Miss Pycella’s lecture about stories and tales! Get yer inspiration here!
The Green Dragon Friday lecture series continues, this time with a talk about stories! Miss Pycella held this one Friday March 31 2017. It also includes a short “Round Robin” story, that some of the inn visitors started developing.
Please let me know if you’d like to sign up for a lecture yourself! Green Dragon Friday is a hobbit roleplaying event held on the LOTRO Laurelin server, every Friday between 2:30PM – 4:30PM servertime. Format-wise, GDF lectures should last no more than 10-15 minutes when delivered by in-game text messages in /say chat. This means that the lectures are rarely exhaustive treatments, but rather quick talks to whet the audience’s appetite to topics of hobbit interest.
So, I thought I could try this lecture thing with a topic that is quite dear to me. Not pies though! As you may have noticed by now, I am very fond of writing more or less fictional stories. I love them like I love my pies: freshly baked and new, straight from the oven. Of course, it is lovely to retell an old favourite tale every now and then. But the world is full of untold stories, waiting to be shared at a fireside or a campfire.
I believe that we all are fit to be storytellers. That is why I’d like to give you a lecture on how to come up with stories. This lecture goes by the title: ”How to Catch a Story by the Tale”. And by stories, I don’t mean gossip that is a beloved genre of fiction here in the Shire. Well, gossip is surely entertaining as well, if you are not the topic of the gossip yourself.
But yes, stories. How are they born? Where can they be found?
Many of us think that only great deeds and daring adventures are worth a story, but that’s not the case. All you need is a long, unhurried stroll around the neighbourhood. You may keep your feet safely on the road, but let your mind wander free. Take your time and look carefully at your surroundings. What do you see? What if that brittle, yellow butterfly is a lost fairy, looking for its true home? What if the breeze in the tall grass is a call of a fair maiden from a faraway land? What if those tall pine trees are giants who have been turned into trees, fulfilling an ancient oath long forgotten? Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you told their story to the others?
And even as you return home, you may find many hidden stories in your own corners, among the dust-balls. What story is behind that rusty dagger you once fished up from the river and that you keep on your mantelpiece? What about the strange noise that you hear during the night? And where on earth do all those lost socks go to?
Once you have found an interesting topic for your story, the next step is to let it ”unravel” and develop into a fully grown story. It is like planting a mystery seed: you know that you are growing something, but how it will look like? That, you cannot know. Just give it some time and freedom to grow, and it will. All you need is an open mind, eager to explore.
Some of you might shake your heads and say: “That requires imagination, and I hardly have any.” I disagree. Every mind is a good soil for a story to grow. Just think about this: We all see dreams; some about our everyday lives, but some are wild and lead to events that you could not foresee. The dreams are born inside our minds, just like stories. Anyone who is capable of dreaming should be able to come up with an unique story. It might require time and patience, but it is a fun and exciting journey.
It is fun to write stories for your own amusement, but sharing the joy with others is even better. Let’s say, your small son lost his beloved toy dog. What would be a better way to comfort him than make a story about what happened to the dog? Master Dwale knows all about it.
Stories awake feelings in us, they make us laugh, make us fear… even when we know they are “mere stories”. Isn’t that magical?
I hope that this small lecture has inspired at least some of you to write a story, or give it a thought. And when you are finished with it, we at the Green Dragon will welcome it quite happily! We simply love stories.
The Round Robin story
But now, let us make a story together, out of thin air!
Pycella summons a few hobbits to the Green Dragon rug and starts giving instructions. The hobbits form a circle and start telling an impromptu story in turns. The participants are Miss Pycella, Miss Acorne, Master Skepto, Miss Lina, Miss Ambrinna and Master Potty. Here is the story they came up with:
Pycella says, ‘One morning, Lobelia Sackville-Baggins received an odd-looking, mysterious package.’
Acorne says, ‘It was so odd it moved afore ya should open it.’
Skepto says, ‘Lobelia thought, that it was probably not deliverd by the quick post, as it looked too new.’
Amorey says, ‘” these are not the silver spoons I ordered… obviously!” she grumped’
Lina says, ‘Lobelia took a deep breath, opened the package and found a young, furry kitten.’
Ambrinna says, ‘The kitten had a label tied to its collar which was in a very fine hand!’
Potty says, ‘Lobelia took a step back and murmured: “Hmm! I don’t like cute kittens!”‘
Pycella says, ‘But the cute kitten didn’t like ugly, nasty, old hobbit ladies either.’
Acorne says, ‘Even tho she didn’t like them, she thot this critter needs ta eat’
Skepto says, ‘”I know! I shall bake it into a pie!”, Lobelia suddenly proclaimed triumphantly!’
Amorey says, ‘But then she though it was silly to waste a WHOLE pie on a tiny kitten, so she ate the pie and gave a kitten a bowl of milk’
Lina says, ‘Much to Lobelia’s dismay, the kitten lapped up all the milk, meowed and jumped on the table, sending some silver spoons flying across the floor.’
Ambrinna says, ‘Lobelia jumped up in anger to scold the kitten (who was now playing with a ball of wool). When she read the label. “From yer secret admirer”.’
Potty says, ‘Still red in fury she leaned close ter see if she had not misread that! And then she spotted a beautiful silver spoon she had never seen before’
Pycella says, ‘But the kitten had had enough, it darted away into the garden with the silver spoon hanging from its collar; it had seen a tasty shrew there.’
Later, the kitten got the name “Spoony the Kitten”. Hopefully, we will hear more stories about the kitten later!