Zoom link for Thursday’s show

Hi Everyone,

I’m looking forward to seeing you on Zoom this Thursday! If you want to tell a story, send me an email between now and Thursday. Or you can log in early the night of the show and let me know then.

Below is the Zoom info. See you soon 🙂


Topic: FGS: Down but not out – Stories of getting up off the canvas

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

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Meeting ID: 845 6951 7983

Passcode: 694467

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Meeting ID: 845 6951 7983

Passcode: 694467

Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kcvZ6tbgx9

Quick update on The Moth

Hi Everyone,

I just got some new info on The Moth. They will be coming back live in Seattle, possibly as soon as next month! Whenever it is, I’m really looking forward to it. They’re the reason FGS and many other shows exist. 

Check their website to see when they re-add Seattle and announce what’s next. https://themoth.org/.

In the meantime, here’s one of my favorite tellers at a Moth show 🙂

See you next week!


Hope you can join us next week!

Hi Everyone,

I’m looking forward to seeing everyone next week at the show. 

I’m available to help anyone on a story. Write me at freshgroundstories at gmail dot com to set up a phone call if you like.

We also have a great workshop coming up this Sunday on Zoom. It’s free and super helpful. It’s run by Dave, a wonderful storyteller who has told many times at FGS.

I hope to see a bunch of you next week on the 16th. The theme is, “Down but not out – Stories of getting up off the canvas.”


I’ll send everyone the Zoom link via meetup next Monday.



FGS: Down but not out – Stories of getting up off the canvas

One of the things I do best is convince myself that whatever I’m going through now is the absolute worst thing I’ve ever experienced. Sometimes that feeling lasts for a few minutes and sometimes it lasts for weeks. More than once my therapist has said to me, “You’ve lived through worse and you have the skills to get through this.” 

And it’s true. Whatever I’m going through in the moment is almost never the worst thing that’s ever happened to me. It’s just funny how often I need someone to remind me that my survival rate so far is 100%. I think for September’s show we could all use some stories that remind us we’re often stronger than we think we are.

Come tell a story about a time when you got knocked down and managed to get up again. Was it love walking out the door? Did you lose your job and find yourself living in your car? I definitely have stories about those times. Maybe you lost something you thought you couldn’t live without. Or you were betrayed and thought you’d never trust again. Or maybe you woke up in the hospital and had to change the arc of your life to accommodate your recovery. 

How did you get up off your back and face the world again? And when you did figure out how to move forward, how did it change you? Do you miss the old you or are you happy with the person you became? Are you better for having lived through it or are there parts of you that you lost that you can never get back?

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 September 13.

I hope to see a bunch of you at the show on September 16.


Thanks for a great show

Thanks for a great night of stories last Thursday. I was nervous about changing it to Zoom at the last minute but enough people came out to make it a full show. We’ll probably stay this way until the indoor mask mandate goes away. They say once we get past Delta, the Lambda variant is right around the corner. What happened to epsilon, ficus, and geranium? Did I miss those already?

Anyway, thanks for sticking with me. We’ll be back at our regular Starbucks as soon as we can. Until then, I’ll just keep an eye on the news and take it from there. If I worked for Microsoft they would call this, “Displaying organizational agility in the face of fluctuating market indicators.”

We had a good mix of regulars and first-timers last Thursday and it made for a really fun show.

Emily, a second-timer, called in from Texas to tell a story about swinging back and forth between a life of minimalism and consumerism. I can identify with that! I also swing back and forth between austerity and Amazonism. The only difference is my mom never gave me great quotes like, “We’ve got to do something even if it’s wrong.”

Next up was Laurie, a first-timer, with a sweet story of taking a group of teenagers into the wilderness to give them a full-on nature experience. I didn’t expect her story about a tipping point to be about those kids having an actual tipping point and falling out of their canoes and into a river. Is there anything funnier than kids who think they know everything getting tossed out of a boat? I think not.

Moreah was next and we learned what it was like to pull 35 boxes out of storage and have to go through all the memories you find in them. 

Rachel, another second-timer, told us about signing up for a gym and then hiring an 84-year-old trainer named Harold. By the end of the story we all wanted to go sign up with Harold. I live in Olympia and I’m trying to figure out how long it would take me to get to West Seattle once a week to have Harold order me around. Rachel told such a great story Harold is going to be booked for months. Men and women are trained on different days so I’m a little bummed that I’ll never see 89-year-old Verona do a 45-minute plank.

First-timer Daniel told about a time when he did what a lot of us wished we had done. He silenced a loud neighbor by tearing up a fuse box. It really is true when they say, one of the best feelings in life is enjoying the silence after cacophony. Actually, I think I’m the only one who says that. Well, maybe it’ll get around.

My son Taran told a story after that about a time I remember well. He was in grade school at the time and his two best friends kept running away from him on the playground. It was a game called “ditching” and it was hard to hear him talk about it when he’d get home from school. What I didn’t know then but do know after hearing his story is what happened when he got a chance to ditch a new kid who showed up in class one day. I hope every parent gets to hear their kid tell a story like that one day.

First-timer Gretchen told my new favorite pet story. It was about her cat Rachel who barely put up with being entered into cat shows until one day she stopped putting up with it. It’s funny how you can never tell how close you are to getting on a cat’s last nerve until you’re suddenly bleeding and screaming. Why are billionaires blasting into space when what we really need is for someone to invent a mood ring for cats?

Behnaz told us a story about how there are only three ways to leave your parents’ house if you grow up in Iran. Marriage, school, or death. How did she end up leaving home? Well, you should have been there to find out. Let’s just say she’s responsible for a 700% sales increase in the Farsi version of The Secret.

The last teller was me. I told a story I hadn’t told in years. It was about how I discovered that I could be funny and wouldn’t have to kill a moose to make friends. I wish my old scoutmaster Mr. Allen was still alive to hear that story. I keep hoping one day to get some kind of honorary eagle scout rank since I didn’t quite make it there when I was a kid.

Thanks again to everyone who told a story and those who hung out and supported them with their laughter and applause. Next month’s show is September 16. The theme is “Down But Not Out – Stories of getting up off the canvas.” I’ll get the invite out as soon as I can.

I hope to see you there.