Day: 8 February 2013

Crafting Personal Vision in Telling Folktales

Crafting Personal Vision in Telling Folktales

My interest in folktales began with an enthusiasm for the folksongs I sang in my early teens. As a budding guitarist of fourteen, I learned to sing along with folksong records and taught myself the words to old tunes from folksong books. I never learned to read music formally, but there was enough music in the air due to the folksong revival of the sixties, that I was able to learn the songs by ear. I especially enjoyed ballads because they had a plot. My favorite moment in singing any song was the very last moment of the song, the “edge” between the song’s last vibration on the guitar and silence. It was a magical stepping off place back into my everyday life. The sense of completion at the last breath of song was totally satisfying and I recall singing my way through the many verses of a ballad just to arrive at the end moment. Singing could transform my mood. Once I’d traveled through the song, I arrived at a new place in time. I’d spent the time well. Those moments would never return. I was that many minutes older, but somehow, compared to my daily chores in the house where I grew up, the minutes spent were renewing. The songs were my company, my friends, and my solace. They were things I was too young to understand. The child in me still celebrates that last moment and the journey. Now the songs have widened into tales.

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Corporate Storytelling™ Fires Up Employees–and the Bottom Line

Corporate Storytelling™ Fires Up Employees–and the Bottom Line

 
Symbols, drama, stories, vision and love–these are the stuff of effective leadership, much more so than formal processes or structures….When you involve people, they feel ownership and perform up to 1,000% better.
– Tom Peters, A Passion for Excellence
Is your entire company burning with excitement about your vision? Is everyone in your organization–employees, associates, customers and suppliers–so charged up by the corporate story that they’re eager to tell it to others? Or has your story–and your entire company–lost its spark?

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Copyrights Revisited

Copyrights Revisited

I used to make this joke in my Advanced English Writing classes. I’d write on the board, “There are no new ideas” and attribute it to Plato, and then say in my lecture that he probably stole that quote. Are we allowed to do plagiarism humor in China? They forgot to comment on that in my contract.

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Copyright and Fair Use of Published Materials

Copyright and Fair Use of Published Materials

Teachers, librarians and educators working within the context of their jobs in an educational setting are free to use material that has a copyright without asking permission of the author. Using the material for personal financial gain by performing it for a fee or by publishing it in any media outside of the educational context requires permission of the copyright holder.

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Cool Moves and Writing

Cool Moves and Writing

I have an 8-year old friend. She’s a lively third-grader who has a strong sense of self. One evening I was babysitting her and she shared a list of odd-sounding names. “Back Stand,” “Over-Under Flip,” “The Round About-er,” “Twist, Un-twist, Upside-down Split.”

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Consider the Radical Truths and Choices for the Storyteller

Consider the Radical Truths and Choices for the Storyteller

This is the time of year when I re-evaluate my direction, catch up on important reading, listen to inspirational/ motivational tapes and reset some of my goals for the rest of the year. For this article, I will share ideas that bombarded me – even shook me up – from two sources. First, was an article that appeared in the 2002 September issue of Creativity called “Radical Careering” written by Sally Hogshead, Creative Director, Crispin Porter + Bogusky/Los Angeles. “This article is about refusing mediocrity.” Second, is the tape program The Luck Factor: How to Take the Chance Out of Becoming a Success by one of my favorite gurus, Brian Tracy.

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Confident Writing

Confident Writing

You know how, when you’re watching a speaker, you can tell if he or she is nervous? There are those tell-tale signs: trembling hands and voice, lack of eye contact, perspiration, twitches, lots of “ummms,” and a myriad of other idiosyncratic gestures and signs that show he or she is not fully at ease in front of an audience.
Did you know that I can spot those same tell-tale signs in your writing?

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Concert Storytelling and the Gong of Seven

Concert Storytelling and the Gong of Seven

Chris King tells me that “defining storytelling has been a topic of discussion” for as long as she can remember. I cannot imagine anything less fruitful, if the aim is to advance the art and win new audiences. Define storytelling? Why bother? Describe it, possibly. Embrace its pluralism, preferably. Celebrate it, certainly. But define it? As well define the spirit of the ages.

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