Chinatown umbrellas, Canon Digital Rebel

“You are the light, You are the refuge, There is no place to take shelter but yourself.”
– Inscription over Buddha’s Ashes

Excellent storytelling sites and events:

Storycorps is a mobile storytelling project, gathering personal stories from across the country.

The Fray is run by the amazing and wonderful Derek Powazek. The site is full of first person stories and once a year is a fantastic live event. I love the community that this site has generated.

Mortified is a showcase of people like you sharing their most embarrassing, pathetic and private teenage diary entries, poems, love letters, lyrics and locker notes… in front of total strangers. I first heard a story from this series on This American Life when a woman named Sascha Rothchild read from her junior high school diary. I have listened to this over and over and again and laugh out loud every time.

When I fantasize about living in NYC (which I don’t actually want to do, but I like fantasizing about it) I think of one of my favorite storytelling events called The Moth. If you actually live in NYC and don’t just dream about it, go check them out!

One of my favorite things to do in SF is the Porchlight storytelling event. The third Monday of each month, a collection of storytellers tell first person, 10 minute stories on a particular theme. It is always hilarious and moving and a really wonderful way to spend the evening.

Music on storytelling:
– Deb Talan: Tell Your Story Walking
– Tracy Chapman: Telling Stories (great album)



  1. Rosa
    Posted June 24, 2005 at 7:59 am | Permalink

    I love this quote.. there isn’t more that I can say about it really. It’s stopped me in my tracks somewhat (a good thing!)

  2. Emily
    Posted June 24, 2005 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    Thank you – this is a perfect reminder :-)

  3. Posted June 24, 2005 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    great quote. thank you for sharing…having a hard day and I love being reminded that it’s up to me. I can sulk or I can be okay with today and move on.
    Thank you for sharing.

  4. Steph
    Posted June 24, 2005 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    Thank you for the link to Mortified. I watched the clips and listened to the NPR broadcast – definitely the funniest thing I’ve heard all week. The best: “Oh! And I tried cocaine!”

  5. Posted June 24, 2005 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    thank you for these great links. can’t wait to check them out and to go to Porchlight.

  6. Posted June 24, 2005 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

    In Cincinnati, we have a fabulous writer’s co-op, InkTank, which has created one of the most innovative writing projects I’ve ever seen.
    On Wednesday afternoons, local people — usually the homeless — get paid $2 to write a story from their life. Each story is rolled up, tied with a ribbon and placed inside a mason jar. InkTank then sells the story jars for $5.
    The stories are all unique and beautiful. And it seems like the act of writing helps the homeless more than the $2. Every Wednesday they line the sidewalks and wait for InkTank to open. Many stay and write, even after the InkTank people run out of money to give.
    Plus, story jars make great gifts!

  7. Shelley Noble
    Posted June 24, 2005 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

    In case folks get confused? Sasha Cohen is an ice skating star, I believe you meant Sascha Rothchild read from her teenage diary on TAL, yes?

  8. Posted June 24, 2005 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

    There was time not so long ago that I dreamed of being a storyteller. I came real close to taking some classes in DC, but backed out at the last minute. Thanks for the links, it reminds me of a part of myself that I almost forgot.

  9. Posted June 25, 2005 at 7:23 am | Permalink

    thanks for turning me on to Deb Talan. She’s got that slow velvet sound that makes me sway.
    Hope we hear more from her.

  10. jackie
    Posted June 25, 2005 at 7:25 am | Permalink

    It’s funny, I fantasize about living in NYC too, but also have no real desire to do so. I’m going to school for marine biology, and NYC would be an awful silly place to try and make a living in that field! I wonder why that is a fantasy of ours, then? Is it just because there is so much hype about it?

  11. Posted June 26, 2005 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    Hey, the Weepies are playing Mississippi Studios in PDX next month…very cool. It’s in the neighborhood where my boyfriend grew up. Mississippi Street has become the new Hawthorne Dictrict…and that won’t mean anything if you’re not familiar with Portland…but it’s a good thing. :)

  12. m
    Posted June 27, 2005 at 1:53 am | Permalink

    You are the light, You are the refuge, There is no place to take shelter but yourself.” Inscription over Buddha’s Ashes
    wow so painful to read as the one place I cannot take shelter at the moment is myself – I run from person to person and event to event trying to find shelter…

  13. Sophie
    Posted June 27, 2005 at 4:56 am | Permalink

    A while ago, i think you posted a link to some amazing photos. They had elephants and people swimming and they were sepia.
    I’ve been looking through your archives but i can’t seem to find them. If you can remember the name of the photographer i would really apreciate it. Thankyou.

  14. Susan
    Posted June 27, 2005 at 5:29 am | Permalink

    Love this site. Am making myself late to work again for just a peek…..
    Sepia photos are Gregory Colbert. The site is Saw the exhibit in NYC; amazing is the right word.