But does she actually tell stories these days?
Actually, yes, I do. School started again the beginning of September. As part of a new literacy initiative, I've been telling stories every day to our first graders, hoping that the anecdotal reports of improved reading skills upon storytelling involvement will play out. If nothing else, the kids are enjoying it, and learning what "story" is. So much of the media many children experience now is not really plot or character driven, so they come to us without the basic sense of story.
Along with my daily storytelling adventures, I've been busy with other events this fall. Early September found me caught up in our 5th Annual LaCrosse Storytelling Festival. Celia Farran returned, along with Hans Mayer and Kevin Kling. I was Kevin's host over the weekend, allowing my brother Fritz, an old friend of Kevin's from way back, to prank him when arriving at the train station. I enjoyed the time spent getting to know Kevin, a truly nice guy--he's from Minnesota, why wouldn't he be? I also told a new story, "The Piper's Revenge," at our Friday night "Tales of the Creepy and Scary," with great effect.
Later in September, I had another wonderful gig booked through the Wisconsin Humanities Council in Reedsburg Wisconsin. Along with a lovely bed and breakfast stay, I managed a bit of geocaching, including finding one right at the library hosting my gig.
Though I wasn't able to have the full experience, I did make the trip to WISTGET, the Wisconsin Storyteller's Get-Together, where I hosted one of the swaps. It's always renewing to my art to spend time with old friends as well as new, all of whom "get" storytelling. Sadly, a few days later, one of the long-time members of the Wisconsin storytelling community, Ralph Smith, died as a result of an auto accident. He had been one of the tellers in my swap, and it's been difficult to lose two fine storytellers in such a short time, and so unexpectedly.
This past weekend, I took part in Historic Downtown LaCrosse Day, where I told stories at a charming gift shop located in an old cigar factory near the riverfront, Ambience. I had several little girls awaiting my stories, and they were a delightful audience. It's always a treat to know someone came just to hear the storyteller!
Things have slowed down for now, though I look forward to attending a production of The Arabian Nights on Sunday with several of my local storytelling friends. I'm hoping that this lull in activity will allow me time to move deeply into work on a couple of new stories. I do believe I have found the makings of a story that lets the wolf be the helper...and it's a true family story. The story was shared with me by my mom shortly after I had the great good fortune to see a wolf not once, but twice in the same weekend. The timing seems fortuitous indeed, so allow me to sink into the quiet reflection of the world of the wolf.