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storytelling

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Guy Smalley illustration • smmalleyart.com

A couple of months ago I stood outside on a cold, clear night and turned my eyes to the sky. I watched as a shadow inched across the glowing orb of the moon until it fully covered it, transforming the moon into the image of a dark reddish ball. Read more

Stories

In North Carolina, snow blooms in the air as suddenly as a bank of dogwoods in spring, and—like the dogwood—we can never precisely predict its coming and going. It rarely piles up high enough or lingers long enough in most areas of the state. Read more

Stories

Echoes from the Valley

Copy of old print by Clair Burket.

Sarah Ransom has been working with a local Junior Appalachian Musicians group, which introduced her to Appalachian storytelling and the history. She was asked to write a fictional story based on historic events in Johnson County, Tennessee. Read more

Stories

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Guy Smalley illustration • smmalleyart.com

Now that Summer is here, it’s easier to reflect a bit more kindly on treasonous Spring. From right after New Year until Mother’s Day, I bristle in a crystalline funk, softened momentarily by a couple of exciting events such as my sister’s birthday. Read more

Stories

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Guy Smalley illustration • smmalleyart.com

In February 1962, a few days before my 10th birthday, my daddy came to me with a twinkle in his eyes and a spring in his step and said, “Linda Sue, your 10th birthday is a special birthday because it marks the end of your first decade in this world." Read more

Stories

Bird Strike

Guy Smalley illustration

Late one night I was driving down a North Carolina back road in my pickup listening to public radio. Read more

Stories

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Mandy Newham-Cobb illustration

Lilly was not a white-gloved lady. “An independent woman with no means” more aptly describes my grandmother. She entered the world in 1890, the same year the National Women Suffrage Association and the Women Suffrage Association merged. Read more

Stories

Two hundred years ago, early explorers of the Southern Appalachians pondered the piles of stone they encountered at “all the gaps in the mountains.” While most of those cairns have disappeared, they remain a mystery. Read more

Stories

When I was 4 years old I saw a cobra edging out from behind a wooden strawberry barrel in our garden. Naturally I was certain of what I had seen, despite the fact that I was not even on the same continent as any known, free roaming, cobra. Read more

Stories

Sometimes commendable works of literature go out of print or fade away with the death of their author, only to be rescued and given new life by champions who have loved and admired them. Read more

Stories

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Mandy Newham-Cobb illustration

My dad insisted on visiting Asheville during Halloween weekend, but I wanted him to come earlier. By then, leaves are past their peak in the valleys and have blown away from the ridgetops. Read more

Stories

Ties to the past

Courtesy of Jonesborough Area Merchants & Service Association

It may not come as a surprise that the oldest town in Tennessee would also be a hotbed for storytelling. Jonesborough’s National Storytelling Festival, an annual event that began with 60 attendees in 1973, now attracts more than 10,000 guests. Read more

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Mandy Newham-Cobb illustration

In the summer of 1954, I turned six, caught my first fish, and fell out of a tree house. It was also the summer I learned to swim. The last of those milestones came as a result of a strange set of circumstances that still brings a smile to my face. Read more

Stories

Connie Regan-Blake has been taking honest, hard-working folks for a ride for over four decades now. If her lips are moving, she’s spinning a yarn. Read more

Stories

Double Date, Double Trouble

Mandy Newham-Cobb illustration

A lovers’ moon hung low and stars shimmered between the Appalachian crests. But for us, the ambience was wasted. Her father sat behind the wheel, with her 12-year-old sister on the passenger side. Read more

Stories

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Mandy Newham-Cobb illustration

In many ways Grandpa Joe was a boy trapped in an old man’s body. As full of tricks as a pet ’coon, tough as a seasoned hickory sapling, and imbued with 70-plus years of Smokies wisdom, he possessed an unflagging sense of adventure. Read more

Stories

Dreamsong Theater

Sarah E. Kucharski photo

The International Storytelling Center (ISC) and Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort will join forces in the coming year to highlight the art of storytelling at Dollywood’s newest destination in the Great Smoky Mountains. Read more

Stories

Bourbon and marshmallows

Mandy Newham-Cobb illustration

My grandmother was a woman for whom a simple trip to the grocery store oftentimes turned into a Homeric journey. After her death, I struggled to narrow down her life’s stories canonical collection to only two or three that truly immortalized her. Read more

Stories

Donald Davis

Courtesy of International Storytelling Center

Sheila Kay Adams knows how to keep a crowd entertained whether she’s telling a tale, singing or strumming, but she claims a go-with-the-flow attitude when she hits the stage, saying she never knows exactly what she’s going to do before she does it. Read more

Stories

My husband and I recently packed the car with enough clothes for a couple of days, and drove the hour-and-a-half to Spartanburg, S.C., where Mom and Dad, both well into their 70s and waiting on Jesus, live in a sprawling rancher on a cul-de-sac. Read more

Stories