and into a life-long marriage.
Young Dorothea Mildred Mengel walks three miles to church every Sunday, where she meets unruly and charming Wilson Moyer, three years older. He passes her notes which she keeps between the pages of her Bible. While Dorothy grieves the loss of her father, her mother is on her third hu...
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March 16, 2021 18 mins
A talented but arrogant young basketball star learns to lead, to share, and to love.
Johnny B. Good is at Lehigh College on a basketball scholarship for the Mountain Eagles men's team. Nancy Jones, daughter of the college president, is pursuing a degree in education and has a serious crush on Johnny. She’s there at all the games supporting him, but he seldom notices her. Shortly after being drafted into the NBA, an injury takes John...
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March 9, 2021 8 mins
A world-famous painter reveals his methods and encourages artists to paint with truth and light and to value each individual with all their strengths and weaknesses.
Dutch painter Rembrandt introduces himself to his students, saying he wants to teach them everything he knows. As an artist, he understands the human condition which puts him in a unique position to represent it in his work. Rembrandt’s portraits are painted with truth ...
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March 2, 2021 12 mins
Like the professor who bought a monkey with a tuba for a nickel, sometimes you get more than you bargained for, but if you think creatively, you can often find more than one good solution to a problem.
Old Professor Tumnus bought Monotone the monkey at the Grantville Circus from a retiring organ grinder for a nickel, thinking the monkey will be inspiration for his English students. The organ grinder warns him the monkey plays the tu...
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February 23, 2021 9 mins
Some legends seem so real that they can capture lives and spark great loyalty.
At Caerleon in Southern Wales, Gwen the Alligator who lived her whole life in the moat around castle Camelot, welcomes visitors to King Arthur’s realm for a retelling of the famous legends, including the quest for the Holy Grail. Gwen’s mom loved legends, tales, and folklore galore and named her newly hatched egg after Arthur’s Queen Guinevere.
Gwen tells ...
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