This month’s theme was inspired by a TED talk one of our tellers gave in 2019 called, “Why we need strangers.” As a Seattle city bus driver, Nathan has made a career out of talking to strangers. Many of them people no one else talks to.

Like Nathan, I’ve had momentary connections with people who changed my life and who I’ll never see again. Often, it’s been strangers who have restored my faith in humanity. Sometimes an unexpected kindness or a quick nod of acknowledgment is all you need to feel like everything’s going to be ok.

So bring a story of a chance encounter with a stranger to our next show, Thursday, September 15. Tell us what happened and how it changed you. It doesn’t have to be a big story. It could be about the moment someone shared something with you that made you feel less alone. It could be about the time someone gave up their seat and showed you the compassion and patience you needed to get through your day. 

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 theirs. Stories also have to be clean in both language and content. Send me an email (freshgroundstories at Gmail dot com) 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. It’s run by two people who have told many times at FGS and other shows in the area:  https://www.meetup.com/Fresh-Ground-Stories-Storytelling-Workshop/ 

I’m also happy to help anyone on a story. Send me an email and we can set up a phone call. 

Here are four short articles by one of my favorite storytellers with all kinds of good advice on the kind of stories we’re looking for at FGS:

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

This is the best book I’ve ever read on personal storytelling: 

Here is a short piece by the author of the book on what questions to ask yourself when you start working on a story (it’s about halfway down the blog post): https://mailchi.mp/104f63f44a5a/you-should-be-able-to-answer-this-question-before-ever-telling-your-story?e=a4dd06ea14 

Here is Nathan’s TEDx talk that inspired this month’s theme.

And here’s the book he wrote about all the strangers he’s met as a city bus driver.

I hope to see you on September 15th at 7 pm at Zoom!

Paul

Freshgroundstories at gmail dot com