Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Share Your Holiday Story

Over the holidays, I'd like to feature you as the storyteller on The Teller and the Tale.

Use the Voicemail feature to leave a 90 sec (or less) "favourite memory" of Christmas, Hanukkah, Diwali, Bodhi Day, Pancha Ganapati, Winter Solstice, or any winter festive celebration.

Give your name and say where you're from. Obviously, you must have a built-in mic or external microphone.

I'd like to use these recordings in the upcoming holiday show, so if you leave a recording, you're also agreeing to the use of your story on the programme. Thanks.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Teller and the Tale wlth storyteller and award-winning author Janis MacKay

This week, host Michael Williams is in conversation with storyteller and children's author Janis MacKay from Edinburgh.

Janis hails from Edinburgh, Scotland. As a girl, she attended Duddingston Primary School and later Portobello High School, where she enjoyed some success in athletics and cross-country running.

Following school, Janis moved to London to train as a journalist. However, she soon realised she wasn't destined for a life on Fleet Street, and decided to travel the world having adventures. She sailed yachts, slept on beaches, looked after children, and worked on a kibbutz in Israel among other things, before returning home to Edinburgh to study speech and drama and work with children with learning disabilities. It was at this time she also became a storyteller.

But Janis' dream was to be a writer, so once again she set off, this time for the MA in Creative Writing course at Sussex University. After successfully completing the course, she was awarded Creative Scotland funding to go to the far north of Scotland and live by the sea. Here among the seals and other creatures, she wrote her first novel for children, Magnus Finn and the Ocean Quest, which went on to win a Kelpie prize in 2009.

Since then, Janis has continued to write, producing two more Magnus Finn books, a picture book set on the Orkney Islands entitled Wee Seal, a traditional tale called the Selkie Girl, and two more popular children's novels, The Reluctant Time Traveller and the Accidental Time Traveller, which won the Scottish Children's Book Award in 2013.

And when she's not writing, Janis can often be found storytelling and supporting other storytellers through her development work at the Scottish Storytelling Centre in Edinburgh.

Janis lives with her collie, two rowan trees in the front garden, and a river across the road.

Broadcast times:

Sunday 14 December 2014, 7am EST (Canada/US) and 12 noon GMT (UK/Ireland)

Tuesday 16 December 2014, 8pm EST and 1am GMT

Thursday 18 December 2014, 4pm EST and 9pm GMT

Go to www.bluesandrootsradio.com and click on the "Listen Live" button.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Teller and the Tale with guest storyteller Marianne Christensen

This week I'm in conversation with Danish storyteller Marianne Christensen.

Marianne was born on the island of Lollands in the Baltic Sea. She now lives in Vordingborg, a small town in the south of Denmark and home to many generations of her family. Her grandparents were wonderful storytellers, telling tales of farming and everyday life in the region, and Marianne recounts her childhood memories of hearing these stories.

It was the close-knit nature of the relationships in those early days that encouraged the sharing of gossip and stories. Marianne has inherited the gift of the gab and developed it into a career as a storyteller.

Nevertheless, Marianne very nearly became a midwife rather than a storyteller. But, it was teaching that called to her in the early 80s before turning her hand to community development and adult education. This led to a keen interest in psychology and Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) as well as theatre.

Encouraged by friends, Marianne decided that she could step off the stage and use her natural ability and newly-learned skills in telling stories. She's never looked back.

However, life took a dramatic turn in 2008 while she was studying at Emerson College's School of Storytelling in southern England. She received the news that her husband of 23 years had cancer. Devastated, Marianne returned to Denmark to care for her husband. During this time she drew on his strength and discovered reserves of her own.

Marianne brings compassion, courage, and humour to her storytelling. Just a few minutes in her company will enthuse you with her passion; after half an hour, you just might find yourself following in her footsteps on your own storytelling journey.

Broadcast times:

Sunday 7 December 2014 at 7am EDT (Canada/US) and 12 noon GMT (UK/Ireland)
Tuesday 9 December 2014 at 8pm EDT (Canada/US) and 1am GMT (UK/Ireland)
Thursday 11 December 2014 at 4pm EDT (Canada/US) and 9pm GMT (UK/Ireland) 

To listen go to bluesandrootsradio.com and click on the "Listen Live" button.

Discover more about Marianne and her work at www.mariannechristensen.dk