January 28 was the first Calaveras Story Swap. 12 people came. Two came all the way from San Diego! The stories started off with Kathy telling a personal story, and Claudia telling about a pick-pocket baby...
Then Claudia brought up a storytelling technique of "Scar Stories." The flood gates opened up!
With the help of 10 others the group roared with laughter, dropped jaws, cringed and shooked their heads in amazement. It was a vey fun night!
The next Calaveras Story Swap will be Sunday, March 25. If you want to learn more about the Mother Lode Storytelling Guild, please look us up on Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/motherlodestorytellingguild/.
The Mother Lode Storytelling Guild invites the public to enjoy a free afternoon of tales at the guild’s Open Telling event on Saturday, February 17. This the second Tuolumne County Open Telling of the year -- The Guild’s has monthly third Saturday ‘Open Mic’ presentations at Sonora Joe’s Coffee Shoppe (140 S Washington St., in historic downtown Sonora), from 4pm to 6pm.
Since February is the month most associated with romance, and this is the year of the dog, we decided that the suggested theme would be "Puppy Love!" Claudia Tonge is host for this month’s gathering. Guild members will be sharing stories of canine and human devotion, and anyone with a tale to tell on this, or any theme, or just a desire to listen, is invited to participate. Open tellings are family-friendly and informal, and the audience has been enthusiastic and welcoming.
We are seeing a lot of first-time tellers at these open tellings. It is exciting to hear people gain in confidence as they find their voices, and discover the forms of storytelling that suit their style and interest.
Although the event is free, the Guild does accept donations that are used to support the guild’s many activities in the central Mother Lode. Coffee and other refreshment will be available for purchase from Joe’s.
Not long ago a long-time Bay Area storytelling friend, Cathryn Fairlee, contacted me. Out of the blue she called to let me know that I'd been chosen to receive a very noble award from the Storytelling Association of California: The 2018 SAC of Regional Gems! I was dumbfounded! Living so far away from the Bay Area makes it hard to keep in touch and to share with my colleagues what I'm doing. I haven't performed in the Bay Area much in the last few years. And here I was getting this call! I am deeply honored, humbled, in fact.
So, now I getting ready to do a show for a whole flock of these good storytelling folks. And joining me will be two of my dearest friends in Story, Ruth Halpern (quack! We've been friends since we were "kids") and Tim Ereneta, that witty teller of curious Fairy Tales. This is going to be one great show, AND it's a potluck! So, there will be good food, too. What could be better? Good food. Good stories. Good friends...AND a SAC of GEMS!
BZ Smith and friends, we tell stories in and around Sonora, CA