It is certainly the time of year for it, at least in this neck of the woods. Yesterday in Morgantown the audience was just what a storyteller wants: attentive listeners who laughed, jumped, and applauded at all the right times. My good friend Jason Burns attended, and took these photos (thanks, Jason!):
Telling Taily-Po: "He saw two little pointed ears, two red beady eyes, and a long, curly, waving tail. That's meat for the pot!"
Telling Ikie's Tomb: "She had a concrete tomb built above ground, with glass windows so you could look in and see..."
And with my friend, fellow storyteller and WV Storytelling Guild member (and next president, I do believe) Jason Burns, who leads a ghost walk of the West Virginia University campus.
The Morgantown Library concert was sponsored by the Shelley A. Marshall Foundation which was founded in honor of Ms. Marshall who was one of the victims of the 9/11 attack on the Pentagon.
Today I was in Charleston, WV at the WV Book Festival to perform with other members of our storytelling guild in a late afternoon concert. I was also moderator for a workshop by Marilyn Shank, author of Child of the Mountains, a book I reviewed on this blog several months ago. Marilyn discussed how a writer discovers and remains true to their own voice in their writing. One statement she made verified something I have long believed: Don't write to be published. Write because you have to tell your story. Excellent advice.
Our storytelling concert theme was"magic, monsters and mythical tales." I think the stories we told held well to that theme, from Bill Hairston's unique story of family heritage to Judi Tarowsky's haunting original tale set in Wales to Ilene's amazing recitation of a poem she wrote about a kelpie. I told Ikie's story, the story of Tunnel #21 and sang the ballad Holland Handkerchief, all stories about unusual burials. Again the audience was perfect listeners, something every storyteller dreams of at every performance.
Tonight I am packing again, this time to be gone the rest of the week for three days of storytelling at the WV State Storytelling Festival, two library performances and an all-day school event. I hope to blog at least occasionally during the week, but if I don't manage it, you'll know where I am--on the storytelling trail, telling tales and finding new stories to share with you. Larry will be holding down the fort at home as he continues to put the roof sheathing on the cabin room. I promise to update photos of his progress soon. It's coming along well.
Safe travels to all of you this week!
Copyright 2012 Susanna Holstein. All rights reserved. No Republication or Redistribution Allowed without attribution to Susanna Holstein.