How to Best Use the Story Crossroads Discord Server – Part 4 of 5 – Adding Resources & Links

This is the fourth of five parts on how to benefit the most from the Story Crossroads Discord Server. Discord is a platform that combines features of Facebook, Zoom, and many others in one place. Text, image, audio, and video communications are possible with a network of people of like-interests.

5-Parts:

  • Part 1 – Getting Started – REVEALED
  • Part 2 – Text Channels – REVEALED
  • Part 3 – Voice Channels – REVEALED
  • Part 4 – Adding Resources & Links – TODAY
  • Part 5 – Scheduled & Random “Check-Ins”

If you prefer video approach and/or have these videos running while you glance below:

You can touch base with people or delve deeper by adding to the conversation.

With the virtual world, you can be a lurker OR be considered an active participant or even “high-quality server member.”

If I have several deadlines, sometimes being a lurker is the only way to multi-task and still “be there.” Not make any comments. Listen in. Read comments. But nothing more. Yet, to “be there” is not the same as “being there.”

Yes, all this does relate to adding resources and links.

But first…Most people on the Internet are lurkers.

They watch but never or rarely make comments. For example on Twitch with an audience of 100 people, probably 5-6 are the ones commenting, clapping, and posting emojis.

In Twitch and Discord (these two platforms often work hand-in-hand), some people actually announce they are lurkers. You can create a command for a “bot” with something like “!lurk” and have some celebration emojis in your lurking. But do we, as a society, want to celebrate lurking?

And, in case you were curious, some people have “bots” or robotic type characters (not human) that can help manage things from chatting/talking much like humans, moderating the rules of the server (like kicking out trolls or not allowing bad language), or even a music bot that can play songs directly from YouTube or other platforms.

So how can you be “being there”?

Go back to the Discord Server(s) and look for the bold text on the panel. You may also see “unread comments” near the upper left. The channel in bold would have had some activity since you last were there. Though, I recommend playing with your notifications.

Once you are aware of activity, add to that activity.

Do you have a favorite website to find folktales from Argentina? Share it on a text channel.

Do you have a funny meme that relates to the focus of the server? Story Crossroads promotes oral storytelling. Then add it. Here’s a 4-second example of what I love and added in the Story Crossroads Discord Server (Text Channel – Storymemes):

People love to joke around and share emojiis. Feel free to do so.

Though, people like to explore the topics. I absolutely have loved the chat about Japanese and Hawaiian ghost stories. Here is a sampling that can be found in the Story Crossroads Discord Server (Text Channel – chat-about-stories):

How do you get the notifications or adjust them on Discord?

Go to the settings image on the bottom left of your screen:

Click on settings and find the Notifications label on the left side:

Click on Notifications and adjust as you wish:

When the Discord Server gets really active, you can adjust those notifications again.

Either way, be aware and respond to notifications…maybe not right away, though often enough to not be a “lurker.” Well, not all the time anyways.

Discord is best by laptop/computer though there is a free phone app. We have scheduled voice/video chats usually within “Voice Channels” and then “chat-about-stories” on Mondays at 10:00pm MDT. We will eventually have regular one during the daytime. Join us! Again, that invite link: https://discord.gg/KfwNK7Z.

Find our E-Newsletter and Email List Sign-Ups on our website home page at the bottom, the archive page, etc.

See our already-streamed/recorded The Big Why Panel: Historical Storytelling meets Humanities. See our 5-video playlist from the Story Crossroads Spectacular by clicking here.

Spread the word about our upcoming Story Camp for youth aged 8-17 in mid-August of two kinds: Limited-Sized/Proper-Distanced as well as Virtual.

How to Best Use the Story Crossroads Discord Server – Part 3 of 5 – Voice Channels

This is the third of five parts on how to benefit the most from the Story Crossroads Discord Server. Discord is a platform that combines features of Facebook, Zoom, and many others in one place. Text, image, audio, and video communications are possible with a network of people of like-interests.

5-Parts:

  • Part 1 – Getting Started – REVEALED
  • Part 2 – Text Channels – REVEALED
  • Part 3 – Voice Channels – TODAY
  • Part 4 – Adding Resources & Links
  • Part 5 – Scheduled & Random “Check-Ins”

If you prefer video approach and/or have these videos running while you glance below:

You can talk–with or without video–and even share screens and watch storytelling videos and such together.

Sounds a lot like Zoom? Yes, many of what you can do with Zoom can also be done in Discord.

You can have virtual storytelling guild meetings, places to share ideas on story-crafting or other adventures, as well as any number of networking opportunities.

While not the ideal place for performances such as through Zoom, Facebook Live, or YouTube, Discord still offers a great place to welcome anyone who simply wants to “chat” or “talk story.” People can chat for a few minutes or hours upon hours.

While Text Channels have the pound sign, Voice Channels have the megaphone you can see circled in red below. All server members with their handles are listed underneath the chosen Voice Channel as you can see with “storycrossroads.”

If at least two people are there, go ahead and chat. We don’t have to be there.

This image to the left shows “Voice Connected” when you are successful for jumping on the voice channel. The red arrow points to the phone image/”x” for how you leave or disconnect or “hang-up.” Clicking the microphone can mute/unmute while the headphones allows you to deafen/undeafen others through your computer.

By default, your microphone–assuming you have one built-in your device or connected–comes “on hot” or active. You can change it to only be on when you click an assigned button like the space bar. Though, I find it best to not worry about buttons. Simply use the mute/unmute option instead!

Setting Up Your Microphone and Video

By clicking on the gear button, you can make sure that your microphone and video work for Discord. Although you may have used your device for other voice-related platforms like Zoom, you still want to check and test while in Discord. Tech is funny that way.

This screen will then pop up and go to “Voice & Video” under “App Settings” in the left column.

Then, by clicking “Voice & Video,” you will see this “Voice Settings” screen:

Your input and output will be different. Do the mic test. Then scroll down on this same page until you see “Video Settings.” This is what it looks like:

Again, test the video.

If you have trouble with your video or seeing people who claim that their video is on, then click out of the video channel (disconnect/phone-“X” image) and then go back in. This will not be as reliable as Zoom but there is practicably no delay when speaking.

Here is what it is like when you are alone without video on (or at least storycrossroads):

The bottom “bar” has the usual camera image (turn on/off your camera), the computer with arrow image (share screen, includes files and/or video), the microphone (mute/unmute), and the red phone/”x” (disconnect/leave).

When others join in, here is what it could look like:

Three Voice Channels for Story Crossroads Discord Server:

For any of our three Voice Channels, keep it family-friendly. You can message a friend on the server like you would for Facebook Messenger and “meet” in any of these channels.

General

This can be any topic of storytelling…or even unrelated and needing to chat.

chat-about-stories

This is usually where our scheduled voice/video chats will take place. The main focus is having one person “take the floor” and share an idea for story-crafting or any other story-related ideas. Throughout our lives, we need to be there as a support. Join us on Mondays at 10pm MDT by using this direct Discord invite: https://discord.gg/KfwNK7Z.

worldwide-folktales

If people want to talk specifically about folktales and/or perform folktales, then this is the best voice channel. However, we will never have any formal performances on this Story Crossroads Discord Server.

What are you waiting for? Feel free to talk!

We may add more specific ones as time goes on. At least you have the basics…and the next blog post will be on voice channels. Only a couple…but some tips on how to troubleshoot and such.

Discord is best by laptop/computer though there is a free phone app. We have scheduled voice/video chats usually within “Voice Channels” and then “chat-about-stories” on Mondays at 10:00pm MDT. We will eventually have regular one during the daytime. Join us! Again, that invite link: https://discord.gg/KfwNK7Z.

Find our E-Newsletter and Email List Sign-Ups on our website home page at the bottom, the archive page, etc.

See our already-streamed/recorded The Big Why Panel: Historical Storytelling meets Humanities

See our 5-video playlist from the Story Crossroads Spectacular by clicking here

How to Best Use the Story Crossroads Discord Server – Part 2 of 5 – Text Channels

This is the second of five parts on how to benefit the most from the Story Crossroads Discord Server. Discord is a platform that combines features of Facebook, Zoom, and many others in one place. Text, image, audio, and video communications are possible with a network of people of like-interests.

5-Parts:

  • Part 1 – Getting Started – REVEALED
  • Part 2 – Text Channels – TODAY
  • Part 3 – Voice Channels
  • Part 4 – Adding Resources & Links
  • Part 5 – Scheduled & Random “Check-Ins”

If you prefer video approach and/or have these videos running while you glance below:

Most of Discord Servers are composed of Text Channels…so what does that mean?

This means if you can type, sometimes add emojis or “reactions,” and at times be allowed to share pdf files or other documents as well as providing a link to wonderful storytelling resources. Easy, right?

At times, the host of the server does not allow anything to be added to those text channels except by them. This keeps it clutter-free and focused. Though, at any time, a host can delete comments or ask people to copy their responses and place in a more appropriate category within the discord server.

You have access and can chat/add 24/7. Yes, you can chat at 2am or 2pm or anything in between. Please do.

The Text Channels are easy to identify because the category as well as the channels have the pound sign in front of them as seen below. Feel free to join us here through the invite link: https://discord.gg/KfwNK7Z.

Click on the category “Welcome” or the “carot” symbol to the left of “Welcome” and you can open up or condense the listing. Though, usually, you will be clicking the channels within the category. You can see that the one above has welcome, rules, and introduce-yourself.

# welcome

This text channel reminds people of scheduled voice/video chats. No one else can post here but Story Crossroads.

# rules

This text channel is a reminder that the Story Crossroads Discord Server is a family-friendly place, even if mostly adults gather here. Again, this is a text channel that can only be posted by Story Crossroads. These rules have been adapted here and there (tried not to be too long) but these are what are there now:

  1. We are family-friendly. Be positive and wonderful with clean and appropriate language.
  2. No personal attacks, piling on, and spamming.
  3. Keep calm. Anything beyond that may mean you need a break.
  4. No Porn (hardcore or softcore). This also means Pornhub memes or off-color memes.
  5. No soliciting or selling items.

# introduce-yourself

This is an optional place for people to write a couple lines about their background in storytelling. You may notice that the handles people choose could give the hint that they would veer from revealing extra details about themselves. Other people reading these posts can give emojis/reactions. It is best to share without using links to people’s websites or other media.

# info-about-us

Whoever is the host of the Discord Server has the privilege of having basic info about them. So…no one can add here but Story Crossroads. It is short and sweet and lets people know about our website.

# announcements

Again, these are announcements that are Story Crossroads related. This will be the place to know what to expect for live and virtual events as well as what to expect on the next scheduled voice/video on Discord.

# videos

As Story Crossroads has a YouTube Channel, we remind people of this or anything we recently posted on YouTube. Yes, only Story Crossroads can post here.

# livestreams

Our livestreams are mainly the weekly Twitch, though can also include virtual or hybrid live/virtual events such as Story Crossroads Spectacular or The Big Why Panel.

# questions-for-us

Finally, a place in this Story Crossroads category where anyone can post their questions. People can direct message each other including Story Crossroads, but questions are lovely to be out for everyone in case someone would have had the same question.

# general

When people first join the Story Crossroads Discord Server, this the the place you are “thrown.” An automatic “bot” sends a random welcome message. I check in to remind people to click on # introduce-yourself. Any kind of chatting can happen back and forth. You could consider this “the lobby” of this Discord Server. You can add emojis/reactions, links, and attach files. This a great place to chat back and forth with any current server members or even posting and eventually hearing back from people.

# chat-about-stories

This is a focused text channel where people can…well…chat about stories. Are you researching a certain type? Need help in structuring a story? We already have some fun chats here (yes, you can see the history even if you are new) about Japanese as well as Gettysburg ghost stories. Someone shared a lovely article by Doug Lipman on how to approach stories. Useful stuff. If you get off topic…then I either delete the comments or ask the person to copy and paste into a different text channel. You can add emojis/reactions, links, and files here.

# worldwide-folktales

This is another focused text channel where people can talk about folktales. As Story Crossroads has a multicultural focus and mission, we wanted to honor that here. Thus, we mention best places to find and research folktales. Yet, anyone can add to this discussion. Some of this could overlap with “chat-about-stories,” but “chat-about-stories” could include other genres of storytelling like personal and family stories. You can add emojis/reactions, links, and files here.

# admin-room

This is locked. Unless we grant you “admin” as a role for you, this is a place you don’t have to worry about. These are usually Story Crossroads Board members or volunteers.

# moderators-room

This is locked. Unless we grant you “moderator” or nicknamed “mod” as a role for you, this is a place you don’t have to worry about. These mods help maintain order in the server and sees that the family-friendly rules are followed. These mods can be outside the Story Crossroads Board.

# storygames

You can approach this text channel in two ways: ideas for storytelling-related games OR to play storytelling games. You can provide a written description of how to play the game and leave it at that…or, if another server member is online and willing to play, you could do string or collaborative storytelling. An example would be the ABC game where the first person writes a line with the first word starting with “A” and then the next person writes a line with the first word starting with “B” and so on. This could be done with two people or more. Another story game could be that someone shares a story prompt and sees who will add the next portion.

# storymemes

People know what a “meme” is – those fun images/pictures and sometimes animated ones such as a gif. Well, a storymeme is an oral storytelling one. We have at least four collected here. Our only request when you add one: do not have any book images. We love books. However, this discord server is about spoken storytelling and want images that reflect this type. You can save those book memes for the library-focused Discord Servers. Yes, there are plenty of those on Discord.

# story-genres

This text channel is similar to the worldwide-folktales though broader. Many types of oral storytelling exist. Do you love Folktales? Tall tales? Historical tales? Creation myths? So much more. Now…this needs to be more academic in approach rather than random chat. If you want to “chat,” then either the # general or the # chat-about-stories under the category of “Text Channels” would be best.

# multi-lingual-storytelling

How do you involve more than one language when performing? What are ways to have multi-lingual experiences on stage? How can American Sign Language be offered more often? You can share links or videos with bilingual performances, interviews about it, or shares articles that delve into this topic. Again, this is an academic discussion rather than pure “chat.”

Whew! That covers the current text channels.

We may add more specific ones as time goes on. At least you have the basics…and the next blog post will be on voice channels. Only a couple…but some tips on how to troubleshoot and such.

Discord is best by laptop/computer though there is a free phone app. We have scheduled voice/video chats usually within “Voice Channels” and then “chat-about-stories” on Mondays at 10:00pm MDT. We will eventually have regular one during the daytime. Join us! Again, that invite link: https://discord.gg/KfwNK7Z.

Find our E-Newsletter and Email List Sign-Ups on our website home page at the bottom, the archive page, etc.

See our already-streamed/recorded The Big Why Panel: Historical Storytelling meets Humanities

See our 5-video playlist from the Story Crossroads Spectacular by clicking here

How to Best Use the Story Crossroads Discord Server – Part 1 of 5 – Getting Started

This is the first of five parts on how to benefit the most from the Story Crossroads Discord Server. Discord is a platform that combines features of Facebook, Zoom, and many others in one place. Text, image, audio, and video communications are possible with a network of people of like-interests.

5-Parts:

  • Part 1 – Getting Started – TODAY
  • Part 2 – Text Channels
  • Part 3 – Voice Channels
  • Part 4 – Adding Resources & Links
  • Part 5 – Scheduled & Random “Check-Ins”

If you prefer video approach and/or have these videos running while you glance below:

“Uh…what is Discord?” Or, “I thought Discord was for Video Gamers.”

No worries.

Discord is a platform that allows people to chat in many ways–text, audio, video and even through memes. This fascinating digital networking tool started in the video gaming world though has expanded to library, music, and so many more. Although it kick-started in 2015, it now has 19 MILLION daily users.

Discord has been relatively unknown to the storytelling world.

Let’s change that through Story Crossroads.

The potential with Discord to connect is important considering quarantines and limited-sized/proper-distanced events. Even beyond such circumstances, Discord is “on fire” on growth, momentum, and “stay-ability.” You might as well learn what all the buzz is about.

Here is How to Get Started with the Story Crossroads Discord Server:

  1. Click here for the direct invite/link. Discord can have public and private groups. Youth groups, sports teams, and you-name-it, have created what is called a Discord Server. You can have invite links that expire within 24 hours OR have one that never expires. For Story Crossroads, we opted for “never expires.” Thus, you can even share this direct link/invite: https://discord.gg/KfwNK7Z.

2. Clicking on the invite/link will take you to a similar image below. You will click on “Accept Invite.” Although called “members,” there are no fees. In fact, many people love Discord because there are NO ADVERTISEMENTS! There may be promotions or announcements from whoever runs the Server, but no outside ones. Facebook, YouTube…well, they do have those “sponsored ads” and such.

3. Complete the basics of creating a handle that either reveals or does not reveal who you are – up to you. I wanted it to be obvious on our side of things so “storycrossroads” was a natural handle/user name. Some people focus on their first name and then their specialty in storytelling. Super easy and basic for sign-up.

4. You can join more than the Story Crossroads Server. You can search keywords, but it is really only through invites. You don’t have to be part of more than one server. However, when we typed in “storyteller” or “storytelling,” we did not get much expect for role-playing groups. Oral storytelling is…lacking, except for us so far. We certainly hope other storytelling organizations create their own Discords. HINT: NATIONAL STORYTELLING NETWORK. UTAH STORYTELLING GUILD. THE SOCIETY OF STORYTELLING. THE FEDERATION OF ASIAN STORYTELLERS (FEAST). NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF BLACK STORYTELLERS (NAB). In fact, some people only focus on “the one.” There is not the pressure to have “more friends” or “more followers” as other places. Of course, we want a decent number of people on our Server so we can have more storytelling conversations. We will get to these in Part 2 and Part 3 of this blog series.

5. You can get notifications when someone in the Server has a comment. If you Server is growing or inactive, then these won’t pop up so much. However, as the Server grows, you may want to turn off notifications and simply check on it for updates.

BUT…be aware that if you do not “show up,” we have the option to “Prune” you. We can choose from 1-day-no-show, 7-day-no-show, and 30-day-no-show. We probably won’t…but we shall see. Here is what that option looks like for us in this image below:

6. Explore all the “categories” and “channels” on the left side of your screen.

Our categories are: Welcome; Story Crossroads; Text Channels; Voice Channels; Fun & Games; Academic Discussions.

Our channels are within those categories: welcome; rules; introduce-yourself; info-about-us; announcements; videos; livestreams; questions-for-us; general (text); chat-about-stories (text); worldwide-folktales (text); storygames; storymemes; admin-room (locked); moderators-room (locked); general (voice/video); chat-about-stories (voice/video); worldwide-folktales (voice/video); storygames (fun & games); storymemes (fun & games); story-genres (academic); and multilingual-storytelling (academic).

We will explain more in future blog posts of this series. Discord is best by laptop/computer though there is a free phone app. We have scheduled voice/video chats usually within “Voice Channels” and then “chat-about-stories” on Mondays at 10:00pm MDT. We will eventually have regular one during the daytime. Join us! Again, that invite link: https://discord.gg/KfwNK7Z.

Find our E-Newsletter and Email List Sign-Ups on our website home page at the bottom, the archive page, etc.

See our already-streamed/recorded The Big Why Panel: Historical Storytelling meets Humanities

See our 5-video playlist from the Story Crossroads Spectacular by clicking here

Rachel’s Re-Awakenings & Reflections-inspired by National Storytelling Network’s CONNECTED Virtual Conference & Festival, Part 6 of 9

This is the sixth of nine parts to focus on each of the nine days of the National Storytelling Network’s CONNECTED Virtual Conference & Festival that occurred May 30-June 7, 2020. Enjoy biggest moments and action items as a result of the experience for Story Crossroads and on the storytelling world in general.

9-Parts for the 9 Days:

  • Part 1 – May 30, 2020 – Pre-Conferences/Preparations – REVEALED
  • Part 2 – May 31, 2020 – Official Day 1 – REVEALED
  • Part 3 – June 1, 2020 – Official Day 2 – REVEALED
  • Part 4 – June 2, 2020 – Official Day 3 – REVEALED
  • Part 5 – June 3, 2020 – Official Day 4 – REVEALED
  • Part 6 – June 4, 2020 – Official Day 5 – TODAY
  • Part 7 – June 5, 2020 – Official Day 6
  • Part 8 – June 6, 2020 – Official Day 7
  • Part 9 – June 7, 2020 – Official Day 8

What I expected to be taught was not even close to what was actually taught. Though how stimulating…

As Baba the Storyteller would be presenting, I assumed that his topic was on how individual storytellers can “evolve” and learn some tech skills. I read the title of “Evolution of Our Craft: The Processes of Mastery in an Age of Technology” and guessed what that meant. With the rush of this 9-day event, not all the workshop descriptions were available.

However, what I learned in exchange was far better…at least for me. I say this because I was part of a panel that was more story producer focused on transforming live events into virtual. I had hoped that Baba’s workshop would compliment what we were doing to be focused more on storytellers who do not see themselves necessarily as producers but are now forced to do so.

Oh, well.

And Dr. Raymond Christian opened my eyes to a whole world of podcasting. This never crossed my mind, and now I am determined to do something with the knowledge he bestowed so beautifully.

I was hypnotized, enthralled, thrilled with the concert from Indonesia. You can tell by the length of my comments! I would buy this concert in a heartbeat, knowing that nothing could compare to the in-the-moment feel. This is not that different from when you hear a storyteller in-person (not screen) and NEED to buy the CD.

I missed a few concerts due to my library shift. Again, much to catch up on once the Digital Library from the National Storytelling Network is available.

Discover the “surprise” during Baba the Storyteller’s session as well as other delightful moments–like delving into the world of podcasting.

Events of June 4 and Reflections–

10:00 am CDT: Tales From Indonesia with Agus PM Toh, Bie, Ariyo Zidni, Uncle Gery, Rona Mentari, I Made Taro & Gede Tarmada, Folktales from different island of Indonesia; Aceh and Padang from Sumatera Island, Java and Bali. Enjoy the stories, we will take you there. Ayo Dongeng Indonesia is an organization that initiate the annual “Indonesia International Storytelling Festival” since 2013. It’s also have a voluntary based community, with more than 150 storyteller, writer, and support volunteer. Ayo Dongeng Indonesia now gathered Indonesian Storyteller to be part of this NSN’s event. Presented by Ayo Dongeng Indonesia.

This concert was so amazing that…it went over. I don’t remember any other storytelling concert going over time. Thus, the hard decision had to be made to not have the last storyteller perform. I have an inkling of some of the tellers who went beyond their promised time…though I enjoyed exactly how they worded and shared their stories that I cannot imagine those stories being shorter.

Being a story producer, I would hate to face the decision of having a teller not perform if that happened with Story Crossroads. I have been lucky that this has not been an issue…yet. We did have a panel with four presenters, which already placed us “in danger” of at least one person being over time. Though, they respected each other and kept to the 10-15 minutes per person for what I nicknamed the “solid time” before we got to the questions. I did write a private message to one of the panelists to remind that time was getting close. I did not want to hold up a sign as all six of our boxes (four for panelists, one for me, one for ASL interpreters) to disrupt. I appreciated the ability to privately message. I was also lucky that the panelists were good about checking their chat/messages during the stream itself.

The National Storytelling Network was smart to send a video of the remaining teller that same day to anyone who registered for that event. Whew!

Now, with those thoughts out of the way, I want to focus on the performances themselves.

Mesmerizing!

The first teller, Agus PM Toh, used everyday objects to become characters and items while singing Acehnese. I kept wondering, “What will he use next?” From brooms to a pair of plastic spoons to make birds, I was completely enthralled. I noticed in the chat box and some people thought he made these choices due to the pandemic and being quarantined. Or perhaps those people meant that we can all do the same thing if we feel confined as artists. No matter the meaning, what was obvious is that we can do so much more with what we have. Truly worth watching over again!

I don’t drink coffee, though the story told by Bie was the closest I have been tempted to tasting it. I do not drink coffee for religious reasons, though the way Bie told “The Minangkabau Coffee” was done in such a reverent and delightful way that I was religiously hanging onto every word. She repeated the phrase “This is not a sad story” as a powerful storytelling technique as this did involve a coffee plantation and slaves. Another repeated line was “We are honest people. Don’t steal, don’t break rules.” Bie used traditional ways mixed with modern slang beautifully.

Ariyo Zidni had a deliberate way of telling, and, by talking slowly, made the whole storytelling experience more intimate. His story was full of characters who misunderstood or did not listen correctly. My favorite phrase was “listening to the intention.” Powerful!

The fuller version is this: He only heard what he wanted, but he did not listen. He only heard what he wanted to hear.  And the Fairy didn’t listen to the intention.

Rona Mentari told “Suwidak Loro” from Central Java and used a double-sided mask as a type of device as part of the opening. Amazing way to grab the audience’s attention while connecting us to the culture! She played guitar and sang. I was intrigued by how young she was and delighted in her being part of the next generation of storytellers. She also made me hungry for coconut all steamed inside banana leaves.

Uncle Gery told “Ande-ande Lumut” and this romantic story was the kind to make the audience swoon…until there was danger of crab breath. Uncle Gery was so close to the screen that I thought he would pop through the computer at any moment. This increased the intensity in his eyes and facial expressions and seemed to dare the audience to listen. This Javanese story was a Cinderella version that was full of mystery and dedication and commitment. Loved it! I will need to follow this storyteller more often.

We never got to “The Songs to Beg for Rain” shared by I Made Taro and Gede Tarmada from Bali. We ran out of time. Thankfully, a video of their work was shared quickly by the National Storytelling Network to complete this awe-inspiring experience.

12:00 pm CDT: Podcasting for Storytellers / Storytelling for Podcasts with Dr. Raymond Christian, During this workshop participants will learn how to utilize podcasting to magnify their storytelling audience. Participants will receive lectures and review examples of various styles, formats, shows and genres to consider, along with best practices and tips for successfully selecting and pitching stories. Ray’s stories have appeared in Reader’s Digest’s 2016 Best Stories in America and 2017 American Hero’s edition, he is an 11 time Moth Story Slam Champion, winner of the 2016 National Storytelling Festival Story Slam and featured performer at Exchange Place. His stories have been featured regularly on the shows, The Moth, Snap Judgment, Back Story Radio and the Spooked and Risk podcast.

Dr. Raymond Christian was smooth in his presentation and excited me–and plenty others–to this new world of podcasting. He said, “Millions could actually hear your story…exposed to podcasts already out there.” He continued that money could be made and large national shows could put you on air. The typical payment is $100/minute of a finished story/episode. Not bad! He joked, “Storytellers can die of exposure, but this is different.”

Different and exciting! I talked with my husband afterwards saying, “I have seen two different spirits. I could totally submit something.” My husband said, “Do it! You would be great.” Ah, see why I love him (many reasons, of course). So this is on my list to do after all the grant and final report deadlines of Story Crossroads. Sigh.

To give a hint of the possibilities, he talked of Tier I and Tier II podcasts:

Tier I Podcasts – millions of downloads

  • This American Life-on terrestrial radio AND podcast
  • The Moth
  • Snap Judgment – on terrestrial radio AND podcast
  • Spooked
  • Risk

Tier II Podcasts – hundreds of thousands of downloads, will accept stand-alone recorded stories

  • Story Collider – prefer science-based
  • First Person Arts
  • Secret Society of Twisted Storytellers – out of Detroit, live storytelling show AND podcast, serially – 10-15 episodes in a year
  • Mortified – out of Chicago, stories about childhood, stories that come from diary, what you wrote as a child or teenager and how those stories affected you (embarrassed by these stories today)
  • The Memory Palace – prefers rebroadcast stories, if it was on another show

Dr. Raymond Christian talked on how to pitch and so much that you will have to get the paid-per-view option. Do you have a plan of action? Go forth and podcast!

1:45 pm CDT: Lunch Fun, Chocolate Stories with Erin O’Neil

I had some urgent and important deadlines for Story Crossroads and was sad to miss this storytelling with chocolate. I NEED a chocolate stash to survive life. Okay, so perhaps I would get by without…but it would be rough. I loved how Erin encouraged people to bring some chocolate with them as they watched. How smart to connect actual taste–not just describing taste–in connection with a storytelling performance.

3:00 pm CDT: Workshop, Evolution of Our Craft: The Processes of Mastery in an Age of Technology with Baba the Storyteller, The workshop “Evolution of Our Craft: The Processes of Mastery in an Age of Technology” will offer participants a “Big Picture” analysis of the contemporary craft of storytelling and its’ role in constructing our communities, enriching our educational infrastructures and harnessing the power technology “in service” to our craft. Baba the Storyteller is an author, educator and public speaker. He has been honored with numerous awards over the decades for his work around the world. Baba is currently touring globally working as a Master Teaching Artist, partnering with International Schools, NGO’s, and Cultural Centers while sharing his Love and Passion for the Craft of Storytelling.

Baba the Storyteller really makes the storytelling world look good. He is the utmost professional and has a lovely balance of honoring traditional storytelling while embracing technology and methods to further this love and respect. The academic paper that his discussion was based on can be found here: https://babathestoryteller.com/storytelling-as-technology/.

Baba explained what is meant by “technology.” He had the most beautiful way to say it: “Physical manifestation of human-spiritual potential.” He continued, “We bring technology into being, our imaginations bring technology into being.” Even during Socrates time, people railed against technology. At that time, it was the written word as the technology!

As for the role of the storyteller, he said, “Our craft is integral to bringing the society of where it needs to be.” Thus, the need to focus and be more than entertainment with our fellow human beings.

We discussed that any indigenous cultures are dominant-oral and revere the spoken word. Any Western cultures are dominant-literate and revere the written word. Someone in the chat asked about screen culture. What can we expect from all the virtual events and interactions?

Baba paused and explained that writing can mimic the spoken word and that screen culture “has potential to be something great.” Though, he admitted, that the screen culture has the ability to enslave us. “Instead of owning the screen, the screen owns us.” He then said, “I don’t always enjoy all aspects of technology, but I have to go where the people are. I can’t expect the people to come to me.”

What of the hope from all this? Baba encouraged us to give the people “something else on their screens” Have an impact. He urged, “Give them something that gets them to put their screens down.”

We strive to do that with Story Crossroads. We had each of our Spectacular sessions end in a Question and Answer so the audience can think beyond the stories and warm up their imaginations and logic. You need both right and left sides of the brain to structure stories. We always hope that people explore the art of storytelling for themselves–pick up the screen to see “us” and then put it down to discover “them.”

7:00 pm CDT: Mid-Atlantic Regional Spotlight Performance, Adults Only Event, The Mid-Atlantic Region of The National Storytelling Network brings together storytellers from varying styles and applications in the states of VA, PA, MD, WV, Metro DC, and Metro NYC. The Mid-Atlantic Regional Spotlight will feature some of the hottest storytelling talent in a region bustling with storytelling events, shows and talent. The show will feature personal narrative, folktales, and historical narrative from and ten tellers and the innovative organizations and shows that they represent. Emceed by Nick Baskerville & Robin Gelfenblen, Featuring Robin Gelfenbien, Oni Lasana, Ingrid Bohn, Jessica Robinson, Jack Scheer, Gary Lloyd, Jane Dorfman, Stacey Bader Curry, Srilatha Rajamani, Laura Kaighn, Judy England-McCarthy

I got to hear two stories from this concert because I had a 15-minute break at the library. While still wearing a mask, I hovered over my phone. I was glad to have the Zoom app for these kinds of story-listening emergencies.

The timing was amazing because one of the people I heard was Jessica Robinson. I cheered as she was my fellow panelists for “Save Your Space” on Saturday, June 6. I delighted in hearing her tell. When I told her that she was one of the few I could hear this day, she snorted and it was obvious by her “text tone”–if such a thing exists–that she did not see her as the most important to hear from the line-up. I did my best to tell her she is important and glad I had the chance. Just to warn you–her story is a kissing story!

9:00 pm CDT: Voices From Down Under with Jackie Kerin, Anna Jarrett, Christine Carlton, Kiran Shah, Lindy Mitchell-Nilsson, Lillian Rodrigues-Pang, Anne E. Stewart, and Jenni Cargill-Strong, Stories of wisdom, mystery, intrigue, danger, comfort, challenge and caution. The Australian Storytelling Guild (NSW) is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to the development of and advocacy for oral storytelling, literature appreciation and creative expression through story creation and performance. Presented by the Australian Storytelling Guild (NSW)

I missed most of this concert. The library closed at 9:00pm MDT and this started at 8:00pm my time. Sigh. By the time I was settled in the car and had the Zoom app running, I got one story called L’histoire Grand’Mère (The Grandmothers Tale) told by Jenni Cargill-Strong. This was a darker version of Little Red Riding Hood. And…I do love dark tales. I am not for gore, but give a little edge to it…perfect! These are not even the kind of stories I tell.

I did think of someone while listening to this piece. Lori Hansen tandem tells with her husband, Omar through The Great Bear Folk Theatre. Her favorite story is Little Red Riding Hood and created a Facebook Group called “The Grimm Keepers” as a way to discuss through Zoom the symbolism and significance of different fairy tales and folktales. The kick-off story was Little Red Riding Hood only a few weeks before this 9-day virtual event. Meant to be? I think yes!

Thank you for taking part in this re-awakening journey for me. Please post comments, and we can continue the discussion.

We did this 9-part Blog Series in anticipation of the Digital Library being put together by the National Storytelling Network. Whether or not you attended virtually, you can still access the recordings through pay-per-view options. More details to come soon and will be at http://www.storynet.org/virtual-conference/.

See our already-streamed/recorded The Big Why Panel: Historical Storytelling meets Humanities with three options to watch it featuring our panelists: Dr. Caroliese Frink Reed, Sheila Arnold, Darci Tucker, and Brian “Fox” Ellis. We are grateful to funding from Utah Humanities.

See our 5-video playlist from the Story Crossroads Spectacular by clicking here