Before I get to the wrap-up I want to let everyone know there are links to workshops and a Seattle Times article on FGS at the bottom of this email.

Big thanks to everyone who came out last Thursday for the show. We had a great mix of new and regular tellers. As much as I want to get back to our in-person shows, I’m so grateful that we’re now getting new tellers from all over the world thanks to Zoom. 

Tracey started off the show with a story that only she could tell. It included foreign coins, missing toes, humid hair frizzies, a benign tumor, and a class in Taiwan for children with learning disabilities. Somehow she wrapped it all up with a lesson in trusting your spidey sense and the importance of letting go of being right.

Yousaf told us about a time when he spent the last few months at his job trying to get a parental leave policy in place for a coworker who just had a baby. If you’ve ever had a new baby and a job at the same time you know how important parental leave can be. Thank god there are people like Yousaf out there who will take a risk at work for others. It’s not easy convincing management anywhere to give people more paid leave and sometimes it can affect your career just by asking. In Yiddish, we would call Yousaf mensch. In Hebrew, we would call what he a mitzvah. 

Paul B told a story that I’m sure will end up on The Moth or Risk! or some other national podcast. It was about letting go of the guilt he’d been carrying and figuring out how to forgive himself. Paul raised the bar for honesty and vulnerability that night and made me wonder what stories I’ve been afraid to tell.

Bridget’s story had me really wanting to meet her husband one day. He got her a surprise skydiving lesson for her birthday. Who gets someone a skydiving lesson without asking?! I told Bridget afterward that for her husband’s birthday she should get him a cliff diving lesson. If he survives he has to come tell the story.

Behnaz had us all cheering for nerds at the end of her story. It turns out she kind of likes them and may even be one herself. It also turns out that, based on certain data we calculated, plotted, and peer-reviewed during the show, that she might be the 57th smartest person in Iran. You’d have to hear the story to understand that but I have complete confidence in my data. 

Marte’s story of asking her parents for help paying for college when she was 30 turned out to be a tender realization that asking for help was probably the first truly adult thing she had done in her life. Marte doesn’t know this, but the next day my son asked me for help. I’m pretty sure that wouldn’t have happened if he hadn’t been in the audience that night. Thank you, Marte for showing my kid there’s no shame in asking for help.

Rhonda, a first-timer from Tucson, closed the show with a powerful story about watching her daughter work through addiction, and what it felt like to not be able to save her. I know from the comments people posted afterward that Rhonda wasn’t the only one in the room that night who has had to watch someone they love battle addiction. Rhonda, thank you for having the courage to tell that story. I know parts of it are were still raw. You will tell this story again one day and there will be even more people in the audience who need to hear it.

Thanks to everyone who joined us and supported me and the tellers that night. We’ll be back next month with a new theme,  “Home – Stories of leaving, finding, or creating one.”

Email me if you’d like to tell a story on that night. The show is on April 15. I’ll get the invite out as soon as I can. In the meantime, check out the workshops, a book, and an article below.

Here is Paul Barach’s memoir of his pilgrimage through Japan. I have a copy and so should you.

The biweekly workshop with Bill Bernat

Workshop Your Story with Great Tellers and a Coach

Tuesday, Mar 23, 2021, 5:30 PM

Online event
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4 Members Attending

Come join some amazing storytellers to workshop a 5-7 minute story. It’s the perfect way to prep a story for Fresh Ground Stories or another storytelling show. We’ll divide the time between storytellers, but will make sure everyone gets at least 15 minutes even if means we stay long. Format: You tell us what kind of feedback or help you’re looking …

Check out this Meetup →

Here’s a workshop that’s quickly filling up from our friends at Story Fruition
https://mailchi.mp/e2a73c63c28d/next-storytelling-workshop-is-this-thursday-a-couple-of-spots-left?e=f4e5431327

The monthly FGS workshop

April ONLINE Storytelling Workshop

Sunday, Apr 11, 2021, 1:00 PM

Online event
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7 Storytellers Attending

Learn to craft a story you can feel proud telling in front of an audience! Gain confidence publicly telling stories by practicing in a low-pressure environment! Meet other dynamic interesting people who enjoy sharing about real, meaningful experiences in their lives! Bring a story that you might like to tell at a storytelling event. Your story shou…

Check out this Meetup →

An article by Christy Karras at the Seattle Times that features FGS
https://www.seattletimes.com/pacific-nw-magazine/checking-in-with-previous-gather-groups-to-see-how-theyre-coping-after-a-year-of-pandemic-separation/

Paul

Freshgroundstories@gmail.com