Upcoming Appearances

Mermaid and seal with banjo from The Outlook Story BookHouse Concert with Paul Strickland!

Stories with Spirit (Cooper Braun and Rachel Ann Harding) and I are hosting storyteller and comedian Paul Strickland on Wednesday, September 11, 2019 at Laura’s house.
I heard Paul at the National Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough, TN last fall, and he had the audience laughing for his whole tall tale. I’m thrilled that he’s going to be in town and I’ll get the chance to hear him again. I hope you can join us!
PAUL STRICKLAND (https://www.ainttrue.com/) Paul’s hilarious and heart-felt tall-tale fantasies have won “Best of Fest” honors on 12 different occasions at Fringe Festivals across the U.S. and Canada. Most of Paul Strickland’s stories were told to him by his Ain’t True and his Uncle False, who live in Big-Fib Cul-de-sac, a small trailer park in the mythical America south just off the coast of Factual. In 2016 the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Company… the NPR of up there) called Paul’s stories “a minor miracle.” He was an Exchange Place Teller at the National Storytelling Festival in 2018.

Paul made his NYC stage debut with his shadow and flashlight ghost story play “13 Dead Dreams of “Eugene”” Off-Broadway at the SoHo Playhouse in November of 2018.

“Superb storytelling.” – Front Row Center NYC

Always adapting and connecting to whatever audience is in front of him, Paul has performed his stories at theaters, festivals, comedy clubs, middle schools, corporate events and even two prisons- where he was NOT an inmate at the time. Selections from his comedy performance “Levels of Difficulty” can be heard every day on XM Sirius radio.

Write Club! Adam Booth!

I’m throwing exclamation marks around because it’s shaping up to be a great month. I’m returning to Write Club Denver on February 7 and hosting the delightful Adam Booth for both a masterclass on cinematic storytelling and a house concert on February 24!

My Write Club topic is “Love.” Plenty to say about that! Will I come home with a third trophy? Doesn’t love always win? Get more information at Write Club Denver’s Facebook page. Then come cheer me on!Laura's first and second trophies from Write Club Denver


I first met Adam in person at the Timpanogos in September of 2018, though our stories appeared together on Episode Thirty of the Story Story Podcast. His teaching was excellent, and his storytelling mesmerized me. I’m pinching myself that I have the opportunity to host him and eager to learn from and listen to him again! Check out more information about Adam Booth’s Masterclass here, and our Evening of Stories here.  You don’t want to miss him on February 24 in Boulder, CO!Adam Booth confetti too small


The Meta-story of The Diffendaffer Taffy Cafe

One of the first picture book manuscripts I ever sent out was called The Diffendaffer Taffy Cafe. From 1986-1998 I got a number of lovely, encouraging rejections from various editors (that was back when you could still widely submit directly to editors who published children’s books). I told the story of that journey, and its abrupt end, at Truth Be Told in Boulder in June of 2017:

As part of the process of developing the story for Truth Be Told, I pulled out the file of rejection letters as well as the original manuscript. I’d been telling stories as a Spellbinders volunteer for nine months at that point, and had immersed myself in folk tales, fairy tales, and tall tales. When I read my old manuscript, I saw that what I’d written was a tall tale. With just a little tweaking, I knew it would work as a spoken story. And though, as a writer, I’d always had vivid pictures in my head when I imagined it and hoped to see it illustrated as a picture book, now I saw it through a storyteller’s eyes, where the magic lies in the hearer imagining their own version of the story I tell.
Then, thanks to the generosity of Rachel Ann Harding of Stories With Spirit and Story Story Podcast, I had the opportunity to record some stories in her studio. I’m extra lucky in my friendships, and so I didn’t have to search far for advice on what sound editing program to use (Audacity was the unanimous winner on my informal Facebook poll). Even better, Janet Fogg agreed to take on the job of creating the design for the CD cover and on-CD print and did a beautiful job.
Diffendaffer front cover
The whole process, from initial recording to the product arriving on my doorstep, took less than a month, but what a month it was. Working with the sound files, especially seeing the graphic representation of my voice on the Audacity screen, gave me a new appreciation for the universality of vibration in our physical world. Many of the patterns reminded me of my other visual love–clouds. Since so much of my life journey has been about finding my voice, the visual representation of it felt validating.

Screenshot of the words "I'm going to open the Diffendaffer Taffy Cafe"
Screenshot of the words “I’m going to open the Diffendaffer Taffy Cafe”

But none of that compares to the joy in having the story finally find its way into the world. The Diffendaffer Taffy Cafe has been dear to my heart for a very long time, and now, at last, it found its voice.
The Diffendaffer Taffy Cafe is available through CD Baby as a digital download or a CD, or email me at laurakdeal at gmail.com for a CD with a personal note.