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Welcome to Story Stuff. I love stories. All kinds of stories. Novels, short stories, comic books, movies, TV shows, radio dramas and podcasts, plays, storytelling, and probably some others I have forgotten. I make my living with stories - as a storyteller, a director, a writer. And I love talking about stories. That's what this … Continue reading

The Fable of the Bees and the Mantis

            The penstemons are blooming in my garden. These plants are three to four feet tall, topped with spikes of lavender flowers, each shaped like a long, thin snapdragon blossom. They were in full bloom today, and perhaps because it was a still and humid day, the flowers attracted a wide array of insects.             … Continue reading The Fable of the Bees and the Mantis

Crossing the Medieval and Modern

The risk of reading historical novels is that sometimes, instead of meeting people from the past we run into modern characters dressed in funny clothes play-acting medieval (or Renaissance, or Roman, or whenever.) That’s the problem I recently had with Crossed, the tale of the Fourth Crusade written by Nicole Galland. While I enjoyed the … Continue reading Crossing the Medieval and Modern

Stories in the Time of Pandemic

In 2006, I participated in an off-beat storytelling project. A group of Pittsburgh storytellers gathered to go through The Decameron, a collection of short stories written by Giovanni Boccaccio. Our director, the Canadian storyteller Dan Yashinky, guided us through the book, suggesting tales for each of us to look at based upon the types of … Continue reading Stories in the Time of Pandemic

It’s the Little Things: The Clothes Make the Motion

            Perhaps because I am a performer, I notice how clothing shapes my movements. When I get my Elizabethan doublet fully buttoned up, the tight fit and stiff cloth force me into a straighter, more erect posture. When I tell ghost stories on a cold October night, a jacket allows me much more freedom of … Continue reading It’s the Little Things: The Clothes Make the Motion

It’s the Little Things: The Problem with Pockets

We live in the world of the everyday. Sure, the big sweep of history and politics and ideologies matter. They shape our world. But mostly we live in the world of little things: the foods we put on our plates, the music we listen to, the trinkets on our desk, the clothes we wear. These … Continue reading It’s the Little Things: The Problem with Pockets

Joss Whedon’s “Dollhouse” and the Limits of Innovation

I am a big fan of Joss Whedon’s work. From Buffy the Vampire Slayer to Firefly to his version of Much Ado About Nothing, I find his work constantly engaging and entertaining. And so, when I ran across the DVD collection of his TV series Dollhouse in my local library, I was quite excited. I … Continue reading Joss Whedon’s “Dollhouse” and the Limits of Innovation

Advantages of Limits: Triangulation: Dark Skies

We artists like our freedom. We want to explore whatever ideas intrigue us, follow our inspirations where ever they lead us. We loved being told to “write about whatever you want.” Creative Freedom at last! And yet, we also dread being told to “write about anything you want.” Our minds go blank. Too many choices! … Continue reading Advantages of Limits: Triangulation: Dark Skies