The urgency of an introduction.

Things get done where there is an urgency about them.

In this case I couldn’t release another episode of the Story Story Podcast without having a new intro and outro. So before editing the thirteenth episode I created something new.

You can hear them below (after the intro you have to skip about a minute or two to get to the outro).

Let me know what you think!!


You Need to Have Something To Say

I heard a saying recently.

“If you are going to be a writer, you need to have something to say. ”

It immediately applied to my  music and storytelling.

Musically, I have a lot to say. I tell my personal story of the moment through the songs I write. My latest, “Birds in the Market” came when a man I was dating was offered a job out of state. As I absorbed the information the line came to me –

Our hearts are birds that sing to each other,

Ribcages holding us in.

Waiting to be sold and carried,

in the hand of another or the wind.

The imagery of my heart calling out to his and the impossibility that he and I could be together expressed itself through the lyrics and melody. I have a lot to say when it comes to music.

Traditional storytelling is a different beast all together. It is more elusive in what I want to say. It is a teacher more than self expression. I choose some stories because they call to me, like The Lute Player. Some I tell because they fit the situation. Other stories sit at my door and howl to be told until I open the door in my nightclothes, with bedhead and circles under my eyes. Other stories just let themselves in and wait to be noticed.

But, I do have something to say when I tell stories. The shortest summery is – Life is full of suffering, but it is tender and beautiful too. I tell my experiences through the stories and try to express that ineffable quality of life.  When I need to express the nuances of the death, I draw on my experiences of death. When a child is born in a story I remember watching my nieces birth and being shocked at the strangeness of a new born. When the child is hungry, or the magical food is burnt, or the path twists to a strange new land…well, I know all of those things too.

I have something to say and I will dress it in fairytales so it is entertaining and can get closer to you than I ever could.

I know you have something to say – how do you say it?

Something That Happened : A Unique Performance Venue

I went to see a performance art show at a strip club.

Really anyone who goes to a strip club can say that. I can’t say that I did anything but walk through the club to get to the back room where the art show was happening.

The show was part of Boulder Art Week Shows.

These are my impressions.

  • It smelled like layers of cigarettes and perfume and something else.
  • I thought it was a misnomer to call it a gentleman’s club.
  • Everyone looks better under dim red lights. Even my tired face. Maybe I should replace the bulbs in my house.
  • When I walked in the man at the counter thought I was coming to apply for a job. When I was in college I thought about applying for a job there. I thought about doing an anonymous blog talking about my work there. I didn’t do any of that.
  • I got to peek at an empty dressing room and a sign that said Ladies: You must always be dancing on stage! Even if there is only one customer. Failure to comply: $20 fine and/or sent home. 

I totally get that. Same thing with storytelling. If there is one person stopping to listen I will tell the story.

Oh, and the show was interesting. Music by Riley Ann was fantastic.


Once Upon a Bedtime…

Who is telling your child stories at night?

Is it the books you are reading?

Is it the television that sings them to sleep with jingles about cars to buy, new toys to want, or the next movie they should see?

Often life is so busy that the only time children have attention during the day is when they are being
-directed to do something, “Get your shoes on, time to get in the car and go to school.”
-or being reprimanded, “Stop hitting your brother!”

But those moments before bed, when they are struggling to make the transition between life and the Land of Nod could be the ideal time to have a tender moment or two.

Tell them a story or sing them a song.

If your mind is going blank, or shouting “What story? What songs do I know? ” have no fear. That is going to be the subject of many blogs from here on out. A big discussion of the why, when, what and how of telling stories and singing songs for your children, classroom and community.