"A story beats with the heart of every person who has ever strained ears to listen. On the breath of the storyteller, it soars. Until its images and deeds become so real you can see them in the air, shimmering like oases on the horizon line." Cameron Dokey, The Storyteller's Daughter

Monday, December 2, 2013

December is here and with it Christmas and other winter holidays.  As the days get shorter and the nights get colder (at least where I live), it's great to have the warmth and light of stories to help us through the darkness.  Stories are what make us human; stories are what connect us to others; stories and their telling are what unite families.  As you participate in whatever celebrations are in your traditions this time of year, be sure to gather family around and tell the stories that make you who you are.  Help your children feel a part of their unique heritage.  And...if you have a special celebration planned, hire a professional storyteller as entertainment.  Your party will be the one others will talk about for months--long after the decorations have been put away.  Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

November is the month for being thankful, and I am thankful for family and for the stories that keep us connected as a culture and as families.  What would it be like to sit around the Thanksgiving dinner table and  not have stories to share?  Stories make us human; they give us roots; they give us wings; they give us hope through the bad times.  Take some time as the holiday season approaches to think about YOUR family stories, bring them out and dust them off, and be ready to share with those you love.  Consider storytelling at your next holiday party...you might even hire a professional teller as a different type of entertainment.  Be grateful for the stories that connect us.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Well, the haunting season is officially here!  It's time to tell ghost stories and sit around feeling the light chill in the air.... Was that the autumn wind or a specter passing by?  Everyone loves a good spooky story, so share yours.  You might even hire a professional teller to get your blood really racing!  There are many opportunities to hear (and tell) these stories at this season, so start today.  You could even pick up a book of scary stories and read them late at night, if you dare.  Enjoy the feeling of the autumn and the chill of the story.

Monday, September 2, 2013

School days have started again, the air is getting (a little) cooler and we are headed toward Fall.  Now that the kids are back in school, it's time to think about reading and literacy and perhaps harvest celebrations and carnivals.  All of these activities could readily include storytelling!  Stories are a great way to promote reading, and as the days are getting shorter and people are starting to spend a bit more time indoors, storytelling is a good way to make that time valuable.  Why not hire a professional teller for your next harvest event or back-to-school carnival?  You'll be glad you did.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Well, summer is winding down and those busy days of school will soon be here.  As we all head for the mountains or the beach or the park to have our last "summer fling", don't forget to load up on cold drinks, ice cream, hot dogs and STORIES.  Yes, stories will make the event something truly memorable.  You know you have them, share them with your family and friends and anyone who will listen!  It's always appropriate to share stories around the campfire, in the car, or while hiking.  Consider inviting a professional storyteller along when you are planning that reunion or community celebration.  Everything goes better with a story.  Happy August!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Summertime is storytime

Happy Fourth of July (also Independence Day for those of you in the USA)!  I just finished a performance of "freedom stories" at the Gallivan Center in Salt Lake City, UT and it was interesting to me how many tales from around the world are essentially about freedom.  We all want to be able to find our own way in life, and it's important to transmit that longing and culture to our children.  Tell stories about your youth, your values and your traditions.  Make new traditions by listening to professional tellers and their performances and enjoying the stories that make us human.  Whether around the campfire, at the family reunion, at your summer barbecue or just around the dinner table, tell stories!  And when you plan that special summer event, invite a storyteller to add something different and amazing!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Summer is here, and for those of us who work in the education field, it is the time to re-think, re-group, and re-create what we are doing in our lives and careers.  While I am relaxing and enjoying the sun and family time, I also like to come up with creative ideas for stories and also for my music teaching in the elementary school.  I always hope to end this precious season invigorated and refreshed with new thoughts and stories.  While you are enjoying whatever makes it "summertime" for you, whether that be camping, the beach, extra time to spend with family and friends, or whatever...be sure to tell your stories to all those around you.  My five-year-old granddaughter has decided that storytelling isn't just for grandma anymore.  She enjoys recounting stories she has heard about her parents and has even started "grouping" them--telling a couple that go together (by subject matter) in her mind.  If the pre-kindergartener can do it--you can, too.  There's no time like the present to share with those you love.  Don't forget when planning those fun summer activities to include some time for stories.  You even might want to contact a professional storyteller and get a feel for the power of story.  It truly speaks to all ages.  Happy June!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

It's the beautiful month of May again and I am looking forward to the summer season of storytelling.  This is the time to take your stories "on the road"--to camp, on vacation, up the mountains, to the seashore, or just to the back lawn while watching the stars...anyplace is the place for story.  If you are planning a summer event or festival, it would always be better with storytelling.  Invite a professional teller to help you integrate story into your activity, or take the leap and try it yourself.  Make sure your family knows your story.  Telling stories on those long car trips is especially helpful.  Check out storytelling events and reading incentives at your local library.  The possibilities are endless...and so much fun!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

The daffodils are blooming, the trees are getting their new green leaves, spring is here, and I am ready to tell stories.  Recently, I have realized how important it is to tell our stories and to tell stories from our culture (and other cultures, as well).  We must preserve our identity and pass our values and traditions on to our children, and that is best done with story.  Stories are what bind us together and make us more human:  it's hard to carry bad feelings for someone once you have heard their story.  So...share with others what is unique about YOU.  And don't forget to plan your upcoming end-of-school-year activities with story in mind.  Hire a professional teller today and get a view of what story can do for children, teens and adults, too.  It's a great way to promote literacy and preserve culture.

Friday, March 1, 2013

The Weber State University Storytelling Festival has just ended after another successful year of youth tellers, local professional tellers and 4 fantastic out-of-state tellers spinning their yarns for three full days.  If you missed the fun, plan on coming next year.  Save the date--February 24-26, 2014.  Events are free and you'll be glad you came!
This has been a LONG winter and everyone in Utah is excited to see the sun and the hopes of spring in the air.  While you are feeling somewhat rejuvenated by that thought, why not start your spring and summer storytelling planning?  There are numerous family, school and community events where the magic of story would be appreciated.  Contact a storyteller today for some added sparkle in your event.  And while you're at it, tell a story to someone you love. 

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Well, February is here at last...the month of love, and I just LOVE stories.  The winter in Utah has been especially cold and it's always nice to feel the warmth of story.  So, whether you're visiting with friends or taking the grandchildren on an outing, include storytelling in whatever you're doing.  At a recent storytelling festival held in Clearfield, Utah, more than a third of the tellers were youth.  They ranged in age from 7 to 14 and did a great job presenting their stories to an audience of nearly 100 people.  It's great to see the "next generation" picking up on the importance of storytelling.  Don't YOU miss out on the fun.  Share a story with someone you love today.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Winter is upon us and it feels like the time to curl up with a good book and a cup of hot chocolate.  Why not consider storytelling as an occasional alternative to reading?  Check out your local storytelling guild or group and hire a professional teller for a special event, or take the time to tell (not necessarily READ) stories to family and friends.  My four-year-old granddaughter is one of my best story-listeners.  Whenever we get together, she asks for a story.  Now, she can tell many of the stories to me and to her friends.  What a great way to encourage critical thinking, creativity, and pre-reading skills!  And...she's getting pretty good at the telling.  Her stories follow the linear pattern in the plot and are quite entertaining.  Stories are a great gift you can give to yourself and to those you love, so keep telling tales.