Man, are we ever cranky! Dani must’ve rubbed off on us; yesterday she growled if anyone made a peep. We’re like caged tigers, trapped in a box without showers and bathrooms (and wifi). For a frustrating hour we hooked into the sporadic “free wifi” at Dunkin Donuts, which kept dropping our connection, and the kids haunted the Dunkin Donuts window like waifs hungry for a handout. Irritated we ordered everyone into the RV and drove to WalMart to pick up donuts (to pacify the savage beasts) and… Continue
Added by Layne Gneiting on August 1, 2009 at 7:30pm —
Reflecting on this tour earlier this week I couldn't repress the sadness welling up inside. Something about being on the road, day after day, connects the soul with the spirits of those who passed before. I'm in Mackinaw City, Michigan after 7 weeks on the road. Just 5 left. My friend Mick O'Brien said "you'll cry at the end" and I suspect he's dead right. Those interested in following the journey can read and view updates… Continue
Added by Layne Gneiting on July 12, 2009 at 11:30pm —
Crazy, but traveling across America has cultivated a different kind of storytelling: photography. Capturing the images and landscapes of this odyssey is bliss, especially for us visual thinkers. While the storytelling gigs are fairly sparse, we're scratching out a life on the road and loving it. Today we sit in North Dakota. Next week, Minnesota. Journal updates, with narrative and pics are available here
Added by Layne Gneiting on June 24, 2009 at 9:46am —
I can't believe I'm living my dream. Just updated the journal here
with more text and pics. Enjoy!
Added by Layne Gneiting on June 7, 2009 at 11:56pm —
Hi everyone. Just updated my cycling/storytelling journal. If you're interested in following the journey click here
Added by Layne Gneiting on May 25, 2009 at 11:37pm —
Hi all. Just updated my story/cycling tour journal here
Added by Layne Gneiting on May 11, 2009 at 9:52am —
Just updated my cycling journal here
Added by Layne Gneiting on May 4, 2009 at 10:31am —
Just added another update to my Crazyguyonabike Journal. Interested parties can check it out here:
Added by Layne Gneiting on April 28, 2009 at 11:00am —
Upon rising in the morning I think, "what can I contribute to this art?" For the past year and a half I've wondered. The more I read the folktales of bygone eras and behold the majesty of today's tellers, the more I cry inside. "Here is healing! Here is wisdom! Story, not politicians, can create the change we so desperately crave."
A saying from my religious tradition speaks, "many are kept from the truth for they know not where to find it." Such is the case with stories. Too many… Continue
Added by Layne Gneiting on April 15, 2009 at 11:30am —
For the second year running I flew to England for the annual Society for Storytelling Gathering. This year's theme: A Sense of Place.
The gathering felt like a weekend among the fairies, or in the company of kings (or king's tellers). To a friend I wrote: "I sit stunned, my body tingling from the energy pulsating from the conference. Stories galore, from true masters and mistresses of the art. And ceilidhs...evenings of dance and music."
After the conference I was secretly… Continue
Added by Layne Gneiting on April 13, 2009 at 12:58pm —
If this isn't the most serendipitous encounter, I need to check my dictionary.
In short, it looks like we'll be in the Arizona Republic this weekend. But the story behind the story is what boggles my mind.
I met William through craigslist, interested in purchasing his camera lens. We met outside Borders books, inspected the lens, and naturally I told him about the tour and why I was interested in the lens. He quickly divulged his profession as a writer for the Arizona… Continue
Added by Layne Gneiting on March 8, 2009 at 5:30am —
I feel like I'm back in school. In fact, I can't remember the last time someone pushed--really pushed me to excel. But my event planner, Jaimie, is doing just that in relation to next summer's tour. She keeps probing: "What are your top 3 reasons for doing this, Layne?" "We need to be clear, concise, and repeatable." "What is the emotional connection to your story (meaning the tour)?"
Finally, after hours leaked into days, the tour name swept literally out of the sky like a gentle… Continue
Added by Layne Gneiting on December 5, 2008 at 2:34pm —
*This entry is the latest from my 2009 coast-to-coast storytelling tour by bike blog found at http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/adventure2009*
It's strange, these blogs. You never quite know if they're entertaining, enlightening, or just the ill-fitted ramblings of a doddering old fool. Heh. Maybe all of the above?
Much has happened. Much. So much that I don't quite know where to begin, nor what to include. Perhaps I'll just begin, and like the avenue of faith, the way… Continue
Added by Layne Gneiting on November 28, 2008 at 9:47am —
"Stop." My amble down the center of Main Street slowed considerably. "Stop." The impression hit me stronger. So I stopped. All weekend long these impressions had led me to new friends, and a journey into myself. "Look around." Did I have to stay in the middle of the street? There’s a bench right over there. I’ll just sit there and drink in this experience. "Stay here. If you move, you’ll lose the experience." Unwilling to offend this silent guide who had led… Continue
Added by Layne Gneiting on November 6, 2008 at 9:18am —
Festivals are like symphonies, a blending of strings, brass, and woodwinds. But to neglect the prominence of festival "space" is to rip out the percussion section and send them packing. You could still play, I suppose, and might even sound good, but something would be obviously missing.
PERFORMANCE OF SPACE
My third festival experience occurred brief weeks following the 2001 tragedy we know as 9-11. Despite the multitude of cars in the Phoenix metro area bearing… Continue
Added by Layne Gneiting on November 1, 2008 at 12:30am —
Toby Keith's declaration has been echoed with deafening tones in the storytelling world. "I wanna talk about me!" I remember sitting with a revered teller, seeking his advice, and seeing him shudder. "Why does an audience need to hear about my life? Why on earth would they want to hear about little old me? I'm a classicist, Layne. I want to tell them a story, not a life sketch."
Forgive my own bits of self-indulgence. When re-reading these dissertation entries I've cringed, wondering… Continue
Added by Layne Gneiting on October 27, 2008 at 12:41am —
Having not returned to Jonesborough for a number of years I wonder if the observations of apparel hold constant or if they've altered a bit. In any case, here's the next installment. Enjoy!
SOCIALIZATION OF APPAREL
Walking across the festival grounds, one can easily identify members of the storytelling community by what they wear. Newcomers to the festival stick out, in part, by their choice of clothing. Apparel feeds into the festival in two distinct ways. First, apparel… Continue
Added by Layne Gneiting on October 20, 2008 at 9:17pm —
PERFORMANCE OF GATHERING
Performance Of Community
People in Jonesborough are committed to community. They know each other, include each other, sing together, dance together, and even pull weeds together. Why, they even defy the “town fathers” if it means preserving, protecting, and perpetuating this spirit of unity and trust.
Performances occupy much of the communal activity. Live performances. MUSIC ON THE SQUARE illustrates this well. Every Friday evening during the… Continue
Added by Layne Gneiting on October 13, 2008 at 12:13pm —
The interviews in this installment are fascinating. I discovered that involvement with the Festival is as much a part of identity as . . . oh . . . gender, family, religion, heritage. Thanks to all the many attendees who enriched my study (and life) with their interviews. Enjoy!
PERFORMANCE OF IDENTITY
Blurring Of Identities
You could use the terms Jonesborough, Storytelling Festival, and Festival interchangeably without rebuke. I didn’t always think so. At first, whenever… Continue
Added by Layne Gneiting on October 11, 2008 at 11:18am —
CHAPTER THREE: CULTURE PERFORMED
“Journey” is the metaphor that best fits what I want to accomplish through this study of the National Storytelling Festival. The study was (and continues to be) a journey into myself as well as into those around me. Throughout this section, then, you will find me referring continuously to the journey. It is a journey on three levels: a journey involving myself as the human instrument, a journey we take together—you, the reader, and I—into… Continue
Added by Layne Gneiting on October 3, 2008 at 9:47am —