The Big Sidetrack

I've mentioned before that I most likely have attention deficit disorder. I prefer to think of it as "diffuse attention" and I think it serves me in storytelling. Because information is coming in at many levels during a performance, I'm aware of details in the stories and the audience and the space all at once. I'm able to react quickly to the unexpected. Useful. Not so useful is the downside: I have a zillion unfinished projects. There are stories I've worked on and abandoned, puppet ideas, half-baked themed programs, thoughts on marketing that I haven't followed through on. Right now, I've got Bulgarian stories to work on from my recent Fulbright, among other projects. 

So here's the big sidetrack: in October I moved back to Lawrence KS from Kansas City, to the same neighborhood I lived in from 2000 to 2010. My new house is smaller than my last and a real fixer-upper. The former owner lived in the house for 25 years and didn't have the same taste as I do. We've ripped out the carpet and tossed all of the frilly curtains. We've taken down two closet walls. Lots of odd decor has gone. This was in the bathroom holding spare rolls of toilet paper (you may have seen it on Facebook):

Now there is wallpaper to strip,

walls to paint,

a garden and yard to uncover, 

and much more. I've had phenomenal help from family and friends so far. This is going to be a long project, most likely lasting years. I hope I can sustain the attention for it. 

Fortunately, I get to go out and tell stories, to remember what I do and why. I'm learning a lot in the house renovation, but I often feel incompetent. As a storyteller, I am at home in what I do. I had a nice Halloween season, with lots of library performing, the Kansas City Storytelling Celebration, a piece in a public radio benefit performance and a show at Children's Mercy Hospital. Next up is a week of storytelling and writing with kids in Salina, KS.