Tuesday, July 03, 2018

The Selkie and Her Children

The Selkie and Her Children: A Story by Sean Buvala


The man looked out toward the beach and there he saw a bonfire and around it were dancing the silhouettes of a woman and her children and as he looked about he saw that there was a pile next to them and so he figured that these must be selkies and that pile was their pelts. He knew that if he took their pelts away from them, they could not return to the water and that he could tell them what to do and so while they were dancing silhouetted against the flame, the man snuck up behind them, grabbed the pelts in his arms, and held them tight.

Immediately, the woman knew that their pelts had been stolen and so she turned to the man and she said, "Sir, please give us those pelts back. We must have them."

He said "No, you are on my land. This part of the land here is mine and you have trespassed upon it. No, you will do as I say."

And she said, "Sir, please, the seas from which we come are rough and dangerous for my children. We need to come here."

And he said, "No. I have told you. Here is what I am going to do. I'm going to take your children and lock them away. You will become my wife and you will do as I say."

She begged the man to return the pelts but he refused. And so, she reluctantly agreed to his terms.

He took the children and he put them in a cellar. There in the cellar, they could not hear the sound of the ocean. There was, however, a window high at the top of the cellar. When he would come back every day bring food to the children, he would open the window and leave it open for an hour. He would then close it, He would leave the cellar, lock the door behind him, leaving the children behind. He forbid the selkie woman from ever going to see the children, lest he take them away in secret to a place she would never know.

He took the pelts that he had stolen from them and he put them in a chest, keeping them under lock and key. The selkie woman, meanwhile, became his wife and, as you can imagine, she was miserable. She did not give him any children of his own. Every day, she would go to the edges of the ocean, sit upon a rock, and simply lament the loss of her sea children.

Watch the video for the entire story.  CC video.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Where to Find Stories (Basics)

"I don't have any stories!" I hear this from newcomers rather often. Where will you find your stories? Let us look at some ideas.

1. World Folktales

Simple tales such as Aesop's Fables are fantastic starting points for gathering stories and you will find these especially good for business and non-profit settings. You'll also find a variety of tales from the Grimm Brothers or Joseph Jacobs that can be adapted to almost any situation.

2. Online Collections

I mentioned to you last week the repository of stories you can find at my Storyteller.net site or even through searches through websites such as YouTube. Although you do not want to pick up these stories word for word from other artists, these stories might inspire you to research more stories.

3. The Past: Yours and Others

Although story-gathering from other people is a skill in and of itself, you might be surprised at the family stories that are lurking in the minds of your relatives and friends. If you have a particular subject matter in mind, ask your friends to think about keywords. Do they have stories in their past? For example, if you are doing a talk or presentation on "family dynamics," ask your friends about how they got along with brothers and sisters when they were a child. Ask about quirks they thought their parents or grandparents might have had.

This really can work well for you. People are naturally inclined to share stories. At the very moment, as I wrote this lesson for you, I was sitting in a popular coffee shop. Across from me, two women were regaling each other with stories of their childhood, talking about their sisters. Folks have plenty of stories; they just need to be asked.

When you are using this method, please note that it may take some time for people to pull up stories from their mind. Often, it's better to say, "Tell me about a time when your sister made you crazy" rather than "Tell me stories about your childhood."

By the way, never use a person's stories without their permission!

As a storyteller, you never need to run out of stories. They are everywhere. Start gathering today.

Here is Your Homework!

1. This lesson really is a reminder to do your homework. Storytelling is an art form that requires constant attention, just as any art does. You can't be a watercolor artist if you don't paint.

2. In your own journal, dig for stories from your own mind by answering these questions;

Can you recall a time in your job or career that something was truly accomplished?

When did you first know that your siblings could also be your friends?

Can you remember an emotional moment with a pet?

Did you ever have a dream come true?

3. Try the story gathering with a friend. Choose a simple subject and spend time together recalling memories. Outline the conversation in your journal.
The is the official blog for K. Sean Buvala, storyteller and storytelling coach. He is the publisher at The Small Tooth Dog Publishing Group LLC.