Mary Medlicott, Storyteller and Author - Storyworks

Posts Tagged ‘Wales’

Storytelling Starters ~ Recycling

Saturday, July 9th, 2016

Flag-of-Wales-thumbnail[1]OK, I admit it. Over the last few weeks, I’ve become a devoted football fan. Obviously that’s because I’m Welsh and the Wales football team did so brilliantly in the Euros. It wasn’t easy seeing them get knocked out against Portugal in their semi-final this Wednesday. Yet, especially in this post-Brexit world, it’s an inspiration that the team believes so much in the strength of playing as a team, they pay such high regard to their fans and the support they get from them, they speak with such warmth of their country and they have been so good-humoured during their time away in France.

Besides, Gareth Bale is drop-dead gorgeous, both to look at and in his manner. I’m not sure I’ll keep following football as avidly now as I have been, but I’m sure I’ll be following him and the wonderful Welsh team.

It’s surely all this football stuff that caused a familiar phrase to pop up in my mind this week and with it the story from which it comes. The phrase is ‘extendable legs’. And the story it comes from is one I told in this blog on 21st July, 2012. To read a full version of it, you can look back at that blog posting. Simply fill in the words Chinese Brothers in the Storyworks Blog References slot on the top left side of the blog. Then press Search and up it will come.

The story itself is one children love to remember. An example occurred earlier this summer when I said to the two children in a family we know that I had a special story to tell them. Because the 10-year old sister is potty about mermaids, this was going to be a mermaid story. But somehow or other the promise of a story immediately made the 7-year old brother remember  The Five Chinese Brothers which I’d told to them it must be three years ago. Volunteering that they still had the colourful Chinese pin-cushion I’d taken them as a present to go with the story, he started recalling the magic powers that are at its centre.

The Five Chinese Brothers: (more…)

Storytelling Starters ~ In my beginning is my end

Saturday, July 18th, 2015

P1070042A young woman asked me the other day: ‘How do you end a story?’ It’s a very good question! The first point I made in reply was the one I feel to be the most important.  

Facing up to the silence

In storytelling, you have to recognise from the very beginning that there’s going to have to be an end to whatever tale you are telling. It may come after ten minutes, an hour, several hours or even days. But an end will have to arrive and after the end, there will be a silence. Unavoidable? Yes. Uncomfortable? Only if you’re not ready for it. Long or short, that ensuing silence should be part of the magic. Be ready for it. It’s one of the interstices between the world of story and the world of here and now. There’s a lot of power in it. Sometimes you have to be brave to face it.

Preparing the last sentence (more…)

Storytelling Starters ~ Through the Post

Saturday, November 9th, 2013

The post this week brought unexpected things. First arrived a large envelope from Sweden. This contained four smart-looking booklets – the published list of all nominees for the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award 2014. There are 238 of us from 68 countries. Out of the total – I’ve checked! – only 12 are listed as oral storytellers. Some of the 12 are also described as authors and, in a couple of instances, as reading promoters too. We come from countries as diverse as the British Virgin Islands, Malta, Malaysia and the UK.

The nominees

It’s as exhilarating as it is daunting. The UK nominees for the Astrid Lindgren Award could hardly be a more prestigious bunch. Allan Ahlberg, Quentin Blake, Kevin Crossley-Holland, Michael Foreman, Shirley Hughes, Michael Morpurgo, Jill Paton-Walsh, Terry Pratchett, Michael Rosen, Meg Rosoff. Yet how wonderful it is that it’s possible for oral storytellers to get included alongside such extremely distinguished authors and illustrators. There are two of us in the UK list – Liz Weir who comes from Northern Ireland and myself who comes from Wales. Interestingly, both of us have worked across divides. Liz in Northern Ireland is especially well-known for her work across religious divides. In Wales the divides are perhaps less obvious. Yet, linguistic and cultural, they are both present and very pertinent. (more…)

Storytelling Starters ~ A Range of Emotions

Saturday, April 13th, 2013

Pleasing (for me!) 

1. I’ve just heard I’m being nominated for an Astrid Lindgren award. Astrid Lindgren was the wonderful Swedish children’s writer who created Pippi Longstocking. I’m to be nominated in the Storyteller category.

2. On Monday I had a phone call with the editorial consultant whom I’d asked for a professional opinion on A Long Run In Short Shorts, my collection of short personal stories. She said she loves them. She’s urging me to try and find a publisher for them. She says they deserve an audience.

3. On Thursday I learned that a book on storytelling and sustainability to which I’ve contributed a chapter has found a publisher and is to be published next March.

4. I’ve managed to do a whole lot of writing during this week while I’ve been home in Wales.

All very pleasing. Of course, I’m sure there’s no chance at all of me winning the Astrid Lindgren Award. Finding a publisher for my stories is going to be very hard. The only payment for the sustainability book will be one free copy and the writing I’m currently doing is sure to take a whole lot longer before it’s complete.

Never mind. It’s the doing that counts.

And I’m keeping my fingers crossed for the cuckoos. On Thursday , another BTO (British Trust for Ornithology) blog gave news that Chris, the tagged cuckoo about whom I wrote last week, has made it over the Mediterranean.

He’ll probably be back in England any day now – a sign of real Spring. (more…)