What a great show we had last week! We had a bunch of new tellers along with some old tellers who hadn’t been back in years. Once FGS gets its hooks in you it’s pretty hard to stay away forever 🙂

One of my favorite things about FGS is that I’m always surprised by the tiny details people remember that lead to stories. First-timer, Colleen, told a sweet story about cherry tomatoes that made me wonder how many things I’ve missed in my everyday life that could be turned into a story. Thank you, Colleen, not just for your story but for the lesson as well.

Melissa, in only her second time at Olive Way, told a hysterical story about being conned by a fortune teller and how she exacted revenge through her own sting operation. I have no idea what Melissa does for a living, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it involved bringing to justice everyone from illegal arms merchants to expired coupon passers.

Soren, another first-timer, told one of the most visually beautiful stories we’ve ever heard at FGS. Quite a feat since we don’t allow PowerPoints. He told us about a para-gliding experience that everyone was talking about after the show. It made me smile to hear people reciting some of his lines as they mingled afterward.

I wish you had been there to hear Vanda talk about her transformative experience in an Extended Stay America (why do people never have life-changing moments in a Hyatt?) Sam’s story about how a puddle of sweat led to finding true love is one of my favorites that he’s told with us. I’ll put a link to the version he told at The Moth at the bottom of this. Thank you, Sam, for staying out late and closing the show for us.

The story I really wish you had all been there for was Antoine’s. He told a beautiful story about his struggle to speak to women that was incredibly funny and also very touching. I’ll never forget the woman behind me whispering in my ear just before I went up after Antoine, “Would you please tell that young man there’s a 93-year-old lady over here who would love to talk to him?” Naturally, I had to tell the audience what she told me and got one of the biggest laughs ever. A few minutes later when it was Vanda’s turn to tell a story she began it by turning to Antoine in the audience and saying something in French that I’m pretty sure she wouldn’t be allowed to say if it had been in English. Antoine, I don’t think you’ll have any problem talking to women if you keep coming back and telling stories like you did that night. Thank you for being so honest and vulnerable up there.

I’ll stop here so you can get back to your weekend. Part of me wants to tell you about every story we hear at FGS but another part wants me to leave you hanging a little bit so you come out and see the show in person.

Thanks to all the tellers who shared their stories last night. Apologies to the two people whose names I had to leave in Mr. Coffee because we ran out of time. Bruce and Sara, I’ll do my best to get you on a show later this year. You’ve each told some great stories at FGS and I know you had some great ones prepared that night.

Next month’s show will be August 15. The theme is “Escape.” I’ll get the official invite out as soon as I can. In the meantime, I’ll leave you with two good resources for anyone working on a story, and a link to Sam’s Moth story that he told for us Thursday.

Excellent monthly workshop specifically for personal storytelling like we do at FGS. I can’t recommend it enough. It’s run by two FGS regulars who do a great job giving tips and feedback: https://www.meetup.com/Fresh-Ground-Stories-Storytelling-Workshop/events/263317726/

If you’re in the south Puget Sound area, Vanda runs a memoir writing Meetup every weekend down here in Olympia. I’ve joined her for the last two weekends and gotten a lot of writing done. It’s just her and anyone else who shows up at a spacious Starbucks. You write for a couple hours (or however long you want) and if you feel compelled, you can share some of it afterward for feedback: https://www.meetup.com/Olympia-Memoir-writing-Lifewriting-Meetup-Group/events/bvrgdryzkbkc/

Here is the story Sam Blackman shared to close out the show Thursday: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZBHB5yyDW0U

Big thanks to all the folks who come out who don’t tell a story but support the ones who do. You are a big part of why FGS is so special. Thank you for all the patience, love, and support you give to everyone who walks up to that microphone.

See you all on the 15th!