I've just been to a remarkable CMD day. I don't know what CMD is although I've probably been told. I suspect Continuing Ministerial Development. It was once called Continuing Ministerial Education but then someone wise probably decided we were, as a group, uneducatable and opted to try developing us instead. Long shot but may just work. Here's hoping it's not Complete Muppetts Department anyway.
The day was good for me because it was on story telling. It was led by the excellent oral tradition technician Taffy Thomas MBE, who claims to be a technophobe but has a web site and will answer questions by email. He did tell us during the course of the day that truth keeps the company of stories but sometimes only loosely.
The thing that was good for me, as an alleged writer, was that I had to be liberated from my pen. I had to listen to each story on the basis that, 'If you can remember it you can have it.' I wrote down titles and a few quotes but little else.
In the afternoon we were all asked to listen to a story and then retell it to a partner. In doing this the little runs (choruses or refrains), alliterations and repetitions gave us our skeleton. We were reminded that the story is not just the words. You can use any words you want. I was delighted to be able to tell the story of the history of wine reasonably accurately on the back of only one listen. It lasts about five minutes I guess.
So I will resist the temptation to blog you a couple of wonderful stories because they are for telling not writing. I'll be telling them though. I'll be telling them.