Friday, 25 April 2014

A postcard from Wisconsin - Ghosts, Gygax, and Grrrrr!

Hello, Wisconsin!

It has been several years since I’ve been here, but I’m back at the Northlands Storytelling Conference. The conference this year in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, famous as the home of the late Gary Gygax, creator of Dungeons & Dragons. I’ll head out to try and find a dragon later, and so far, the conference hotel seems relatively free of halfling thieves. Nasty hobbitses…

I flew in to Chicago yesterday, and was met at the airport by storyteller Camille Born and her husband, who drove me to Lake Geneva, where we had a great chat and lunch of pulled lamb at a lakeside restaurant. Then they dropped me off at the Geneva Ridge Resort, where I had a moment to rest before two events to kick off the conference - the story slam and the ghost story swap.

I didn’t have a story to tell at the swap, hosted by friend Katie Knutson, so I ended up as a judge. The theme for the night was GRRRR! and we had stories of bears, trips through swamps, dogs of various sizes, bobcats in suitcases, New York City thieves, and (to my personal delight) a visit from a clever fellow named Jack.

Afterwards, the ghost story swap, hosted by Maureen Korte, whom I had met at the Story City festival (a place that loves giving free money to Canadians, if you are in the neighbourhood). There were lots of great ghost stories of every sort and description, and I told one of my favourites, the story of the SS Regulus.

Then off to bed! Today, day two, and more stories!

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