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  • Writer's pictureBrandon Spars

An Epic Day

Twenty or so storytellers gathered at Cathryn Fairlee's house to each lend their voice to the telling of The Adventures of Amir Hamza. This is a nine hundred page book, and I certainly didn't have time to read the thing, so I was totally reliant upon Jeff Byers' summaries. I was completely awed by the effort he put into this, and by his incredible command of possibly the most complicated story I have ever "not read."

Dana Sherry really set the tone when she repeat the refrain, "Then after many twists and turns..." We all borrowed that one from her.

What a special treat to have Martha Shogrin take the stage. The slaughter and death in her portion could not extinguish the sparkle in her eye as she perched on a stool in front of us just like she used to do at the Do Tell Swap.

I really enjoyed the support we gave to one another and the "all hands on deck" feel to this event. We were all working together to make this happen, which created a special bond with one another that I have never felt between the different storytellers who were sharing a stage. It truly became our story for the day.

I told a section about Amar (possibly the historical Umar) who led raids on other forts. I brought a few details from Malay Hikayats to help me flesh out some of the scenes. In one, a co-ruler of a kingdom has a dream in which Ibrahim comes to him and converts him to Islam, thereby ensuring that he will help Amar. I turned to Hikayat Aceh in which Raja Pasai is converted in a dream. Mohammad arrives at the foot of his bed, and after slowly floating up to the king's head, lets a gob of spit fall into his mouth. The king awakens able to recite the entire Koran.

I am looking forward to the next one in the Fall!

Epic Day, Cotati, May 18, 2019


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