Category Archives: Storytelling

Christmas Letter Time–Yeah Family, Yeah Bloggers

letter writing quillYes, I know people who bemoan the fact that no one writes letters any more. Those same people aren’t blog savvy. If they were, they’d know that bloggers are the letter writers of the 21st Century. I read blogs on everything from a-poem-day to the history of Yellowstone Park. I see photos of food in restaurants and police brutality in Oakland. I am informed about everyday things and history-in-the-making.

Christmas letters are something else. So far this season, I’ve gotten the good, the bad, and the ugly. Since I love family stories, why can’t I get excited about family letters? I’m thinking it’s because they lack the spontaneity and freshness of blogs.

letter writing quillChristmas comes once a year, and we try to roll everything into a summary. The result is often a catalog of  what Tim, Tammy and George did. They competed, they won, they advanced a grade or got a scholarship. Yeah! However, as a lover of stories, I would rather know the ups and downs that went with that achievement and how they handled defeat–assuming they didn’t win everything. Defeat reveals more about character than success.


Our dogsitter just arrived to pick up the keys. She’ll be in charge while we visit the granddaughters. “Just wanted you to know, my father died two days ago. We’re doing the memorial in a couple of weeks, so I’m still good for taking care of things, but I thought you should know.”

letter writing quillYes, I should know. She didn’t have to tell me but telling created a bond.

Yes, I should know, so keep sending those Christmas letters. I need to know what everyone did last year. Otherwise we will drift too far apart. At the same time, raise a glass to blogs and bloggers everywhere. Bloggers keep us informed, entertained and aware of our shared humanity all year long. How good is that?

To borrow a phrase, “Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night” Or Solstice, Kwanza, Hanukkah and/or any other celebration that marks the season. The “merry” is the part we need to know!

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Filed under Christmas, Family history, Family Stories, Storytelling

Once Upon A Time . . .

Don’t be fooled. The little folk of fairytale and fable are the keepers of the wisdom. What’s more, they’re not stuffy about it. Worldwide, no matter the tradition, folk tales challenge the norm, encourage creative problem-solving, even question who you are in order for you to grow into someone else.

We need these stories. Proof is in the fact that if our families don’t provide, we will look elsewhere for them. I have a Native American friend who lives near Taos Pueblo in New Mexico who will not tell a story of the Corn Mother unless her listener also shares a story from his or her tradition. She worries that there are not enough storytellers. She believes that when we forget our stories, we forget everything.

Ireland, of course, is known for its storytellers, as this little video advertises . . .

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Filed under Animal Stories, children's stories, fairytale, Fantasy, Old Storytelling Traditions, Storytelling, Uncategorized

Comma, Comma

graphic on commasThis is too good. How we tell our stories matters. Missed mentioning that how we punctuate our stories might also matter. Comma, comma, comma!

Not sure who created this. Just showed up in my e-mail this morning. Thanks, whoever you are.

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Filed under Funny story, New Story, stories, Storytelling

Nigerian Novelist on Why We Need All Our Stories

photo Chimamanda AdichieChimamanda Adichie, Nigerian novelist, makes a dramatic argument on the danger of a single story. This is worth 18 minutes of your time! I’ve watched it three times.

She argues that when we think we know someone’s story, we limit them. When we try to make our lives fit some story, we limit ourselves. We need all our stories. We need to tell them, listen to them, search and preserve them.

http://www.ted.com/talks/chimamanda_adichie_the_danger_of_a_single_story.html

Chimamanda Adichie was born in Nigerian in 1977. Her novels are Purple Hibiscus and Half a Yellow Moon.

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Filed under Family Stories, History, Old Storytelling Traditions, Personal Narrative, stories, Storytelling, Uncategorized, Why Stories?

Story Quote # 12

photo of N. Scott MomadayThe storyteller is one whose spirit is indispensable to the people.

N. Scott Momaday, Kiowa

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Filed under Old Storytelling Traditions, Story Quote, Storytelling, Uncategorized

Must Read Link: Science as Story

OK, this one is so good you have to read the complete post. Every word!

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Dr. Kiki

Dr. Kiki Sanford is self-described as PhD scientist (neurophysiology) who escaped the lab to be a science writer. Recently she blogged the fundamentals for good science communication.

In a nutshell: Tell a story.

Word of Warning: I know Dr. Kiki from the Conference on World Affairs as an articulate TKD black belt. Not a person to ignore!

Happy reading: http://www.kirstensanford.com/2009/10/28/communication-basics/

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Filed under Science Writing, stories, Story Motif, Storytelling, Uncategorized, Why Stories?