Storytelling is… #10 The Links

Storytelling is… #10 The Links

 

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Storytelling is… #10 The Links

LH – Living History characterisation tips for re-enactors – My most viewed blog.

A modern continuation of the Viking mythos, I scribble, artists from all over the world replace my images – The Hammer FliesOski and the AmuletThe Horned God and the Wild Hunt

Facts and Fiction storytelling magazine – I am grateful for so much from this by post magazine – in particular the Storytelling is.. poem is published there – The comic strip too.

I cannot wait to get to this amazing festival to perform…NHhorizontalheadline

http://hostfest.com/ – https://www.hostfest.com/experience/viking-village/

I am also looking forward to going on from there to University of Wisconsin Green Bay where I will be lecturing, running workshops and storytelling in their Viking longhouse. https://www.uwgb.edu/viking-house/

I have written prose poems and travelogue pieces as Skald to the Chieftain  click here for the beginning of the series and then click ‘Next in the current series’ on each of the 26 blogs on the topic!  The start of the skaldic writing links

I was commissioned to create an ‘It happened to me’ performance for school children attending Cliffords Tower on the effects of the Normans. Click here to enjoy the blog which is written in the style it was performed.

Under the wing of Viking Comics Inc. comes the quirky series OldMan Comics, here is a link to one of those where I actually change the course of the battle at Hastings, (oooops sorry OldMan does).

I actually am Hobb the Pig-man, originally created for a commission for Barley Hall in York ‘he’ tells tales from a medieval point of view. ‘He’ has also worked on many projects for Scarborough’s Create and here is a project created for the Fossil Festival. Fossils? Yes cos it is Hobb. Hobb the Pig-man, he has also been Hobb the Night-guard and here he is as Hobb the plough boy.

A big thank you to actor Graham Scarisbrick for voicing this piece from my, soon to be released, audio play – The Boat Rises – Click below to hear A Viking Trojan Horse…

 

 

 

Actor Donna Jones, (for those of you who know her, aka Donna Kitching), voices here, the possibly, first ever documentation of a UFO encounter, (of the third kind), in a six-thousand-year-old folk tale; The Bamboo Babe.

 

 

 

 

One of the most interesting jobs I’ve been given was to be paid to sit in pubs listening to people telling me stories. Hundreds of fascinating stories came from the experience, you can read them here.

The main tool I used to stimulate anecdotes was a set of prompt cards. You can see those prompts here.

I am always pleased to be able to work with Alda and to promote her music. Here is a link to her single A Real Good Time.

And of course her sister’s company SigRun Viking Art & Design.

The three of us together produced Alda’s Rock Opera Gods Bless Ya!

For my multinational stories I reduce a popular story to a few lines so those of many countries can help tell the sagas in a nutshell.

One of the roles of the Skald is to host Opening Ceremonies.

 

The Series…

Storytelling is… #12 The Skald

Storytelling is… #11 The Poem

Storytelling is… #10 The Links

Storytelling is… #9 In A Circle

Storytelling is… #8 The Techniques

Storytelling is… #7 The Spendlow Lectures Part 2 Being Skaldic

Storytelling is… #6 The Spendlow Lectures Part 2 Chanters Stool

Storytelling is… #5 The Spendlow Lectures Part 1 The Chosen

Storytelling is… #4 An introduction to Adrian Spendlow (me)

Storytelling is… #3 The Bio

Storytelling is… #2 The Show

Storytelling is… #1 Show intro

 

 

 

 

 

           

 

 

 

 

 

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Storytelling is… #7 The Spendlow Lectures Part 3 Being Skaldic

 

Storytelling is… #7 The Spendlow Lectures Part 2 Being Skaldic

 

Storytelling is… #12 The Skald

Storytelling is… #11 The Poem

Storytelling is… #10 The Links

Storytelling is… #9 In A Circle

Storytelling is… #8 The Techniques

Storytelling is… #7 The Spendlow Lectures Part 2 Being Skaldic

Storytelling is… #6 The Spendlow Lectures Part 2 Chanters Stool

Storytelling is… #5 The Spendlow Lectures Part 1 The Chosen

Storytelling is… #4 An introduction to Adrian Spendlow (me)

Storytelling is… #3 The Bio

Storytelling is… #2 The Show

Storytelling is… #1 Show intro

red hat

 

Storytelling is… #7 The Spendlow Lectures Part 2 Being Skaldic

You are a storyteller of great renown – it has been posited and it will be so

(If anyone can think of a way of describing my pontifications I would love to hear.)

There are proud moments though.

(You should strive to posit so, it may even be an expected role of the storyteller.)

Think.

Embrace.

Story.

Proud moments yes.

Odin was a giant.

He sought power.

He was Borrsson.

The All-father thing. It is all timeless and mixed up. This is the gods, they can be from whenever they wish.

One of the Vanir wasn’t even born when he turned up at the God-swap with the Aesir.

These are the things which I think in the dark of the night and these are the things I fit into my stories. Think of things for yourself, these are your things.

Those proud moments.

There on the tee vee is a pal of mine. He is telling the world of how his team of archaeologists have definitely recovered the bodies of Roman-age York-based gladiators. Next thing I know he is calling ‘hi’ across the street and I am going to him to thank him for a great presentation. They are hoping to find the arena so I commented that many Roman features were still around when the Vikings arrived; they commented on the roads, they will have utilised bathhouses and a temple as a palace. If there had been an arena they would have used it as their all-ting (circular government). He looked really excited at this and said when they find it the first thing he is going to do is look for Viking-age items.

Another archaeologist friend was very interested in my thoughts on Lindisfarne. I had picked up a tourist guide and saw it mention the 1500 Scottish Border Report which stated there was a large hidden natural harbour which could house a whole fleet as it prepares to invade. I pointed out that if it could hold ships then it could hold long ships and perhaps the Vikings hadn’t just raided the monastery they had set up camp there to do raids of the mainland. The next thing I know my friend has promoted a talk on a whole new look at the Vikings on Lindisfarne.

Proud moments yes, new lines of thinking too.

Adaptability is important. Places and events want storytellers. They have a theme or a period of time. You get some strange requests. So one needs to put stories and elements of stories together. A fitting set list.

The composite – the gathering of the information and the melding into one tale.

This can be a string of known tales but once you have researched the topic (within your own know how as well as in your sources) you may well have a collection of snippets and so. Folklore, history, characters. The most common way I weave these together is in an ‘It happened to me’ style. This works well in performance and allows one to ‘hide’ behind a persona. It is easier to act things out if you are a character.

You will need a fitting costume however.

Or at least a hat. Perhaps a few.

The sagas are bitty, the myths especially so. Partly due to being patched together from many sources and partly due to being frozen in time. I love a good index. Kevin Crossley-Holland comes to mind. His work on myths is a good source.

By working through all the references to a particular character or topic within the index you can piece together a fuller picture. Then you can see ways to tell. Stories leap out of your research and juxtapositioning. All new and always.

Vikings: We only have so much material and it is laid out in a certain way and we need to explore what we can do with it.

We can try and reach back to the teller of the time and try to gain their skills by studying thoughts of their motivations.

Let us look at their whole empire, the stories from it all are often hidden within the myths.

Let’s see what can be dug up.

I don’t sing. I don’t play an instrument (except the cave harp). I love to work with music. It changes everything. And with singers too. Melding my stories and prose poems in with their ballads etc.

In the Gods Bless Ya! show my stories set the scene for the songs of Alda Raven and I seek to fill in any gaps in the flow of narrative. I also perform her words (yes, I admit to the use of a script!). SigRun Viking Art & Design create the costumes and supply the models to be the goddesses, part of my job is to create a narrative to accompany them; to get the timing right and to direct their actions subtly.

Thus are stories dramatized.

We can take part together and play roles and allocate parts.

Re-enactment groups post up a story and say who would play which part? IE The priest was very angry about this and stormed off to the sea captain. The sea captain agreed a fee to ferry him and waved him aboard his ship bound for Normandy. You volunteer and you go along. Except for the odd word or two shouted from the field it is crowd scene acting with a narrator over the tannoy.

The ways the storyteller can be utilised, the roles expected, bring me to the idea of the skald.

I haven’t so much looked at the history of the Skald, as at the necessity of the Skald, by being one.

I have looked at skaldic verse with its beats and echoes and, of course, the kennings. It is believed that they were written in such a way you would not fully understand on the first listening, but then the Skald would tell the stories which are referred to in their poetry and then read the piece again. That way on the second listening the audience would understand.

As modern-day Skald to the Chieftain I have many roles, as we are seeking to echo Viking-age life as clearly as possible. I write praise poems for my chieftain and to mark occasions.

Practicality leads one towards storytelling and uses those skills as part of the needs of an occasion.

Leading parades with my chieftain. Opening festivals, markets and events. Collating other performers and introducing them along with course leaders etc. Acting as presenter at events and as entertainer at feasts.

Providing performance opportunities for members of courses and circles. Creating group dramas.

I find that circles draw in teenagers and young adults more than any other age which is very refreshing, they have seen the shows and want to experience more.

Getting others involved can be great fun. The walk by at opening ceremonies has caused great fun. As I talk of leather working classes a glamourous presentation of their produce parades back and forth in front of me. When I announced the timber has arrived for the new constructions two men with a plank hanging down between their legs groan their way across the arena. People clamour to take part with ideas of how to promote their activity. As I say, “Visitors are invited to take part in the Glima at their own risk,“ a huge wrestler whistles as he carries a ‘dead’ body.

The multi-national stories go down far better than I ever expected they would. I strip a saga down to a few dramatic sentences and then invite people of different nationalities or dialects to stand alongside me and translate one after the other. Great fun seeing them all acting it all out.

It is always an honour to be asked to take part in a ceremony; be it a naming day, a wedding, or an event blessing. I may accompany my chieftain’s activities with a relevant poem or tale. I might utilise the mead horn, statues, a mirror bowl, the chanter’s chair or the threads of the Norns.

One ancient tradition which must be respected is to do what the participants wish.

I am reminded of the words of Jane Harrison in Ancient Art and Ritual where she talks of the 1 2 3 of existence. The one being you. The two is you and the world and the three is: you perceiving the world, the world effecting you and you reacting to that. We are destined to perform ritual.

So, what is a Skald – imagine you are a chieftain – what do you want from me?

And so to my greatest powers; example and expectation. As simple as that, my work is inspiring and I have an expectation that you will be involved and develop.

You will grow and be

I am not an academic, I am not a reenactor, I not even a Viking if I am truthful; I am a storyteller. I seek to be true to the past I am part of and I seek to be very very good. I give you part of what I am and I ask you to be ready.

As we are drawing to the close of this section of the series I would remind of story points; you can’t do a story unless you have them. Slot them in a row in your mind and you are ready.

The next section of this series will be the feature on techniques. For groups and those intending to join one of my groups I would suggest the techniques section is looked upon as a hand out, a guide, to help empower you so you can help shape the sessions.

As for endings, look at some of ‘my’ endings. I lean towards throw away, I am not very strong on morals if you see what I mean and I find punch-line type endings take away from the believability.

As we draw to a close on the lecture and move on to the techniques section it is best to reiterate; I have always found that performance example inspires and encourages people.

To summarise my personal feelings, ‘Oh no I am going to have to learn all of this.’

 

Storytelling is… #6 The Spendlow Lectures Part 2 Chanters Stool

 

Storytelling is… #6 The Spendlow Lectures Part 2 Chanters Stool

 

Storytelling is… #12 The Skald

Storytelling is… #11 The Poem

Storytelling is… #10 The Links

Storytelling is… #9 In A Circle

Storytelling is… #8 The Techniques

Storytelling is… #7 The Spendlow Lectures Part 2 Being Skaldic

Storytelling is… #6 The Spendlow Lectures Part 2 Chanters Stool

Storytelling is… #5 The Spendlow Lectures Part 1 The Chosen

Storytelling is… #4 An introduction to Adrian Spendlow (me)

Storytelling is… #3 The Bio

Storytelling is… #2 The Show

Storytelling is… #1 Show intro

 

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Storytelling is… #6 The Spendlow Lectures Part 2 Chanters Stool

Right, I am going to get strict now.

Storytellers must always tell traditional stories which they have learnt by listening to another storyteller. They must sit and not move and they must never ever utilise items – the sinful prop! Sit still and tell old things rigidly.

Well there we have a whole set of rules to be broken. I certainly break them all. It is a school of thought though, an old school of thought.

There is a vision of the teller in a big chair and everyone hushed and still looking up in awe. It does happen. These are moments to cherish.

My first thought would be, where to put that chair.

Space.

Put yourself in your space. Find the place where you feel right.

I like to get there early. I step into that school hall and I guess I am getting the vibe, I most usually walk straight to a spot, “I would like to stand here”. It isn’t always where they expect you to go.

It is the same on a ship, in cave or on a stage. Put yourself where you need to be.

“Can you put my chair here please?”

“And my table here if you are using ‘the dreaded prop’.

The inner translucent layer of a mammoth skin has been draped across near the rear of this cave, with a small fire behind, you step out of a hidden side alcove when they are distracted and you beat a hollow log with your talking staff; you are suddenly there, a misty figure in front of them.

And you have your place.

Your place in history.

Step around into the open and stamp your white staff to the ground. Stay silent for a moment while they take in the carvings and the natural twist leading to the gleaming crystal.

Play a little on your cave harp.

Or say but three words then lift up your bone flute.

If you are more modern than this you may be wishing to commune with Odin. Your fur-covered Chanter’s Stool is brought out for you and you flick your cloak as you sit.

The large seat.

The shamanic drum.

The soft toy – well, that is me.

Rocky the Dragon gets very sad because he never gets any kisses.

I might be better getting a white wood staff.

And so to sit.

Or stand.

Or both. I tend to be out of my chair most of the time but starting things off sitting seems to work for me. I am a bit all action and cannot keep still.

Silliness seems to happen. In among the gripping and the scary a bit of silliness too.

‘I have lived in the land of fairy – and I have never been the same since.’

Being trapped in a fairy ring causes one to have to dance and for all people laugh they are intrigued. For all the silliness of stories of meeting and even marrying beings from the realm of the Fey I tend to attract people who hang around to tell me of their real-life experiences of meeting or seeing creatures from the mystical lands.

You have to remember who is out there. I will look at the idea of being a ‘Skald’ in a little while, let it be said there is always a sense of ceremony. The way we conduct ourselves, be it at a ritual or on the content of our set lists should always seek to be inclusive. In your audience is someone who happens to have come along, a tourist who wants to see how we do things, a historian, an Odinist or Asatru who follows the ways of the old gods, a person of another religion.

Respect. Respect mixed with entertainment.

Art is always a compromise. There is the viewer the one experiencing the art. They are to be considered. And yet one must maintain their own integrity.

Yet you must always do what it says on the tin. If it says chocolate milk we don’t want root beer coming out into the glass.

Many circles are spontaneous of course. Chiefly though, you have been invited. The audience have come along because of what the publicity said.

The publicity has been written by the inviter, they wrote it after talking to you, but they also put their own needs into it.

You must try and fit with this description.

You might always try and describe yourself slightly differently from the last time.

What does it say on your tin?

We have talked a little of the oral tradition; that the content and possibly style of our ‘show’ come from the past.

If we talk to a ballad singer, someone from the folk world or perhaps a shanty singer, we will come across the school of thought; traditional means that nobody wrote it. An old song has gone through so many singings, been passed from one singer to another, that the version we hear now is no longer anything like the first song which somebody actually wrote.

The shanties or other work songs have been created by the group to fit a rhythm or a need so have really evolved and developed.

We do live in a modern world where information is available to all. So it is possible to go back to the root or at least dig deep.

We are also freed up a little by this information availability. We can ‘tell’ in our own way. As long as we are respectful to the story.

Some of the records of folklore etc are a little clumsy, they are a record for posterity, not a classic novel.

This is where that second storyteller by the universal fire comes into things. Making the story better, more fun, gripping, relevant to the original concept, getting it all across is a skill. A developed skill. This is just as much a tradition as passing along the accuracy of the tale. We are all somewhere in the middle of this quandary, this long drawn out ‘story’. That innovative storyteller is a tradition.

Take the responsibilities with you but bring that tale alive. It deserves you. It deserves you to be your very best.

Embrace the past in your own way.

Where are we in the timelessness of storytelling and can we become our self back then as if we are there.

There are old stories. They were not always written down, as they are now, yet they survived. The enjoyment of them survived. So, although we can be glad of those who recorded them and of those who share them today, it was never meant for such a rigid thing as text. Never let it be so.

Tens of thousands of people may have told of that dugout canoe the first people survived in before and spider taught written signs to any tribe.

(I am not too sure how the canoe got to every single nation in the world – but I have heard of it wherever I go!)

I cannot tell you what to do. I don’t know how your mind works. I do know one thing; every individual’s mind works in a different way.

Go with your failings.

Mine is names. So I allow myself to forget. I think of ways. His brother. The tall giantess. With a flick of her hair. You know; avoidance, distraction.

You might want to force yourself to digress. Or to get back onto topic quicker.

I’ve talked of being a collector. Here is an aspect which can make the whole audience die of groaning or can fill hearts with soaring fire, (not to be sexist, but I think I am talking blokes); details.

Factual information. I struggle here in the same way as I do with names to be honest. I did, however, experience a split of reactions recently.

My father drove steam engines. You can already see where this is going. I have told great stories from his experiences for many years. Before a recent performance I thought I should have a refreshing look through his book. There was all that information; fourteen-foot fireboxes, that sort of thing.

Then here among it all was, 40302.

Engines always had a number like this. To me it is just a number. Then I read in my own father’s book that there is a reason behind this number; a sense to it. It refers to the wheels; 40302. There are four axles, a space, three axles, a space, two axles.

I look quickly now at my (currently virtual) audience and half of them are raising their eyes at an obtuse angle and half are achingly keen to hear more of such things which will fill them with inner bliss.

Where do you sit in this factual quandary?

How are you going to challenge yourself!

(Or cope with yourself.)

To be fair to myself I managed to play on that division within my audience and they laughed as they re-enacted their reactions.

I actually challenged an audience member, (it was in a chatty circle event were sharing was encouraged – and there was beer.), “How can you be so sure?”

“Oh,” he replied, “I file all my memories in date order”.

We are all different.

Shout out a date, another friend of mine can tell you not only what day of the week it was but every little thing about what happened. I gave her a date from the seventies and she described the embroidered flowers on my yellow large-lapelled suit jacket.

Another friend cannot pick and choose she has to scroll. She can recall every single thing which happened to her from the age of three, every feeling, every sound, smells, the works.

Will your mind allow you to be spontaneous?

Find a way.

The Skalds did poetry. Bards too. Many say poetry is a means of remembering something. I say do not memorise poetry. It will rattle along like a maraca in a samba band.

Poetic works need the meaning emphasising not the rhythm, beats or rhymes.

For me, I have written thousands of poems, I have two I can do from memory.

Set me on with storytelling though.

I have worked a full week of six hour days and finished the story just in time to clock off.

(It was a queue constantly streaming into a museum so I had to be sure and make every element work alone.)

I am quirky.

Not being believed is another failing of mine. The whimsical way I portray tales makes people think I have made it all up, I think it is my cheekiness. The fact that I have spent hours on research and finding new ways to think are lost in the gag.

“You have made that up.”

We are quirky.

You are and you need to deal with it alright.

Reinterpret, research, reconsider, posit, discover.

Hours of research go into one snippet; a gag from hours.

This is a concept I have real difficulty explaining. There must be a word for it. There must.

Like there is for what Jung did. To posit. He explains how he was asked how the brain worked and he didn’t know. So he said there were two parts; the conscious and the unconscious. Now there is. There really is. He posited.

Say how something is and therefore it is forever so.

Edward De Bono reckoned that we posit all the time; especially politicians.

It is one aspect of what I mean.

I’ve described this idea in detail to someone whom was writing a thesis for academics to assess and she said what I meant was historical research.

That doesn’t seem quite right to someone plodding along in their own way hoping for the best.

If you talked to anyone going to a museum they would describe it as ‘the point’ because every single person who goes in an old place has a point to make. It is more important than looking to see what is in there. They have researched. They have thought. Here is the thought!

I am full of such thoughts.

(I try to address my stories with such things.)

I slip them in. I am the only person in history of Vikings to give the Gods surnames. Well, Patronyms. It took me ages to think about it and then I do a story and say Odin Borrsson and nobody notices. ‘Ah yes, that is his name.’

This is an inspirational talk so you can go away and not be motived either.

Yet…

 

Storytelling is… #2 The Show

Storytelling is… #2 The Show

Storytelling is… #12 The Skald

Storytelling is… #11 The Poem

Storytelling is… #10 The Links

Storytelling is… #9 In A Circle

Storytelling is… #8 The Techniques

Storytelling is… #7 The Spendlow Lectures Part 2 Being Skaldic

Storytelling is… #6 The Spendlow Lectures Part 2 Chanters Stool

Storytelling is… #5 The Spendlow Lectures Part 1 The Chosen

Storytelling is… #4 An introduction to Adrian Spendlow (me)

Storytelling is… #3 The Bio

Storytelling is… #2 The Show

Storytelling is… #1 Show intro

red hat

Storytelling is… #2 The Show

Right let’s try this. An online show to represent what I will be performing, (though probably nothing like the actual show when the day comes)  when I am at Norsk Høstfest, North Dakota State Fairground, Minesota and University of Wisconsin Green Bay in their Viking house.

Welcome ladies and gentlemen

Or should I say, Jarls, Ammadottir Farm-women and, that person over there in the corner.

We are still sat around this fire, as others have. There is a Farm-leader (read that as ‘Village-leader’ because it means the same in our Viking culture). We are timeless.

Shadows cast behind us are larger versions and I shall dance in flickering unison in your mind’s eye while I seek to portray the essence of a relevant storytelling show.

Let us weave through the mysteries of Creation as we see the giant who would become a god, Odin Borrsson, climb that giant tree.

Asgard was to be the city he would build here as a base as he goes out among the worlds on quests.

Power upon power he did gather until he became a god, the god: The All-father god of what had come before and what was yet to come.

The followers of the All-father’s pantheon would come to be described by papal scholars as sea rogues – ‘pirates’ – and so it is that I drink a potion, imagine if you will the small bottle with a label,potionit said something about being a magical potion but I didn’t read it properly).

So, I got that there like that there and went like that there into that theregoblet like that there, there. Then that there is in that there like that there and I went like that there, there.that

Well, then I read it properly and it said, magical potion of forgetfulness. So now I can’t remember anything. So I don’t know how I am going to be able to tell you the story. I know, how about I tell you what bits I do recall and you help me remember the rest?

The details shall have to wait till we get together. I shall of course be asking if the voices I do sound right and if the captain really walks like this, then adding in your improvements as I go.

It may well be that group help is needed with the crowd scenes and with any treasure retrieval: Thus, interactive storytelling is unleashed.

We will encounter rare treasures indeed when we travel in our long ships. We will hear other stories:

Let us return from across the Red Sea with tales of three women who weave the threads of our lives.norns blue

We may enter a Yurta in Siberia where the hero the three year old golden boybabe journeys for nine years, and still at three year old, he defeats the nine fathom long necked hempen-haired witch-woman from the eleventh level.hempenHe is still three at the end of many adventures when he meets his true father the white stone.stoneslogan

In the bamboo lands we may hear a six thousand year old (first ever documented) report of a close encounter of the third kind.bamboo

Listen to the story here, (with many thanks to Donna Kitching for recording my words).

 

 

As British folklore, history and culture are woven together I become Hobb.

I am Hobb the pig-man, not that I have any pigs, but you know how you all have a pig in the house don’t you (there are always some nods) and they get in the way; so you push them outside (well they did in my-a-days). Well, I feel sorry for all the pigs so I have them round my house. I am always warm on a night, and I am never short of company. People don’t tend to like me very much, on account of the smell, but the pigs like me.

I take them for walks. On this one occasion one wanders off, ooooo the adventures as a result: I meet mermaids, marry a princess, get swallowed by a whale, get chased by trolls, live in the land of fairy, sail on a ghost ship, summon a unicorn when in dire need, save a king, and now, at the end, get my old job back as the pig man. – ‘Now, where’s that lost pig’…

I recall there are three bears, but I might need a lot of help…

I travel with St Patrick, all of his adventures are mine; we meet all the kings, we sail all the islands, the most chilling of all being the hall of the cat.

There is a great temple-like building in the middle of the island, at this point Patrick’s crew of twelve are still alive and we are out of water, so we must stop. There is no sign of a stream or waterfall but the occupants must survive somehow; we go in.

Gold shines at us. Gleaming. Glittering. All around the walls. The glass roof amplifies the light. All the walls are filled with alcove shelves and all the alcoves are filled with gold. Bizarre gold statues of ordinary everyday things. Oh how our eyes gleam, for some of us more than others: Gold.

Thoughts of thirst are replaced by greed.

Movement is noticed; an ordinary-sized house cat.

There is a circle of pillars around the room, all a little taller than a man, yet flat and empty; except the cat is leaping from pillar to pillar round and round.

A huge booming voice fills out brains, “Take any of the fruit from the middle of the room.” (We hadn’t noticed the fruit till now.) “Do not take any of the gold,” some of our number stepped towards the alcoves, “If you do so you will die.”

Three of our number carried on. They took gold. The rest of us took fruit. We left. We arrived at our ship at the shore. Three carried gold.

The cat came bounding out in large arced silent leaps, right up to us. It leapt right through each of the ones who carried gold. As it leapt through each there was a cloud of dust and then nothing.

The remaining nine of us sailed away. As we sailed in search of another fabled isle Patrick wondered if three of the alcoves now held statues of our companions carrying the objects they stole.

Step with me now into Hobb and the Normans.

Now be chilled by spirits of the past.  

Gods and Goddesses and their place in the tales. 

They say the Vikings ended before the battle of Battle (known as the battle of Hastings). See how I brought them back.

Here is another battle; this time the Vikings won. (With thanks to Graham Scarisbrick for recording my words.)

 

(NB My show at Norsk Hostfest and in the longhouse at University of Wisconsin Green Bay will be largely Viking and mainly myth.)

I hope you have enjoyed this storytelling show and that the eclectic mixture has helped you get an idea of ways of thinking, techniques and direction for your future sets; I know that I keep working on new ways.

 

The Story of Thanksgiving

 

Thanksgiving, made possible by only one word…

By only one man.

Those pilgrims they landed they tried and they struggled. Nothing worked. They really suffered. Nothing grew, all the seasons were wrong. They came down with all of the things that were just like at home but different, different enough to do them real harm. They even tried hunting, but even that was other than they had known. This was a new country where God had made things other than they had believed would be possible. As many laid sick and indeed dying, they gave it one more try. A small band went out looking for game and they met with something totally unexpected. This is the word. This is the message. America (Americas) listen. This is the word. “Welcome.” This is what they heard.

How could that small band of travelling originals know one word of English, “Welcome” but they did so. They cautiously walked towards the struggling settlers and spoke the one word of English they knew “Welcome” all this way from the homeland.

This was the moment which gave the Americas English. This is the reason that as new settlers arrived they heard English. All along the coasts were settlements where it was the language and new arrivals from Germany, Poland, Spain, The Ukraine, from the known world heard and adapted.

This was the word of Squanto.

For that welcoming band (that small ‘nation’) led the poor settlers to another tribe but their own. They took them to a ‘nation’ where Squanto lived.

It was Squanto who took them in, who travelled with them, who settled with them for a while. He taught them how life was different here. They gathered seeds because of him. They learned the lore. The lore of this land the Americas. And they thrived.

In years to come, they would be all along the coast, coastal settlement to coastal settlement; welcoming the new arrivals in English, just like the tribal band before them, “Welcome” “Welcome” “Welcome”

This was the doing of one person, one person on this earth; Squanto.

Many, many years before, other strangers had come, they had come to take, and they took him. Squanto the slave had to work; had to work on an alien vessel, doing alien things. Hard they treated him, and hard he worked. Then came the time that they traded him. To yet another alien vessel, in an alien world, at an alien port.

From there he sailed with this new crew to another world. To a port, as he learned they called them. To the port of London. More beings in one glimpse than he had ever seen in his life.

But he saw his life ahead of him and he jumped ship. He left. He escaped. He survived. He learned the language. English.

Time went by and he had what he needed to know. The ships that landed here could go anywhere. So he asked and he asked, and one of these ships said yes. The captain agreed, yes he was going to the ‘new’ world and yes he would employ him.

All Squanto required in payment was nourishment. Nourishment and hope.

The journey was long. And it was hard.

The shore, at last, was before him. The captain was true to his word. Squanto was free.

He was not bitter. He had learned. And he knew one word more than any other.

Long was his walk, it took him years, but he got down that coast, till he started to recognise where he was…

And was he welcomed, he who had come back from the dead, all these years gone.

As an older wiser man, he taught all around him. The only way to survive in this ‘new’ larger world was to welcome. To welcome.
He taught this word to all who came near him.

And those settlers, all those years onwards were welcome.

All along the coast of the Americas his one true word echoed. “Welcome.” “Welcome.” “Welcome.”

Welcome.

Be thankful and be welcoming.

For this is Thanksgiving.welcome

 

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OldMan Comics 11 – This Time It’s Personal

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Click here to view OldMan 01

Click here to view OldMan 02

Click here to view the Indoctrination poem

Click here to view Lives of Creatives

Click here to view OldMan 04 – Star Trek

Click here to view OldMan 05 – Missing Time

Click here to view OldMan 06 – Back When I Was Abducted

Click here to view OldMan 07 – Pickles from the Polish store

Click here to view OldMan 08 – of Socks and Slippers

Click here to view OldMan 09 – Fame at Last

Click here to view OldMan 10 – Battle of Hastings

Click to view OldMan 12 – Bob’s Life

Click to view OldMan 13 – Guadeloupe

Click to view OldMan 14 – Magazine Feature

Click to view Hobb and the Normans at Cliffords Tower

Click to buy The Guy Fawkes Audio Book

Click here for Viking Comics Inc.’s latest project – The Horned God

Click here for the completed Viking Comics Inc. graphic novel The Hammer Flies

Click here for Viking Comics Inc. graphic novel for older children Oski and the Amulet

Visit Fortean Times

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Share, share, share this story of Thanksgiving; until ‘Donald’ sees it and is reminded what it is all really about.

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Thanksgiving

Share, share, share this story of Thanksgiving; until ‘Donald’ sees it and is reminded what it is all really about.

Thanksgiving, made possible by only one word…

By only one man.

Those pilgrims they landed they tried and they struggled. Nothing worked. They really suffered. Nothing grew, all the seasons were wrong. They came down with all of the things that were just like at home but different, different enough to do them real harm. They even tried hunting, but even that was other than they had known. This was a new country where God had made things other than they had believed would be possible. As many laid sick and indeed dying, they gave it one more try. A small band went out looking for game and they met with something totally unexpected. This is the word. This is the message. America (Americas) listen. This is the word. “Welcome.” This is what they heard.

How could that small band of travelling originals know one word of English, “Welcome” but they did so. They cautiously walked towards the struggling settlers and spoke the one word of English they knew “Welcome” all this way from the homeland.

This was the moment which gave the Americas English. This is the reason that as new settlers arrived they heard English. All along the coasts were settlements where it was the language and new arrivals from Germany, Poland, Spain, The Ukraine, from the known world heard and adapted.

This was the word of Squanto.

For that welcoming band (that small ‘nation’) led the poor settlers to another tribe but their own. They took them to a ‘nation’ where Squanto lived.

It was Squanto who took them in, who travelled with them, who settled with them for a while. He taught them how life was different here. They gathered seeds because of him. They learned the lore. The lore of this land the Americas. And they thrived.

In years to come, they would be all along the coast, coastal settlement to coastal settlement; welcoming the new arrivals in English, just like the tribal band before them, “Welcome” “Welcome” “Welcome”

This was the doing of one person, one person on this earth; Squanto.

Many, many years before, other strangers had come, they had come to take, and they took him. Squanto the slave had to work; had to work on an alien vessel, doing alien things. Hard they treated him, and hard he worked. Then came the time that they traded him. To yet another alien vessel, in an alien world, at an alien port.

From there he sailed with this new crew to another world. To a port, as he learned they called them. To the port of London. More beings in one glimpse than he had ever seen in his life.

But he saw his life ahead of him and he jumped ship. He left. He escaped. He survived. He learned the language. English.

Time went by and he had what he needed to know. The ships that landed here could go anywhere. So he asked and he asked, and one of these ships said yes. The captain agreed, yes he was going to the ‘new’ world and yes he would employ him.

All Squanto required in payment was nourishment. Nourishment and hope.

The journey was long. And it was hard.

The shore, at last, was before him. The captain was true to his word. Squanto was free.

He was not bitter. He had learned. And he knew one word more than any other.

Long was his walk, it took him years, but he got down that coast, till he started to recognise where he was…

And was he welcomed, he who had come back from the dead, all these years gone.

As an older wiser man, he taught all around him. The only way to survive in this ‘new’ larger world was to welcome. To welcome.
He taught this word to all who came near him.

And those settlers, all those years onwards were welcome.

All along the coast of the Americas his one true word echoed. “Welcome.” “Welcome.” “Welcome.”

Welcome.

Be thankful and be welcoming.

For this is Thanksgiving.welcome

See Standing Rock

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