Storytelling projects are piling up right now with so many different things happening in the next few months. Here's a sample of what I'm into right now (and why I'm not posting as much as usual):
1. This week I have alread completed one performance, done in tandem with a friend who is a diine dulcimer player and songwriter. Heidi Muller and I performed together last night for an Elderhostel group. It was such fun, challenging to make our material sync and yet so energizing. The audience sure seemed to enjoy it.
2. Tomorrow is a performance for my uncle's assisted living place. I am planning for this to be very informal, a give and take, I hope, with those in attendance so we can share stories.
3. Friday I am telling river stories with two friends, a storyteller anad a musician, on a Sternwheeler cruise on the Ohio River, as part of the Meigs Sternwheeler Festival. That evening I'll join another friend in Point Pleasant, WV to tell ghost stories as part of the Mothman Festival.
4. Saturday evening is an entirely different gig, telling stories for the Chickens in the Road Retreat in Roane County, WV. Some of you might be followers of Suzanne McMinn's Chickens in the Road blog; this weekend she will have the second retreat with people from all over the US coming to learn homesteading and self-sufficiency skills.
5. A performance of Appalachian stories is planned for September 22nd in Sistersville, at the Gaslight Theater. I hope I get to ride the ferry this time! When I was there last, it was down for repairs.
6.. Next up will be the first Pricketts Fort Storytelling Festival; I will be one of the tellers for a daylong event at this state park near Fairmont, WV. We'll be telling to school groups all day, with an open-to-the-public evening concert.
7. And following that, a performance the next day in Athens Ohio for the library's open house.
8. Two days later, I'll be telling all day to Ripley Middle School's 8th grade, right here in my hometown, to get them pumped up to submit stories for the 3rd annual library writing contest.
9. And after that? My friend and storyteller Lorna Czarnota and her husband will be visiting from Buffalo, NY, on their way south to the National Storytelling Festival. I am looking forward to showing her around my neck of the woods :)
10. The WV Library Association conference will be next on my agenda; I will be presenting two sessions, one a performance of ghost stories and ballads and the second on how to create a successful library writing contest. My friend Carla will join me to tell then what we've been doing for the past two years, and I'll also include my experience in the past at my branch library.
11. And then I'll be up in Morgantown to tell more ghost stories and sing more ballads, and the next day tell stories with other members of the WV Storytelling Guild at the WV Book Festival.
12. The next stop is the WV Storytelling Festival in Weston, WV, telling stories for two days to big audiences of school children. I've been a part of this festival since 1997, and it's always a highlight of my year.
13. Then it's back to Sistersville and the Gaslight for more ghost stories as a program for the grant I wrote with my friend Donna Wilson, We have 5 storytellers and my musician friend lined up to perform; should be a fun evening.
14. Somewhere in there I hope to be able to be part of a writing contest finale in Bridgeport, WV, if we can find a mutually agreeable date.
Other irons in the fire are helping a young speech student find a story to prepare for a speech, preparing workshop proposals for a conference or two, and planning for the Christmas carols program with my friend Jeff. There is also a program that I might be developing with an Ohio storyteller to be presented in Nelsonville, OH on October 27th, and if that doesn't pan out, I may participate in Mountaineer Week at WVU again telling stories for the annual Tellabration. There is also the reception for the local writing contest on November 3rd, and a poetry writing workshop tentatively planned for November 10th and a performance in eastern WV on the 18th.
It's looking to be a very busy time for stories and friends in the next several weeks. I'm excited to see storytelling really taking off as I had hoped it would when I retired. I just hope there's time in there to keep up with my booths at the antique malls, do a little more canning, and enjoy the beautiful Appalachian autumn.
Copyright 2012 Susanna Holstein. All rights reserved. No Republication or Redistribution Allowed without attribution to Susanna Holstein.