Giveaway! Three (or more) Storytelling Festival Tickets and a Book

***Congratulations to Stacy, Jude, Sharleen, Natalia, and Susan — winners of this year’s Storytelling Festival ticket Giveaway ***

VWP Storytelling Festival Poster
Vashon Wilderness Program Storytelling Festival Poster

It’s that time of year again when the Vashon Wilderness Program holds its annual Storytelling Festival. Forest Halls, with its mission to keep magic alive in our world, is proud to help sponsor this fun-filled, family-friendly event.

When: Sunday, January 31, 2016. Event starts at 1:30, with Storytelling beginning at 2PM.  Where:  At the Open Space for Arts And Community, Vashon, WA. Tickets: Advance – $40/family, $20/individual. Door: $45/family, $25/individual

As I’ve mentioned in a previous post and elsewhere in this blog, storytelling is part of our nature, and indeed can be thought of as an expression of nature herself. This year VWP is delighted to have the following storytellers take the stage:

Roger Fernandes, a Coast Salish storyteller who entranced Vashon islanders a year or so ago with his rich, resonant, heartful and generous tales. I am eager to experience him!

Bonny Moss, a VWP parent and teller. The first story I ever heard from her — a rollicking Coyote tale — remains woven into my storymind. The wild and wondrous is her playground!

Ted Packard, a VWP instructor skilled in bringing young and old along a trail of mischief, deep-rooted wise ways, and the truly unexpected.wonders of our world.

The Vashon Wilderness Program has given out over $100,000 in scholarships to help children connect to nature, and the Storytelling Festival has been essential in helping support VWP’s commitment to never turn a child away due to lack of funds. In addition to the storytelling, this year’s event will feature a Dessert Auction, a Sensory Forest with nature crafts and games,  complimentary food and drink, and — as always — an opportunity to connect with family, friends, and nature-rooted community. Please read more about the event here. You can expect some serious fun and magic at this year’s Storytelling Festival!

Giveaway Details.

I will be giving away $120 worth of tickets in a drawing on my blog. That $120 translates to either 3 family tickets, 6 individual tickets, or a combination each! I’m also giving away a copy of my book, Because of the Red Fox, to one of  you who can’t come to the Storytelling Festival. Drawing closes at 11:59pm on Thursday, January 28, with the winners being chosen and notified on Friday, January 29. Only one prize per family.  Winners’ names will be added to the event’s Will Call list.

 To enter the Giveaway please read my post Discover the Earth of Your Story, consider how you’ve told stories today, and how, today, the world has lived a story into you, and leave a comment there or here (I’ll be checking both places). Please specify if you’d like to win a Family ticket, an Individual ticket, or a book.

For more chances to win, leave a separate comment below each time you do the following. Again, note in at least one comment whether you’d like to win a Family ticket, Individual ticket, or a book:

  1. Check out the description of Coyote Mentoring on the Vashon Wilderness Program web site and tell me what you think is most compelling to you about Coyote Mentoring.
  2. Sign up for the Vashon Wilderness Program’s newsletter and receive their free booklet “10 Awesome Practices to Make Nature a Natural Part of Your Family Life.” Tell me which of the 10 Practices you’re excited to introduce to your family or into your own life.
  3. “Like” the Vashon Wilderness Program on Facebook
  4. On Wed. Jan. 27, at 10am PST, Voice Of Vashon/KVSH 101.9 FM will interview VWP’s Executive Director, Stacey Hinden and with Storytelling Festival teller, Ted Packard. Listen to this live streaming interview with Stacey and Ted  about story, nature connection and children, and hear Ted tell a story. Share something in your comment that you learned, or found exciting or fun from the interview.

And here are even more chances to win!

  • Sign up for Forest Hall’s ezine. Are you already on my mailing list? Then please share something you enjoy about my ezine or blog.
  • Read my article When an Island Tells a Story and respond to the questions about Geographical Story either there or here. (I’ll be checking both places)
  • Follow Forest Halls on Twitter and tweet this Giveaway with hashtags #foresthalls #familymagicgiveaway . (Please list your Twitter ID in the comment so we can find you)
  • Post about this Giveaway on your Facebook page

Again, sign ups for the Giveaway end at 11:59PM PST on Thursday, January 28, 2016. I’ll draw the winners on Friday, January 29. There will be only one prize per family. Good luck, everyone, and thanks for entering!

Final note: Even if you don’t win, come to the event anyway. I guarantee you a fun and nourishing time!

When an Island Tells a Story

Vashon Island Artwork
Art by Irene Otis and Chris Barnes

Story is big on my mind after performing in a remarkable project, Heart of Vashon: Telling our Story. The performance reading was one part of a community project exploring what matters to islanders about living on Vashon-Maury. Why do we choose to make our home here? What is it that makes living here special? Over 150 people responded to the call for submissions, and a script was woven together from selections and excerpts of what Islanders wrote. An intergenerational cast of readers (of which I was one) shared poems, reflections and stories that created a moving, humorous and thoughtful tapestry of Island life.

The performance was rich and fun. I was surprised at the laughter we got straight off, as islanders recognized and appreciated the trials, quirks, and beautiful things that make this place and community unique. It was fun hearing later from audience members that “my wife wrote about the pigs” or “those two lines were mine.”

Even more, it was fun to hear the knowing in the laughter, the moving words expressed by audience members in response to hearing their neighbors’ tales and thoughts, and to share in the experience of Vashon and our community in this vibrant way. Whether audience members had contributed writings or not, everyone present (as well as each islander past and present anywhere!) was part of the story. As a physical and spiritual geography, the island itself was at the heart of it.

A geography tells a story. The people who dwell within it live a story. What story of earth and culture/tribe/village speak in yours?

These questions are variations on what I asked in my previous post,  Discover the Earth of Your Story. For a chance to win a ticket to the Vashon Wilderness Program Storytelling Festival or a copy of my book, Because of the Red Fox, leave a comment here in response to anything that might come to mind and heart regarding the notion of geographical story.

Click here for full details regarding the Giveaway.

Discover the Earth of Your Story

Greetings to you, here in the heart of Winter.

With the holidays past, we settle in to the opening of the new year, and curiosity about what may arise for us in this next passage around the sun.

The heart of winter is about looking into our own hearts, plunging our hands into the earth of our past, and pausing a moment to turn toward the fire of our future — searching for a glimpse of the new story waiting to birth.

We as human beings are a Story People.

Stories of the Earth - photo
Stories from the Earth – photo art by Jane Valencia

It is in the earth of our nature that we tell stories — of our day, of our meetings and partings, of our lives, of our planet, of our dreams, our visions, our loves, and so much more. When you converse with a loved one, you are telling a story. When you chat beside vegetables at the supermarket, you are telling a story.

We share information, wisdom, perceptions, creative thought, our sorrows and our laughter by way of stories. Our stories themselves emerge, not just from our human engagements, but from the shifting of weather, the movement of the stars, the raccoon scampering across the street, from the plants we eat, and the earth that lies beneath our concrete and supports our every step, our whole lives, really.

If we consider humans to be natural storytellers, we must extend our story-making and story-weaving to include ecologies — the ecology of our human “villages” and tribes, the ecology of our local landscape, the ecology of our physical bodies, the ecology of the unseen. So much enters a story to direct a perception, shift a word, nudge a conviction into place. When we rest into our words, or into the stories our bodies tell one another in the form of gesture, movement, expression, or energetic presence, we engage with the entire universe.

New Shoot photo
New Shoot – photo by Jane Valencia

We humans aren’t the only ones telling stories. The trail of the deer across the field tells a story. The rising and setting of the sun and moon tells stories. The skinny roots of the horizontal red huckleberry grasping at the deteriorating red cedar stump tells a story. The shifting of the earth, her inhale and exhale, tell a story. We step into it, breathe into it, live into it every single day and night of our lives.

If ever you feel alone, turn to something — to anything (a rock, your laptop, the clouds, the air on your hand, the beating of your heart, the blood in your veins). Feel its story speak into you, and tell it your own. The world is a lively place. She lives around and within you, and she is listening.

How have you told stories today? How, today, has the world lived a story into you?

Muse on these questions and leave a comment here to have a chance to win a free ticket Vashon Wilderness Storytelling Festival or (if you live elsewhere than Vashon) a copy of my children’s fantasy novel, Because of the Red Fox.

Read details about the Giveaway here!