I have been invited to enter one of my Jumbly Man tales for an anthology. I am so happy that someone likes him. His stories only appear on this blog and no-one has ever mentioned it before, so I stopped putting them up. There are so many of them.
Often when someone reads a piece of writing for you, they feel obliged to critique it, rather than just enjoy the characters. That’s true even of told stories. I recently told one of my short tales to a friend and she was completely baffled by it and labelled it ‘cute’. I suspect she is trapped in the idea that storytelling is just for children. It was not a child’s story I told her. I find with people like this, you have to sit back and wait for the immersion and conversion.
Told stories are significantly different to read stories. In a read story, I can picture what is happening and see it for myself. There are occasions where what is being read in the story is so intense, I have to put the book down for a time. I know not everyone experiences reading a story like that and not everyone can visualise. When you are told a story, it is mesmerising. You cannot take your gaze or your ears away. You can experience a full gamut of emotions and the intimacy of being told a story and what you visualise for yourself is entrancing. So it is for me and all of the storytellers I know. It is not the same experience as going to the theatre (fourth wall and all that). Your audience is right in front of you, you are looking into their eyes, telling the story to them. If you have not experienced storytelling as an adult, I highly recommend it.
The Jumby Tales are not told stories. Yes, I visualise them, I see him, Deirdre and all the events as I write. I know his full story to old age, even if I haven’t written it down yet. Even so, he is not a told story. One of the tales that spins off and crosses over his is though. What makes the difference? Is it that the protagonist in the told story is female? Possibly. Is it that the told story has implications for me that weave in and out of my history and identity while not actually my personal story. Maybe. It will be a written tale too, eventually. I have been working on it for two years and there is still some way to go. I hope to complete it and perform in the next year.
Adam Jumbles though, I am so pleased that someone likes him as I do. I do hope one of his stories gets into the anthology and is shared. He deserves it.