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September 2016

I never asked to be a storyteller

This is probably something I shouldn’t admit, but I never wanted to be a storyteller. I only said, “Yes,” to promote my writing. But. It grew, and it won’t stop growing. On top of everything else I’m doing, an insane schedule to be sure, I have to come up with new material. That’s right, I have to write it all.

It started with the Haunting in the Hills Festival. I attended it in 2015 and realized that it would be an excellent place to sell my books if it ever came to that. Anya and the Secrets of Cupola hadn’t been released yet. This year, I had two books, and I was going to sell them any way I knew how. I inquired about the festival. One thing led to another, and I’m being asked to perform at the Ghost Train. I decided to go all in and try to perform at the Haunting this year, too, but they didn’t want me. I don’t blame them. I’ve been there. Those storytellers are awesome. I had no idea how much work went into one story.

I do now.

I spent a MONTH working on my first story, a story I had already written. I performed it for my Writer’s Circle for critique and help. It was then I was asked to perform at the Apple Festival this year. I said, “Well, what would you want me to perform?”

“That story you just told.”

There’s just one tiiiiiiiny problem with that. That story was less than 10 minutes long. I was expected to perform for 30 minutes at the Apple Festival. Also, the story I told was gruesome in nature, and I don’t think it did very well. This means I have spent the past week killing myself to get the right material for the festival. That’s right. Seven days. Not 30 … 7.

It hasn’t been fun. It’s been grueling. It is hard, hard work. I had no idea what went into storytelling, but I sure am finding out! The hard way.

So THEN, by complete happenstance (or God’s intervention, you never really know), a friend of mine posted on facebook that they needed a story teller for their church. Next week. With pay. Who turns this down?!?!?

I told her that I would be at a festival this weekend with many storytellers and would be able to ask them of their interest. One of them was even a preacher and would probably be perfect for what she was wanting. But, I still need to keep on my toes. None of them may be able to do it on such short notice, so I may be performing again in another week. Groan!

It’s really funny. I mean, granted, this may go nowhere, but it may go somewhere. This may be nothing more than a seriously insane month, or it may be the beginning of something amazing. It’s just odd that I haven’t “advertised my services”, but that invitations keep coming up. In fact, one of my professors was really interested in storytelling and wanted to talk about it with me. (it came up by accident. It wasn’t a purposeful interaction of the subject.) I had to tell him that I’m just a children’s author. I’m not pursuing story telling; people just ask me to do it.

I later realized that that probably came across as arrogant, but that wasn’t my intent. My intent was, (because he kept mentioning places for me to try, groups that might interest me) “For the love of Pete, don’t ask me to tell another story. I’m booked!!”

When I’m no longer in school, I’m sure things like this won’t be so difficult. When I have a larger repertoire, it won’t be so difficult. But now? When I’m just starting out? I simply don’t have the time to write a 30 minute show every week. That’s just crazy!  (I also have a backlog of invitations from other authors to join them in book signings. I every intention of getting back to you, but it’s a bit impossible until after this weekend. I am so sorry!!)

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A Whirlwind of a Day

Wow. I haven’t posted since June. That’s pretty crazy. I thought it had only been a month. Sad.

Well, I have been really busy, I’m currently working on a Kickstarter campaign for a picture book. Please, check it out—maybe even donate 🙂 As soon as it’s finished, I will finish my first non-fiction, What Does Spider Poop Look Like? And then I get to finish book 3 of The Cupolian Series, Anya and the Cavern of Trials. It’s almost finished writing wise, but then I still have to edit it, format, get a cover…. But I hope to have the series finished with both books releasing next year.

But that’s not why I’m writing today. No, I’m serious, that’s not.

Yesterday was one of the craziest days of my life, and I’ve had some doozies. I went to the Thunder Road Author Rally at the Maynardville Public Library. It was great!

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I met some great authors and learned a lot, too. I was placed with other children’s authors, so I was able to talk to people in my own genre. That was a real blessing, as unless you’ve written children’s, you just can’t understand the business children’s.

After the rally, I drove to Kentucky to participate in the Blue Heron Ghost Train with Big South Fork. As soon as I walked up to the ranger in charge, I was being interviewed by a local public broadcasting station. Whoa!

Now, I’ve never really delved into this here, but I do have a bit of an entertainment background. So, giving an interview wasn’t that big of a deal for me. I can honestly say that I handled it very well. However…

Several hours later, the guests arrived. Again, I have an entertainment background, mostly stage. You know, the live stuff. But for whatever reason, all that went out the window when those people arrived!!! Maybe because it really mattered this time. My reputation as a writer was on the line. If my story wasn’t good enough…well, you get the idea.

And apparently, it wasn’t. The audience didn’t seem to respond to it. I honestly believe it had to do with audience/story meshing. My story wasn’t right for that audience. I was afraid of that. Of course, it could also be because something was missing from the story. I don’t know what. I just know it was. Something was wrong with it, two somethings to be truthful; but I never figured out what they were, so I was never able to fix them. I think another thing wrong is, my stories are made to be read, not told, and I think that has a lot to do with it. Imagine listening to your favorite book. Some people like that, but most people aren’t really into audio books. They’re just not.

So after getting up at 6 in the morning and driving through two states, having surprises and telling tales, I was exhausted to say the least. I’m still pooped. I could go to sleep right now, but I have too much to do! My next event is this weekend at the Haunting in the Hills, and I have to find my registration papers. And then I got invited to be a story teller at the Apple Festival the weekend after that, and I don’t even know what I’m going to tell yet-cringe!

Oh well, worrying helps nothing—wish me luck!

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