A warm welcome to my storytelling blog

Thank you for looking at my blog.
Stories can please, thrill, delight, enchant, challenge, distract, tease, disappoint, anger, charm, patronize, disgust, beguile......
But I personaly believe thay can do no harm.
I would be delighted if you were to leave feed back.

29 Oct 2009

Hospital Storytelling Clubs

The last Thursday of the month, means that I do the hospital storytelling clubs. As usual I started on the Women's ward. Due to several patients being ill in bed with possible 'swine flu' there was only two patient attended the group. I continued to tell the Norse Mythology. The Golden Apples of Iduna. Also Odins Sacrifice for Wisdom. Because of the small group it was difficult to do group exercises, it seemed like the critical mass was missing. I was a lot more informal than usual but the two that were there were very good listeners.
After the group I was able to tell a story to two patients on an individual basis in the bedrooms where they were being nursed, these were more of a light heated 'Halloween' type stories.
Then it was over to the male ward. There the biggest group yet attended. Seven in total. I told 'The Boy Who Went to Discover What Fear Was' Quite a lot of spontaneous feed back from the group. Finishing off the group with light hearted Halloween nonsense

23 Oct 2009

More Wheels

The Water Wheel is changing, turning, slowly into my story. I told it again last night to a small group of fellow storytellers. During the day I had been to the Dean Heritage Centre and walked and talked it through again. Thinking about the bits that don't work so well for me and trying different ways of telling it, changing bits to make it more clear to me.
Today, I have just returned home from the Dean Heritage Centre after spending a couple of hours there spinning with my wheel, and visualizing the story in my minds eye. I really enjoyed the atmosphere of the Foresters Cottage. I felt a little out of place sitting there spinning, dressed in my jeans and jumper, as the public drifted by, through the cottage so carefully arranged in an historical fashion.
Next stage, picking out the contrasting moods of the story and clarifying the polarities for myself.
Large piece of paper here I come.
But I must not forget that I have the Hospital Storytelling clubs to prepare for too this week. I think I will be able to use the Water Wheel for one of the wards, but need to focus on the Norse mythology too for the women.
So long till next time.

19 Oct 2009

Water Wheel

I met Fi at the Dean Heritage Museum today. Before Fi arrived I stood and listened to the rhythm of the water wheel turning, splashing, turning , splashing, splash, splash, turning, splash, splash, splashing.
I began to visualise the characters and their sad and ghostly plight. I walked through the foresters cottage, past the cider press and the water wheel again. Through the small vegetable garden, past the chicken coop. Placing the characters there in their earthly and ghostly state walking the story, so to speak. It felt a bit creepy after a while, which was good I thought.
I was able to talk to Fi about the story and clarify a few things that I was struggling to visualise. It was quite interesting because Fi paraphrased a lot of the story she had written which helps me a lot to free myself from the written text.
I think I now have a fair idea where I will stand to start the story and where I will lead the listeners to finish the story.
I now have two days to work on the story before telling it at the Stroud Storytelling Club.
For now until next time.

15 Oct 2009

Colford Festival of Words

On Tuesday night the so called Newent Storytellers arrived as a coven and told stories at the Garden Cafe. This was part of a regular event that takes place every second Tuesday of the month to raise funds, awareness and find talent for the Festival of Words that will take place in Colford in August 2010. Local poets, authors, song writers, musicians and storytellers all have there time to perform. Last Tuesday was the night for storytellers.
I told a story written by Fi Benson, local scribe, called the 'Water Wheel'. Its a collaborative work Fi and I are doing for our local museum for Halloween.
It's a different process turning a freshly written story, (so fresh that the ink still seems to be wet) into an oral piece. Tuesday was the first time I told it and I have not managed to make it my own yet. Fi understands the storytelling process and how it is different to reading out load. She has given me the story as a gift to make it my own, which is a great present to have. I still have a lot of working and walking to do with this story and I'm looking forward to the process: Stripping down and building up and stripping down and building up. I know if I stray too far from the original story Fi's lilting North East England accent will keep me from straying too far.
If any one would like to share any thought on turning a newly written story into an oral work I would be glad to hear from you
I'll keep you posted on the process. Next performance at Dean Heritage Museum on Halloween 4.30 pm

10 Oct 2009


It's been a while since I wrote on my blog, I know, but I'd prefer to write once I've done something rather than write about things I am planning. So, I would like to tell you a little about my spinning.......that is with wool and a wheel.
It's a well trodden path I think between storytelling and spinning. There are several stories to do with spinning and weaving. Spinning and storytelling was something I had thought about combining for a while, but not knowing much about spinning didn't know where to start.
When I was at 'Festival At The Edge' in Shropshire this year, I wondered into the Craft Tent and, low and behold, there was a group of spinners. I hovered and looked and asked the spinners questions and was invited to have a go. I sat down and started to spin. I had just been wanting to kill a little time before joining Dominic Kelly on his story walk, and thought that a taste of spinning might be good to see if I liked it or not.... It was love at first spin. Sorry to Dominic, I lost track of time and never went on your story walk. Before I knew it and hour and a half had vanished and I'd missed the walk and was making arrangements to part with money to buy a spinning wheel that I felt I could no longer live with out!
That was in July. Since then I have been practicing spinning.
Like storytelling, spinning needs practice, and those who have done it for years make it look so easy and graceful, spinning the yarn to look exactly how they want it to look, smooth and even or lumpy and uneven, chunky or fine.
This morning I told 'Tom Tit Tot' and spun with my wheel to a paying audience. My first experience of spinning and telling.....I need practice, but the children were certainly interested in the spinning wheel, the wool as well as the story. It was such good fun and I intend to carry on spinning yarns of tales and wool. At some point I will venture into spinning other fabrics such as flax and cotton. Who knows, maybe even straw into gold!

I have storytelling and spinning tasks I am working on but will let you know about them soon as they are spun into useful yarns.
Till then.........Jess