Storyteller Rachel Muller of Ladysmith, B.C., spins a yarn for Port Angeles school children in a performance at the Little Theater at Peninsula College in Port Angeles. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)

Storyteller Rachel Muller of Ladysmith, B.C., spins a yarn for Port Angeles school children in a performance at the Little Theater at Peninsula College in Port Angeles. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)

Weekend of ‘wonder tales’ in Port Townsend

PORT TOWNSEND — Exquisite wonder stories which weave history, myth and magic will highlight a weekend of activities by Rachel Duncan Muller of Nanaimo, B.C.

Centrum, Friends of Port Townsend Library and the Quimper Storytelling Guild have collaborated to provide a series of opportunities to engage and learn from this accomplished author and storyteller.

While in Port Townsend for a Centrum artist residency, Muller will be the featured teller of First Friday StoryNight tonight, and lead a workshop at the Library’s Charles Pink House Sunday afternoon.

Muller will present “The Unexpected Guest: Tales of Unusual Hospitality” as part of today’s 7 p.m. StoryNight at Friends Meetinghouse, 1841 Sheridan St.

She will also lead a no-fee, sponsored workshop from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday titled, “Spinning Straw into Gold: Crafting Compelling Personal Stories” at the Charles Pink House, 1256 Lawrence St.

“When Rachel tells a story, magic begins. Her imagery, melodious voice, and gentle humour draws listeners in,” said Cindy Shantz, an international storytelling colleague.

According to a press release, Muller never outgrew her fascination with wonder tales and believes that the best ones speak to us at every stage of life.

She attended her first storytelling gathering while living in Northern Ireland, and was delighted to find a vibrant storytelling community upon her return to Vancouver Island, the release said.

She has been sharing original and traditional stories with audiences of all ages since 2010, and was chosen to tour Quebec as part of TD Canadian Children’s Book Week in May.

Muller is the program coordinator of the Around Town Tellers of Nanaimo, B.C., which will co-host the Storytellers of Canada (SC-CC) Annual Conference in 2020.

“Audiences at at 2018 Forest Storytelling Festival were enraptured, as she paints evocative imagery and innovative storylines. Her workshop at the festival provided opportunities to explore techniques and come away with new insights and storytelling skills” said Perry Spring, who will serve as master of ceremonies.

She is also a freelance writer and the trade-published author of four juvenile novels.

Her first, “When the Curtain Rises,” was translated into Swedish and Norwegian. To share her passion for the spoken and written word, Muller leads writing and storytelling workshops for adults and youth. More information is available at www.racheldunstanmuller.com.

“From the contemporary West Coast to a more mythic time and place, my original stories will explore the startling things that can happen when unlikely visitors meet unusual hosts,” Muller said.

Her program is followed by a set of oral shorts by diverse range of tellers who sign-up upon arrival, and a closing story-song connected evening’s theme by spring.

Participants in Sunday’s workshop will learn how to craft compelling stories from the raw materials of life. Through discussion, exercises and guided writing, participants will explore the architecture of great stories, from effective beginnings to satisfying endings, and the important tension in between.

“Participants will leave with a completed outline, the beginning of a first draft, and the tools to write many more,” said Muller. The workshop is limited to 12 participants.

To pre-register or for workshop details, send email to [email protected].

Library Director Melody Sky Eisler said, “We have a wonderful folk and fairy tale collection and resources for storytellers so having this workshop really compliments our collection and collaboration with our local Quimper Storytelling Guild that meets monthly at the Library. We are thrilled to help offer opportunities for our community to learn the art of storytelling from a master like Rachel Muller.”

Library information is available at ptpubliclibrary.org/library or by calling 360-385-3181.

Now in its 10th season, First Friday StoryNight is a communal exploration of the art and ritual of the oral tradition including the old myths, folktales, fairy tales, ballads, family, personal and modern stories. The Quimper Storytelling Guild also gathers monthly for Third Sunday StoryCrafting Story Swap when aspiring and experienced tellers hone their craft through a story swap and other activities.

More information about the Guild is available at www.facebook.com/QuimperStoryGuild, via email from [email protected] or by calling 360-316-9600.

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