Saturday, August 21, 2010

Working while moving

August is typically a slow month for me. Summer reading programs in the Midwest have all wrapped up. Funding is low this year, so some of my regular gigs are not happening. In fact, today I'll have my only performances of the month, at the Lawrence Busker Fest. Trixie and I will pass the hat.

For once, this situation doesn't have me in the pit of despond. Truthfully, I don't have time for lots of shows. I've sold my house and need to be out by Friday morning. My sweetie and I are close to having a house in Kansas City, but until we do, I'm putting my belongings in storage. This week, I've tackled the biggest job: packing books. I have eight of these bookcases, and even though I sorted and culled and sold and donated, I still have taken several carloads of boxes to the unit.
I haven't yet finished going through my files, and don't talk to me about packing the kitchen yet.

Telling stories today will be a welcome relief from the complete pig's nest that my house has become. It's hot and humid, so the inside of Trixie's head will be sweaty (and maybe mine will be as well), but at least I won't be carrying boxes. Maybe I'll tell cool stories, like The Magic Ice Cream Maker, my version of The Magic Porridge Pot (or Strega Nona for all you Tomie DePaola fans). Maybe I'll tell Wait and See by Robert Munsch, in which the protagonist wishes for snow, snow, snow. Maybe I'll tell The Mitten. Or maybe I'll just take requests from the audience and see what happens.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Yard sale

I'm not doing much storytelling these days, as you might have guessed from the last post. The house we thought we were going to buy didn't work out (too many issues came up in the inspection) but we're still looking and I'm still packing.

Tomorrow from 3 to 6 p.m., and Saturday from 8 to noon, my yard will turn into a veritable emporium of treasures, a.k.a. tag sale. Right now most of it is in my living room. I'm hoping the heat wave we've been having will abate. Maybe we should sell cold drinks, too!

Here's some of it: games, chairs, a bed, fans and other stuff.

This little chip and dip bowl is fabulous, but I'm not moving it. It's ready to be priced, sitting next to the linens.

For someone without children, I have a lot of toys. Some of them are not going with me.

These glasses are in the kitchen, patiently waiting their turn.

It's amazing how much a person can accumulate over almost 50 years, the last ten of which were in one house. I'll be glad to find the next place to live so I can get back to my storytelling life. By the next time I write, I should have an idea where exactly I'm going.

Monday, August 02, 2010

Why I skipped blogging in July, or my big news

I've been a little busy.
Read to the end to find out why this enigmatic photo is here.

Since I last wrote, I've traveled to North Carolina, Wisconsin, Missouri and California. Only the last two of these trips were for storytelling. In Missouri, I did six performances in two days for the Daniel Boone Regional Library, always a good time. I didn't have any pie, but I did have excellent ice cream from Sparky's in Columbia. They make it right there. Yum.

This last weekend was the National Storytelling Conference in LA. The conference is like a happy family reunion. Nobody says, "Storyteller? You mean you read books to children" or "Storytelling? You can make a living at that?" There are workshops on the art and craft of storytelling, keynotes to inspire us, and endless conversations at meals, in the lobby and in the pool. Oh, and dancing. There's always dancing.

I was fortunate that my name was drawn for a Fringe performance, at which I told "Queen Berta and King Pippin" at 9:45 p.m. (to my central time zone body it felt like 11:45 p.m., and I'm not a night owl). I got a good response to it and it felt pretty solid. Look for news on whether the video and audio recordings I attempted came out or not.

But there's more. The big news is that I'll be moving. I've sold my house (gulp!) and will move to Kansas City, KS with my beau. We decided to do this so he wouldn't have to drive an hour each way to work. The house we found (pictured above), if all the inspections and the appraisal go well, is only a 30-minute drive for him. I was signing and faxing the contract from the hotel in LA, a surreal experience.

I don't have much storytelling work in August, so I'll be sorting, tossing, packing and moving. Wish me luck!

P.S. The yard sale will probably be on August 14.