My story doesn’t wear a collar and it doesn’t have a tail to wag in excitement at the sight of a leash, which I don’t need to take my story for a walk. What do I need, you ask?
I really only need an idea of what story I am working on and a willingness to receive inspiration as it arrives. Some bonus things to help me when a new story has offered itself into my care: wireless earbuds; my cell phone with a recording of me reading aloud at least one version of the story; an open mind; mindfulness of my surroundings; and preferably supportive walking shoes.
As I start out, I listen to the recording. I might echo certain phrases aloud, wording that resonates and I want to connect with more. If the recording ends and my walk hasn’t, I will explore a certain piece of the story. Conversation with a character often sheds light on questions I have. On lucky occasions, something in nature will present itself as important to the story in some way, and change the way I tell it.
One example of nature presenting insight: while working on the story A Tale of Elidore, my version of the Celtic tale Elidore and the Golden Ball, I walked outside in the early morning to find the world cloaked in fog. Having the story on my mind, I was lucky enough to connect the fog to the opening sequence in A Tale of Elidore and gain understanding of how a boy could get lost on the land well-known to him because his entire life has been spent roaming it and working on it with his family.
In Week three Judy Caulfield of the Baden Storytellers' Guild, my mentor, provided me with some focused story activities to explore. “Tell the story from the perspective of a different character in the story. An onlooker, an inanimate object….” is one of those seven activities, and it can be explored while taking my story for a walk. In fact, I think I will do that right after I post this blog!
Let me know if you have any questions about this process or any suggestions of ways to explore a story while taking a walk. Watch my blog for a future post exploring the other seven activities Judy shared with me in Week three.
For now, enjoy the photos in this post which I recently snapped while taking my story for a walk at a local park. Comment below if you know which park I was at, and mention how you know.