Want to tell a story on NPR?

Hi Everyone,

KUOW just reached out to me to ask if any FGS folks would like to share a story on their new podcast about the changes we’ve made to our lives during the pandemic. 

Here’s what KUOW’s Jeannie Yandel told me about the new show:

KUOW is working on a new podcast pilot that will showcase personal stories of how the pandemic changed our lives, and the unexpected choices and new pathways that resulted from it. We would love your help finding these stories.

Did you make a big change to your life because of the pandemic? Another way to put it: If the pandemic hadn’t happened, what’s one thing you would never have done?

A producer from KUOW may follow up with you to learn more. 

Email Jeannie ASAP at jyandel@kuow.org if you think you have a story that might fit. 

FGS Trivia: Jeannie and I used to alternate hosting duties during the early days of FGS back when we were called The Emerald City MothUP.

More FGS Trivia: Jeannie hosted the first storytelling show I ever performed at. It was called A Guide to Visitors and I still miss it.

Basically, what I’m saying is that Jeannie is a great producer/host/storyteller/human and I hope some of you get the chance to work with her. So send her any story ideas you have that would work on this new podcast.

Paul
freshgroundstories@gmail.com

FGS: U-Turns – Stories of changing your mind

I could bookend so many parts of my life with two phrases, “I know exactly what to do!” and “What was I thinking??” Making big decisions is so exciting. I’m moving to LA! I’m quitting college! Let’s make a baby! I wish I could go back and taste some of those feelings again. As I get older, my big decisions get smaller and smaller. I’m going to get out of bed before noon! I’m going to take a shower this week! 

This weekend I’m going to go back to some of the big changes I made in my life and see if I can bring up some of those old feelings of excitement. I want to feel what it was like to sense something big was on the horizon. I’d love for 8-10 of you to tell a story of a big decision you made in your life and what brought you to that big moment. What kept you from making that choice earlier? How did people react when you told them what you were going to do? Did it turn out ok or do you wish you had done something else?

Did you leave someone at the altar? Did you leave a career to walk through Nepal? Maybe you started taking the bus to work instead of driving and met your new best friend on number 9 to Greenlake. The choice could be big or small as long as there’s a story in it. Come tell us about a time you changed your mind and what happened when you did.

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 November 15.

I hope to see a bunch of you on the 18th!!

Paul
freshgroundstories@gmail.com

Thank you

What a great show we had last Thursday! The theme was “The Kindness of Strangers” and it was just the kind of show I needed to see right now.

Marte and David told stories of taking spills on their bikes where strangers stopped and took care of them. I didn’t mention it during the show, but bike crash stories always get to me. After the show that night I decided next time I get on a bike I’m wearing two helmets and a mattress strapped to my chest.

Bev told us about a house fire where all the neighbors showed up and took care of a family who was suddenly homeless. It made me think about all the people I’ve lived around in my life and how maybe they were kinder than I thought they were. I’ll never know for sure because there was no catastrophe to help out with. It made me wonder if there’s some small act we could all do for our neighbors to let them know they aren’t alone. 

Gretchen reminded us that some people will show up in the middle of the night to dig your car out of the snow and then make snow angels in your front yard. Nothing says, “I’m glad you’re here” like a bunch of people flapping their arms and legs on your lawn after they push your car down the street in the middle of the night. Who wouldn’t want to live near people like that?

Yousaf told us how important the kindness of coworkers is when you have a horrible job. I especially loved that he worked in references to Leo DiCaprio, Lady Gaga, and Mary Tyler Moore 🙂  Behnaz made me smile with her story of working late on a newspaper project and a friend coming over late at night to surprise her with pizza, cake, and salad. Is that the perfect combination for weird dreams and heartburn? Yes it is. But it also shows that kindness doesn’t have to be perfectly conceived to be worth doing.

Emily showed us what can happen when you stop and talk to a stranger on the street. It may not always be the smart thing to do but every now and then it can lead to something magical. I wish I had written down all the times I talked to a stranger and it changed something in me. I know it’s happened more than once. 

Chris closed out the show with a beautiful story about hitchhiking one night in Japan. You don’t need to share a language to help people out. Although it’s always good to have an A+ pantomime game to rely on. If you have good pantomime skills you can go to a lot of places in this world and meet a lot of good people. 

Thanks again to all the tellers and everyone who showed up to support them. Extra special thanks to anyone who left sweet comments in the chat room. I love getting to send those to each teller who asks for their recording.

Next months’ theme is “Changing your mind.” The show date is November 18. I’ll get the invite out as soon as I can.

Take care, everyone. 

Write me if you have any questions or want help on a story. Dave’s monthly workshop is coming up on November 7 if you’re looking for a great place to get feedback on a story you’re working on. 

https://www.meetup.com/Fresh-Ground-Stories-Storytelling-Workshop/events/281193465/

See you next month!

Paul

freshgroundstories@gmail.com

See you this Thursday!

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 🙂

Paul

Topic: FGS: The Kindness of Strangers – Stories of unexpected help

Time: Oct 21, 2021 07:00 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83715122962?pwd=eUZCbW5LSXZ4ZkIwTk9pVW01b28wQT09

Meeting ID: 837 1512 2962

Passcode: 201283

One tap mobile

+12532158782,,83715122962#,,,,*201283# US (Tacoma)

+13462487799,,83715122962#,,,,*201283# US (Houston)

Dial by your location

        +1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma)

        +1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)

        +1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose)

        +1 929 205 6099 US (New York)

        +1 301 715 8592 US (Washington DC)

        +1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)

Meeting ID: 837 1512 2962

Passcode: 201283

Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kduD1Gfkm8

FGS: The Kindness of Strangers – Stories of unexpected help

Our next show is October 21 at 7pm. The theme is The Kindness of Strangers – Stories of unexpected help

I’m willing to admit that I might be the only one who enjoys it when Oscar winners get played off the stage for thanking too many people in their acceptance speeches. I love it when someone thanks the best boy and the dolly grip. When else are the gaffers and second unit directors going to get a shoutout on national television? I don’t know whose job it is to make sure a sandbag doesn’t fall from the rafters onto George Clooney’s head but that guy definitely needs to get a thank you from someone.

That’s why this month’s theme is “The Kindness of Strangers.” I know somebody somewhere has helped you at some point. They might have taken a chance and hired you when you didn’t have all the experience the want ad called for. They might have offered you a place to stay when you had nowhere else to go. They might have given you a random compliment when all you needed was one person to say you were doing a good job. Each one of us has been helped by a stranger who didn’t have to.

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 October 18.

I hope to see a bunch of you at the show on October 21!

Paul
freshgroundstories@gmail.com