By Lorinda Toledo
You know who I mean. It’s that guy or girl who has everyone at the party hanging on their every word. Just the way he tells a story makes him seem so attractive, so magnetic, yet…relatable.
I’ve never been that person. When I get in front of a crowd, my hands start sweating, my heart pounds and I feel like I might hyperventilate. If I do finally get up the nerve to tell my anecdote, it falls flat. I’m the awkward one who wants to hold an audience in the palm of my hand like that. But. I. Just. Can’t.
Still, I’ve got a few stories in me. I’m a writer. Telling stories is what I do. I’d like to be able to tell one in front of an audience too.
Our time has come. This October, Brian Finkelstein, award-winning storyteller and host of The Moth will be teaching a new round of his popular storytelling class at Writing Pad! You can dip your toes into the storytelling pool this Saturday, Oct. 19, at his 1-day Storytelling Bootcamp
. If you really want to master your storytelling skills, sign up for his 5-week Storytime Plus
starting Wed., Oct. 30. By the end of class, you’ll be ready to perform in a fun show at Writing Pad (don’t worry, there’ll be sangria to loosen you and
the audience up)!
Classes Starting This Week
Afternoon Delight: A Short Story Workshop (1 Day)
Classes Starting Next Week
For this week’s writing prompt, make a list of three crazy things that happened to you or a memorable trip. Think of a story you’d often tell at parties. Pick one. Add a sensory detail to it (smell, taste, sound, touch).
One of my favorite stories is about the time I went bungee jumping. I guess I thought I was pretty tough, hiking 10 miles round trip just to jump off a 120-ft. high bridge. I like a thrill, so I’m all excited. But when we get to the top, I climb over that concrete railing and look beneath me at the rocky ravine, I am afraid I’m going to pee my pants. There is nothing keeping me from certain death except this relatively thin cord clipped to my torso. Every instinct in my body is telling me that I’m in grave danger. When it comes time for me to let go and jump backwards, my mind starts racing. What if I do it wrong? What if I grip the cable and chop off a finger, or fling back my head and snap my neck? What if the cable breaks?!
The guy counts down – 3-2-1…bungee! And I’m supposed to let go. But I don’t! So the guy – he had a blond mustache and a deep blue gaze — he tells me, “Look at my eyes. I’m gonna count down, and you’re gonna jump.” I nod. I might cry I’m so scared. But I look into the guy’s eyes, and I bend my knees: 3-2-1…BUNGEE!!
Surprising myself, I let go. And it was amazing.
So, now it’s your turn to take the plunge.
Write a story about something crazy that happened to you or a memorable trip, making sure to include a sensory detail, for 10 minutes. It could be funny, poignant, sad — anything you want. Then post your story in the comments below. You could win a free writing class!