"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

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

It's the winter holiday season again and whether you celebrate Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanzaa or Dewali, there are stories to share with others.  This is the time of year for sitting in front of a fire (or in another warm location) and telling stories of your family and holiday traditions.  This is what binds us to each other and to those who have gone before.  And don't forget, when you plan your celebrations and parties, include storytelling.  It makes the time unforgettable!  And remember, in Victorian times, this was the season for ghost stories...try it out!

Saturday, November 5, 2016

I just attended a Storyswap with the Utah Storytelling Guild and it was great to see old friends, meet new ones and hear amazing stories.  I have spent the last month telling ghost stories to anyone who would listen and it was a great ride!  With all the talent around the area, if you are in northern Utah and haven't been to a storytelling presentation of some kind...you are just plain missing out!  I have the privilege of performing an hour long program of stories entitled--"From Sea to Shining Sea:  Stories on the Quest for Freedom" on November 11th for Veteran's Day.  I am excited to be able to share tales from our history and those who have given so much for the freedoms we enjoy.  As you gather with family later this month for the Thanksgiving holiday, be sure to share some stories with your children and grandchildren.  They'll remember that long after the leftovers have disappeared!

Monday, October 3, 2016

The air is becoming cooler, leaves are vibrant shades of crimson and gold, the mountains are topped with a dusting of snow...it must be time for ghost stories!!  Almost everyone likes a good ghost tale--one that gives just the right amount of chill, and especially one with a surprise ending, so...get your cup of hot chocolate and doughnuts or popcorn or caramel apples and sit back and enjoy the season and the stories.  Ogden and Salt Lake City (Utah) Ghost Tours offers ghost stories every Friday and Saturday this month, plus on Halloween night.  These are re-tellings of actual experiences people have had in these haunted cities.  Some tours are walking, some are bus tours. Check out the website at www.storytours.com for more information.  If you're having a Halloween party, make storytelling a part of it.  There are great stories for all:  from the little ones who don't need a scare to bigger people who may enjoy it!  Happy Fall!

Friday, September 16, 2016

I started out this month with a wonderful 3 days at the Timpanogos Storytelling Festival!  There's nothing better than sitting at the foot of our beautiful mountains and listening to storytellers from all over the country give us their best!  Now is the time of year when the weather is getting cooler, the leaves are starting to turn, and that means...time for ghost stories!  If you live in northern Utah, check out Ogden and Salt Lake City Ghost Tours and hear the history and ghostly encounters in these two haunted cities.  Wherever you are, enjoy the crisp autumn weather and the chill of those stories that always surprise and delight.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

I don't know about you, but I have been traveling and seeing some beautiful sights in nature this summer.  The western part of the United States has interesting and unique scenery and it's here for all to enjoy!  It makes me think about the sacrifices so many have made when this country was new, and the pioneering efforts of so many to give us the ease and beauty we take for granted.  These stories need to be told, and I am researching stories that are begging for audiences!  We all need to be more aware of our history so that we can pass the culture down to our children and grandchildren, so that we are informed citizens (wherever we live) and so that we have a sense of where we have come from and where we are headed.  Share stories...hire storytellers who know more stories...share more stories...it's a great way to learn and feel and enjoy life more!

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

I had a great time telling a program of freedom stories and folk tales at the Gallivan Center in Salt Lake City last month.  The audience was just wandering around, but the sound system was great and I could see the occasional person stopping in their busy day to listen to a story...we should do that more often!  I have been researching American history stories so that I can tell more of our nation's amazing stories.  Too many don't know anything about the history here, as evidenced by some random Facebook posts that present fictionalized accounts as truth.  The real stories are too good to ignore!  Make sure, whatever culture you hail from, that you acquaint your children and others with the tales that make up your background.  Children need to know where they come from to have a firm idea of where they are going!  So...spread culture and stories this summer!

Friday, June 10, 2016

"June is bustin' out all over"...there should be a song with this!  Summer is truly here and the relaxing and busy times that come with it.  Festivals, parties, get-togethers, reunions...they're all better when accompanied by stories.  I just came back from a wonderful trip to southern Utah and one of the most beautiful places on the globe:  Bryce Canyon.  Before the hike on the Navajo Trail Loop, I had to tell my grandchildren about the time I took that hike as a seven-year-old with a mother who was pregnant and sick, an aunt recovering from whooping cough, a three-year-old brother who had to be carried part of the way and my grandfather.  I was full of more energy than sense, and probably travelled the trail at least twice running up and down in my excitement!  My mother was worried that I might fall off the trail to my death, but she wasn't strong enough to do much about it.  What a great memory and what a fun story for the next generation.  Don't forget to share with your family and friends.  Also, check into what storytelling festivals may be around your area this summer.  You'll be glad you did.

Monday, May 2, 2016

It's May and time to start thinking of summer and vacation plans.  If you are planning a festival or carnival, consider hiring a storyteller to round out the activities and remember...storytelling is not just for children.  EVERYONE loves a good story that is well told!  Stories are the way we share culture, language, ideas and values, so make sure to include it in your summer plans.  If you are traveling with family, there is no better way to keep everyone happy than to share family tales.  The miles will go by much more quickly and there will be less of the question, "Are we there yet?"

Saturday, April 9, 2016

April is a beautiful month in Utah--trees are in bloom and flowers spring up everywhere.  It truly seems like a new beginning, and what better way to celebrate a newness of life than to hear and tell stories!  Folk tales from around the world help us connect with other cultures and discover the differences and also the qualities and yearnings we all share.  Family stories unite us with our own backgrounds and traditions, and stories of our cultural and historical heritage help us to know who we are and give us roots.  Try storytelling as a way to bring us all together in a positive manner; it's also a very rewarding way to celebrate this season of beginning.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

March is here and spring is in the air!  Why don't you celebrate the change of seasons by hiring a storyteller for your next fair/carnival/ party or activity?  From Irish stories for St. Patrick's Day to celebratory stories for the new life of spring, something will take you into the magical realm of imagination and bring you new ideas and vitality.  If you don't want to hire a teller, do your own telling and share tales of your family or culture.  Stories are how we become more human and share our ideas with others....so share stories this spring and feel the magic of telling!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

January 23rd we had an amazing storytelling festival in Clearfield, Utah.  There were eleven tellers and we had everything from cowboy poetry to folktales to puppets to juggling to tender family stories presented on the stage.  The tellers ranged from 9 years old to...well, somewhat older than that.  It was a diverse and great evening for tellers and audience alike.  Here in northern Utah we are looking forward to the Weber State University Storytelling Festival on February 22nd through the 24th.  National and local tellers will take the stage and provide excellent (and free) entertainment!  If you haven't heard storytelling, you're missing out on a great experience.  Stories speak straight to your soul and you can leave feeling refreshed, invigorated, emotionally cleansed, and just plain happy.  Check into storytelling events in  your local area and feel the magic!

Friday, January 1, 2016

Happy New Year and may you have health and happiness in 2016!  Start the year with story.  If you are in the northern Utah area, the 10th Annual Clearfield Storytelling Festival is a great way to do that.  It is held on January 23 at 7:00 p.m. at the Community Arts Center 140 East Center Street in Clearfield, UT. and is free of charge.  Performers will be professional and novice tellers from the area and you will be well-entertained.  Let the stories warm your heart and soul at this frosty time of year!  Those who attend are always glad they did.  Farmington, UT also has a Storytelling Festival on January 16 from noon to 3:00 p.m. Cost is minimal and includes crafts for kids.  If these activities don't fit into your schedule, take some time to spin some tales with your family and friends.  Years ago, winter was the best storytelling time, as the work wound down and people spent more time indoors around the fire.  Those people seemed to sense that story would warm them...inside and out.  When the winter starts getting you down, try story, it's a great pick-me-up and helps chase away the dark.