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!
The Mother Lode Storytelling Guild (MLSG) kicked off 2018 with an Open Telling at Sonora Joes, Saturday January 20. Our first of the monthly 3rd Saturday programs was themed “Winter’s Tales,” and was warmly received and well-attended. Representing the Guild were Claudia Tonge as host and MC, Kathy and Paul Martinez, and Charley Marangio. Other attendees included community members and KAAD Radio. One first-time attendee told a terrific story about her time in the Yukon. Two tellers told a story for their “first time ever.” A visitor from Calaveras County was a first time listener, and thinks she may tell soon. She is in luck – the next Open Mic Storytelling, which we also call “Open Telling,” will be this weekend, January 28, 2018 at Manzanita Arts Emporium. 1211 S. Main St., Angels Camp (www.manzapress.com/events/other-classes-and-workshops/storytellers/). This event will be hosted by Kathy Martinez. Charley made announcements regarding upcoming MLSG events, especially the third Sierra Storywinds Retreat. He gave a glowing description of Willy Claflin and Maynard Moose. The two-hour session was recorded for radio broadcast by Dave of KAAD-LP 103.5 community radio (kaad-lp.org/)
We’re back and better than ever! After quite the hiatus from this blog, we’re looking forward to making 2018 an awesome year of storytelling in the Mother Lode and the surrounding region. Planning for the 3rd Sierra Storywinds Retreat is underway (stay tuned!), and we are resuming our Open Mic Storytelling series (which we also call “Open Telling”) in both Sonora and Angels Camp, covering Tuolumne and Calaveras Counties.
Check out and like the Mother Lode Storytelling Guild's updated facebook page at www.facebook.com/motherlodestorytellingguild for up-to-date information about news and events in the region and beyond! Like and share with your friends!
This last March, I attended a workshop with Elizabeth Ellis. The number of attendees was limited to eight, so it was more than a workshop, as it became an intimate gathering of soon-to-be friends. After the discussion/introduction part of the first day, Elizabeth told of the agenda she had in mind and what she planned for us to “walk away with” at the end of the workshop.
As she told about herself, career, family, and travels, we absorbed the wisdom, insight, humor, and strength that defined a storyteller divine there in our midst.
It was decided that we would each tell one story. Elizabeth would takes notes throughout a telling, and then give feedback that was beyond critique. She embraced the stories, responding with personal insight to the tale and the teller. It became clear, after a couple of us told, that I was receiving generous and provocative feedback, not just for my story, but for 1 x 8! Because of the in depth responses, I could easily put myself in the place of any of the other 7 tellers and receive quality advice and praise as it was expressed. And in addition, each teller was invited to offer feedback to the presenting teller, which led to more reflection from Elizabeth in response.
Throughout the Friday afternoon – Sunday afternoon workshop, Elizabeth delighted us with stories as well as wisdom…..which sometimes came wrapped tightly together. I just had the opportunity to hear Elizabeth in concert at the Sierra Storytelling Festival, and it was so obvious to me, having experienced the workshop three months earlier, how authentic her stories are and how true she is to the guidance that she offered each and every one of us. I look forward to the next time I have the opportunity to attend a workshop with her again.
What a wonderful weekend! Nearly 700 people gathered on San Juan Ridge to hear some of the finest storytelling around. This gentle spot of natural beauty echoed with an abundance of inspiring tales. Joseph Bruchac, Elizabeth Ellis, Bill Harley, Joel Ben Izzy. Kirk Waller, Muriel Johnson graced the 29th Sierra Storytelling Festival's stage at the North Columbia Schoolhouse in California's Mother Lode. Plus, the Ridge's own wild man storyteller Tom Wade had a chance to hop and jive all over the Main Stage under the stars on Friday night. And pulling the entire program together with grace and elegance was Milbre Burch as emcee. From Waller's telling of "Poor Sandy" to Harley's wild and punky children's concert, everyone in attendance was filled with smiles, laughter and tears.
Along with the outstanding concert appearances, the festival's highlight included the Friday night Slam: "True Tales of Lost and Found." Then Sunday morning's annual Story Swap gave chances for many aspiring tellers to share their gifts, hosted by our own Linda Ramey Kennedy, Linderella.
We highly recommend that you story lovers mark your calendar now for the 3rd weekend in July 2015. Don't miss Sierra Storytelling Festival #30!
The Mother Lode Storytelling Guild is very happy to announce its upcoming performance and workshop with historian and storyteller Linda Teigland Clarke.
Clarke has been charming audiences with her stories of California's Gold Rush since 2007. A writer and persistent researcher, she has taken several stories and crafted them into performances, told by "Hardluck Lin," her "alter ego." Clarke says that when she puts on the hat, Linda disappears and Hardluck Lin emerges.
Along with her 45 minute storytelling performance, Clarke will give a one-hour workshop on how to use storytelling to share history. She is popular entertainer with regional history groups, Gold Rush enthusiasts, touring school groups and Gold Rush region visitors.
Both performance and workshop are free to the public, but donations are very much appreciated for MLSG to continue this work. Call (209)532-7697 to reserve a spot for the workshop (Limited to 35) or email us at email@example.com
WOW! I gotta say it...The job of being a state liaison for NSN is full of surprises. When I began this task in Fall 2011, I had no idea that two years later we'd be breaking ground on a new major storytelling event for California. But I did quickly learn that our region was widely divided, most of all by our land and geography. It was nearly impossible to meet and work with others in the field of storytelling because we're all so spread out. So, what do I do? I start dreaming about a regional retreat. Why not? So, the Mother Lode Storytelling Guild applied for the 2014 NSN Spotlight Award. And then we got it....for all of the Pacific States! Next we started planning meetings and began diligent contact with NSN and our wonderful funding organization, Parkhurst Brothers, Inc. Publishers. And so it goes....Yesterday a bunch of us met in Murphys to visit our venues and to reassure ourselves that we picked the perfect place. It is a delightful and charming Gold Rush town. So, mark your calendar for October 17th to 19th, 2014, and join us! We'll be sending out lots of other information. But for now, two words might do the trick: MaryGay Ducey! Yep, she is our keynote presenter. See you in Historic Murphys, CA!
BZ Smith and friends, we tell stories in and around Sonora, CA