“In January and February the hills are greenest [in Big Sur], almost as green as the Emerald Isle…the air fresh and invigorating, the skies clear, the sun still warm enough to take a sun bath.”

– from “Big Sur and the Oranges of Hieronymus Bosch” by Henry Miller.

Tentative Schedule

Friday February 20th  |  Saturday February 21st  |  Sunday February 22nd


Friday, February 20, 2015:

2 pm Gather in the conference room. Mix and mingle with your fellow participants, many of whom, we predict, will become friends — perhaps even friends for life!
2-2:45 pm Introductions. A bit about what’s in store and why you’re here. Where are you from? What are your earliest memories of storytelling? What does storytelling mean to you? What do you hope to accomplish this weekend?
3-4 pm Foreign-Gods-Ndibe-1What Makes a Good Story? Okey sets the scene with a riveting tale.He’ll explore critical story ingredients like plot, pacing, character development, endings, imagery, metaphors, and more!
4-5:45 pm Unlock the story within. Okey will guide participants to probe their memories for that long-dormant story that needs to be told. But how? Only one way to find out…
6-8 pm diningDinner is served.  Delicious food plus incredible views of all the majestic redwoods that line Pfeiffer State Park.If the February weather allows, dine on the outside patio overlooking the Big Sur River!

Also enjoy an open wine bar and really get to know your table-mates!

8:15 – 10 pm Storytelling on the screen. We’ll gather to watch a film from Africa brought to us by Okey. Stay tuned!
10 pm – Lights Out Bedtime and rumination. Consider the story you’d like to tell and how you’ll approach it. Then sleep on it.

Saturday, February 21st

7:30 – 8:30 am Breakfast. In the Lodge. Caffeinate and perhaps inspiration will strike swiftly!
8:45 – 10:45 am okey1Exploring the roots of storytelling. Okey reads folktales from different African cultures.Then comes the fun part: in pairs, take up the challenge of transforming the tales, altering things like sources of tension, conflicts, endings, etc!
11 am – 12 pm Talk and discussion. “Deconstructing Disney” or “Who Says the Lion is King of the Jungle?” What stories in our world do we take for granted as truth without questioning?
1- 3:45 pm big_sur_river__californiaAlone Time/Make Like a Monk. Cloister yourself and write, revisit, or edit your story.Take a walk through the redwoods. Sit by the Big Sur River (it runs through the Lodge!) pen in hand. Or return to your room, turn off the lights, and close the blinds. Whatever works.
3:45 – 5:30 pm Group Feedback Time.  Present your finds to the group. Ask the group — and yourself — key questions like How could the story be approached differently? What does the story truly mean? Have you missed the “real” story all along?
6-8 pm Dinner again. Just like the night before, but even more fun, as you’ll now be dining with newly-certified friends. (We mentioned the open wine bar, right?)
8:15 – 10 pm Henry_Miller_LibraryField trip! Venture three miles south to the world-famous “cultural beating heart of Big Sur” (according to CNN) — the Henry Miller Memorial Library for a public reading by Okey and, if the stars align, a musical performance by Library Executive Director Magnus Toren.
10 pm – Lights Out Further rumination and optional editing/writing. Reflect on the day and, if you feel so compelled, continue to work on your story before calling it a day.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

7:30 – 8:30 am Breakfast again. At the Lodge.
8:45 – 11:45 am Story Time! Show Time! Participants complete and share the stories they have worked on!
12:00 – 2:00 pm 431262_10151378149550187_1785169796_nLunch and Goodbyes. Thanks for coming, stay in touch, and see you next year!

Have questions? Give the Henry Miller Library in Big Sur a call at 831-667-2574!

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