What a year it has been for storytelling and storytellers in the Valley! Here are just some of the highlights (in no particular order - and if I missed one of your favorites, I apologize).
Kathy Eastman, Phyllis Ralley, Anne Costello McDowell, Nancy Newlin, and Ruth Shaw all graduated with Certificates from SMCC Storytelling Institute.
There were Storytelling classes held at South Mountain, Glendale, Estrella Mountain, Paradise Valley and Mesa Community Colleges (please forgive any omissions).
Amidst some controversy, NSN held its National Conference here in the valley (Mesa). Many of our local tellers attended and were highlighted.
Liz Warren was the recipient of an NSN Oracle award.
My book, Storytelling Tips: Creating Crafting and Telling Stories (Parkhurst Brothers) came out and I sold 35 copies at the conference (96 to date - it will be on Amazon next month).
Sean Buvala also published a book with a very long title: Storytelling Tips: 70 Techniques, Thoughts and Take-Action Steps to Help You Share Your Message Effectively Using Oral Storytelling.
Sandy Oglesby published her first book: You Are Special Just the Way You Are.
Ty Nolan published five books!
Dan Hull produced over 50 Yarnball Storytelling Concerts.
I put out 52 Newsletters (140 since May of 2012).
The New Times named Liz Warren as one of the 100 Phoenix Creatives of 2014.
The Arizona Republic Storytellers Project capped off their third year with a story-filled bash at the Biltmore with over 430 attendees and some of the best stories to date.
We were blessed with the likes of seasoned tellers Bobby Norfolk and Donald Davis.
Doug Bland's Community Christian Church continued with their 17th year of great Storytelling Concerts.
Oh yeah ... and Sharon Gilbert turned 75 and told 75 times this year!
All in all, there were over two hundred storytelling events in Arizona during 2014!
One final note:
Louise Laux's Mother passed away just before Christmas. The service, with Louise and her three siblings all telling stories of their mother was quite sweet. Their stories made me want to know her. Their stories keep her alive. She had a philosophy of life that serves as a message for us all:
"Bake more cookies; read more stories."
HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU ALL!