Saturday, October 03, 2009


We all have stories to tell. Of our childhood years, first jobs, military service, life changing events and never told secrets. But often we don’t take time to record them, to share them with our children and grandchildren, to recall for ourselves what we have done and what we have left undone.

A few years ago I attended a workshop in New York City and had an opportunity to speak to United Nations delegates about the importance of stories in the lives of people.When I finished, several African delegates spoke to me. One woman said, “We know the importance of stories in our culture and in our country.”

I replied that I was well aware of that, for I had long known about countries where story-telling is embedded in their culture. But then she said something I’ve never forgotten. With a quiet voice she said, “In your country, you have allowed others to tell your stories for you.” She was referring to movies and television.

No one can tell your story for you. You must do it yourself, and it’s important that you do. So take a few minutes now and again, and write down some of your memories. Get down your stories for your own sake and for the sake of those who follow you.

On Tuesday, October 6, 11:00 a.m. I will be discussing story-telling on Wisconsin Public Radio—the Larry Meiller show.

On Saturday, October 17, (9-4:00) I am teaching a one-day workshop on story-writing at The Clearing in Door County. Contact

THE OLD TIMER SAYS: When we forget our stories, we forget who we are.

NEW NOVEL, BLUE SHADOWS FARM, NOW AVAILABLE: Check my website for further information. Check my schedule below for book signings and presentations.

Oct. 4, 1:30 p.m. Monona Historical Society, Monona, Iowa, The Lighter Side of Country Living, including Blue Shadows Farm

Oct. 15, 7:00 p.m. Reader’s Loft, Green Bay, Blue Shadows Farm

Oct. 20, 7:00 p.m. Barnes and Noble, Madison West. Official Book Launch, Blue Shadows Farm

Oct. 24, 1:00 p.m. Wild Rose Library. Book Launch, Central Wisconsin, Blue Shadows Farm

Oct. 28, 6:30 p.m. Elkhorn Library. Blue Shadows Farm

Nov 6-8: National Farm Toy Show, Dyersville, Iowa. Book signing: Blue Shadows Farm and other titles

November 14, 9:30-11:30 a.m., Sheboygan County Historical Research Center, Sheboygan Falls Library. Blue Shadows Farm.


Bill said...

Love your statement! Just the sort of push that got me going and I am still working on it.

up north listener said...

Heard you on Larry's show--you probably could have had callers for the next 3 hours! Thanks.
One of the callers mentioned haiku as a means of story-telling; one of my favorite pieces is a 4-stanza haiku written shortly after the death of an old family friend who was our mailman and also the butcher at the local co-op.