For Father’s Day: Odds Bodkin’s $174.95 MASTER DRIVE on sale for $99!

For Father’s Day: Odds Bodkin’s $174.95 MASTER DRIVE on sale for $99!

For you dads out there, a one-day-only sale of Odds Bodkin’s complete works.

25 hours of storytelling for all ages. Original music. Plus Odds’ 555-page epic work of high fantasy in verse, The Water Mage’s Daughter.

HAPPY FATHER’S DAY!

THE MASTER DRIVE: A World of Fantasy and Legends for the Mind’s Eye

 

THE MASTER DRIVE: A World of Fantasy and Legends for the Mind’s Eye

The Collected Works of Odds Bodkin on a flash drive. 25 hours of audio storytelling and music, plus a 555-page epic poem for adult readers, with glossary.

A $269.95 value for $175.95.

MOTHER’S DAY SALE! Odds Bodkin’s Master Drive $269.95 now $99 Today Only!

MOTHER’S DAY SALE! Odds Bodkin’s Master Drive $269.95 now $99 Today Only!

Since every mother should have one for herself and her kids, we’ve slashed our price for this special day. Happy Mother’s Day to all!

SOUNDS OF THE MOUNTAINS

SOUNDS OF THE MOUNTAINS

Camp Bethel is beautiful and I’m looking forward to spending next weekend in the meadows and hills of Virginia. And, I might add, after the coldest spring in New England that I can recall, in the warmth of the South. I’ve performed at SOUNDS OF THE MOUNTAINS before, but flew in with a single 12-string guitar. This time, though, I’m driving down with two guitars and my Celtic harp, what you might call the full kit of instruments I need in order to widen my choice of tales to offer. Just this morning I’ve been listing which ones the audience might most enjoy. The Elf of Springtime. The Boys and the Frogs. Finn MacCool and the Big Man. Maybe The Storm Breeder, if a scary story works. Although I love playing scores on the 12-strings, the harp really is a kind of musical starship, one that helps me deliver a story to a place no other instrument I know of can. It will be fun to have it with me.

There will be lots of schoolchildren in the audience, and adults, who know well the tradition of storytelling, and I’ll be sharing the stage with Sheila Arnold Jones, Jim May, and Kevin Kling.

So if you know anyone who’d like to hear four storytellers at the top of their games, pass on the word.

 

FUN FOR KIDS IN COLORADO: Magical Stories with Odds Bodkin in May

FUN FOR KIDS IN COLORADO: Magical Stories with Odds Bodkin in May

It’s Friday night, May 25th and you’re sitting in Sunrise Ranch’s auditorium with your kids. Onstage sits a Celtic harp, an African sanza and a 12-string guitar.

“What he going to do, momma?” asks your child.

“He’s going to tell stories about trees.”

“But trees don’t do anything, momma.”

“I have a feeling that in Mr. Bodkin’s stories, trees do all kinds of things. They even talk.”

“Who plays all those instruments?”

“Odds Bodkin.”

“While he’s telling stories?”

“Yep.”

COME CHILD AND SIT WITH ME BENEATH THE WISDOM TREE. A family storytelling concert. Don’t miss it.

Tickets: $15

The Dancing Plant/No Time-Lapse Required

The Dancing Plant/No Time-Lapse Required

———

If we sped time a thousand-fold,

Then spied on silent, leafy plants

Who stand stock-still above their roots,

We’d soon grasp how wildly alive

Our green-clad cousins are. They strive

And twist for space, wiggle their shoots

And whip their leaves like flagellants.

As noons fly past, like stories told.

———

I wrote those lines for The Water Mage’s Daughter (epic poem on Amazon) many years ago, and last night, for the first time, I saw this video. For this plant, time doesn’t need to be sped up. Just play it music and it moves! A true wonder.

 

You can learn more tree lore in Loveland, CO this late May.

YOU SAVED US FROM BABY BELUGA

YOU SAVED US FROM BABY BELUGA

Sunday night I was down in Cambridge at Grendel’s Den warming up my harp and 12-string onstage for a telling of Beowulf when a tall gentleman with silver hair came over, looking somewhat shy. The place was full and new faces were in the audience. Along with the usual crew of fine fans, Harvard students and curious twenty-somethings, I’d noticed husbands and wives in their fifties or early sixties at the tables. Obviously this gentleman had something to say. I stopped playing and smiled at him.

“Am I interrupting you?” he asked. He was fit and had a nice smile.

“No, not at all. I’m just warming up. Good evening.”

“Good evening,” he replied and we shook hands.

“I just wanted to tell you, Mr. Bodkin, that you saved us from Baby Beluga,” he said in a sort of admiring seriousness. It didn’t take too long for me to process that, and so I smiled wryly and chuckled, suspecting I knew what he was saying. He went on. “My kids are in their thirties now and are jealous they can’t be here.”

“Why, thank you.” I’ve had similar conversations with other nice people like him.

“No, thank you,” he said.Your stories got us through a lot of long trips when our kids were little. We had all your cassettes. Got them from Chinaberry Book Service.”

I used to do business with Chinaberry, a kids’ media operation out in California. Sold tens of thousands of recordings through them. This nice man’s wife, probably, had bought them, back when their kids were little. “Ah, yes,” I replied. “I’m glad your kids liked them. Tonight’s story is very different from those children’s recordings.”

“I expect so.”

“This one’s rather bloody,” I replied, thinking how in The Evergreens: Gentle Tales of Nature and The Teacup Fairy, some of my earliest kids’ albums, there is no blood.

“Can’t wait to hear it,” he said, sounding ready for some Viking wildness.

“Well,” I said, hitting a chord on the 12-string, “enjoy the show.”

“We will.” He returned to his seat at the bar next to a woman about his age. His wife, I assumed. The mother of the children he spoke of.

Baby Beluga! Baby Beluga!

The refrain from the song by Raffi echoed in my mind. I once met him, the man who wrote and sang that classic children’s song. A troubador from the Nineties, Raffi’s most famous song was Baby Beluga. He was the best-known of many musicians for young kids back then, a man who sang sweet, reassuring songs. I think of him as the Mr. Rogers of children’s music.

Back then I was selling recordings for young kids, too. Raffi always outsold anything I ever did, but then again, I wasn’t singing songs, which had a huge kids market before the advent of cellphones and iPad games. Instead I was telling stories, but even though they were for young children, they weren’t kiddie stories per se––stories about puppies and baby hedgehogs and so on. Nevertheless, lots of young children, including this gentleman’s who’d come up to say hello, apparently, had listened to them and had talked about them with their parents. I always tried to produce children’s media that didn’t make moms and dads lose their minds while listening to them, over and over again in their cars.

After the show I posed for photos with the man and his wife, along with a few other couples who proceeded to buy EPIC DRIVES. They wanted to send them to their grown children, they said, who now had kids of their own. Two young women in their twenties had listened to the Little Proto stories and loved them. A couple with their kids kept talking about The Blossom Tree, a Tibetan tale I tell, and I mentioned how I’ll be performing it in May as part of a weekend dedicated to the magic of trees, out in Colorado.

And so these stories I made a generation ago continue to make their way into the lives of a new generation, accomplishing a goal I always strove for: to make something that doesn’t quickly become marked as genre material of a former time.

I recommend Baby Baluga, too.

PERFORMANCES and a STORYTELLING WORKSHOP in COLORADO/ May 2018

Thanks to Courtney Herrera, a dynamic herbologist in Colorado, I’ll be returning to the Mountain State this May 25-27 to visit Sunrise Ranch in Loveland for two storytelling concerts and a how-to storytelling workshop. Open to the public, tickets are now on sale.

First, COME, CHILD AND SIT WITH ME BENEATH THE WISDOM TREE, a Friday evening performance for families. Kids of any age are welcome. The theme of the overall weekend is our mythic and sacral relationship with trees down through the millennia. The show starts at 7 p.m. and details and tickets are here.

On Saturday night it’s THOR AND ODIN BATTLE THE FROST GIANTS, two immense Viking myths (the real deal, not Marvel) with little-known Viking lore that has fascinated the wonderful adult audiences I’ve had lately on Harvard Square. Tickets are here.

If you know anyone in Colorado who’d like to learn to tell stories (it doesn’t matter what kind) freely and creatively, then let them know about ANCIENT TREE MAGIC AND LORE: A TWO-DAY STORYTELLING WORKSHOP FOR ADULTS. I’ll be spending eight hours during Saturday and Sunday sharing this version of THE DOOR TO IMAGINATION: HOW TO AWAKEN YOUR INNER STORYTELLER, my course about discovering your Muse. Details and tickets here.

All these events I’ll fill with live music on Celtic harp, 12-string guitar and other instruments. The Muses will be at work. I’ll be playing a Celtic harp donated by Dave Kolocny of Kolocny Music in Denver. For years Dave has graciously given me a harp to use while out West.

Sunrise Ranch is a glorious spiritual retreat center with stunning physical beauty, great food and a host of caring folks.

Please let your Colorado friends know about these upcoming events!

 

 

 

TUNA OR CALAMARI?

TUNA OR CALAMARI?

He burps, wondering if what he ate was tuna or calamari. He’s King Geoffrey the One-Eye, the formerly fearsome T-Rex who’s retired among the dinosaurs of the Sea Forest and now eats fish. Little Proto is lucky to have him as a friend, especially when a pteranodon flies off with the kid hero. Suddenly Proto needs to be rescued in this child-friendly adventure.

The national award-winning Little Proto Trilogy is on Odds Bodkin’s EPIC DRIVE, along with 15 other storytelling titles for ages four through adult. Age-coded mp3s.

Get yours today!

“a consummate storyteller”–The New York Times

 

THE EPIC DRIVE now available at Odds Bodkin’s Shop!

18 full-length storytelling albums on a single flash drive, age-coded for young children through adults, Odds Bodkin’s EPIC DRIVE puts the master storyteller’s tales in the palm of your hand. Plus, the EPIC DRIVE includes Odds’ newest creation, Beowulf the Only One, recorded live on Harvard Square before an adult audience (1 hr 20 minutes).

Just plug it in and load these mp3s onto your device. Share them with friends. Enjoy masterful voice characterizations, original music and Odds Bodkin’s uncanny vocal effects. You’ll hear classic myths, fairy tales and folktales, plus original stories brought to life by an artist the New York Times calls “a consummate storyteller” and Wired Magazine calls “one of the great voices in American storytelling.”

Get yours today!

Letter from an Educator, a Young Man in an American School

Mr. Bodkin,

Thank you so much for the consideration and time to send this to me. Like your impact on myself and many people who have heard your stories, this means more than you know.

This is my fifth year teaching The Odyssey in my curriculum, and at the end of class, when I play your stories, I can see the scenes flash across my students’ faces as they listen. Ironically, many of my students have had troubled pasts and special needs, but I rarely see them so at peace as when we hear your tales. They’ll work their tales (sic) off to ensure that we get a daily dose of storytelling at the end of each period.

The demand has been so high, that I’ve had to find a way to cram some passages from The Iliad into the curriculum after the break (a quality problem for an educator to have)…and I think we’ll just have to do a Beowulf unit with some of the Sophomores.

I’m humbled and thankful to have received this help from you during such a busy time. I know many of your fans will be eagerly awaiting the chance to read your book!

Merry Christmas, and thank you so much once again,

-Peter R. Best