Statistics and Magician’s Wife Tuesday, Feb 23 2016 


Storytelling throughout history was the passing on of the essence of an event. Specific details were not necessary. It was a person’s emotional interpretation of a significant occurrence. The heart of the story was what was important.

These stories would get passed down by word of mouth, so they altered along the way. I recently heard on the science program, Nova, that every time we recall a memory, we edit it. It becomes less and less accurate because our imagination fills in bits and pieces of things that may have happened, and then those imagined additions become part of the memory.

Today, we do more reporting than storytelling. We want specific details—time, dates, and numbers. When I wrote Sunday feature articles for the Chicago Tribune, three things were to be included: real voices, meaningful quotes, and statistics. Stories needed to be about people with real concerns, told in their own words, and backed up with relevant data.

Statics are an important element in substantiating a story. They tell a level of truth in numbers. Although it was my least favorite college class, I do realize its significance from sports and politics to science and demographics. However, in all reality, even those numbers are a matter of interpretation and can be twisted.

WordPress offers a stats page for each of my blogs. It shows the number of views, likes, visitors, and comments for every post and even where those viewers are located. These numbers give me an idea of who is reading my blogs and whether they are of interest to anyone. There is a wide variation of numbers for many reasons including relevancy of content, writing style, and the time and day of posting.

My most viewed post ran back on August 19, 2013. It had 777 views on WordPress plus countless others via Facebook reposting.

For those who might like to re-read it, and those who never saw it, here it is again:Top 10 Ways You Know You Are a Magicians Wife

©2016, Mary K Doyle

Folk Music and Storytelling Festival Monday, Sep 3 2012 

Geneva, Illinois loves festivals and we have some of the best. Swedish Days, Geneva Arts Fair, Festival of the Vine, and the Christmas Walk are the main ones but a lesser known festival marks the end of the summer for me.

The Fox Valley Folk Music and Storytelling Festival is a funky, relaxing, family event held on Labor Day. Island Park came alive once again this holiday for the 36th year with continuous music, storytelling, and workshops on eight stages as performers from across the country sparked toe-tapping to the beat of drums, dulcimers, guitars, fiddles, and harps. Audience particpation often is encouraged as it was with the performance, Stories for Ninos & Ninas and their Papas and Mamas by Juan Dies and his group. A variety of food booths and vendors selling crafts and CDs also were on hand.

Sponsored by the Fox Valley Folklore Society in cooperation with the Geneva Park District, the festival has no paid organizing staff. It runs on thousands of volunteer hours. Donations cover 70% of the actual production expenses and more than 80 businesses sponsor the remainder.

©2012, Mary K. Doyle

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