Saturday, 22 April 2017

The Voice of the Navajo Stones : Is there such a thing as random?

In my last blog I showed you how I made a set of Native American Story Stones. This evening I have been pulling the stones randomly from the little bag and writing whatever story comes. 

I think there is such a beauty to the simple nature of the story but I am intrigued to know if this process truly is 'random'. 

What if there were some deeply spiritual connection to me, as the maker, the ancient rock from whence they came, the rolling seas that smoothed them, the mystique history of the symbols themselves. What if  within these little stories, lay ancient paths? What an exciting thought.

Tomorrow, I will look up the spiritual significance of these symbols to the Native American peoples.

For now, it is time to dream of new adventures and sleep in the knowledge of loving kindness from the Earth. 

Native American Story Stones : Unleashing the Story Telling Child Within

As the Creative Digital Developer at Stories for Change / the Storytelling for Health International Conference, I have found myself completely reconnected with Storytelling but I spend most of my time on the project indoors, sat at my computer, online designing the website, managing the Group page on Facebook and devising creative evaluation techniques.

So, when the sun came out today, I decided that I wanted to do something storytelling based outside and completely hands on.

I looked up some Native American symbols as a basis for a storytelling prompt. I thought I might like to make a little bag of stones decorated with Native American symbols and pull them out of the little bag randomly, to see what stories the stones tell on their own.

We were very lucky because the sun was shining and even more lucky because we live half an hour from New  Quay, West Wales.

Jeff sat on the rocks living dangerously, eating his chips while I went onto the beautiful beach to find potential pebbles.

It was such good fun choosing & then washing the sand off in the sea, whilst chanting to the waves. It really felt as if I were unleashing the storytelling child within.

There was plenty of evidence on the beach that other child-like souls had been dancing on the sand here today.

I wrapped up my precious treasure and when we got home, I couldn't wait to draw the symbols onto the stones. I'm not very good at art but it was such fun drawing them all from the chart and then pulling out stones from the bag and listening to them.

I then took photo's of the stones and on the computer put the story words with the image to create an illustration.

This activity is such a lovely thing to do as a grown up but I couldn't help but think how wonderfully educational it would be for a group of children and/ or young people. 

  • Multi Cultural Symbols and Language
  • Storytelling Oracy
  • Literacy Skills
  • Environmental Awareness
  • Information Technology
  • Artistic Expression

But most of all, great fun. So much fun they may never even notice the skills being taught.

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Should she tend to the frightened child?

'Hissing and seething, the past hauled itself up from the basement and stood before her. Now facing each other eye to eye as equals, her mind froze. Should she tend to the frightened child that scurried to the centre of her soul for protection, or step into the woman she was bound by destiny to become? Should she turn heels and run to the hills or stand her ground and gift herself the truth? She closed her eyes and called upon her angels.'

I had a real sense today that the book I am writing is the wrong one. A calling from so deep within me, it almost ached. A thin voice calling, longing to be nurtured. My pen is unpicking stitches from war wounds that never healed. An old story, yearning to be told. 

But the question is, how do I know that I am strong enough to tell it?

Friday, 14 April 2017

Creative Business Advice

Tomorrow is my first full day of bookings for my new Creative Business Advice Consultancy: Small Talk Your Big Ideas. 

It has been a huge part of my career to help others within the creative industry to reach their full potential and I was worried that my health would mean that I could no longer do that. 

I opened a Group Page on facebook and offered 3 days based at my home as a trial to see if folk would make bookings ... and guess what ... they did!

My first client of the day is coming for advice with Self Publishing.  

2nd client for advice with Music Management 

... and my 3rd client is coming for a Song Writing Class. 

I am so chuffed to have been able to find a way that I can still help people to realise their dreams even though my health has me home based. 

Sacred Shed

Another wonderful day of writing in my shed. I think the reason why it feels so utterly beautiful is the ceremony I build before even opening my laptop. 

Off course, first I have to clear all the boxes that are stacked up in there, re-arrange the garden table and chair, then I cleanse the space with palo and incense. 

I light sacred candles from special places, offer dried flowers that I have saved from gifts or temple visits. 

I bring the Earth, Air, Fire and Water in with me but there is another element that I think changes everything. It is what Aristotle called The Fifth Element. Quintessence: an energy that flows through us as heavenly bodies. 

Well, sitting in my shed writing to my heart's content certainly feels heavenly to me.

And it dawns on me right there and then, just as joy fills my entire being, that the purpose of being a human, is to be the human I am meant to be.

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

We are apple trees

Part of my role as Creative Digital Developer at the Storytelling for Health International Conference is designing a new website for our project: Stories for Change.

Being part of the Stories for Change Resident Storytelling Team is amazing. We really are making a difference to people's lives through training New Storytellers in Health Settings.

One of the things that Storytelling Trainees said that they wanted to see on the new website is a Storytelling Library, so I have been busy making one.

The little video above is my contribution. The film footage is from my residency at an Artist's Retreat in Lower Normandy, France. It is one of my self penned stories from my new book to be published later this year. 

I recorded my story and everyone else's around the table at our team meeting. Hence, A Tableful of Storytellers.

When the website goes live, I can't wait to show you it. Meanwhile, here is a link to the Conference:

Beauty Revealed by Decay

The last few days, during our dog walks to the park, I have found myself very drawn to things that are in a state of decay and yet through this process, have found a new beauty. It inspires me to look through my own cracks and see what is emerging as a result.

When I came to share the photographs on facebook, I responded to them in poetic thought, right there in that moment. The words came very easily and I think this is because there is something about the image that has already spoken to me in its own poetic, during my photographic capture of it; it is why I was drawn to the image in the first place.

Tomorrow, if the weather stays as beautiful as it has been here in West Wales, I am going off to hunt for more 'Beauty revealed by decay' as an experiment with regard to my poetic responses in relation to changing self.

Here is today's ...