I have exciting news on three fronts: I'll be a presenter at both the OOPS Conference (that's the Ohio Order for the Preservation of Storytelling) in Mount Vernon, Ohio May 4-6, and for the Sharing the Fire Northeast Storytelling Conference in Albany, New York March 16-18. Can you say thrilled? That's what I am. It's been a while since I've been to either conference and I am looking forward to seeing many friends at each.My OOPS presentation will focus on short stories anyone can tell, and the Sharing the Fire presentation is a showcase on Appalachian ballads. Singing and stories, life doesn't get much better than that.
I have also been asked to teach a week-long Appalachian Storytelling class for the Augusta Heritage Series at Davis & Elkins College from August 7-14, 2012. Some of you will remember that I attended Irish/Celtic Week the summer before last. I made many friends there and went back to visit a bit this past summer. Augusta Heritage is a unique, weeklong immersion in a specific interest area (Celtic, Cajun,Old-Time, etc) with many opportunities to meet and listen to the best musicians, singers, and artists in that area. I will be teaching my class during Old-Time Week, a good fit for Appalachian Storytelling. I hope to see some friends in the class :) I promise a good time with lots of laughter and learning.
Storytelling world is a small world really, and over the years I've made friends all over the US and even overseas. We keep in touch through a listserve and through Facebook, and every so often I actually get to see some of them in person at conferences and festivals. This year I plan to do a little more traveling now that I am retired and beginning to figure out that I can relax a bit. The National Storytelling Conference is coming to Cincinnati this year, too, from June 28-July 1, and I am planning to attend it as well. I can't believe that it has been six years since I last attended the national conference, and I am so looking forward to seeing lots of friends from all around the country there.
I have some new gigs coming up, one tomorrow night for a local church and another next week for an elementary school in Columbus, Ohio. The schedule has certainly slowed down, but this is a good thing for three reasons: first, I won't have to travel in winter weather if I don't want to; second, I need to write some grants; third, I need to work on program development for the coming year; and lastly, I just need to write in general. So many ideas, now it's time to get them on paper.
On the writing front, my poem Olfactory Mystery was published in the Fall issue of Holler. (I am very lax about submitting my work and that is something I need to correct. It does me no good just sitting on my computer.) I am also hosting an open mic at the local library once a month, helping with a new teen writing group at the library and meeting weekly with my adult writing group. Today I visited a writing group in another county and I'd like to go back again--new voices and new ears are always beneficial to a writer seeking input and ideas.
The new year is looking bright for storytelling. I am already booking Summer Reading shows for libraries, and I will be doing more marketing of my ghost stories program and the Christmas carols program with Jeff that was new this year, with plans to expand the Christmas show to two programs, one for children and one for adults.
That's the update on what's going on in my storytelling and writing life. Now back to our regularly scheduled blog :)