Following our research into the different sites and the time we had spent working in their local communities, we set off to grow our stories – the fiction to compliment the facts that Paul and Jessica had shared with us. Our thoughts and reactions set us all thinking in different directions and at different moments in history and now it was time to pull ourselves and our ideas together.

Hugh Lupton, one of the most respected storytellers in the country and a very good friend of ours, led us on a through examination of the threads of the stories we were working on.

Through a series of exercises and visualisations in time and space, he opened up our thinking, challenged our conceptions and guided the crafting of our ideas. Over 3 intensive days he teased out our thoughts and before we knew it Hugh had us throwing our notes, diagrams and story maps to the floor and giving our embryonic stories air for the first time. Like fledgelings they fluttered into the air and now we need to take them back to the space where they were born and let them grow!

Would that be was easy? Would there be a small magic wand that we could wave to complete them? No. These tales for telling need air to grow in and fortunately Northumberland has plenty of that! (As you’ll see we took Hugh high up on the Simonside Hills to experience some of that air himself). Hugh fired us up and focussed our thinking so keenly, that now we have to take that inspiration with us, dream again and see if we can be ready for the first flight of stoires in June.

Red Bull anyone?

Chris Bostock 17th May 2013

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