Thursday, August 13, 2015

Stories Entwined With Life: My first Guest Blogger of 2015 - Kevin Kulp

Last night, I laid out under the stars after midnight with my husband, my eighteen year old son, and my fifteen year old daughter.  We were looking for meteors.  We saw a couple.  Last night was one of the moonless evenings when the Perseid Meteor shower was putting on a show.  It was just happenstance that I realized we could watch it.  I'm glad we did.

I'm hyper aware of how we spend our time together right now as both of my children prepare to go off to school.  My son is going to RIT up in Rochester, New York, and my daughter is headed to NCSSM, the North Carolina School of Science and Math.  It is a boarding school.

Sparklers on the fourth of July

I am finding that with all of the change going on this summer, it is hard to focus on my non-fiction writing.  I've spent lots of time submerged in reading fiction, and even reading non-fiction.

I highly recommend Salt: A World History

I've had some pretty great experiences this summer.

I worked with a small company using storytelling as a team building exercise.

I gave one of the keynotes at the National Storytelling Network annual conference.

Gwenda Ledbetter and Dr. Milbre Burch

Charlotte Blake Alston and Queen Nur

Queen Nur, Me, Lynette Ford, Diane Ferlatte

Michael McCarty and Joanna Demarest

I did some fun work with the dependents at Pope Air Force Base.

I did a lot of Summer Reading all over the east coast.

As much fun and challenging as my summer work has been, all of it was framed against the background of knowing that both of my children would be leaving within days of each other.

My equilibrium is always a bit shattered when there are huge life transitions going on around me, and when I am right in the middle of them, it is much, much worse.

I am both incredibly proud of my children, and sad that this part of our lives together is ended.  Oh, they will come home, I will see them, we will spend time together, and who knows, they might actually choose to come home a couple of summers in the future, but it won't ever be the same.

That's good, of course, because our stories have to grow and change.  Our children have to grow up and move on in their lives.  That's how stories work.

I knew I would be consumed with all of the transition this summer, but I didn't realize just how hard it was going to be to carry on with my work...especially the writing.  I'm in knots when it comes to writing and despite having things to say, I haven't been able to write a thing.

This weekend is going to get dicey!

My daughter moves into her dorm on Saturday morning at 9 am.  

I will be performing at United Arts at 11:50 am.  It is in Raleigh, about 45 minutes from my daughter's school.

When we get back from United Arts, we load up the car with my son's things.  Sunday morning we head to Virginia to spend the night with my parents, and then we head to upstate New York on Monday.

My son moves into his dorm on Tuesday, we have two days of family orientation, and then we drive home.

My summer will officially be over then, and I will begin working feverishly on all of the projects I laid out for myself over the last few months.

As for this space?  Well, I have good news.

For the next three weeks, I will have guest bloggers while I readjust to my new situation.

August 20th, Kevin Kulp will be in the driver's seat!

Dragging Performance Into Play: a quick look at storytelling games

Kevin Kulp is a Boston-based writer, game designer, and storyteller who develops both video and pen and paper games. He helps run the independent RPG site under the username Piratecat. His recent work includes the TimeWatch RPG (successfully Kickstartered through Pelgrane Press), Disruptor Beam's Game of Thrones Ascent on Facebook, and the fantasy western game Owl Hoot Trail from Pelgrane Press. He can be found on Twitter at @kevinkulp.

Kevin uses storytelling to create interesting family games, and video games.  He also reviews games. 

His piece is for anyone who likes game nights with family or friends, or anyone who works with teenagers, and would like to trick them into learning story structure, vocabulary building, and writing while they are being distracted by having fun.

So, off to have one of the craziest weeks of my parenting life, afterwards I will surf through the fallout, but you who come here will be in capable hands.  

Happy Telling!

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