A TRUSTED VOICE

Studies warn nowadays that increasing numbers of young kids are entering school without deep trust in an adult figure. Any adult figure. You can blame it on family breakup, drugs, poverty, or just frenetic modern life in general, I suppose, because even in affluent families, plenty of kids have to compete with their parents’ smartphones to get their attention.

Whatever the causes, Story Preservation Initiative (SPI) has decided that my audio stories for young kids might help by providing a consistent and trusted voice in their lives.

I’m honored and delighted to have my works viewed in this way, and to be part of a school-based program like SPI’s.

LEARN MORE.

 

 

FAIRY FOLKS AND OLD OAKS: A Fairy Tales Show and a Workshop in NH

Abbott Library in Sunapee, New Hampshire hosts Odds Bodkin for a day of fun family events on Thursday, Feb. 28, 2019 starting at 10:00 a.m.

All events are FREE TO THE PUBLIC.

FAIRY FOLKS AND OLD OAKS Storytelling Concert at 10:00 a.m.

First, a FAIRY FOLKS AND OLD OAKS storytelling concert where Odds tells two rollicking fairy tales–The Little Shepherd and the Tale of the Kittens. Each story is filled with voices, sounds and music on different 12-string guitars. Odds offers an introduction to the magic of fairy tales and how they help kids grow as he plays Celtic harp.

FAIRY FOLKS AND OLD OAKS Workshop for Grades 3-5 at 11:00 a.m.

Next, an hour-long workshop where kids learn the classic story elements of a fairy tale, experience fun imagination exercises and learn to create fairy tales of their own.

STORYBLAST FAMILY CONCERT for All Ages at 6:00 p.m.

An evening performance of Odds Bodkin’s best, funniest, most family-friendly tales. Performed with music on guitars, Celtic harp and other instruments.

 

GOOD THINGS COME IN SMALL PACKAGES

Open up an Odds Bodkin Epic Drive and here are the tales you’ll find:

 

Buy it today and receive a free autographed Odyssey Poster/Map with your purchase. A full color poster on one side, and a map of the Mediterranean world on the other, this 16″x20″ map shows where, according to scholars’ best guesses, all 42 episodes of The Odyssey took place.

The Neuroscience of Music in Real Time

At my web site I’ve got a new picture of my ugly mug, recently taken by my friend and fellow storyteller, Simon Brooks. I’ve been heavily right-brained all my life, and it shows in my left eye. It’s always slightly larger and more alive than the other one, no matter how much I try to keep my right eye open to look passably normal.

The right hemisphere of the brain–the seat of imagery and intuition–is connected to the left eye via the optic chiasm. Ask any brain scientist. They’ll confirm it. Same thing with the left brain; it’s wired up to the right eye.

You’d think since I use language in my work, it would be the other way around, but nope, the imagery side remains dominant, so I’ve just lived with it since my twenties and worn sun glasses whenever possible.

Of course, in my approach to storytelling, there’s music happening. According to Wikipedia on the Neuroscience of Music, the music part is a bit more complex:

Sequencing

Motor sequencing has been explored in terms of either the ordering of individual movements, such as finger sequences for key presses, or the coordination of subcomponents of complex multi-joint movements.[19] Implicated in this process are various cortical and sub-cortical regions, including the basal ganglia, the SMA and the pre-SMA, the cerebellum, and the premotor and prefrontal cortices, all involved in the production and learning of motor sequences but without explicit evidence of their specific contributions or interactions amongst one another.[19] In animals, neurophysiological studies have demonstrated an interaction between the frontal cortex and the basal ganglia during the learning of movement sequences.[26] Human neuroimaging studies have also emphasized the contribution of the basal ganglia for well-learned sequences.[27]

So it looks as if they’re really not sure what’s going on, other than while creating and playing music, all these regions are firing away together in happy harmony.

I’ve been thinking about all this because coming up in a week, I’ll be doing it in public down in Cambridge, MA, for a return appearance at Grendel’s Den. ODIN AND THOR BATTLE THE FROST GIANTS. Two 12-strings and a harp. Lots of language. Lots of music.

We’ll see how it all spins together this time.

As for my ugly mug, you needn’t worry. Half the audience listens with their eyes closed anyway.

Every Time We Get In The Car

Last year Mike repaired my snowblower, and this year he came back, just yesterday, to fix the generator. It now runs like a dream and so here in New Hampshire, I’m finally ready for winter. If you lose power and it’s twenty below, with no furnace going, the water pipes freeze in the walls and burst.

“You know that story you gave me?” he asked. “My kids love it. Every time we get in the car, they want to hear it. Even I like it. The other copy’s in my wife’s car.”

I wasn’t sure what story I’d given him. “Which story was that?”

“Little Proto. They really like Ankles. ‘Play the Ankles part’ they say. You gave me those CDs, remember?”

I hadn’t remembered but did now. “Which story was it?” I asked, having made three Little Proto dinosaur recordings for young kids.

“The one about Magnolia Island.”

Ah, I thought, that was the first one. “How old are your kids?”

“Three and five.”

“Have they heard the other two?”

“You mean there are others?”

“Yeah. Better than the first one, in my opinion. Hang on, I’ll see if I can find them.”

I headed inside and upstairs. Might as well give Mike CDs for his kids. T-Rex Adventure is my favorite, with King Geoffrey the Rex and Old Wrinkles the Triceratops doing their grumpy old men thing while rescuing Proto. I found the two CDs, one with a cracked case but with a playable CD inside (we just sell digital versions these days) and gave them to him.

“My kids are gonna freak out,” he said, smiling and taking them.

“Play the one with the T-Rex on the cover first,” I advised. “It’s really funny in places. You’ll meet Bump. He’s a fun character, like Ankles. Volcano’s Fire is the third story, where Proto’s growing up.”

“Wow, thanks.”

“You’re welcome. Enjoy them.”

Later, at work inside, I heard the generator humming and went to the garage. Mike was finishing up. “I’ll get some ethanol-free gas up in Goshen like you recommended,” I said.

“Makes a huge difference with engines like these.”

“Okay, great. What do I owe you?”

He’d been at the house for over an hour. I was expecting a hundred, maybe a hundred and fifty dollars for the service, since he’d also gotten the snow blower’s drive belts back on. In winter, the snowblower ranks up there with the generator.

“Make it fifty,” he said.

I looked at him.

“Hey,” he said. “You gave me two CDs. My kids are gonna freak out.”

Odds Bodkin’s Shop

 

Do Silicon Valley Execs Keep Their Kids Away From Screens? Yes.

Why do Silicon Valley executives raise their children technology-free? This headline from The Guardian says it all: TABLETS OUT, IMAGINATION IN: THE SCHOOLS THAT SHUN TECHNOLOGY.

They do it because they want their kids to be imaginative and mentally healthy, basically. Looking out over the wasteland of anger, narcissism, teen suicides, obesity and incivility that social media networks have caused in young lives recently, many of these tech wizards are scared for their own kids.

Like King Midas, everything they touched has turned to gold. But don’t forget the old story: When King Midas touches his own daughter, whom he loves, she turns to gold, too. That’s the end of her.

Digital Addiction begins with kids interacting with screens. The colorful, always-changing worlds they find are so much fun that when they’re suddenly without their screens and look up to see the real world around them, it simply moves too slowly. It’s boring. This causes a kind of free-floating, stimulation-seeking depression.

Down through the ages, kids engaged in creative play with toys and role-playing, attempting to do what grownups did, but in miniature. It has always been this way. But not now, not in the dopamine-laden world of video games and social networks. Not unless the kids’ lives are balanced by getting them away from these devices.

It’s ironic. Now that the digital masters of the universe are having families, too, they realize this, smart as they are. Heck, they built these things to be addictive. And yes, they love their kids, too.

So what is the indispensable skill they want their children to develop at these very expensive, very selective kindergartens and elementary schools where less is more?

Imagination.

What grows imagination best?

Creative outdoor play, kids playing with kids, without any adults around.

If that’s not possible, what’s the next best thing?

Storytelling.

As Einstein said, “If you want your child to be intelligent, read them fairy tales.”

Wait a moment, you might say. Odds Bodkin is using digital media at the moment. Isn’t that a bit hypocritical?

Well, no.

That’s because my imagination developed long ago, when I was a kid, playing outside all day, and then, after coming back home, listening to my dad tell me stories.


BUSINESS INSIDER article for more

 

 

 

 

 

An In-Depth Audio Interview About Creative Storytelling’s Secrets

With 12-string guitar in hand, Odds Bodkin sits down with interviewer Brother Wolf to answer questions about creating character voices, vocal effects and music in Bodkin’s brand of muse-inspired storytelling. Here are the secrets this “modern day Orpheus” (Billboard) uses to create his unique performance art. Click to listen!

 

SUMMER IS COMING/Intelligent Learning for Well-Adjusted Children

SUMMER IS COMING/Intelligent Learning for Well-Adjusted Children

Here’s a song I wrote and sang long ago with my friend, Steve Schuch. It’s based on my childhood memories of watching The Wizard of Oz with Judy Garland.

Take a listen. It’s free.

Happy Summer.

Odds Bodkin

 

To discover other songs, music and stories, visit here.

STORYTELLING AFICIONADOS DISCOVER ODDS BODKIN’S MASTER DRIVE

STORYTELLING AFICIONADOS DISCOVER ODDS BODKIN’S MASTER DRIVE

The complete works of a master musical storyteller. From folk tales for children to epics for teens and adults. Serious savings on a lifetime of imagination.

See what it’s all about here.

EMPOWER YOURSELF WITH STORYTELLING THIS MAY 25-27!

EMPOWER YOURSELF WITH STORYTELLING THIS MAY 25-27!

If you’ve ever wanted to speak in front of people in a confident way, without using notes, Odds Bodkin’s upcoming storytelling weekend course in Loveland, Colorado this May is for you. As a storyteller who performs tales that can be hours long (and audiences listen!) he knows a few secrets about how to do it. Billboard Magazine calls him “a modern-day Orpheus” and his two-day course at Sunrise Ranch is fun, very entertaining and packed with real skills. Take those skills out into your life by learning the storyteller’s craft and watch your confidence soar.

And along the way, you’ll learn some fascinating lore about trees.

 

 

 

 

A NEW STORYTELLING COLLECTION AT ODDS BODKIN’S SHOP

A NEW STORYTELLING COLLECTION AT ODDS BODKIN’S SHOP

“a consummate storyteller”–The New York Times

For parents with kids 8-11, here’s some solid imagination entertainment and non-screen learning for cognitive development of a deeper kind. The APPRENTICE DRIVE contains The Wise Little Girl: Tales of the Feminine; The Odyssey: An Epic Telling; Earthstone: The Eco-Musical; Giant’s Cauldron: Viking Myths of Adventure; The Hidden Grail: Sir Percival and the Fisher King; Stories of Love; and David and Goliath: The Harper and the King.

Nine hours of award-winning audio. A $119.50 value for $79.95.

Visit Odds’ Shop to hear audio samples of everything.

Apprentice Drive (Ages 8-11)

 

 

POETIC PUZZLING

POETIC PUZZLING

What is The Water Mage’s Daughter? Well, it’s an epic poem in English, yes. And sure, it features thousands of rhymes in different schemes. But along with telling a killer story, it’s also a very cool word puzzle. How? Well, by the time you’ve reached page 347, you’ve read heroic couplets and quatrains in Canticles I and II. They’re fun. Canticle III, however, which up until now has featured “whorls” that rhyme from the outside in, throws out some fresh craziness with words. Here’s the spot in the text where I offer the puzzle:

First, through free verse our tale will wend,

Then back to couplets t’ward the end,

Yet each end-word shall kiss a mate

Somewhere––that’s if you take the bait

And feed on fancy, that old stuff

We love…

In other words, every end-word in the canto (chapter) will rhyme with another end-word somewhere. It may be pretty far away, but it’s in there. So if you’re into word puzzles, this makes for an amusing hunt.

It’s not until 60 pages later that the poem modulates completely back to couplets and stays there.

–Odds Bodkin