I’ve been excited to appear in many in-person storytelling shows that have returned to the stage, but I’m also grateful for the virtual shows still online. They create opportunities for storytellers and audiences to share stories when they can’t get out, make friends in far-flung communities, and stretch our creativity. Below is a video of a fun tale from my less-than-model childhood, which I shared recently at a Zoom meeting of StoryMasters, a Southern California offshoot of Toastmasters. Whether you’ve never told a story for an audience or are an old hand, I recommend checking out this delightful, supportive club.
Personal storytelling is back to the live onstage world, and what a gift to fully interact with storytellers and audiences again. Through the pandemic, I’ve been grateful to use Zoom and other online streaming platforms to stay engaged with community via the art of oral stories. But my eyes filled with tears of joy on returning to The Otter Story Hour, a show that confirms how big the heart of the storytelling world is, and how meaningful it is to laugh and cry together over our shared human experience. Here’s a link to the Facebook video of that April 10 Show. I hope you can watch all six wonderful tellers, but to find my story, Ride the Neighborhood, just forward to 1:02:44. Enjoy the ride!
I’ve been moved by the audiences who’ve taken an interest in the stories of my search for the family history of my Mexican-Chinese Grandma. In 2021, I had a few opportunities to share the story of my journey to China to heal an old family divide. In case you haven’t seen the story, Old Mr. Ma, here’s a recording of the 10-minute version, which I told at the Santa Monica Playhouse. It appeared in 80 Minutes Around the World, produced by Nestor Gomez and M.J. Kang. If you like the topic, please keep your eyes peeled for news of my upcoming historical novel, Candlelight Bridge.
Do you feel it, the desire to tiptoe into the New Year, lest you wake a new giant that might confront you with another endurance test of our humanity, our environment, our peace? Yet it was with unexpected joy I opened my mailbox this holiday season to find a reminder to never give up on the power of words to open us to the possibility of a better world. That reminder is Abrazos, the 10th Anniversary Anthology of DoveTales, which is the literary journal of the nonprofit Writing for Peace. Below is a copy of my essay, The Dark Matter, which I was honored to discover included. If you’d like to buy the anthology, full of the work of writers for whom words are conduits of peace, limited copies are still available at WritingForPeace.org.
The Dark Matter
Cara Lopez Lee
I’ve been feeling the loneliness that comes with the realization that not only do others not see the world the same way as I, but that nobody sees it the same way at all. Not a one. Not even the people who vote the same. Not even the people who like the same movies, books, and dances. Not the dearest of friends.