Monday, February 06, 2006

New stories

I've set myself a bit of a task.

Next week I'm telling love stories for grownups. I rented the hall back in December, when it looked like a simple thing to do. Then last month I looked at my list of stories. Did I really have enough love stories for adults? I looked around at possibilities and now I have a new set list. It looks pretty good, about 75 minutes of stories ranging from folktales to stories from books to my own quirky pieces.

So what's the problem? Of the stories I'm planning to tell, only "Sir Gawain and the Dame Ragnell" and "Mr. Fox" (who said the stories had to be happy?!) are truly seasoned from years of telling. "Checkouts" by Cynthia Rylant is one I used to tell (with permission), but it has been many years since I've looked at it. The last time I told "Aucassin et Nicolette," a year and a half ago, the audience couldn't stand the main character and therefore the story--I'm working on a way to make him more sympathetic and still retain the integrity of the tale. "The gifts of Wali Dad" is the story I told at the wedding last fall, and though I love it, I know it needs more work. Then there are two stories by Richard Kennedy I've never told (he also gave me permission to tell his stories). Is that all? No. There are two original stories on the list, one I wrote years ago and haven't told in at least six years and another that is just taking shape now.

What was I thinking?! Now all that comes to mind is "which story should I focus on right now?" In the swimming pool, I lose track of my laps as I run through "The porcelain man." As I walk downtown, I think about the new story about blind dates. Before I go to sleep, I read through "Checkouts" slowly, seeing the pictures in my head. I mention to friends and family what I'm working on, in more boring detail than they want to hear. Hmm, the lines between working, contemplating working, and procrastination get blurred, don't they?

Enough dilly-dallying, back to work!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Here are some old ones that come to mind - although maybe they aren't what you think would really fit into the category: It's In the Bag, and the one with the ferris wheel.

But then my mind is addled just now, so maybe not.