At the latest Carapace, one of our monthly chances to practice true, personal storytelling here in Atlanta ~ the first, I might add, and where I got my start ~ we had the shortest storyteller in all our 7-year history. I’m not picking on her size. She’s eight.

20170627_191714Eleanor has shown up off-and-on over the years at Carapace with dad, Ian, whom I’ve written about before in StoryMusings. It’s been fun to watch her grow up.

Tonight, Eleanor decided to throw her name in the hat for the first time, and wouldn’t you know it, her name definitely came out of that hat!

Now, I’m not trying to take any credit for this occasion, but I will say that the last time Eleanor was there, I asked her if she was going to throw her name in. She looked at me with that put-upon, unflappable disdain that only a tweenager can, and said, “Um, no. My dad’s the storyteller.”

And so it was that I was tickled pink when I heard her name called tonight.

She went up to the mic with all the bounding eagerness and energy a child can use to cross a room, but once she got there, Eleanor was a little taken aback with where she’d landed. She stood for quite some time surveying the crowd, deer-in-headlights, looking back at Cris, our MC, trying to figure out what to do next.

We all cheered and encouraged.

“I just don’t know how to start,” she whispered to Cris. We all know that feeling, right?

When she finally did get started, Eleanor delighted us all with her story about a bike crash and blood!, which was funny and succinct.

My point? Everyone’s got a story, and anyone can tell a great story.

Seriously. Anyone.