In today’s article I am merely divulging what story telling means to me, and how I go about doing it. For you it could be different.
Around 2006/2007 (?) I was invited to speak to a nature club at a local nature sanctuary. My photography was one reason, but I was shocked to find that the primary reason had to do with my stories from the field. By that I mean, they didn’t just want me to recant what has happened to me in the field, but they wanted me to explain how to tell/write about them. I was there to share a few photo tips and pictures, but mostly to give a brief one hour course on the art of story telling. I was shocked and at first I did not accept the non-paying invitation. I not only didn’t think I knew how to teach it, I wasn’t sure I knew how to tell the stories in the first place.
I eventually accepted the invite when I found out that the invitation came on the heels of my telling stories from the field, while I taught a one on one workshop with a very nice lady. The “story talk” was her idea.
As I saw it, the one thing that is most important, is to tell it like it was, and tell it naturally. Don’t memorize a speech. Have in your mind, generally what you’re going to say, but don’t make it artificial. I did give the talk and eventually I did divulge to the small group the real inside secret. When I write or tell a story, I bring back all of my senses and how they felt, while the adventure was occurring. The sounds, sights, colors, emotions and much more are bubbling inside of me when I write or tell a story. Fears, joys, humor and sadness can often be a part of the story. You don’t have to give away personal information or secrets, but you have to lay bare everything that you felt. That’s what makes it a human experience. They will feel like they were there, if you are there ( experiencing it again) mentally and emotionally when you tell the story.
The years have gone by since then, and while I still tell (and re-tell) stories from the past, alas my skills have diminished and my stories have become weak.
In various places in this blog, you will find stories about everything from my nature adventures and my stories from the road, to photo stories about old commercial assignments, and on to winning a dance contest with a woman I did not know. If you enjoy the art of story telling, you might enjoy those slices of the past, which were written when my skills were still a bit sharper.
Wherever you are in your life, make the most of it. Tomorrow will come and likely change it all. We get very few “do overs ”.
In the 1970s my wife and I (and our two dogs) were headed over the mountains on a return trip from Grand Junction Colorado, back to Denver. We had made the trip to the junction and back mainly so we could enjoy the mountains and cool down at higher altitudes. It was in the upper 90s in Denver, and 105 in Grand Junction. The mountains in between ranged from the mid 80s, down to the low 60s. On our return trip we decided to take the narrow twisting road through Independence Pass as a side tour. As we wound along the narrow road, pop went our right rear tire. There we sat with a road shoulder that measured about two feet. I grabbed the jack and spare tire and managed to reach my arms and the jack around the back of the car (no room for my body) and after a long effort, change the tire. I had noticed ( I get bored easy) that a ways up the road where the cliff ended and the landscape turned into a gentle, rolling grassy hill, there was a beautiful old shack. It was crumbling under the weight of its years, but beautiful just the same. Well I convinced my wife that the dogs needed to get out and off we were, to explore history.
My wife and I had previously explored an old miner’s shack on a little five-hour horseback ride we had taken. It was an amazing place that still had the coffee pots and frying pans within the ruins. We of course left them where we found them. This shack had no such artifacts but just the same, we could feel life in the old shack……and we could imagine the trials and joys of those who had once lived there. After 30 minutes of so of exploring, we moved on and resumed our wonderful trip through the Rocky Mts.
Even when you aren’t fortunate enough to live in the mountains, it is a treasure to see them in the distance knowing that it only takes a short drive and few hours to immerse yourself in the “mountain experience”.
An unconnected thought.
I like people who think outside the box. Those who are willing to take the heat they will receive for finding a better way to do something. Not people who just want to be known as a maverick. Who’s purpose is to appear different, unique, or many cases just plain weird. I am talking of creative minds that don’t care what people think.
Now for a few pictures.
Northern Pintail Duck
Autumn is looking up.
& looking down
Autumn is many things
Thank you very much, Wayne