A beautiful adventure story from one of our tellers

This is a great story from one of our tellers, Paul Barach. It was recently featured on the outdoors podcast, Out There. The producers did an amazing job adding a soundscape to Paul’s words.

http://www.outtherepodcast.com/episodes/2020/12/14/back-to-the-real-world

Paul wrote a book about an earlier adventure which you can find here. I always love reading about where our tellers have been in the world. I’m happy that some of them have written books about those adventures.

FGS: There but for the grace of whom? Stories of someone who had your back

If there’s one good thing I’m taking away from this year, it’s realizing how many people have played a part in keeping me safe and sane over the course of my life. From David K and his mom taking me in when I was 17 and had nowhere else to go, to my friends Emily and Amanda who shove cookies through my cat door when they think I’m running low on treats. I’m always surprised to find out that people are thinking of me.

Not every moment of kindness has a story behind it. But some definitely do. I’d love to know who had your back when you were knocked down and nearly out. Did they pick you up? Or were they already down there in the muck and for a moment they just made you feel like you weren’t alone?

Our next show in January 21, at 7 pm. Come tell a story about a time when someone had your back. Did they offer you a couch when you were living in your car? Did they stand up for you at work when it was dangerous to do so? Maybe a bus driver let you on without paying when you were broke but on your way to a job interview. We’ve all been helped out in the moment by friends, family, or strangers. We’d love to hear about a time when that happened to you.

Remember to practice 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 also have to be pretty clean in both language and content. The rest of the rules and guidelines are below:

https://freshgroundstories.com/2013/01/22/storytelling-rules-and-guidelines/

Workshops are a great way to get feedback on a story you’re working on. Here are two I highly recommend:

Stay Awesome Storytelling Virtual Workshop

Seattle, WA
123 Members

It’s a virtual storytelling workshop with The Moth Radio storyteller and TED speaker Bill Bernat and Nutritious Truth’s Melody Owen.Bring a story about 5 minutes or, tell it,…

Check out this Meetup Group →

FGS – Storytelling Workshop

Seattle, WA
645 Storytellers

This workshop helps you become a better storyteller and to prepare to tell stories at events like Fresh Ground Stories or The Moth.The workshop is free.A diverse group of pe…

Next Meetup

January ONLINE Storytelling Workshop

Sunday, Jan 3, 2021, 1:00 PM
12 Attending

Check out this Meetup Group →

Both are free and run by experienced tellers who have told many times at FGS. I’m also available to help on stories. Send me an email and we set up a call.

If you want to tell a story at the show, email me at freshgroundstories@gmail.com as soon as possible so I can get you on the list.

I’ll send out a Zoom registration link to everyone in the Meetup group the Monday before each show. You must register for the show in order to attend. After you register, Zoom will send you a link to the actual show. Each link is unique to the person who registered so you won’t be able to share it with anyone. 

If you know someone who wants to attend but isn’t a member of the Meetup group you can share the registration link that I send out. That way they can register and get their own unique link to the show. Sorry if that’s confusing. Email me if you have any questions.

Feel free to RSVP on Meetup if you want their automatic reminders, but I’ll be sending the Zoom link to everyone in the group regardless of your RSVP.

We only have 100 spots in each show (98 actually since me and my assistant each take one spot) so the first 98 people to register for the show will be the only ones who can attend. 

Hop to see a bunch of you on the 21st!

Paul
freshgroundstories@gmail.com

Thank you!

Thanks to everyone who joined us last Thursday. I hope you had as much fun as I did. It came at the end of a rough week for me and it was just what I needed. The theme was “What was I thinking??” and I was happy to find that I’m not the only one who is constantly saying that to myself.

Colleen started us off with the story of her mother’s final days.  I know it was familiar to anyone who has lost a parent. Each scene had me nodding my head as I thought, “Yes, it’s just like that.” The guilt you have leaving them each day not knowing if they’ll be there when you return. Trying to communicate with them when you’re not sure they understand you. The phone call you get when you don’t have to pick it up to know what it means. Thank you, Colleen, for trusting us with that story.

Yael’s story about learning to become a storyteller had a twist in it that I didn’t see coming. Her story was about how she learned to become the characters in her stories and ended up meeting the woman who inspired her. It turned out that the woman who inspired her was Ingrid Nixon, an amazing teller who has told at FGS. Now I have to talk Ingrid into tuning in from Alaska so she and Yael can share the stage with us next year.

Silvana told a story I’m still laughing about three days later. I don’t want to repeat the story here but if you run a Christian children’s camp, you should really hire Silvana and her husband to work there. You’ll find out what the Bible would have been like it if was written by George Lucas and Dr. Who. Why didn’t I ever get invited to camps like this??

Cara told a story about almost being swept out to sea because her grandma once got angry that she complained about ants as a kid. How do those things connect? Well, you shoulda been at the show. It all made sense when she told it. Cara’s first story with us was wonderful and I hope she comes back and tells with us again. 

Melissa, who doubles as my assistant during the shows, told a fantastic story about lying to her daughters about Santa Claus. I love stories about the uncomfortable choices we have to make as parents. Melissa’s story reminded me that there’s no one way to raise a kid and we’re all doing the best with what we got.

Chris closed the show with a quintessential Chris story. If you’ve spent much time with her you’ll realize that she’s basically at the beck and call of her avian overlords. None of her pets live inside, of course. The hummingbirds demand that their sugar water be the proper sweetness. The chickadees tap their beaks to let her know the seed level is a little low. And the crows outside her front door buzz past her like evil spirits in a drive-thru when she forgets to feed them that day. Whenever I think of Chris now I’m going to picture her running a wild bird buffet. 

I think the recording turned out ok so let me know if you told a story that night and want the audio. Some of you already have and I’ll be working on getting those to you this week. Our next show is January 21. The theme is “Who has your back??”

I’ll get the invite out as soon as I can. 

Have a great holiday and rest of the year. Thank you all for supporting FGS through the worst year ever. Sometimes hearing one story is all it takes to help someone get through a hard time. I’m grateful for every single person who has shared a story with us. 

See you next month 🙂

Paul
freshgroundstories@gmail.com

See you Thursday + one great idea

Hi Everyone,

I hope to see a bunch of you at the show this Thursday. We have a nice combination of regulars and first-time storytellers lined up. I’ll send out the Zoom registration link Wednesday afternoon. If you don’t get that email by 5pm that day write me and I’ll send you another one.

In the meantime, I want to share a cool thing I got to do last year on a podcast called, My Ten Songs. The host, Megan Hanna, asked me for ten songs that shaped my life and the stories behind them. I loved Megan’s idea so much I decided to do something similar with the folks I work with. Last week, I started recording co-worker’s 2-3 minute stories about songs that mean something to them. When I get ten together I’m going to make a digital mixtape for everyone. I’ve already heard some great stories and learned a lot about the people I work with. 

I would love to hear if any of you do this for friends, family, coworkers, etc. I’m doing my recording over Zoom so you wouldn’t have to show up at anyone’s house with a microphone.

Here’s the original episode I was on that inspired me:

Here’s the podcast page if you’d like to listen to other episodes:

See you next Thursday!

Write if you have any questions. 

Paul
freshgroundstories@gmail.com

FGS: What was I thinking?? – Stories that made you shake your head

I haven’t done a count yet but I’m pretty sure every bad decision I’ve made ended up with me on the couch muttering, “What was I thinking??” I’m not encouraging anyone to go out and make some bad choices but if you’ve made a few in the past that led to a great story we’d love to hear it.

Did you stay in a relationship because you were afraid to be on your own? Did you take a job you hated because you thought it was the responsible thing to do? Maybe you stole a car once to impress your friends. Did you drop out of school to wander through Thailand only to discover what you were searching for was a block away from your home in Greenlake?

Come tell a story about a time you did something and only later realized why you did it. Did you regret it? Or are you glad you did it regardless of how it turned out? 

Remember to practice 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 also have to be pretty clean in both language and content. The rest of the rules and guidelines are below:

https://freshgroundstories.com/2013/01/22/storytelling-rules-and-guidelines/

Workshops are a great way to get feedback on a story you’re working on. Here are two I highly recommend:

Stay Awesome Storytelling Virtual Workshop

Seattle, WA
117 Members

It’s a virtual storytelling workshop with The Moth Radio storyteller and TED speaker Bill Bernat and Nutritious Truth’s Melody Owen.Bring a story about 5 minutes or, tell it,…

Next Meetup

Stay Awesome Storytelling Zoom Workshop

Monday, Nov 30, 2020, 7:00 PM
5 Attending

Check out this Meetup Group →

FGS – Storytelling Workshop

Seattle, WA
631 Storytellers

This workshop helps you become a better storyteller and to prepare to tell stories at events like Fresh Ground Stories or The Moth.The workshop is free.A diverse group of pe…

Next Meetup

December ONLINE Storytelling Workshop

Sunday, Dec 6, 2020, 1:00 PM
13 Attending

Check out this Meetup Group →

Both are free and run by experienced tellers who have told many times at FGS. I’m also available to help on stories. Send me an email and we set up a call.

Email me through Meetup or at freshgroundstories@gmail.com as soon as possible if you want to get on the list to tell a story.

I’ll send out a Zoom registration link to everyone in the Meetup group the day before each show. Feel free to RSVP on Meetup if you want the automatic reminders but I’ll be sending the Zoom link to everyone in the group regardless of your RSVP.

We only have 100 spots in each show (98 actually since me and my assistant each take one spot) so the first 98 people to register for the show will be the only ones who can attend. 

Write if you have any questions 🙂

See you on the 17th!

Paul
freshgroundstories@gmail.com