The Mothership

I have just returned from the mothership.


It is the hot spot, the portal, the magnet for storytellers, storylovers, and people who just want to investigate the spoken word.

It was wonderful.

I had the priveldge of telling on the Exchange Stage. A lovely crowd of 1500 or so folks, on the edge of their seats hungry for a good tale. What a great audience.

All of my friends were there to support me and cheer me on. I think that one of my favorite things about going to the National Festival each year, is seeing all of my friends and co-workers from around the country. If you can call this work.

My new CD is out, "Freckles, Fibs, & Family." I am pretty proud of it.

Drop me an email and let me know whats going on in your neck of the woods.


I have a secret...

I have a secret. A confession of sorts, not the type that will make you lose face or end in repentence. Just a little secret between me, mother nature...and now you.

When I travel to a new place, which is frequently, I like to settle in and then wait for the moment when the evening tucks it's grey blanket over the fading blush of day. Then, I kick off my shoes and pad quietly outside and walk barefoot. I also indulge in this little habit early in the morning, when the grass is wet and cool. I love to find warm spots where the yawning sun has already smiled upon the earth.

Something happens when you walk barefoot...a kind of intimacy, kisses on the toes, a thrill in your heart as if any moment you might come upon a tiny bearded man sitting on a mushroom offering you a sip of port from a whittled mug.

I have dug my toes into the ash of a spent volcano, examined my steps etched in a million grains of sand, dried my toes on the orange stones of Utah, and felt the dew of cushioned steps alighted on the moss of Williamsburg. A hundred years of history becoming my pedestal.

So now you know, my little secret.

Poetic, but not a poet.

I fancy myself to be a bit poetic. I think everyone at one time or another feels poetic. If they don't, then that is sad because anytime you are inspired beyond repair you should feel poetic. Even if nothing comes out of your mouth. So the people who have never felt poetic, have never been inspired beyond repair and in their brief wisp of life they have missed 'it'.

I digress.

I fancy myself to be a poetic person, but not a poet. Words are constantly tumbling out of my mouth and some actually tend to land on the floor in an interesting pattern with some moderate flare. This does not happen often.

I had the opportunity to visit a vineyard on my last trip. This is one of my favorite things to do when traveling. I had the luck of passing one of my favorite vineyards and I stopped in. It had been 2 years since I had been there and I had completely forgotten how stunning it was.

After I had a beautiful Riesling delivered to me, I walked to the lake and crossed the bridge where a small table beckoned me to sit and breathe and listen and see.

So I did.

And the world received my attention and in turn, inspired me beyond repair.

And I became poetic.

And words tumbled out.

The weeping willow wallowed against the sky,
As it's tendrils traced over the surface of
the waters

Undulated with the cadence of comfortable lovers,
Made so by the turning of time &
its winds

Brushed my skin cooling the drops,
Called forth from my body by
the heat

Of the sun kissed my face spreading warmth,
like the touch of a new lover & friend.

Poetic, but not a poet. And that's okay. As long as you stop and breathe and listen and capture it with your heart.

New CD!!

Finally!! The day is approaching for the new CD release!

It has been a long process, but worth every minute of it. Be on the lookout for information on how to get a copy.

Other than that, it has been go, go, go. It feels like I have been on the road non-stop and it is just beginning. That wonderful busy time of the year is here. Next week I am off to the TimpFest in Orem, Utah. I am honored and very excited to be a part of this event. Things are moving so fast, that I am finding it hard to keep up at times. Several years ago when I decided to do telling on a professional level, I would have never dreamed that so many wonderful opportunities would open up.

On the horizon: A book entitled, "You Have My Heart" is being worked on. This book tackles the issue of interracial adoption and interracial families. For children ages 0 - 4 and beyond. Of course it is dedicated to my beautiful grandson who is a glorious mix of Cherokee, African American, German, Scott Irish!!

A new CD project is underway entitled, "Stories on Skin". I am uber excited about this one. More information to follow. I am keeping it under my hat a bit. Letting it simmer.

A tour with Andy Offut Irwin and Bil Lepp is coming up next spring. During the months of Feb - April we are booking the "Uncalled for Tour" anywhere they will have us.

So, things are going very well. My car has been giving me a bit of trouble - but considering I put almost 37,000 miles on it last year, I guess I can't get upset at it. If you have a dependable car that you would like to donate to a traveling artist...give me a call!! Thankfully I will be flying a lot this fall.

Thanks for stopping in, your support and care mean a lot. I appreciate those of you who faithfully stay in touch with encouraging words.


Doc McConnell

What a shock, losing an icon within the world of storytelling. Doc McConnell passed away recently. I still cannot believe it. Just about a month ago, his wife and I were talking about him and his health and about how he was doing better. When I got the news, it literally took the wind out of me.

Within our little subculture of storytelling, Doc was an anchor. I cannot begin to imagine what it will be like in Jonesborough this year as I walk to the spot that is 'his'.

It is things like this that confirm in my heart that I have done the right thing in following my dreams. Doc followed his, right up to the end.

Thank you.

Just when I forget about this blog...someone reminds me that I have not updated it in awhile. Thank you to the faithful few who take the time to actually stop in.

Big news on the homefront. Here is the update:

The Wrinkles Project has been nominated for the Governors Award for the Arts 2008. Keep your fingers crossed. The results are scheduled to be announced by the middle of July.

The Junebug Center for the ARts in Floyd Virginia is teaming up with me to help boost the New River STorytelling Festival to a new level. Very cool.

I have been asked to perform at the National STorytelling Festival on the Exchange Place stage. Yee haw mama! I made the big time!

Other big gigs coming up...Four Corners, New Mexico; Timpanogas Festival, Orem Utah; Williamsburg Festival, Williamsburg VA; Talespin, Chatanooga TN; Southern Ohio Storyfest, Chillocothe Ohio; and on and on.

I was accepted by the Virginia Commission of the Arts to be an approved artist in their 2009-2010 tour directory. A big deal and an honor. It comes with funding. Very cool.

Anyway, I mention all of this for one reason. To thank you. IF you are reading this, then you probably have had something to do with helping me reach all of the goals of the past year.

Thank you.

Thank you.

Thank you.

Just to much....

Okay folks...lots going on!

Just got back from TN - The Smoky Mountains Storytelling Festival. It was a wonderful event. I enjoyed myself very much and made some lovely friends in the process.

While I was there I got to take part in the National Youth Storytelling Showcase. I did a workshop and got to see the youth in telling action! They were amazing. Our future is secure! I have taken on the honor of being the Virginia rep for NYSS. If you live in the Virginia area - get ready! Next year I want our state to be representing at the Showcase. Please contact me if you would like to help me in this endeavor.

Richmond Virginia has a new venue for storytelling. After working with the owner of The Camel, Alan has decided to dedicate the third Sunday of every month to storytelling. There will be a featured teller followed by an open mic. This past Sunday (Feb 17) was our first night and it went wonderfully. Check out Ellouise Schoettler's blog for a full run down

There are some great upcoming events! Be sure to check out the event page at for all the latest information.

Thanks for your support!