"A real gem of a book!"
£8.50 (£10 inc UK p&p)
A Long Run in Short Shorts is the first book published by my own imprint: Storyworks Press. It's a collection of my own personal tales. Some are short, some very short. Some I've told, some I haven't. But I hope these mini-memoirs show how our personal tales are an essential part of how we create the story of ourselves.
To buy a copy simply click here on A Long Run in Short Shorts and follow the instructions.
An ideal present, you will also be able to request for copies to be sent direct to family and friends.
Latest post in my Storyworks Blog
Storytelling Starters ~ Findings
Imagine. You’re walking along through woodland and you see a large sheet of corrugated iron with something lumpy sticking out from underneath. You pull the corrugated iron away and suddenly what you’re seeing is a huge plaster model of a man. It looks like it’s been there a very long time, strands of ivy are growing across it, parts of the legs are falling away. Who is this? And why is it here?
Well, the answer to the first question is Sir Francis Drake in the form of a plaster cast of him. The answer to the second is not known. But this last weekend, coming across the bones of the story, I was as much struck by all the unknowns as by what I'd learned of the tale.
Sir Francis Drake:
The finding took place in 1999 on Haldon Hill in South Devon. I haven’t had time to find out who was involved, whether it was one lone walker or two or more, or what action they then took. I do know that, whatever the string of events that then occurred, the massive plaster model turned out to be what had been used in the casting of the impressive bronze statue of Drake that now stands on Plymouth Hoe and also of the other identical statue of him, which was in fact cast first - the one that stands in Tavistock where Drake was born.
How I came to know these facts is that, during a short stay in Plymouth over the weekend, we’d already walked past Sir Francis looking grandly out to sea in statue-form on the Hoe when we subsequently went on a visit to Buckland Abbey. Buckland Abbey, by then no longer an abbey, had become Drake's home for fifteen years from 1580 and in it are a lot of items that belonged to him, including his drum. By now alerted to the man himself and having walked past him on the Hoe, we were especially fascinated to come upon the restored plaster model of him as well as a whole lot of information on Drake’s career. The model is enormously imposing, all the more because of the pale cream colour which makes it look rather spectral.
Click here to go to more of my Storyworks Blog
And now some news of myself
I'm a professional storyteller and author. I used to experience some difficulty moving from one to the other. By now, I find they enhance each other. My new book, A Long Run In Short Shorts, is a product of both ways of doing things,
A Long Run In Short Shorts consists of 40 short personal tales. Some are stories I've told to friends or on storytelling occasions. Others I have never told. What made me start writing them was an out-of-the-blue email from a woman wanting London stories for an online magazine. Although I wrote back asking what sort of stories she wanted, I never heard from her again. But by then, all kinds of memories were flooding into my mind - London encounters, coincidence tales, extraordinary people, wise and moving things people have said. The foreword to my book explains why I stopped at 40.
For me, it is extremely exciting that A Long Run in Short Shorts is published by Storyworks Press, the new press my husband Paul and I have created for the purpose. The book embodies one of the strong beliefs which has long been at the heart of my Storyworks philosophy - and my storytelling workshops - namely the value and interest of the personal tale both for us as individuals and as part of social communication.
On the storytelling side of my life, I'm currently developing Burying the Cat, a new storytelling show with, at its heart, one of the most popular stories in my new book of mini-memoirs, A Long Run in Short Shorts. The new show will be a companion piece to Travels with My Welsh Aunt. I may even perform them as two halves of the same evening.
I'm also starting to think about the third Enchanted Evening performances of songs and stories that my husband Paul and I will have given at Peppers in Fishguard, the arts venue with a splendid cafe and delicious food. Paul sings the songs, I tell the stories and David Pepper is the pianist. This next performance will be Spring Enchantment. Our previous two shows have been a great success with our audiences and a pleasure for us to perform! .
My most recent schools visit was to the new Cardiff Montessori School as part of National Storytelling Week. Coming up is a return visit to St Peter's in Hammersmith as part of their Arts Week. Intriguingly, the theme of the week will be Umbrellas with Renoir's painting of same a central focus. My mind is already working on a suitably colourful repertoire for all the classes of children I'll see.
I'd also like to draw your attention to my Storyworks Blog, part of which appears at the top of this website. I publish a new posting each Saturday and it delights me to say that I have subscribers as far afield as Australia and India. If you wish, you can easily become a regular (and free) subscriber yourself - see where to sign in on the blog itself - and I'd be delighted to welcome you there.
For a full list of my publications, including Shemi’s Tall Tales, my children's novels and books on storytelling with children, please click on Buy my books in the menu on the left hand side of this website. There, you'll find full details on how to purchase any of my titles directly from me
For further information on my storytelling career, including the Lifetime Achievement Award
I was given in 2013 by BASE (British Awards for Storytelling Excellence) please click on Read more about me
. And to know more about what I can offer you, whether it's a performance, a workshop or a school visit, please
click on What I Can Do For You. .
And do please contact me
if you'd like any further information about my work.