Friday, December 19, 2008

Revamped Going Deep Website

I've been working at the Going Deep Long Traditional Story Retreat website lately. It's not quite finished, but looks much better than it did and is easier to navigate. Soon I hope we'll have some good blog posts on the site.

I'm fond of the banner photo--it's a Medusa head at the bottom of a pillar in the cisterns underneath Istanbul. We won't have stories of Medusa this year, but we will have Gilgamesh told by David Novak, The Story of the Grail told by Liz Warren, and The Paths of Osun: The West African Yoruba Epic told by Marilyn Omifunke Torres.

It's going to be a phenomenal retreat.

Thursday, December 18, 2008


Earlier this year, Wonderscope Children's Museum merged with the Kansas City Children's Museum. As far as I can see, they're working hard at melding the best of both organizations in the Shawnee location. The Recycled Materials Center, now called Repurpose, iMagine, Create! is a great place to pick up interesting and unusual craft supplies--I noticed some small swags labeled "puppet wigs," so I know they're on the right track. There's a brand new water exhibit opening this month, fitting in with the many other kid-friendly exhibits. 

I perform at Wonderscope on the first and third Tuesdays of the month at 9:30 a.m., with a few exceptions (say, when I'm in Brazil or Belgium). This year will be my third time performing at WonderEve, a huge celebration on December 31. I'll be on at noon, in the Healthy Kids room, so if you're around, come on over! 

Here's the whole schedule, directly from their flyer:
Gymboree for Everyone! 10 a.m.
Jim Cosgrove, Mr. Stinky Feet 11 a.m.
Pizza from Old Shawnee Pizza Noon
Priscilla Howe, Storyteller Noon
Maria Anthony, Irish singer Noon
Brian Wendling, Juggler 1 p.m.
Martin City Melodrama, JR 2 p.m.
Devin Henderson, Magician 3 p.m.
StarLab 4 p.m.

Enjoy the grand opening of our NEW exhibit H2Oh!,
and zany hat-making in Artworks!
Adults and kids over 3 (for the whole day)
$15 per person/non-member $12 per person/member
Children 2 and 3 Half price
Your admission includes all activities AND pizza for lunch –
a GREAT DEAL for a GREAT DAY of family fun!
Funding for this event is provided in part by Coldwell Banker Regan Realtors,
Kansas Arts Commission Traveling Artists Fund and Pat Lyles – State Farm Insurance.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


Much of my work is about validation. I tell stories in part to validate the listeners' experiences, or my own. I work at making connections with the audience before, during and after performances, which is a way of validation. I came across this video recently. It's a tad sappy, but so am I sometimes. 

Monday, December 08, 2008

Summer plans II

I'm definitely getting ready for summer. I just ordered myself a new Lee Oskar harmonica. 

I know, I know, I posted about my harmonicas last January (and the picture was missing a few), but I don't have a Lee Oskar in the key of D. Can a person have too many harmonicas?

On a more serious note, I decided what I'm offering to libraries this summer. Of course, librarians can request any program on my larger list, or they can propose something else (if I can do it I will, and if it isn't my cup of tea, I'll say so). Here are the blurbs I sent to the Northeast Kansas Library System performer directory this morning:

Hopping on one foot!
All ages
Storyteller Priscilla Howe pulls out her favorite silly songs and story stretches, for a rollicking good time in the library. Of course, Priscilla will have some help (or hindrance?) from her handpuppet buddies.

Silly stuff
All ages
From tee-hee to guffaw, with giggles in between, this program of stories and songs with storyteller Priscilla Howe is not for the serious-minded. Check your scowls at the door! Of course, Priscilla will have some help (or hindrance?) from her handpuppet buddies.

Story goulash
All ages
Storyteller Priscilla Howe serves up a tasty mix of stories and songs, old favorites and made-up-on-the spot tales with plenty of help from the audience. Of course, Priscilla’s ridiculous handpuppets join in the hilarity.
In this last one, I plan to do at least one  improv story with the audience. I'll have a basic structure in my head, and we'll play with it together from there. Should be fun!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Summer plans

Today is not the day to be barefoot. Cold, cold, cold outside. 

I have a fire in the woodstove, so of course it's time to think about summer reading programs. This is the season when libraries start to book my programs. The theme is "Be Creative @Your Library." I'm considering what to offer. Normally I only offer one show that specifically fits the summer theme, but I'd like to do two this year. One will be Hopping on one foot, singing games and story stretches for all ages.  Once when I was giving the related workshop for adults, somebody referred to it as "storytelling aerobics." We move around a lot, no matter how much space there is. 

I'm not sure what the second program will be. Storytelling is inherently creative. Should I just pick one of my favorites, like Silly Stuff, or What book is that story from? or should I think up a new program? 

Any suggestions? 

Monday, December 01, 2008

Nanowrimo success!

I did it! I crossed the finish line yesterday, churning out 50,086 words of a pretty bad novel, but one written entirely in November. Here's the proof: 

This is the second Nanowrimo novel I've written. I can't say "finished" because they are certainly not that, but I did write them. I may have cheated a little on this one--it started out as a reworking of the one I did in 2003, from a different point of view. Then other stuff happened, completely out of the blue (for example, two people died this time, not just 90-year-old Joseph). 

Maybe I'll even edit and rewrite this one someday. Today, however, I'm getting back to the office work that piled up as I was tappity-tappity-tapping out the words on my laptop. 

P.S. My sister Mary also crossed the finish line, two days before I did. Yippeee!!