Monday, April 19, 2010

Puppet tips now on video

I've just uploaded a video of puppet tips on Youtube. I learned these in 1989 from Judy Stoughton, then my boss (and good friend) at the Russell Library in Middletown, CT. I've used them ever since to teach others how to use handpuppets effectively, especially when the puppeteer is not a ventriloquist and is visible to the audience.

This video was filmed last week by Kelly Stroda, a journalism student at KU who did a project on my work. She did a great job! Soon I'm hoping to have another clip to show here. Kelly remembered me from when I visited her elementary school classroom many years ago.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Cape Girardeau Storytelling Festival

I'm just back from the Cape Girardeau Storytelling Festival in Missouri, right on the Mississippi River, where I was one of two regional storytellers. It was a great time, better even than the first year in 2008, in part due to pleasant weather. According to the organizers, there were nearly 3,100 listeners from 16 states this year. It's hard to believe that this well-run festival is only three years old.

One of the great joys of festival performing is listening to the other storytellers. This year, the headliners were Donald Davis, Minton Sparks, Kevin Kling and Syd Lieberman. It was also fun to hear and hang out with Marilyn Kinsella, the other regional teller--Marilyn was also a regional teller in 2008. My good friend Joyce Slater ran the story swap, which was a big success, with more people wanting to tell than there was time. Storytelling is certainly growing in Cape.

I'd heard Don and Syd many times, but had only heard Minton once and had enjoyed listening to Kevin on NPR but never live. What a treat to listen to them all!

I couldn't find a video of Donald, but here are some of the others.
That's John Jackson playing guitar. The combination was amazing.

These storytellers are SO good in person--it's worth going out of your way to hear them.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Obvious signs of spring

I can't help it. I just have to put these up now. I'll write a more substantive post soon, I promise. Not today, because I really have to go outside.

Star Magnolia in the backyard.

Maybe I should rake up the leaves I didn't rake last year. The irises in front of the house are looking hopeful, but also need to be raked out.

My daffs are blooming a little later than those down the street, where there's more sun. Soon there will also be tulips.

Ah, Forsythia. I meant to force some a few weeks ago. This is just as good.

You can't see it in this picture, but I just put the screen on the front door and hoisted the porch swing onto its hooks. Now I need to sweep up the debris from the woodpile. It's not quite time to move the last of the wood off the porch--I'm betting I'll still need to make a few fires to take the chill off the house. After all, it's only April.