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Setting a Plot: The Impact of Geography on Culture, Myth, and Storytelling

Brandon Spars

This is a sourcebook for storytellers as well as teachers and students in the classroom. Epics and myths from India, Indonesia, Australia, and Tibet, which include The Ramayana, The Calonarang, The Wauwalak Sisters (a Songline Epic), The Life and Liberation of Padmasambhava, and many others form the basis for an engaging analysis of how the different geographies of those respective places inspires needs, values, and concerns that shape the respective plots.

Setting a Plot provides the storyteller, lecturer, and student not only with detailed summaries of many great stories from around the world, but also a means to understand the significance of those stories and how and why they are told the way they are. Sacrifice, cleansing, the exchange of people, and boundary making are just some of the different topics that link geography to story. Storyteller, teacher, and student will leave with a better understanding of world literature, history, culture, and geography after reading this book.

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Live to Tell: Six Award-Winning Tales

Brandon Spars

Live to Tell explores the art and craft of storytelling in such a way that readers can appreciate the dynamic between the written page and the live stage. The scripts for six award-winning tales are anthologized in this collection, with links to live performances from storytelling competitions, including The Moth StorySLAM.
Additionally, Live to Tell brings storytelling into the ESL, high school, and college classroom, providing excellent opportunities to learn spoken English and reflect on the elements that make up a lively tale told in an animated way. This collection will inspire students and storytellers alike to bring their own personal narratives to life--and possibly even to the stage.

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Live to Tell Again: Tales of Self-Discovery and Healing

Brandon Spars

Live to Tell Again is the second book in this series that explores the art and craft of storytelling. This volume explores storytelling as a means to discover meaning and purpose in one's life, using moments in which difficult decisions are made as material for generating powerful personal stories.

One story even highlights the potential for storytelling to aid in the process of healing after a tragic event. The October fires of 2017 in Santa Rosa devastated a community. Live to Tell Again captures some of the stories told at a live event the author hosted called "Thicker Than Smoke," weaving them together in a way that reveals not only the personal loss t suffered by the storytellers but also the hope, dignity, and humor that are helping to heal and renew the community.

Live to Tell Again provides excellent opportunities to study the structure and development of personal narrative, as well as a unique and lively manner of learning spoken English.

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Brandon Spars

Brandon Spars lived and traveled in Indonesia and the Pacific Islands for six years before earning a Master of Arts in Southeast Asian Studies and a Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Studies at the University of California/Berkeley. Since then, he has taught high school and college for more than twenty years.

The classroom has always been Brandon's storytelling lab, where loud booms, bellows, whoops, and thumps are frequently heard. Two years ago, he took his stories outside the classroom to compete in events like the Moth StorySLAM. He won the Moth GrandSLAM in San Francisco in April 2016 with his story "Leaps," included in this volume. Brandon lives with his wife and two children in Santa Rosa, California.

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