Mary Medlicott, Storyteller and Author - Storyworks

Posts Tagged ‘ghosts’

Storytelling Starters ~ Old ghosts

Saturday, March 24th, 2018

My first copies of Storytelling and Story-Reading in Early Years  arrived this last Monday. It was very exciting opening the box. The book has a pleasing look about it and I felt delighted to have copies actually in my hand. Since it arrived, however, what’s been very odd is how much thinking it has prompted in me now that I’ve seen it in print.  On Thursday evening, I took an opportunity to speak about this.

It was a meeting of our WIPs group. (WIPs stands for Works in Progress: it has got nothing at all to do with whips except that meetings do provide the opportunity to whip ourselves into action.) There are eleven of us. We include singers, pianists, poets, artists, writers, a composer and a sculptor. Some do more than one of these things. This week one of four available slots was for me, a chance not just to wave my new book about but to reflect on what the writing of it had meant to me. From this vantage point I could see it had raised some old ghosts.

One of the ghosts took me back to the early days of what is now recognized as the Storytelling Revival.  During those 1980s, it felt like an ancient art was being rediscovered. Storytellers then coming forward had grown up in fascinatingly different traditions of story, many from other countries. A troupe that especially fascinated me,  Common Lore, combined stories with music and drumming from many different lands. The compelling rhythms of their music and the fascination of such a wide variety of backgrounds among their performers had me gripped. (more…)

Storytelling Starters ~ Spider

Saturday, January 12th, 2013

I don’t mind spiders. Some people can’t abide them. One summer in my childhood, I remember my father crushing a Daddy-Long-Legs against the window of the caravan where we were staying. My father used the bread knife. I was upset for the spider and rather appalled by my father. Spiders don’t do any harm – at least not the sort that I know.

But some people are really frightened even when the spiders are small and harmless. You know that North American Indian story – The Man Who Was Afraid Of Nothing?

The Man Who Was Afraid Of Nothing

The man who was afraid of nothing was a terrific hero among his people. One night four ghosts who were sitting together happened to mention this man: ‘He’s not afraid of us, so they say,’ said one.

‘I bet I could scare him,’ said another. A third said, ‘Let’s make a wager. Whichever of us scares him most is the one who wins the wager.’

So the four ghosts set about the challenge. The next moonlit night, the first ghost suddenly materialized in front of the young man and challenged him to a game. ‘If you lose,’ said the ghost, ‘I’ll make you into a skeleton like me.’ (more…)