Reblogging from a few years ago…

The Curious Cottage

 

 

Several years ago, our family was introduced to the world of storytelling.  Our previous experience with storytelling had been library programs for preschoolers and episodes of Barney the Dinosaur that included storytellers.  But at the urging of our librarian, a storyteller herself, we followed her into a world of creative professionals that were doing everything that we were doing at home, out in PUBLIC!  And, I might add, getting paid.  Astounding.

Many people are not sure exactly what storytelling is, and it’s much easier to demonstrate than to explain.  A few summers back, at the Smoky Mountain Storytelling Festival, one of the featured storytellers was Andy Offutt Irwin.  He tells hilarious stories, plays the guitar and sings and he taught a few of the workshops for the youth.  About storytelling, he says “I look at storytelling as a form of theater. I’m on stage doing what I’ve done for…

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Hurricane of progress…

I thought I lost my whole blog!

It’s been nearly a year since I updated my blog.  I’ve been mostly using Facebook anyway and I figured I would go back and try to retrieve my blog at some point.  I was using homeschoolblogger.com for a long time and then they changed over to a WordPress format and although I saved the html that I had worked so hard to create, it wasn’t an automatic cut-and-paste deal and I’ve tried and failed a few times this past year. Reecently. I helped my youngest son start his own blog here on WordPress, getting to know the way it works, and was inspired to try and get mine back up and running.  What an ordeal!  I almost gave up and started a new one, but I decided to try to work harder.  It was worth the effort for me, even though it felt a lot like ‘hacking’ to get everything back.  Some of my picture and video links from past posts are broken and my beautiful array of storytelling and educational links are currently lost in a maze of html. So, I have my work cut out for me.

This year things are quite different than last year. Our oldest graduated from high school in the spring and started college full-time. She’s still living at home and tries to confine classtime to half days which makes the change less extreme. She finally finished her storytelling CD which you can see in the sidebar of this blog under “Storytelling” and you can click on the link to her CD on itunes here. Our 14yo son did all the music on his sister’s CD and has decided to join her at college, taking dual credit classes in carpentry 4 days each week. This means my school hours are devoted to schooling our 9yo son Derek and we’ve had a nice time together when we can sit down and actually do school! Our learning style varies between relaxed homeschooling and unschooling, using curriculum materials as a source of learning rather than a schoolmaster. So, I raided my dusty school shelves for things that we might use to get this party started. We move the school area around from the diningroom, to a corner in Derek’s room, to the livingroom or wherever there’s plenty of light and comfortable places to sit. We bought an 8ft white board for writing and drawing (thanks to the suggestion by Andrew Pudewa on an IEW DVD) and our resident carpenter student cut it in half so it would fit better. He took the other half to his room. 😉 So, here’s a list of what we’re using and counting as educational:

Sonlight 4 – Teacher’s Manual (Reading and History)

Sonlight Timeline (History)

Mark-it Map (Geography)

Times Tables (Math)

Life of Fred (Math & Science)

Getty Dubay Italic Handwriting

Tapestry of Grace – Map of the Humanities

KJV Bible with new tabs! (Yay!)

Awana/T&T Book

Family History – (Teacher – Grandparents)

Presidents ( Teacher- Dad)

Nancy Drew PC Games (Critical Thinking…with Dad & Brother)

Adventures in Odyssey – Books on Tape

Cap Gardner & Legion park (PE)

Drawing, drawing and more drawing!

Piano & Kidz Choir (Music)

Wishbone (Getting to know the classics)

Kentucky Storytelling Association Annual Conference Nov. 6-7

 

2009 Kentucky Storytelling Conference
November 6 – 7, 2009
Eastern Kentucky University
Richmond, Kentucky

"Whether you love to hear stories or tell stories, you need to be there."

Workshops  

Story Store (things to buy)

Door Prizes (things to win)

Freebie Table (things to take)

Open Mic Stories (when anyone may tell a story)

 

Schedule

Kentucky public librarians-Earn up to 1.05 CRP toward certification for the entire conference.

(see CRP credits in schedule below. Sign in required at each session.)

Teachers-please check with your district to learn what professional development credit may be earned through your conference participation.

All Events are included with your Conference Registration
Fees are: Postmarked by October 25: $15 KSA Member, $20 Non-Member
Registered after October 25, or at the door: $35

To attend Evening Storytelling Events: Pay at door each night: $5.00 per person, $10 per family

Storytelling: A Performance Genre

 

 

Several years ago, our family was introduced to the world of storytelling.  Our previous experience with storytelling had been library programs for preschoolers and episodes of Barney the Dinosaur that included storytellers.  But at the urging of our librarian, a storyteller herself, we followed her into a world of creative professionals that were doing everything that we were doing at home, out in PUBLIC!  And, I might add, getting paid.  Astounding.

Many people are not sure exactly what storytelling is, and it’s much easier to demonstrate than to explain.  A few summers back, at the Smoky Mountain Storytelling Festival, one of the featured storytellers was Andy Offutt Irwin.  He tells hilarious stories, plays the guitar and sings and he taught a few of the workshops for the youth.  About storytelling, he says “I look at storytelling as a form of theater. I’m on stage doing what I’ve done for years, but now it’s just me. Now I can do all the theater I want without having to worry about sets, costumes, lighting and working with a big cast. It’s very economic, storytelling.”

The stories that are told by Andy and other tellers can often be side-splittingly funny and the question is asked how storytelling differs from stand-up comedy.  In answer to that question the wikipedia article about Andy Irwin, says this: “Prior to deciding to become a full time storyteller, Irwin worked as a stand-up comedian “for a few minutes”. During this time, Irwin won the Farber Invitational stand-up competition at the Punchline comedy club in Atlanta. However, Irwin came to see that the days of storytelling comedians, like Bill Cosby, had passed. Irwin also realized that his style of performance was at odds with the main venue available to comedians today; comedy clubs. (Irwin joking refers to comedy clubs as “evil, smelly places”.) Some of his stories are an hour in length and Irwin notes, “[t]here was a time when comedians could do that but they can’t anymore because the clubs give them three minutes, and they are timing the laughs per minute.” Using storytelling as a theatrical form allows Irwin to create more fully drawn characters and to explore darker subject matters as well. “Although I like to think of my storytelling as funny, I can have these serious moments. I’m not depending on the audience to laugh the whole time. . . I hope there’s content with the form.”

Besides Andy Irwin, at the storytelling festival, we were treated to very informative and thought provoking stories from naturalist Doug Elliot and lots of fun mountain music from him and his son Todd. Storyteller Donald Davis shared hilarious stories from his childhood.  Elisabeth Rose hosted the event and told stories as well, of folk and legends.  And all of the youth brought stories ranging from fantasy to real life to fractured fairy tales. 

Storytelling goes on around us everyday, and if you look, you will see opportunities to attend events where storytellers and listeners gather.  On the ‘Storytelling’ board of my Pinterest page, there are several links for some great storytellers and on each of their sites, there are things to see and places to go.  If you are a young person and are interested in storytelling competitions, check out your state storytelling association.  In Kentucky, we have the Kentucky Storytelling Association or KSA.  Visit the website at http://www.kystory.org for information about our events and youth storytelling. There is a widget on the side bar that connects to the KSA Facebook page as well. For National youth storytelling, visit http://nationalyouthstorytellingshowcase.org.  If you go to that site, there will be info about participating in this year’s showcase…the dates, the rules, what to expect.  Check it out.  If you are interested in any of these things and you don’t know how to get started, e-mail me at thecuriouscottage@yahoo.com for more information.

Storytelling Review

"Not far from our school there was a railroad tunnel that a man could climb up into, and you could lay down between the rafters in the bottom of the mountain, stare down at the tracks and watch the trains come underneath you. Now I say a man could do this, ‘cuz no woman would ever be stupid enough to." – Bill Lepp, The Seventh Second

Storytellers and storytelling is new to me.  It’s not new to me so much as a way to communicate, as I come from a long line of storytellers on both sides of my family.  My mom is from a small town in western Kentucky and my dad is from Dublin, Ireland.  It’s as natural as breathing.  We craft self-contained stories for everything from childbirth to car wrecks to the shenanigans our kids get into.  We enjoy reading and watching movies and talking…and talking and talking.  What I didn’t realize is that storytelling is an entire creative genre where the tellers are not only dedicated to their craft, but also to other tellers like family and to the desire to see this genre have a future in the next generation.

We were introduced to this genre by a librarian at our local library that we all call Miss Pockets.  She was the children’s programmer for several years and she read stories and told them to children of various ages.  She also encouraged innovative programming and one of the programs she worked hard to get off the ground was storytelling.  She encouraged those she knew who used the library programs to prepare a story to tell and to compete in the Kentucky Youth Storytelling Showcase. Our daughter Emilee has always enjoyed reading stories and writing stories and she has had the opportunity to "tell" stories through the local community theater.  So, she wrote a short story that she could use to enter the showcase and in the end, was awarded the Kentucky Torchbearer for the high school division last fall. It was unexpected and exciting. 

After her win, we were told that her story was being submitted to the National Youth Storytelling Showcase committee for consideration at the national level.  20 kids from age 6 to 17 would be chosen, and only 4 of those at the high school level…and she was chosen.  What a thrill for us and especially for her! Buck Creacy, the president of the Kentucky Storytelling Association, came to see A Christmas Carol where Emilee was performing as the narrator at our community theater and he announced to the audience after the program that she would be going to Pigeon Forge, TN for the Showcase.  Buck has been such and encouragement to her and is a great storyteller himself. (See my storytelling links)

Emilee & Buck at Glema Mahr Center in Madisonville, KY

 As I’ve mentioned here, we went to TN to attend the Showcase and it was 4 days of a great education in storytelling.  There were many workshops and concerts featuring professional storytellers.  Emilee had the opportunity to participate in interactive workshops with the other kids and to receive instruction, criticism and encouragement from: Bill Lepp, Carmen Deedy, Willy Claflin, Kim Weitcamp, Bill Harley and others.  At the concerts, we heard hilarious stories, musical stories, scary stories and inspiring stories.  I want to do it all over again…and we may get the chance if Emilee’s audition for Jonesboro, TN means she gets invited to the National Storytelling Festival.  If not and even so, we now have a storyteller on our hands and we’re looking forward to whatever opportunities come her way.

Please visit my storytelling links, and find out what storytelling is all about!

Storytelling, Storytellers and a trip to the Smokies

 

We returned on Sunday night, around 8pm.  The trip was beautiful.  The weather was beautiful.  We had a lovely time. 

I will write more things as days go by and post pictures, but you can see all of the ones that I have posted on Photobucket here:

http://s198.photobucket.com/albums/aa18/CuriousCottage/2008/

 Also, check-out the new storytelling links in the right sidebar!