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Hello friends! 

First, THREE BIG EVENTS!

Thanks to my son's unexpected Little League championship run - which ended in a 13-1 loss to a team filled with boys twice his size - we rescheduled my book launch party for Someday Is Today: 22 Simple, Actionable Ways to Propel Your Creative Life. to Saturday, July 30 at 7:00 PM ET. 

I'll be telling stories from the book, offering some brand new strategies for making your creative dreams come true, and taking questions from the audience. I'll also be joined by Elysha Dicks, author of the foreword, and Matthew Shepard, author of the afterword, and Jeni Bonaldo, frequently maligned figure in the pages of the book, to talk about their part of the process, too, as well as two very special guests...

Clara and Charlie! My kids will be joining us to share some thoughts of their own. 

We'll also play games, give away prizes, sign books, and more!

RJ Julia Booksellers will be onsite to sell books, and refreshments will be provided courtesy of the Historical Society.

Click here for tickets.

A suggested donation of $10 is requested – all proceeds go directly to the Connecticut Historical Society.

If you live locally (or if you're willing to travel), I hope you'll join me for a fun night!
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Tickets are also on sale for my long-planned weekend storytelling workshop at The Mount in Lenox, MA.

On Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, July 15, 16, and 17, I'll be teaching day-long storytelling workshops that will guide participants through the development and crafting of a complete story. 

On Saturday night, July 16, I'll be performing a solo show. I'll be telling some BRAND NEW STORIES filled with humor and heart, as well as improvising a story based upon audience prompts. 

On Sunday evening, July 17, members of Saturday's storytelling workshops who are ready and willing will be performing onstage for an audience. 

If you attend my storytelling workshop, you can attend my solo show and the class show for free.

But if you're not interested in this three-day workshop but would like to attend one or both shows, tickets are available for those events as well. Click the links below for information and tickets:  

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Lastly, Speak Up returns to the lawn of the Hill-Stead in Farmington, CT on July 13 (rain date July 14) with a fantastic show! Bring your lawn chairs, a blanket, and a picnic for a beautiful summer night in a spectacular location.

Last year's show was the most well attended event of the Hill-Stead's summer programming, and we hope to do even better this year. We have five storytellers who you're going to love.

Our cast features:
  • Speak Up veterans and fan favorites Ellen Last and Leland Brant
  • Great Hartford StorySlam champion and Moth storyteller Ann Guo
  • 56-time Moth StorySLAM winner and 9-time GrandSLAM champion Matthew Dicks
  • First time storyteller Kayla Yousman
Hosted, of course, by Elysha Dicks

Our show will also be simulcast, so if you're not local, you can watch the show from the comfort of your own home.

Tickets available for both the live show and simulcast here: https://www.hillstead.org/event/speak-up/

THIS WEEK'S LESSON

A story, at its heart, is about change. 

I once was one person. Now I'm another.
I once thought something. Now I think another thing. 
I once had a problem. Now I have a solution.
I once had a problem. Now I have a bigger problem.
I once was loved. Now I am despised.
I once knew nothing. Now I know something. 
I once voted for the bad guys. Now I vote for the good guys. 
I once thought Steely Dan was an excellent band. Now I know the truth. 

Recently I heard a story in which the problem and the solution all happened within the last third of the story. For about two-thirds of the story, the storyteller told us about the events leading up to the problem - the setup -  but the actual problem and her clever solution to the problem were placed close together in the timeframe of the story.

This is a mistake. 

In order for an audience to feel the emotional resonance and, in this particular case, the joy at discovering the solution to the problem, the audience must live with the problem for as long as possible. The audience must experience the pain and struggle associated with the problem as much as possible in order for the solution to the problem to feel as profound to them as it did to the storyteller.

When crafting a story, the change taking place in the story must be separated by as much time as possible. Ideally, the problems should be placed at the front of the story and the solution should be placed as close to the end as possible.

We need to know early on that our storyteller tragically loved Steely Dan's music, so that when she finally discovers the error of her ways and tosses her Steely Dan albums into an incinerator, we understand how long she listened to bad music played badly before her ultimate awakening. 

This isn't always possible, but you can't go two-thirds of a way through a story before getting to the reason why you're telling the story in the first place. 
  
Star Wars doesn't begin on Tatooine, with the audience getting to know Luke Skywalker for 30 minutes. It begins in space, with Darth Vader's search for the plans to the Death Star and the capture of Princess Leia. 

Problem first.

Then we can spend some time on Tatooine, listening to Luke whine about his station in life.

Looking to learn more about storytelling through something more than a weekly email lesson?

Try my book on storytelling:

Storyworthy Engage, Teach, Persuade, and Change Your Life Through the Power of Storytelling

Available in paperback, Kindle, and audio, which I narrate myself!

PERFORMANCES AND WORKSHOPS 2022
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MatthewDicks · 52 Francis Drive · Newington, Connecticut 06111 · USA