Saturday, June 21, 2008

The Crone is back!

Friday afternoon performance at the ISC. I am sitting in the front row of the theater, waiting, together with 50-something other people; waiting for Dolores Hydock. And I can’t even start to describe you the joy and exctiement and the huge, heartfelt smile that took over me when I saw the old, ragged Medieval woman leaning on her staff, climbing the stairs to the stage, while the sounds of the saltarello music filled the room...
It has been a long time since when I first heard Silence at the Festival; and today, the old crone was back, with a shiny new story to tell. And not just any story; the most amazing Medieval love story you have ever heard.
Well, I can’t really tell you about the rest of the audience, for the whole world could have crumbled around me in that one our and I would have never even noticed it. But I can tell you what I felt.
When I was not laughing out loud at the old lady’s opinion about minstrels and legends of 14-year-old „lovers” (quite true if you ask a Middle Ages – fanatic like me...), I was sitting with wide eyes, only drawing a breath when it was absolutely necessary, and it required some self control to keep my mouth from hanging open. Many times during the story, I was biting on my hand to keep me from shouting at the most dramatic turn of the events („Oh crap oh crap oooh crap...”) (seriously. I still have bitemarks on my thumb.) Towards the end of the story I kinda said goodbye to my makeup with the tears and all (and there was some sniffing around me in the audience too); when the story ended, we all jumped up from our seats and applauded till our palms hurt.
Yeah, the story kinda kicks ass.
Dolores does too.
The story has everything a good Medieval story needs – dragon-slaying, Crusades, jousting, action romance desire, a hero who is quite far from the moony-eyed Medieval ideal („My name is Adventure” - hell yesss!!!), drama, some traveling, and it all makes much more sense than the average minsterel song...
Dolores told me the original poem is quite short, and she had to work on it to fill in the gaps in the story; well, if you ask me, she did a wonderful job. A job a true storyteller would do – take the story where is came from, and play around with it with imagination and creativity, and present it to the audience with grace and wit and the sheer joy of telling. That is why we love her.
Yes, the crone is back too.
I can’t wait for the CD. Till then, I’ll just have to listen to Silence over and over again...

(Nah, she did not pay for this post... in fact, she doesn't even know about it. It's just me being hyper again...)

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

So far, so good

So much about determination.
1. I lost the wifi at the gingerbread cottage, so my online time is quite limited...
2. Being here at the ISC is busier than I ever thought (and I'm having fun with it!), so looks like it will take a while to start posting again...
News in short sentences:
1. Storytelling yesterday at the Cranberry Thistle. Amazing, lovely, fun fun fun, lots of good tellers (and me), very supportive audience. Hungarian fairy legend, well received.
2. Dovie left (I keep listening to her CD just to hear her voice...), Dolores arrived, she did her Medieval story today, and rocked the world. She's such a sweet lady.
3. Still in love with Jonesborough. Wanna stay here. Somebody, marry me.
4. Working on storytelling research, digging up archives about the Festival. Lots of fun stuff there.
5. BIG Hungarian storytelling evening coming up tomorrow. Nah, I'm not nervous. At all. Well. Maybe. A bit. But we're gonna have free food...

Saturday, June 14, 2008

The girl in the gingerbread cottage

Do you remember the pavilion in the park in Jonesborough, by the mill, where the infamous ghost story concerts are held? Ya know, creek, willow trees, eerie light, old buildings, train, that kind of perfectly creepy storytelling stuff.
Well, in the background of all that, there is a little cottage, with ivy on the porch, white rocking chairs, flowerbeds and bumblebees, and fireflies in the evening; tiny door, tiny windows, rust-colored walls, and all kinds of creaking noises. When you look at it between two haunted tales in a cool October night, you'd definitely believe the cottage is haunted itself. I did too.
Not by ghosts, but by spirits of stories, hundreds of them, and dreams and memories and laughter from many years ago piled up in the corners, awe and delight seeped into the walls, fantasies and colors and the breath of people who lived or visited here or never have been in the town in any form but their tales.
Well, our story starts when, on a warm summer afternoon that was not different from any other, cheerful and relaxed and almost unnoticed, somebody moved into the quiet little cottage.
It was me.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Time-warp, wrap-up, skip hop jump, or: What the heck is going on with this blog?

I can't keep putting it off any longer, no more excuses, no more exams, no more... whatever. I gotta get this blog going, because there are all those lovely friendly story people out there whom I want to share my adventures with...
And adventures I had. If you check back in time, you see I stopped writing in the middle of Sharing the Fire, which means we have lots of tasty stuff coming up, like the rest of StF, Northlands, St. Louis, a workshop with Elizabeth Ellis, and the legendary return to Jonesborough (if you're not familiar with all these, don't worry, just keep reading! I'll give you a clue: It's all about storytelling... you have been warned.)
Because I'm so far behind with writing (lazy, lazy me), I decided to start posting about what's going on right now, and fill in the blanks later. That means you will not only have posts about Jonesborough (where I happen to be right now) after (up up up) from this one, but you'll also have to scroll down (back in time) once in a while and check if I've filled in a chapter or two about the conferences. I hope you can deal with all that, it's gonna be fun!
Sooo... here we go!