See you this Thursday!

Hi Everyone,

I’m looking forward to seeing you on Zoom this Thursday! 
We still have spots available so send me an email between now and Thursday if you’d like to tell a story.

The theme for the show is  “Unexpected Goodness – Stories of things working out better than expected.”
https://www.meetup.com/Fresh-Ground-Stories/events/282845143/

Below is the Zoom info. See you soon 🙂

Paul

Paul Currington is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Unexpected Goodness – Stories of things turning out better than expected
Time: Jan 20, 2022 07:00 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87272082049?pwd=QU9CM3cvTk5PbmJscGpuZkVJd2Y1Zz09

Meeting ID: 872 7208 2049
Passcode: 488649
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Meeting ID: 872 7208 2049
Passcode: 488649
Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kdtn8xI8o1

Great storytelling advice + a new show

Hi Everyone,

I just found some great storytelling advice from one of my favorite tellers and want to share it with you. The following articles aren’t in any particular order so dive into whichever one seems most helpful for whatever story you’re working on.

https://jeff-simmermon.medium.com/?p=cc29027b8cd8

https://jeff-simmermon.medium.com/how-to-structure-a-funny-story-d1730535f81b

https://jeff-simmermon.medium.com/this-is-a-boring-shark-attack-8-rules-for-fascinating-storytelling-3b9d2bab6dca

https://jeff-simmermon.medium.com/this-ice-cream-will-heal-your-heartbreak-how-to-find-your-storys-north-star-b818f50250ab

When you’re done with those articles, think about a story you’d like to work on and write Emily Pitts. She’s one of our regulars and just started a cool new in-person storytelling show at the Fremont Abbey called Locally Fameless. I asked her for a quick description of the show and this is what she sent me.

“Locally Fameless is a new in-person monthly storytelling show at the Fremont Abbey. We are looking for stories about hidden talents, feats attempted and achieved, fascinating jobs, wild adventures, and more! Our goal is to grow and develop the storytelling scene in Seattle while highlighting some of the extraordinary people in our area. No storytelling experience is needed. Our goal is to grow and develop the storytelling scene in Seattle while highlighting some of the extraordinary people in our area. This show has a workshop model. If a person is a good fit there are several zoom workshops with the producers and other tellers to work on and develop stories. We look forward to hearing from you! Emilyjpitts@gmail.com

Even if you don’t have a story to tell, wouldn’t it feel great to show up and support her? Of course it would. So buy a ticket, get on the bus, and have a good time. Maybe even get inspired to tell a story one day yourself 🙂

I hope to see a bunch of you at our own show, Thursday, January 20. We’re still on Zoom for a while until we can all feel comfortable going back to our regular space at the Olive Way Starbucks. January’s theme is “Unexpected Goodness – Things turning out better than expected”. 


Send me an email if you have any questions or want help on a story.

Don’t forget about Dave’s monthly workshop: https://www.meetup.com/Fresh-Ground-Stories-Storytelling-Workshop/

The next one is January 9.

Take care,

Paul

freshgroundstories@gmail.com

FGS: Unexpected Goodness – Stories of things turning out better than expected

The other day I was telling a friend about how I don’t like having too many choices. In fact, I kinda do better when I don’t have any choices and I need to figure out how to make the best of things. Maybe that’s why I got into storytelling. I wanted to make sense of why life goes sideways and how I manage to find something good out of it. I know there are people who attribute all their success to themselves but I tend to think that a lot of everyone’s success comes from luck and other people helping out, often without telling anyone. It feels better to me that a big part of life’s goodness comes from the universe and other people being kind and loving without my knowledge. I have no idea if that’s true but it’s what I need to believe.

I’d love to hear stories of things working out for you too. Did getting fired lead to a better job? Did getting dumped lead to a better partner? Maybe your ship sank and you were rescued by a mermaid. Did you have a near-death experience that taught you to appreciate every second of life? Did you go in for a routine exam and the doctor found something terrible inside you early enough to save your life? Maybe you took a DNA test and found out that the story your dad always told you about being part of the royal family of Dalmatia might actually be true! (I’m still trying to get confirmation on that one. Stay tuned for my first royal decree.)

Those are the stories we’re looking for next month’s show on January 20. Remember to practice your story out loud on as many people as possible and time yourself when you’re doing it. All stories have to be under 8 minutes. Stories can be as short as you want but not over 8 minutes. If your story goes long, someone else who practiced for weeks might not get a chance to tell. Stories also have to be clean in both language and content. Send me an email or give me a call if you have any questions about that.

The rest of the rules and guidelines are below:

Workshops are a great way to get feedback on a story you’re working on. Here is one I highly recommend:  https://www.meetup.com/Fresh-Ground-Stories-Storytelling-Workshop/

I’m also happy to help people with their stories. Send me an email and we can set up a phone call.

If you like to work alone, this is the best book I’ve ever seen on personal storytelling:

We’ll be on Zoom again unless the indoor mask mandate changes. Now is a great time for our out-of-town tellers to share more stories with us!

I’ll send out the Zoom link to everyone on the Monday before the show which is January 17th.

I hope to see a bunch of you on the 20th!

Paul
freshgroundstories@gmail.com

Thank you!

Thanks to everyone who came out and supported our amazing tellers Thursday night. We had two first-timers as well as a few folks telling who we haven’t seen in a while. 

Gretchen started us off by telling about a time during junior high when the only person who really made her feel seen was Marge, the waitress in her favorite cafe. I can’t count the number of times a waitress has made me feel special when I was feeling anything but. This is the kind of story that reminds us that often we can be the only bright spot in a stranger’s day.

Erica, a first-timer, told a beautiful story about living with bipolar. She did a masterful job pulling us into one of her episodes where none of us knew what was real and what was delusion. It’s been 17 years since that episode and Erica is doing great now. I’m glad she went back in time to tell us this story. Every person living with mental illness is drawing on a tremendous well of strength to get through each day and most of them don’t get credit for it. Thank you, Erica, for sharing that story and showing us what it takes to move from that moment 17 years ago to the life you have now.

Behnaz was next with a story about what happens when you do everything you can to make sure someone doesn’t leave you. This was one of the hardest stories for me to hear because I’ve done this so often in my own life. Every scene in her story felt like it was ripped from my diary. I felt like I was listening to two stories at once, hers and my own. Of course, the ending to both was the same. And like Behnaz, we both survived because of friends.  

Deborah was next with a story about the heartbreak of trying to be a meaningful part of your grandchildren’s lives when you live in Seattle and they live in Israel. It was especially hard for her knowing the other set of grandparents lived nearby and got to see the kids all the time. It took reading to the boys every night during Covid and becoming each character in each story in order to finally connect over continents and time zones. She discovered that by being completely focused in the time she spent on Zoom with them she was able to fully share the parts of herself that the boys really needed. It turns out that when the phone is the only way you have to connect, you can’t just phone it in. 

Henry, the host and producer of the North Seattle Storytelling Meetup, shared a story about how sometimes it’s good to not get what you want. He was offered the job he’d always wanted at the bank he was working at but turned it down to go run his own business. It’s funny how working for a bank is often the last job you have before going off to live your dream. Is there something so soul-crushing about working for a bank that it drives some of us into starting our own seat-of-the-pants self-employment scheme? Maybe. Working in the mortgage loan division of the National Bank of Alaska drove me onstage where bombing in front of two hundred people in a comedy club seemed like a better life.

Tyler, our second first-timer of the night, told a beautiful story about how hard it is to accept help. In the end, he showed us that accepting help is really a gift we give to others. By allowing them to help we honor the connection we have with them. It’s also an act of humility that reminds us that none of us can get through this life on our own.

Chris was next with a story about how not getting what she wanted as a child led her to a life of wanting less and being happy with what she has as an adult. Although Chris is now Enemy #1 of the advertising industry, she’s #1 in my book for living in the present and enjoying what life gives her. I love influencers who don’t realize they’re influencers 🙂

The last two tellers of the night were a first for us. It was Mary and SueAnn, a mother-daughter team who told the story of a doll named Cathy that each of them had as young girls. I can’t even begin to explain how they did it. It was an incredible two-part story that was funny, tense, surprising, and at times absolutely terrifying. If Stephen King got together with Mr. Rogers they would write a story just like this. It was sweet and scary and touching and funny and the best story to end 2021 on. And it was a special treat to see a mom and daughter tell a story together. I hope we can do more of that in the future. Thank you, Mary and SueAnn for showing us how it’s done.

Thanks again to everyone who turned out that night to either tell a story or support the folks who did. I couldn’t have asked for a better way to close out the year than with all of you that night. Special thanks to the FGS’ers who recommended our two new wonderful tellers, Erica and Tyler. I hope they return and tell more stories with us.

Our next show is January 20. The theme is “Stories of things turning out better than expected.” I’ll get the invite out as soon as I can.

Take care,

Paul

freshgroundstories@gmail.com

See you this Thursday!

Hi Everyone,

I’m looking forward to seeing you on Zoom this Thursday.

We still have spots available so send me an email between now and Thursday if you’d like to tell a story.

Below is the Zoom info. See you soon 🙂

Paul

Topic: FGS: Making the Best of It- Stories of not getting what you want

Time: Dec 16, 2021 07:00 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85470548189?pwd=YUI3S096OS83UnVValk5cm1nU2ZnQT09

Meeting ID: 854 7054 8189

Passcode: 574242

One tap mobile

+12532158782,,85470548189#,,,,*574242# US (Tacoma)

+16699006833,,85470548189#,,,,*574242# US (San Jose)

Dial by your location

        +1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma)

        +1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose)

        +1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)

        +1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)

        +1 929 205 6099 US (New York)

        +1 301 715 8592 US (Washington DC)

Meeting ID: 854 7054 8189

Passcode: 574242

Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kznXjsxKh