Monday, April 09, 2007

Sometimes a girl just can't help it....

Call it an occupational hazard, if you will, but once a person becomes enmeshed in the world of storytelling, strange things sometimes happen. Take, for instance, a recent trek with my husband to do some much ballyhooed geocaches that required rigorous hikes to blufftop ridges and caves. The caches were found, photos taken, and one in particular inspired a log entry that reflects the mind of a storyteller...perhaps warped and lacking lustre, but still.....

:) April 7 Trekkin' and Birdin' (106 found)

Not so very long ago, in a place 22 miles from here, Trekkin' and Birdin' decided to celebrate having found 100 caches by heading into the mouth of the Lair. Yes, they knew it would be a quest, but having done all those other caches, they felt they were ready to face the challenge.
Setting off with their magical pointer, their first trial was finding the right road. As in many quest tales, they were anxious to find the trail, and turned just a bit too soon. Finding their way back onto the path, they parked their transport at the start of the minimum maintenance road, making a new friend of a Bassett Hound who came to greet them.
Their breath showing in the crisp April morning air, they observed icicles hanging off the rock ledges on the way to the Enchanted Pine Forest. Small flocks of Golden Crowned Kinglets greeted and guided them toward the path. The trail through the forest is never easy to find, but they survived that trial, coming face to face with the cave looking down at them.
Up...and up...and up they went. Birdin' wondered momentarily if Townsends Solitaires have been seen in this remote setting, because it sure looked like their habitat, with all the juniper...but stop! Trekkin' reminded Birdin' of their quest, and climbing like mountain goats to the entrance of the Lair, they realized...only one trial remained.
Creeping into the darkness, the narrow space, knowing the sandstone holds could break away, they edged closer and closer to find...the treasure box! Taking nothing and leaving only a signature and footprints, they enjoyed the hike back down, the friendly Bassett awaiting their safe return...from the Lair!
Thanks for this very excellent caching experience. We dressed for the winter temps we've been experiencing, but our quest to the Lair kept us plenty warm! We'll be back to explore again.

I didn't say it was *great* storytelling. Many people who have visited this particular location write lengthy logs of their exploits. It's just that kind of adventure, I guess.

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Thursday, April 05, 2007

A cautionary tale?

Elsewhere I've mused upon New Year's intentions, met and unmet. For the past couple years, one of those that has remained unmet is the creation of a decent media kit. Many of us struggle with this whole notion of self-promotion. I've attended some great workshops on the topic, notably those presented by the wonderful Linda Gorham. I've gathered other tellers' appealing brochures for inspiration. I've contacted a couple friends with design services catering to the storytelling world. Have I acted on any of it?

Not yet.

Right now, I'm paying the price for my inaction. Recently, a call came through on the storytell listserv for a festival in Arizona. Now, I realize the chances of being invited out there to be a featured teller are about as good as the chances that it will hit a high of 80 here today---the predictions are for 39. Still, the sun is shining and it is Wisconsin, so one never knows. In that same spirit, I figure that one can never know whether they'd be invited to be a featured teller if the application isn't sent. So I'm scrambling.

I do have a nice black and white head shot already. Thank you to the Wisconsin Humanities Council for pushing me to get that done. Granted, my hair style has changed dramatically at least twice since it was taken, but my face hasn't changed since 5th grade, so that's good. I also have a nice storytelling curriculum vitae, easily changed to suit the purpose. It's that darn brochure!

Oh, I have a brochure. It's very homemade in appearance and I know I need to get something that looks more professional. I just haven't done that, even though it's on my intention list every year. At the moment, I have a tight deadline...April 10. Which means I should really get this stuff in the mail by tomorrow. What to do?

Isn't the internet a wonderful place? I discovered a brochure making site online with some free templates. Granted, free has its limitations, but once I finish adding the text and buying some good quality paper, I'll have a very limited run of nice looking brochures. If nothing else, going through this process has impressed upon me the need to actually follow through on this particular intention this year.

Don't even get me started about demo CDs. One intention at a time, okay?

If you are a storyteller or performing artist, I'd love to hear your experiences with creating your media kit. Comment away!