Who’s the hero in your story?

Picking the hero is the first step in planning your story. Heroes are so central in stories that a name can be enough to cause the audience to recall the entire story: Cinderella, Snow White, and Little Red Riding Hood, but also Harry Potter, Michael Corleone, and Jack Reacher. But what is a hero? Technically, […]

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Women and Leadership: enter Cinderella

This coming weekend, I’m going to talk to some Arnhem Together ladies about women and leadership. Me. Yeah, the girl who’s never had a formal leadership position, perhaps ever anywhere. For me to talk about leadership, I needed to reframe it. The working world hasn’t been my place for leadership. It probably never will be. […]

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Reading Notes: The Storytelling Animal by Jonathan Gottschall

Story’s role in human life extends far beyond conventional novels or films. Story, and a variety of storylike activities, dominates human life. Storytelling is a fundamental drive. It’s a skill that humans have developed to survive. That’s Jonathan Gottschall’s position in The Storytelling Animal. Gottschall is an evolutionary biologist who asks a simple but important […]

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What Cinderella taught me about story bones

While on vacation in Wales this summer, I bought a beautiful used copy of Cinderella. It’s a hardcover book that used to belong to a library. On the endpaper, there are traces of due date stamps dating back to 1975. The book’s older than I am! This version was written in 1919 by CS Evans, […]

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How I ended up fairy (tale) hunting in Wales

Summer vacation has come to its end here and everywhere I go, the conversations start with sharing stories of what we did and where we went. We went to the UK, a week in East Sussex and two weeks in Wales. It was blissful. I’m trying to retain the spirit of being more in the […]

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Are you the missing ingredient in your stories?

If you’ve been to one of my workshops or met me in person at all, chances are I’ve lobbed a personal anecdote in your direction. It’s not that my life is so fascinating, but it’s the material I have to work with, so why not make the best of it? What am I likely to […]

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You should learn storytelling through fairy tales

Sometime last fall, I decided to use fairy tales in my storytelling workshops. It wasn’t one of those careful choices that one makes based on some kind considered decision-making process. It was something I threw out in a conversation because I found it entertaining to ask academics to talk about Little Red Riding Hood. My […]

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A little book with big ideas about storytelling

The Mystery Feast isn’t a book I went looking for. I suspect it found me. I was aware of Nigerian author Ben Okri as any Booker Prize follower must be aware of him. His novel The Famished Road won the Booker Prize in 1991. However, my interest became more specific last summer. I spent a […]

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I want to irritate workshop participants

I love giving workshops. Over the years, my workshops have shifted from an opportunity for me to teach towards an adventure in which we explore a topic together. The terrain may be familiar to me, but like any journey you’ve undertaken hundreds of times, a new companion always makes it new again. Let me tell […]

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