Tuesday, April 28, 2015
Issue # 157

Got some news or information you would like to get out to the storytelling community?
Contact Mark Goldman -x602-390-3858x - Mark@Storytellermark.com

Pain, Drugs, Rock & Roll and Newsletters

For the second time in three weeks, the newsletter is a day late (but not, I hope, a dollar short).

Years of being a dancer can take its toll on you. Doing the Bottle Dance in two companies of Fiddler on the Roof brought me more than just pride that I never dropped my bottle. High-stepping Irish clogging (on top of pianos) in Irene with Jane Powell and Patsy Kelly changed me from a Dance General into a softer, more accepting supervisor, and yet the damage pressed on. 

Arriving in the Valley of the Sun some 35 years ago, and promptly deciding to turn my back on the warmth, and brave the cold every winter for the likes of Sunrise, Flagstaff, Aspen, Tahoe and other powdery slopes certainly added to the problem. Not-withstanding biking the hills of England the past several years has all lead me to a difficult place in life: Trying to "walk the talk", but do it with a tremendous amount of pain.

They call it a torn meniscus. I still think it sounds like a food choice: "She'll have the blackened Tilapia, and I will have a Torn Meniscus." It's the cushion inside your knee joint. And it is painful. Especially at night and the early morning when fluid builds up - the times I usually hammer out the newsletter.

And the fact that it looks a bit like Jabba The Hut doesn't make it any easier to deal with. The MRI (with 60's rock and roll playing through the headphones), the x-rays, the doctor's appointment, the excruciating pain, and the requisite meds to attempt to quell the pain (only slightly) have slowed me a bit. So please accept my apologies for another day-late newsletter,

Out-patient surgery scheduled for Wednesday of next week. Prognosis for recovery...three days.

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This Week


SMCC Celebration

Friday - May 1st
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Join Liz Warren and Marilyn Omifunke Torres for a celebration of storytelling! Students from many of the current classes will tell their tales!

It will be in the Community Room of the SMCC Library. With refreshments and some additional awards too!

Come Celebrate!

West Side Story Tellers No MEETING in MAY

The West Side Story Tellers monthly guild meeting for May is CANCELLED - Due to a Road Trip and Performance!
There WILL BE a meeting in JUNE!

They have BRAND NEW website! http://westsidestorytellers.weebly.com/ - Check it out!

For more information, contact their president, Mark Compton at


Tucson Tellers - Debra Olson Tolar at Next Guild Meeting

The next meeting of Tucson Tellers of Tales is just around the corner:
Saturday, May 2nd from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at the
Columbus Branch Library on 22nd Street. 

The Tucson Tellers of Tales May 2nd meeting will be “Tales to Nurture the Spirit,” presented by the talented storyteller, Debra Olson Tolar (http://debraolsontolar.com ). Please join us on Saturday at the Columbus Branch Library in Tucson at 9:30 a.m.

Visit Their Facebook Page

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Coming Up


EVTOT - Guild Meeting
Saturday - May 9th ~ 10am - Noon

Join us to celebrate storytelling successes. 

East Valley Tellers of Tales is a Phoenix area guild of Storytellers and Storylisteners. A truly safe place to share your story! We are an affiliate of the National Storytelling Network. Come and find out what this means, and how it benefits you!

Hear stories - Share your story
Click here for details & info

Odyssey Storytelling in Tucson
Thursday, May 7th
This curated Storytelling event in Tucson is in its 13th year! Six people are invited to tell ten minute, personal stories on a theme in front of an audience. The stories are not read or memorized, they are told from the life experiences and creativity of the teller

Theme: Nemesis
Rival. Thwarter. Jack-wagon. Jerk. You can call your nemesis any nasty name you want, but inevitably you are the one who is changed by your engagement with the enemy.
Sometimes a foe's challenge can inspire your heroism. But facing our nemeses can also mean sinking to their level--you fight dirty with more dirty. Sometimes you champion the common good. And sometimes you write snarky notes to the guy who steals your sandwiches from the company fridge. 
Come hear stories of how we deal with backstabbers, debasers, and straight-up haters. And find out how we're forever altered--or compromised--in the process.
Storytellers: Poet, Songwriter, Journalist, and Pima CC Writing Faculty Maggie Golston; UA Filmmaker and Pathological Explorer Rob Gonzalez; Pediatrician Tracey Kurtzman; Mother and Feminist Rabble-Rouser Tamara Sargus; Writer, Belly Dancer, and Pima CC Writing Faculty Brooke Anderson; Food Critic, Small Business Owner, and Pima CC Writing Faculty April Burge
Location: The Screening Room,
127 E. Congress Street, Tucson, $8
Doors open at 6:30 p.m., Show starts at 7:00 p.m.

Click here for details & info

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Having the Audience Decide the Ending

What were your feelings at the end of he movie, Inception? The camera zoomed in on the spinning top...and then...CUT! We never REALLY found out if it was reality or a dream. The director wanted YOU to decide for yourself. Did you get contemplative? Or did you want to burn down the theatre?

I have written about endings before (click here). Today, I wanted to touch on the concept where you let the individual members of the audience make their own decisions about how the story ends. Be cautious about using this technique, as audience members may become dissatisfied or even angry at the fact that YOU did not provide them with a concrete ending!

I came across this while continuing to work on my original story, The Princess and the Storyteller Frog. Previously, at the end of the story, when the Princess kisses him, he DOES turn into a prince, they get married and live happily ever after. I discussed this story with my students, and continued to ask them, "What's the story about?"

Since the answer to the question is really, "TRUE LOVE", I began to think more about the ending. If that is the real meaning of the story, then the frog does not HAVE to turn into a Prince. If the Princess really loves him for "who and what he is" (and not his looks or whether he is a prince), then she loves him no matter what. The closer I got to this "most important thing" (Doug Lipman's MIT) the more I realized I should change the ending.

I am working on the actual language to use. Do I tell the audience, "You decide." Do I merely not address any possibility of transformation but say that they did get married and lived happily ever after? There are many possibilities...I am working on lots of different ones. Suggestions in the comments are most welcome.

When you are working on your OWN stories, ask yourself if it needs a concrete ending. Ask yourself what the ramifications of letting the audience decide for themselves. Try one out and see how it fits!

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Anatomy of a Story
Donna Washington is a great storyteller.

When you watch someone like Donna, do you ever wonder, "How did that teller do that? How did they pick that story? What did they go through to craft it 'just' that way?" Most seasoned tellers do A LOT! And Donna has a great new series on her blog that is specifically about her entire process. She explains in detail:

The Pot Maker and The Tiger - The Story
1. Crafting 101: The Questions I Ask
2. Crafting 101:  Building The Structure
3. Crafting 101:  Flesh On The Bones
4  Crafting 101:  Donkey's and tigers and War Horses, Oh My!
Her next installment will look at "supporting roles".
This is a BRILLIANT series from an accomplished, seasoned teller. It is lesson in storytelling that has great value for newbies, and old souls as well. Here is how she describes it:
There is a difference between crafting a story and just getting up and telling one.  Pretty much anyone who isn't afraid of speaking in public can get up and tell a story of some kind.  We share stories at weddings and funerals.  We share them during worship services, and amongst friends.  We share them on the radio and television. 
In this series of Blogs, I will look at a single story, and show the process I use to get from my first exposure to a tale all the way to the finished structure.
I highly recommend that everyone go there and begin the journey with her first installment (there are 5 currently). DON'T MISS IT!
Click here to start
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------------------------------------THERE'S A LOT GOING ON EACH MONTH
---------------------------------CALL TO MAKE SURE THE EVENT IS STILL ON

Infuse Open Mic
Second Sunday of each month - Phoenix

Yarnball Storytellers Mic
Every Wednesday at  8 pm - PHOENIX

FStorytellers - Female Story Tellers - Tucson
Usually sometime during the first week of the month - but check their website) at  7 pm - TUCSON

Odyssey Storytelling
First Thursday of each month (usually but check calendar) - TUCSON

Third Friday (usually) of each month - PHOENIX

Tucson Tellers of Tales - Storytellers Guild
First Saturday of each month (except July and August) - Tucson

West Side Story Tellers - Storytellers Guild
First Saturday of each month - GLENDALE *NO meetings in July & August

East Valley Tellers of Tales -Storytellers Guild
Second Saturday of each month - SCOTTSDALE

Homebase Poetry
Last Sunday of each month - Phoenix

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All Newsletter content ©Mark Goldman
Got some news or information you would like to get out to the storytelling community?

Contact Mark Goldman -x602-390-3858x - Mark@Storytellermark.com


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