"A real gem of a book!"
£8.50 (£10 inc UK p&p)
A Long Run in Short Shorts is the first book published by my own imprint: Storyworks Press. It's a collection of my own personal tales. Some are short, some very short. Some I've told, some I haven't. But I hope these mini-memoirs show how our personal tales are an essential part of how we create the story of ourselves.
To buy a copy simply click here on A Long Run in Short Shorts and follow the instructions.
An ideal present, you will also be able to request for copies to be sent direct to family and friends.
Latest post in my Storyworks Blog
Storytelling Starters ~ Fantasy and reality
The Isabella Plantation in Richmond Park is now in full dress, azaleas and rhododendrons a riot of colour. As four of us walked around it, one asked ‘Why is it called the Isabella Plantation?’ Well, said I, I think it’s called that after Queen Isabella though I have no recollection of when she lived. Having given that answer, my mind went on to rehearse how Isabella's husband, the king, had been so besotted by her that he declared he would give her a gift of anything at all that she wanted. What he didn’t yet know was that in Isabella’s secret mind she had a notion of an enormous garden that would be all hers and would be a riot of colour. So she didn’t ask him for a new palace, a priceless painting or a ruby. She told him she’d like a piece of Richmond Park which would be made into a very large garden where she might walk and admire the colours.
Of course, the king was rather horrified. This wish of his wife’s meant giving up some of his precious hunting grounds. But for his beloved Isabella, he’d do it. And so the garden began to become. Of course it has taken many centuries to come into its full glory. But by now it is certainly there and well worth a visit
So stories come into being. But that one above is codswallop, rubbish, no more than a passing fantasy of mine. An information board in the park explains more routinely that the name Isabella comes from isabel which is a word that means yellow brown in colour. My Shorter Oxford English Dictionary says a bit more. Isabel, it says, is a small variety of the Pouter pigeon, so called from its colour. And isabella, it says, means greyish yellow, light buff, and is not associated, it points out, with the Archduchess Isabella and the siege of Ostend (1601-1604). The word, evidently, is also applied to certain sorts of fruits, including a kind of peach and a species of North American grape.
Click here to go to more of my Storyworks Blog
And now some news of myself
I'm a professional storyteller and author. I used to experience some difficulty moving from one to the other. By now, I find they enhance each other. My new book, A Long Run In Short Shorts, is a product of both ways of doing things,
A Long Run In Short Shorts consists of 40 short personal tales. Some are stories I've told to friends or on storytelling occasions. Others I have never told. What made me start writing them was an out-of-the-blue email from a woman wanting London stories for an online magazine. Although I wrote back asking what sort of stories she wanted, I never heard from her again. But by then, all kinds of memories were flooding into my mind - London encounters, coincidence tales, extraordinary people, wise and moving things people have said. The foreword to my book explains why I stopped at 40.
For me, it is extremely exciting that A Long Run in Short Shorts is published by Storyworks Press, the new press my husband Paul and I have created for the purpose. The book embodies one of the strong beliefs which has long been at the heart of my Storyworks philosophy - and my storytelling workshops - namely the value and interest of the personal tale both for us as individuals and as part of social communication.
On the storytelling side of my life, I'm currently developing Burying the Cat, a new storytelling show with, at its heart, one of the most popular stories in my new book of mini-memoirs, A Long Run in Short Shorts. The new show will be a companion piece to Travels with My Welsh Aunt. I may even perform them as two halves of the same evening.
I'm also starting to think about the third Enchanted Evening performances of songs and stories that my husband Paul and I will have given at Peppers in Fishguard, the arts venue with a splendid cafe and delicious food. Paul sings the songs, I tell the stories and David Pepper is the pianist. This next performance will be Spring Enchantment. Our previous two shows have been a great success with our audiences and a pleasure for us to perform! .
My most recent schools visit was to the new Cardiff Montessori School as part of National Storytelling Week. Coming up is a return visit to St Peter's in Hammersmith as part of their Arts Week. Intriguingly, the theme of the week will be Umbrellas with Renoir's painting of same a central focus. My mind is already working on a suitably colourful repertoire for all the classes of children I'll see.
I'd also like to draw your attention to my Storyworks Blog, part of which appears at the top of this website. I publish a new posting each Saturday and it delights me to say that I have subscribers as far afield as Australia and India. If you wish, you can easily become a regular (and free) subscriber yourself - see where to sign in on the blog itself - and I'd be delighted to welcome you there.
For a full list of my publications, including Shemi’s Tall Tales, my children's novels and books on storytelling with children, please click on Buy my books in the menu on the left hand side of this website. There, you'll find full details on how to purchase any of my titles directly from me
For further information on my storytelling 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, whether it's a performance, a workshop or a school visit, please
click on What I Can Do For You. .
And do please contact me
if you'd like any further information about my work.