Walking to Japan has been launched! Twice, in fact, with two or three more on the calendar. Oops! Is it possible to launch more than once?
Both events (Victoria and Sechelt, BC) were well attended by friends, and even some complete strangers. Feedback from the audience was overwhelmingly positive and I really had fun. I don’t know why I should be surprised, but despite having some public speaking and solo singing experience, I think of myself as uncomfortable in the spotlight. But since reflecting on those evenings, I have realized that I’ve been influenced by three great storytellers in my life and must have learned something!
The first two were my parents. They met while acting in local theatre productions in Vancouver, and they were both teachers as well. So my bedtime stories, read from books or made up on the spot, were always brought to life with a colourful toolkit of accents and gestures.
Derek was a master storyteller. He wasn’t someone who would entertain a group of friends with anecdotes at the drop of a hat. That wasn’t his style at all. His stories were more like fables or parables and each had a spirit. Only when the time was right would he begin. He’d paint a vivid setting to capture your imagination, and then just enough detail to keep it flowing, pacing it just right, not too fast or slow. His intention was never to impress you but that the heart of the story would touch something in yours. There was always a lesson, but that would be for you to resonate with in your own way.
I hope that as I continue sharing Walking to Japan at readings, I’ll get better and better at bringing the book to life for an audience, and do both Derek and my parents proud.