I had a few hours which I could have used to sleep. Instead, I caught up with various odds and ends, though they ran more to playing Sporcle than to actually doing housework. Just about noon, I set off to Lorton for the Virginia Storytelling Alliance Saturday Series. I got down there early enough that I could look at some of the studios at the Workhouse Arts Center. The coolest thing I saw was a vending machine that sells art. (There are tokens you can buy and various artists have items in little boxes roughly the size of a cigarette pack.)
Anyway, I went first to Linda Fang's workshop on suspense. She had us mime a few situations to demonstrate how our actions can reflect suspense. Then we worked in pairs on creating suspenseful stories using trigger sentences we were told to incorporate. My partner and I came up with a stalker scenario, in which a missing shoe triggered panic over what might have happened the night before. In the end, the victim's dog walks in, shoe in mouth. All in all, the workshop was both unusual and interesting.
I stayed around for the "Business and Story Swap." The business discussion was a mixture of complaints about how people in Virginia don't understand storytelling along with some practical tips on marketing. In short, there wasn't anything I hadn't heard before. I will fully admit that I don't do a lot of marketing because I am: a) busy with a lot of other things, including my day job and b) lazy. I like to think I am realistic enough not to kvetch about not getting jobs I didn't apply for. (In fact, the Saturday series is a good example. I had thought about submitting a workshop proposal, but was not sure if I'd be able to clear my calendar for it. Given my crazy scheduling, that is just as well.) There was time for a brief swap. I wasn't going to tell anything, but the shaggy dog story that Katie and Otto told provided a suitable lead in for "Lyle and the Ghost."
As well as the formal events, a lot of the point of going to these things is hanging out with other storytellers and it was, as usual, good to see some of the folks who live in other parts of the state. I'd have liked to stay for the evening concert (and dinner in Occoquan beforehand) but I had other commitments. Some day I will actually double or triple check my calendar when I plan things, but that day hasn't come yet.