Latest post in my Storyworks Blog
Storytelling Starters ~ In praise of the personal tale
A tale that I told my brother this Monday was of an occasion a few summers ago when Paul and I were climbing back up from Pwll Strodyr to the lane. With us were our friend Eddie, who’d been down at the beach for his regular swim, and also his dogs and his cat, all of whom used regularly to accompany him there.
On this occasion as often, the field was full of cows. Before we reached the part of the field where the cows were grazing, Eddie stopped and told us to stop as well. ‘Now watch this,’ he said. What we then saw was amazing. As Eddie explained how his cat hated cows, his two dogs ran ahead through the herd, creating an open pathway between them. As soon as the open path appeared, the cat, who'd meantime been sitting on its haunches in front of us, suddenly took off. Whoosh! Like a bolt of lightning, she ran straight through the channel the dogs had created to the safety of the gate.
Wow! We were full of admiration and I remain full of admiration whenever I remember the incident. And whenever I recount it to someone else, they are always impressed. On Wednesday, same thing when I told it to my brother. So of course it’s one of the stories I love telling and I know Eddie doesn't mind because Eddie loves telling stories too. In fact, he is a treasure house of tales and, not surprisingly, his grandchildren love him for it.
The result of all this was that yesterday I set my mind to thinking more generally about what can make personal stories work.
And now some news of myself
I'm a professional storyteller and author. I used to experience some difficulty in pursuing both these rather different paths. By now, I'm equally happy to be storytelling or writing and find they enhance each other.
On the storytelling side, I'm happy to report that two recent performances have inspired me to feel I'd like to do similar sessions again. The first was an event at Waterstone's in Piccadilly, part of a storytelling series that is organised by June Peters and Bernard Kelly. My evening was entitled From the Land of the Magic / O Wlad Yr Hud. It wove together stories from my native Pembrokeshire, which is known as the land of the magic, with some of the stories behind the books I've written.
The second event was Enchanted Evening, a session of songs and stories performed in Fishguard in Pembrokeshire in which the stories were told by myself and the songs were sung by my husband Paul accompanied by David Pepper. As we'd hoped, the songs and stories went beautifully together, reflecting the magic of stars and skies and the varied powers of enchantment. It's the first such session we've done together for a long time and we're already planning more.
As to my work as a writer, I'm currently working on a third children's novel and I recently finished A Long Run in Short Shorts. This is a collection of my own personal tales. Some are short, some very short. Most of them are a bit quirky.But the collection reflects my strong belief that our personal tales are an essential part of the way in which as human beings we create our stories of ourselves. I've been looking for a publisher for the collection but without any luck so far. So I'm now at the stage of wondering whether to self-publish.
2014 saw the publication of Storytelling for a Greener World, contributed a book which makes an important contribution to thinking about environmental matters. Edited by Alida Gersie, the book includes a chapter from me on work I've done which shows how storytelling can contribute to environmental learning. Writing Voices by Teresa Cremin and Debra Myhill, published in 2012, includes a mini-chapter by me on storytelling in schools.
For a full list of my publications, including Shemi’s Tall Tales, my two children's novels and my two books on storytelling with children, please click on My Publications in the menu on the top left of this website. Here you will also find details of how to purchase my books directly from me.
As you can see from the top of this page, I also write and publish a weekly Blog under the title Storytelling Starters. If you wish, you can easily become a regular (and free) subscriber.
For further information on my career, including the Lifetime Achievement Award
I was given in 2013 by BASE (British Awards for Storytelling Excellence) please click on Read more about me
. And to know more about what I can offer you,
click on What I Can Do For You. An adult performance? A workshop? A school visit? Just be in touch to let me know where you are and what you want and we'll see if we can fix a booking.
And do please contact me
if you'd like any further information about what I can offer.