What’s My Story?

I’m posting a more in-depth description of one of my programs each month.

Check them all out. Which one would you like to see most?

Storytelling
Storytelling

What’s My Story?

This was one of my first attempts to put together a program that was outside friendly as I started to get requests for those types of programs. In many ways it’s my most flexible program because the length can be easily adjusted. You can run it for 20 minutes, for an hour and a half, or just about any length in between. It also works really well for situations where you expect people to flow in, stay awhile, and then flow out again, since they are individual stories you can come in for one or two and then leave without feeling that you are missing something. It also works well for groups without a lot of knowledge of Laura Ingalls Wilder ahead of time and for younger groups. It can be done for groups of all adults, but that doesn’t work quite as well because as part of the program audience volunteers have to select an object off the table at the start of every story and adults have a much harder time doing this than kids.

Program Specifics

I tell interactive stories from Laura Ingalls Wilder’s life and from historic tales. Also included are poems and riddles. While I appear in 19th century historic clothing for this program, it’s not a first person program meaning I don’t pretend I’m Laura.

Table with Storytelling Objects
Storytelling Objects

A long table is placed at the front of the space. On this table will be placed an assembly of objects (stuffed animals, a plastic fly, a slate, a china doll, etc.). Each object represents a story, a poem, or a riddle. Audience members volunteer to come up and pick an object and then I tell that story, poem, or riddle. It’s completely up to the audience what comes next. Sometimes an object will have more than one story attached so it can change program to program. Some objects require their volunteer to stay up front and help with the story.

Alternatives for Presentation

There are two major variations of this program available. The usual version has a general mix of subjects. The alternative version focuses on animal stories. That one includes me bringing Pa’s Big Green Animal Book aka The Polar and Tropical Worlds: A Popular and Scientific Description. Read more.

Requirements

Hosts will have to provide a big table or 2 regular size tables at the front of the space and a small table off to the side or the back of the space. I need to be able to move around the table and the space should be set up so it’s possible for audience members to get up to the front and back to their seats as easily as possible.

Note that the one disadvantage of this program is that unlike in normal storytelling I can’t control the “set” which means that similar stories might be told right after each other and that it doesn’t build to one big finale story at the end. It ebbs and flows with the audience choices.

Sound interesting?

If this sounds interesting to you, ask a local museum or library to have me come and present What’s My Story?

Sarah S. Uthoff is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales striving to bring the History, Mystery, Magic and Imagination of Laura Ingalls Wilder and other greats of children’s literature and history to life for a new generation. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, and find her on FacebookTwitterGoogle+, LinkedIn, and Academia.edu. Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

En Route to Laura Ingalls Wilder Conference 2017

Today I drove over to the South Dakota State Historical Society’s Laura Ingalls Wilder conference. I’m embedding my tweets I sent today, you’ll have to click on the link to see the photos.

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I didn’t get any photos at the conference reception. I got a pre-publication copy of Pioneer Girl Perspectives and got an article from every person who contributed. Stay tuned tomorrow.

Sarah S. Uthoff is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales striving to bring the History, Mystery, Magic and Imagination of Laura Ingalls Wilder and other greats of children’s literature and history to life for a new generation. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, and find her onFacebookTwitterGoogle+ LinkedIn, and Academia.edu. Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

Packing Up: The Life of Laura Ingalls Wilder

I’m posting a more in-depth description of one of my programs each month.

Check them all out. Which one would you like to see most?

Packing Up 3

Packing Up

This was my first successful alternative to the General Laura program and it remains really successful. It’s slightly shorter than the General Laura program and includes more storytelling. It also offers even more chances for children to come up on stage to directly join in than the General Laura program.

It is staged for Laura as a young farm wife and includes props packed up in a trunk.

Program Specifics

It’s 1894 and we find Laura, Almanzo, and their daughter Rose living in a small house a couple of blocks from Ma and Pa’s Third Street house. Disaster and disease have pushed the Wilders around the country from South Dakota to Minnesota to Florida and back again. Now they are back in De Smet to regroup before they take one more fresh start in Mansfield, Missouri. Find a rich description of this time in the forward of the book On the Way Home and the short story “Grandpa’s Fiddle” from an adult Rose.

We find Laura a week or so before they leave going through an old trunk to see if there is anything they can leave behind. Each thing she pulls from the trunk reminds her of a story. Through these stories she tell about her life.

While it is a good choice for any age group, this is the program that I most often recommend to groups with a younger audience or to an audience that doesn’t have a lot of previous background on Laura. I can change the level the information is pitched at and I’ve presented it to great applause from early elementary school to adult groups.

Alternatives for Presentation

I appear in costume as Laura in the 1890s and it is done in the first person (I speak as if I was Laura).

This program can be done both with an accompanying PowerPoint presentation and without one when presented in areas where projection wouldn’t work well. When done with the PowerPoint which includes photos taken at all of the Laura Ingalls Wilder homesites and museums, it requires the ability to present in PowerPoint which means being inside, with electricity and a place to project. I can bring my own projector along or I can use yours.

Requirements

For both versions I need a table up front and space to move around it.

The program is a live show so length can vary, but it normally takes between 45 and 50 minutes. I prefer to have at least 10-15 minutes for questions afterward, but that is optional and if I need that long, longer, or shorter depends on whether it’s a talkative group or not.

Sound interesting?

If this sounds interesting to you, ask a local museum or library to have me come and present Packing Up: the Life of Laura Ingalls Wilder.

Sarah S. Uthoff is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales striving to bring the History, Mystery, Magic and Imagination of Laura Ingalls Wilder and other greats of children’s literature and history to life for a new generation. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, and find her on FacebookTwitterGoogle+, LinkedIn, and Academia.edu. Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

Sarah Uthoff By the Numbers February 2017

Show me the numbers they say and I was inspired by a poster for a concert at Kirkwood that included the performer’s number of Facebook likes. I thought, “I can do that!” I did previous posts Trundlebed Tales by the Numbers August 19, 2013,  December 14, 2013 June 8, 2014, December 19, 2014, April 13, 2015September 20, 2015 , December 30, 2015 and April 6, 2016. It’s a collection of raw numbers of my online activities. I think it will be interesting to track. Today’s post numbers are as of February 5, 2017.

twitter-count-2017

Number of blog posts published on Trundlebed Tales1,500

Total number of blog post views: 137,469

Highest number of views in a single day: 389

Number of YouTube videos on Trundlebed Tales YouTube Channel: 69

Total Number of Subscribers to Trundlebed Tales YouTube Channel:120

Number of total views on Trundlebed Tales YouTube Channel62,095

Plus views of  my program on Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum channel: 15,828

For a total of YouTube views: 77,923

Number of Followers on Twitter: 1,903

Number of Friends on Facebook: 596

Number of Likes on Trundlebed Tales Facebook Page: 660

Number of connections on LinkedIn: 241

Slideshare Uploads: 3

Slideshare Views: 867

Number in circles on Google Plus: 227

Number of episodes on Blog Talk Radio: 175

Number of Views on Academia.edu: 209

Followers on Academia.edu: 20

Photos added on Flickr: 135

Photos on Instagram: 400

Followers on Instagram: 122

Videos added on Vimeo: 21 (total watches not part of standard Vimeo statistics)

Number of total listens on Blog Talk Radio93,935

Highest listen number for an individual episode6064

Sarah S. Uthoff is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales striving to bring the History, Mystery, Magic and Imagination of Laura Ingalls Wilder and other greats of children’s literature and history to life for a new generation. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, and find her on FacebookTwitterGoogle+, LinkedIn, and Academia.edu. Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

T-Shirt of the Month January 2017

When I post my video diaries I always get comments about my Laura clothes. No, not my period dresses, but my Laura Ingalls Wilder t-shirts that I wear for travel and Laura trips. I thought everyone might enjoy a closer look at them. So enjoy our new monthly series where we look at a Laura shirt each month.

Clothes are one of those things that I once kept as a firm line not to cross as part of my efforts to restrict my Laura collection to a reasonable size. That totally failed when I discovered how great it is to have a Laura t-shirt on when traveling. It really makes it feel like your trip has already started once you get in your car.

 

 

WG 2016 Shirt Distance
WG 2016 Shirt

This is this year’s special at Walnut Grove. If they have a special guest they design a new shirt. This year’s was in honor of Karren Grassle’s return to Walnut Grove after nearly 40 years. The front image is similiar to the 40th anniversary shirt.

Walnut Grove House Image T-shirt 2016

The back of the t-shirt gives the details on the visit of 2016.

Background Detail of Back Walnut Grove 2016

I got this shirt for Christmas 2016 and I just can’t wait to wear it. It’s such a beautiful blue.

Sarah S. Uthoff is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales striving to bring the History, Mystery, Magic and Imagination of Laura Ingalls Wilder and other greats of children’s literature and history to life for a new generation. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, and find her on FacebookTwitterGoogle+ LinkedIn, and Academia.edu. Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

Top 10 Posts of December 2016

Sarah on Ingalls Homestead
Sarah on Ingalls Homestead

Here are the blog posts that have had the most views last month. Take a look maybe there is something there that will interest you too. :)

Little House Fans Head North
Annual Laura Ingalls Wilder Christmas Shopping Guide 2016
25 Laura Days of Christmas
Welcome to the 150th Anniversary of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Birth Year
Where did Albert come from?
Pepin County Celebrates 150 Years – Pepin Pickling Company
Mary Ingalls ISBSSS Society Update Fall 2016
T-Shirt of the Month December 2016
Laura Ingalls Wilder Conference 2017 South Dakota
Laura Ingalls Wilder Christmas Plays 2016

Sarah S. Uthoff is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales striving to bring the History, Mystery, Magic and Imagination of Laura Ingalls Wilder and other greats of children’s literature and history to life for a new generation. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, and find her on FacebookTwitterGoogle+ LinkedIn, and Academia.edu. Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.