I know I haven't had many rat posts the last couple of weeks. I've been up to my ears in the busy. The rats are doing fine. Nothing exciting or noteworthy other than they are their usual cute selves.
Being a professional storyteller-yay, I get paid for it- October is inherently a busy month. People love ghost stories.
I have to share a couple of fun things about this year's selections. One, it's always been my desire to be able to recite an epic poem or story from memory. I don't have the strongest memory, so rote memorization is not a good choice for me by nature, but I've always wanted to try it. I have spent literally the last 3 years working on my all time favorite narrative poem The Highwayman and this year I finally shared it. It was epic! I'm on a storytelling high. I had an audience member moved to tears for the story. Glee!
For those unfamiliar with it, it's a classic written in 1906, and is just perfect for oral delivery. It really is: A romantic tragic ghost/love story. But it's a long poem. It takes about 7-10 minutes just to recite it straight through.
Obligatory link to the poem: http://www.potw.org/archive/potw85.html
The other thing that happened this year, is that I created a Memorable Character. This one is several years in the making and was accidental. I am always looking for audience appropriate ghost stories, and among my selections a few years past was a really cheesy, funny, and inappropriate socially dated story. In spite of the inappropriateness to tell the story as is to today's audiences the imagery at the end of the story involving the protagonist hauling tail through town past disbelieving onlookers cracked me up. So, I tweaked it and made it a personal story about me and my cheeky younger brother. It was one part sibling rivalry and one part shaggy and scooby. It really was a lame story, but oddly enough, it's the one everyone requested for years after. So this year I happened to find another cheesy story, this time involving a haunted house and a Haunted Gym Bag. Insert me and my brother once more. I got a standing ovation for one of the stupidest lamest stories (plotwise) I've ever told.
Which teaches me a very valuable lesson: Never underestimate the power of a Personal Story and Memorable Characters. My brother is officially a folklore legend. LOL He'd be so proud.
And lest I post in a rat forum and not talk about rats....in honor of my cheeky Black Aggs, I told the story of Black Aggie, the evil black statue that used to inhabit the Druid Ridge Cemetery in Maryland. She is now on display in Washington DC behind the Dolly Madison house in Washington DC.