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Posts Tagged ‘National Storytelling Festival’

If you find yourself at the National Storytelling Festival, and the first act you plan to see one day is Donald Davis, make sure you get there early.  Really, really early.  Emma and I learned this the hard way this morning, when we showed up to the Courthouse Tent at 9:30 for the 10:00 show only to find that it was standing-room only.

After a bit of wandering and a bit more grumbling, however, I discovered the grassy embankment behind the tent.  No view of the stage, of course, but the sound was excellent, and there was something about being in this small town that brought out the mischevous streak that seems to run through anybody who grew up in a place where making your own fun was a rite of passage.

And if anybody knows about creating your own fun and getting into trouble, it’s Don Davis.

I won’t attempt to do his stories justice because it just isn’t right.  But suffice it to say–he will make you want to pressure your parents into telling you all the dirty details of the really stupid stuff they got up to in high school.  I know I looked over at Emma–twice, at least–during Davis’s hour and mouthed “My mom/dad did that once!”

Other highlights of the day:

  • Learning the backup vocals to “Build Me Up Buttercup” with Bill Harley.  Then singing them.
  • Blowing bubbles as the train passed by during Gay Ducey’s segment.
  • More fascinating interviews with Festival attendees for The Heritage Foundation and the Library of Congress
  • Getting sufficiently creeped out by inanimate objects thanks to ghost stories at the Gazebo
  • Exploring the shops that line the main street in Jonesborough, and trying out some fabulous headwear (pictures included):

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Tomorrow’s half-day will feature more interviews and the universal life lessons of Sacred Tellings, which I personally am looking incredibly forward to.  And as much as I’d love to reflect more on what I’ve seen thus far, Emma has just informed me that the hotel room smoke detector is going off and the room may or may not smell like burnt toast…I may need to go diffuse a situation.

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Hey everyone!

Like Emma said already, we’re spending this weekend at the National Storytelling Fesitval in idyllic Jonesborough, TN, putting those English degrees (or almost-degrees) to some use and recording the event using new media.  I’ll be working on a piece over the next few days detailing my experience as a first time attendee–what surprises, impresses, and captivates me about this weekend.  Though the Fest hasn’t officially started, I can already say definitively that I LOVE Jonesborough–walking through the quaint downtown area brought back a rush of memories from growing up in West Texas and making road trips to scattered small towns around the state with my parents, reading up on family history, visiting old cemeteries and roadside historical markers, getting lost among the stacks of old treasures in antique shops, and devouring root beer flavored rock candy and Necco wafers from nostalgic sweet shops.  And as if the romance of memory weren’t enough, it’s that really singular time of year when we’re just on the cusp of autumn–the leaves have started to change but the warmth hasn’t totally left the air.  It’s gorgeous.

The only thing more exciting to me right now than the Festival itself is the prospect of sharing it online with you guys, so stay tuned!

–Erin

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Sweet t-shirts at this year’s NSF– you can cast yourself in your own story! Your options are Trickster, Hero, Damsel, or Villain. Erin says she’s a Hero. I think I’ll be the Villain… y’know, to build tension to enhance our creative partnership. Or because I want an excuse to push her down the stairs.

–Emma

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Hello, everyone! Erin and I are blogging from the magical town of Jonesborough, TN, home of the National Storytelling Festival– an incredible, three-day celebration of narrative. Life, love, loss, tall tales, long-ago legends, and all the wisdom and warmth of the oral tradition in one place. Bliss.

We’re lucky enough to be working with the International Storytelling Center this year, sharing our writing and social media skillz with a marvelous team of dedicated story-lovers. A huge thank-you to Jimmy Neil, Susan, and Sheila for bringing us into this community of exchange, which celebrates memory while reveling in its future. Hopefully, its future will get a foothold, here in the blogosophere. Erin and I will be updating WhimsE throughout the Fest with thoughts, re-tellings, interviews, etc., so READ OUR BLOG. Kthx.

–Emma

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