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“Don’t worry, the rope has only ever broken once. And that girl lived.”


by Juliana Person

Stories have always been a huge part of my life. Until recently I hadn’t written or told any though. I’d only listened and read… and read and read and read and read. It’s a very rare day that I don’t read for at least 3 hours. I love science fiction and fantasy best. When I finish a book series and I’m not ready to say goodbye to the characters, I go to fanfiction websites and get some more. Anytime I’m feeling sad or stressed or lonely or grumpy, a story is a great way to cheer up. If I’m feeling happy then a story is a great way to celebrate. There really are very few circumstances in which a story is not a good idea.

When I moved to Oregon in 2015 I looked for young adult cancer survivor groups as a way to meet people in the area. Having cancer in 2013 sucked, but having access to survivor resources is a great perk now. I found a fantastic weekly writing group run by PSG’s Brianna Barrett. It was an enlightening experience to find how rewarding sharing short stories with fellow survivors could be. Going to watch her at a storytelling show was even better still. Hearing and telling stories in any number of contexts is just a great way to spend time.

I’m very excited for the chance to tell a story on September 1st. But I am reminded of the time, a few years back , when I bungee jumped at Victoria Falls (on the Zambezi River that separates Zambia from Zimbabwe). As I was stepping onto the platform, an employee told me, “don’t worry, the rope has only ever broken once. And that girl lived.” As September 1st approaches, I’d say my level of nervousness is about like it was before that jump. I’m very excited. I know that this will be an incredible experience. A small part of me is worried that things will go terribly wrong and I’ll end up falling to my death and/or drowning.

I’m pretty new to this whole story telling shtick. September 1st will be my third time on the PSG stage and my first to tell a story longer than 5 minutes. A long story seems much more difficult to put together than a short one. It’s coming along nicely and I think this really will be a great show, but I’m definitely nervous. Before I told my 5 minute story at Storython in June I had a Spring garden’s worth of butterflies in my stomach. Now I’ve got a Kaleidoscope of migrating monarchs fluttering around in there. Or quite possibly something larger… maybe bats?

Will I trip and fall on my face? Will a random stage crocodile eat me? Even… what story will I tell?

Come to the Portland Story Teller’s guild September 1st show to find out!

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