Mary Medlicott, Storyteller and Author - Storyworks

Posts Tagged ‘St David’s Day’

Storytelling Starters ~ Getting Participation/6

Saturday, March 1st, 2014

Today is St David’s Day (more on that later) and also the last of my current series. Getting Participation has focussed on Early Years children but is applicable, I believe, to all ages. Enjoyment and relish of words; the value of vocal tone and pauses; the enormous power of silence – all such things can make an enormous difference in storytelling. On other previous occasions, I’ve written about rhythms, refrains and rhymes as vital in helping children to feel included and also, of course, about props.

But today I want to write about the over-riding point of all this, namely why participation is worth bothering about and the value of working to achieve it. I have a storytelling anecdote which might help me convey what I’d like to say.

Why it’s worth it:

One time I was telling stories to a class of 14 and 15 year-olds in a Welsh School in mid Wales. We were in an otherwise empty room for the storytelling. The pupils were sitting on cushions on the floor and looking very relaxed. Some began moving onto their stomachs, their heads propped up on their upraised hands. Suddenly, surprisingly, right in the middle of the story, one of the boys moved onto one arm, lifted his head up and spoke to the room. ‘What’s going on here?’ he said. ‘What’s happening to us?’ (more…)

Storytelling Starters ~ Dates to Remember

Saturday, February 23rd, 2013

Two significant dates are in view. March 1st is St David’s Day. Whether you’re religious or not, it’s an important day for people in Wales and for Welsh people outside it. It’s the time to pay special attention to the gentle Patron Saint who as he was dying urged those around him ‘to do the little things’. Gwnewch y pethau bychain. I think what St David said is important, namely attending to the detail of people’s needs in the world around you. Which I hope includes valuing the part stories can play.

A great story for St David’s Day is the one I call The Door in the Mountain. To find it, please look back in my Blog Archives to my posting for February 2012. When you read the story, you’ll see it’s not only got daffodils in it – and of course daffodils (or leeks) are the St David’s Day emblem. In the story, a single daffodil becomes an apt symbol of wonder, living on in the mind long after the real daffodils the little girl finds have gone brown and withered and died.

World Book Day 2013

A week later on March 7th comes World Book Day 2013. This day gives a chance to celebrate what books do for all of us who have access to them. Fact or fiction, they can take us into worlds we might never otherwise reach, transcending time and place and our own physical selves to enable us to see things from other points of view. I hope it also prompts us to remember organisations like Book Aid – for there are still too many people in this world who do not have access to any books (or Kindles or the Internet).

One of my best stories for telling makes a bridge between St David’s Day and World Book Day. The kernel of it was told to me at a Local Legends workshop I led in St David’s. The rest developed around that kernel as I told it and retold it. I recently wrote it – not the story itself so much as my experience of telling it. I hope you enjoy what I wrote. (more…)

Storytelling Starters ~ Stories for Younger Children No. 4

Sunday, February 26th, 2012

Next Saturday’s blog will start a new series. So far, I haven’t decided the subject. Anything you’d like to see? Please jot a note in the Comment box at the end of this blog and I’ll try to respond.

Next Thursday, March 1st, it’s going to be World Book Day, St David’s Day and my next WIPs meeting all on the same day. World Book Day speaks for itself – a day to celebrate the book, it’s usually a busy one for authors and storytellers. St David’s Day, in case you don’t know already, is the national day of Wales. It marks the death of our Patron Saint. As for WIPs, that’s a group of us who meet every couple of months to present something creative we’ve each been working on. Among us are singers, pianists, an oboe player, writers, a composer of music and a sculptor. Next Thursday, I’m planning to do a story set in Wales.

Here meantime is another Welsh story, the last in my series for younger children and an ideal story for telling next week.

The Door In The Mountain

Once there was a girl who loved singing and running. One day when she was playing hide and seek with her friends, she ran away from the rest to look for a place to hide and came across a door in the mountain. The door was ajar and she went inBehind the door was a tunnel and at the end of the tunnel was sunlight. So Betsy Bankhouse – for that was her name – crept through the tunnel until she came out on the other side and there she discovered she was in a new world that she’d never seen before.

As she looked round, Betsy saw a big blue lake and in the middle of the lake she saw an island. She desperately wanted to go there and when she got down to the edge of the lake, she saw exactly what she needed. It was a boat.

So Betsy got in and rowed that boat across the water till she came to the island. As she started climbing out, she noticed there were lots of little people looking out at her from the reeds. They said, ‘Welcome to our island, Betsy Bank-house.’ ‘That’s funny,’ thought Betsy, ‘how did they know my name?’ (more…)