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Read the following twice:

"This (pause) is Telling Simple, where stories 

are told in a bare-bones style of storytelling.  

These are stories you've probably never

heard before, stories from the past, 

retold, simply.






Simple Quick Tips From the Experts




Lend Your Voice


Hear your voice on an upcoming episode.  It is easy, free, and we'd love to have you join us.  It only takes 90 seconds.


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Tall tales.  Short tales.  Lost Tales.  Forgotten Tales.  The Telling Simple Podcast contains stories from the past, with humor and truth and truth stretched sideways at times.  Click the green button to listen.





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All Finished!  Thank you.

Submissions will be posted in the order received.  Listen for your voice on an upcoming episode.

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About Telling Simple

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Eric Hurtt began telling stories in Eastern Washington/Idaho as part of storytelling duo called Tellers Two (1995-1998).  From there, he told Klondike Gold Rush stories in Alaska (1998-200), and later conducted ghost walking tours, telling ghost stories in Old Town Sacramento (2005-2016).  Today, he researches, crafts, and shares stories told found on this podcast.  

Welcome to Telling Simple, a podcast where stories are retold simply, in a bare-bones style of storytelling.  There are a lot of great stories from the past that have been misplaced or are rarely told anymore.  Here you'll find those stories stripped down to the bare-bones of what's taking place to allow you to fill in the background.  


Seasons 1 & 2 contain stories from California.  


Telling SImple is a hobby podcast.  Just like every story needs a teller, every story also needs a listener.  Thank you for listening.  If you know of any who likes a good story, your telling about this podcast is always greatly appreciated.



They can sure tell a story: Auburn Winter Storytelling Festival ...

Jan 19, 2021 — The Auburn Winter Storytelling Festival on Jan. 23 includes five professionals, including Eric Hurtt, pictured, who says he'll share stories on the ...

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Thank you for your visit to the Telling Simple website.  Please email your comments, thoughts, and feedback in the section provided.  Please allow 72 hours for a reply, as emails are not checked daily.  But you never know, you might be surprised with a quick response.  


Thank you again.

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How did you find us?  

tellingsimple 2020 ©

Best quote from book:  "To be a good storyteller is to be gloriously alive."
A storyteller's goal is to touch the heart so that "the head may understand."
My favorite story in her book:  Wee Meg Barnileg.

Links to other information about Ruth Sawyer:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ruth_Sawyer

Quote from James Stephen's The Crock of Gold: "I have learned  . . . that the head does not hear anything until the heart has listened, and what the heart knows today the head will understand tomorrow."  

Final Thought

"This art of telling stories lies within the Storyteller,

To be searched for, Drawn out, Made to grow."


April 5, 2020


Storyteller:  Jackie Torrence


Book:  Jackie Tales:  The Magic of Creating Stories and the Art of Telling Them, 1998


According to Torrence, there is a method to learning a story.


        1.  Read the story aloud 5 times.  Be sure to never memorize the story word for word.

    2.  When you read the story a 2nd time, read for the pictures it creates in your mind.  These pictures are what you will share with your audience.

             3.  During the 3rd reading, this is where you "hem and tuck" or trip the story, changing words and cutting/ adding to the length.

4.  During the 4th reading, you combine your pictures and your

"hem and tucks".

           5.  During the 5th reading,make sure 

you didn't miss anything.  You might see pictures or the storyline         



Practice telling the story a few times using the pictures as your guide.  

"Visulaizing your stories:  You must see the scenes & your characters in your mind as you tell a story.  Visualize the story as if you are living in it, not just talking about it.  Believing in your story, and making things real.  Characters are hard to believe if they are too perfect, kingdoms are unreal if they are paradises."  

My Notes:  First storytelling book I bought from a contemporary storyteller


  • Revivalists pull stories from books.  They revive stories.                                    Traditionalists tell stories from their parents and grandparents and their culture.
  • Remember, if a prop is too gimmicky, it will distract your audience and cause them not to listen to your story.  

Her way of opening a story:  "I've got to tell you this story."

Her way of ending a story:  "And that is the end of that." 


Final Thought

"My props are my hands and my face and my eyes and in the way I gesture and move my body.  I want to leave everything to the . . . imagination."  I want them to see me and then see the character and feel like the character."

She is best know for her

Jack Tales & Br'er Rabbit Tales

My Favorite Story of hers:  Elvira & Henry

LInks to Other Information About

Jackie Torrence:

  Jackie Torrence Shares Her Secrets For Storytelling


Jackie Torrence -- A Trickster Story


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May 5, 2020


Storytelling, Coach:  Doug Lipman


Book:  Improving Your Storytelling


(This is purely my opinion, but this is a must have book for any storyteller.  I want to share a few highlights.  You really must read it for yourself.  I was introduced to this storyteller in 1989 as a coach.  Readers are fortunate he put his notes in a book.)  






Simple Quick Tips From the Experts

  • Storytelling shoud be organic when you are infront of a group.  You should alway be ready to adapt to your audience with your story selection.  Always have several stories prepared, just in case.
  • Exercise:  try telling your story with no words
  • Humor in a story can be found by juxtapositioning "two contrasting ideas or feelings."
  • The power of the pause:  it allows the "storytelling time to imagine and react."  Don't be afraid of it. 
  • There is a differnce between those who rehearse a story alone too much and those who tell a story informally many times.  Key:  try telling informally
  • When telling a story, keep in mind there are 4 ways experiences are formed:  visual, sound, imagery from feelings (happy/angry) and from a word or concept (hurtful day).

"There is no one right way to tell a story."

Links To Other Information about

Doug Lipman

What Storytelling Can Teach Us About Creating Connectionre

Shaping A New Story


"When you tell a story, you always must be there, shaping the artistic moment.  Even if you have told the story five hundred times before, you must still show up the five hundred and first time, balancing the needs of the story, your needs and the needs of the audience."  

July 5, 2020


Storyteller, Coach:  Sean Buvala


Blog:  https://seantells.com/9-tips-for-storytelling-in-any-situation/


*  Tell Stories You Like

*  Practice & Know Your Story

*  Remove Parts That Slow The Action

*  Speak Clearly

*  Pace The Story Appropriately

*  Use A Microphone

*  Remember Good Eye Contact

*  Use Natural Gestures

*  Avoid "The Moral Of Story Finishes"





"Storytelling takes place in the moment, cocreated between the storyteller & the listener.  Each act of Stortelling is a unique experience."

My Notes:  (First book I ever bought on Storytelling.  Somehow I have held onto this book for over 35 years.)


  • Sawyer talks about  imagination-- using this gift -- "using words to see with and to make others see."  I know that when I share a story, I have to see in my mind what's going on.  If I can't see what's going on, then I wonder what are the listeners seeing in their minds.  Sawyer went on to say:  see your story first, have it come to life for you, then apply the words and add movements where appropriate.
  • "Creative art is the power to be for the moment a flash of communication between God and man."  -- not sure from where her quote came from, but I like it.
  • Look for stories that move you personally.

March 5th, 2020


Storyteller:  Ruth Sawyer


Book:  The Way of the Storyteller, 1942.


According to Sawyer, there are 6 parts to the storytelling artform.


     1.  Personal Experience

     2.  Building of your background 

     3.  Having an imagination, a creative one

     4.  Ability to evoke emotion in others

     5.  Sense of spiritual conviction

     6.  A gift for selecting good material.


   Sawyer has a warning not to bring sophistication to storytelling

because storytelling is a folkart.



March 5th, 2020


Storyteller:  Ruth Sawyer


Book:  The Way of the Storyteller, 1942.


According to Sawyer, there are 6 parts to the storytelling artform.


     1.  Personal Experience

     2.  Building of your background 

     3.  Having an imagination, a creative one

     4.  Ability to evoke emotion in others

     5.  Sense of spiritual conviction

     6.  A gift for selecting good material.


   Sawyer has a warning not to bring sophistication to storytelling

because storytelling is a folkart.




Links To Other Information about

Sean Buvala

The Demon Cat


"When you know your purpose, life is more meaningful and easier to navigate.  You're more interesting to others.  You are much clearer in what you are trying to accomplish."  

              Resource:          http://www.storyteller.net

"Storytelling requires you to image the stories you tell.  Telling stories well requires that you imagine well the important images, feelings, and actions of the story."

August 5, 2020


Organizer of the 1st National StoryTelling

Festival in Tennessee in 1973:


Jimmy Neil SmithO



*  Pick a story you love and believe in

*  Learn the story in a suitable way for you

*  Adapt story to fit you, audience, situation

Use your natural voice

*  "Use sound effects naturally, cautiously"

"Be brave enough to be silent"

*  Use gestures naturally, simply

*  Polish your story by telling it over & over

*  Story should be right for the audience

Expand your opportunities to learn more

   about storytelling, workshops, festivals,

   listening to other professional storytellers










"When you learn a story, you needn't worry

that the first time you tell the tale, it may only

be the 'bare-bones.'  In time as the story is

told again and again, you will become more

comfortable with the telling and embellish

the tale, giving flesh to those bones." 

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"Storytelling comes from the heart, not the head, and nothing should keep us from the exhileration and sheer pleasure of telling a story."


"The art of storytelling is a co-creative process, 

requiring both the teller and the listener,working together, to weave the whole fabric 

of the tale, the warp and the weft of it.  While the teller tells the story, allowing it to unfold,

the listener creates an image of what's happening--conjuring up mind pictures--

and the story comes alive."  

September 5, 2020


Storyteller:  Ed Stivender




*  Storytelling is babysitting/keep the 

       audience's attention


*  Never censor parts of a Fairytale or Folktale

       to make the story easier to listen too.  If

       there is gore, keep the gore.


*  No such thing as just "Story".  Use the

       story or a story when talking about it.


*  If the audience is comfortable, then the 

       listener can fully enjoy the story


*  Storytelling is co-creative.  Where the story

       is really happening, is in the imagination

       of the listener.






 5 Rules For Successful Storytelling

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Note:  he finds using a harmonica a great tool to 

entertain and distract the audience, while he  

creates the story, working

on his lines, in his mind



"Though I can practice infront of a mirror or infront of friends, I need an audience -- and their responses -- to shape and mold my stories and strengthen my telling."  (with the audience's help, his stories become richer).

Examples of His Stories

October 5, 2020


Moth Storyteller:    Terence Mickey



 7 Audience Engagement Tips


    Storytelling is all about connecting with

                         Your audience.



*  Connecting with yourself will help you

    connect with your audience


*  Having anxiety is your friend.  Embrace

   it.  It is your friend.


 *  Once infront of the group, count 1, 2, 3.  

    It is a transition between anxiety & energy.


*  Start with a "killer" 1st sentence & end with

   a "killer" last sentence.  


*  If you forget a line, circle back to the last

   thingyou said.  Repeat it.  And it will usually

   reset you & the lines will come back to you.


*  Make eye contact.  If you can walk, walk

   close to them.  Talk to them.  And Don't 

   Ever Turn Your Back On Them, Even To 

   Read  A Line.


*  Be yourself.  e   E






If you lose your thought, "you can acknowledge it and tell the audience, 'I've lost my way for a second."

They can all relate and will empathize and appreciate your honesty."

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"Trust yourself to be yourself.  Be charming.  Be welcoming.  Be human.  Laugh and don't take yourself too seriously."

"You have to breath, connect with your body and give

yourself that beat to pause, find your place, stare the

audience in the eyes and then speak directly to them."

June 4, 2021

Folk Singer/Storyteller:  Pete Seeger

General Notes For Storytelling

* Sometimes you have 30 minutes, sometimes only a few.  A quick anecdote can capture the audiences attention as well as a long story


*Don't be afraid to take liberties with stories


*English is a crazy language.  Sometimes we need to make up a word that doesn't exist to add flavor to the story


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Click On For Story 

Foolish Frog

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Episode #2

Hanted Road Story (near Coloma): 

Half Faced Stranger

Podcast Description:  Buried in the hills is a forgotten grave.  Now, an angry ghost haunts an old stagecoach road, now paved over.  The spirit steals, stands in the middle of the road, and likes to point, among other things.



Teller:  Eric Hurtt

Guest Announcer:  Elizabeth R.

Production Voice:  Special Thanks to Julia H.

Produced by Squeaky Metal Stool Productions

Click on artwork for story

#Coloma, #Haunted, #Hauntedroad, #ghosts, #California, #stealing, #prospector, #stagecoach, #haunted, #accident, #missinggrave, #claim, #storytelling, #storyteller, #pointing, #lostmines

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Episode #3

Click on artwork for story

Hanted Road Story (near Lake Tahoe):

The Naked What?

Podcast Description:  At a bend in the road, lay a woman, missing her shirt, pants, and socks.  And she was missing something else:  a body.  But when the police went to look for her, they found something else, they weren't expecting.



Teller:  Eric Hurtt

Guest Announcer:  Colleen M.

Production Voice:  Special Thanks to Julia H.

Produced by Squeaky Metal Stool Productions

#LakeTahoe, #Haunted, #Hauntedroad, #ghosts, #California, #nakedwoman, #accident, #haunted, #missingbody, #darknight, #storytelling, #storyteller, #cliff 

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Episode #4

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Missing Gold Story (Camptonville):  

A Flat Minor

Podcast Description:  His partner, his cabin and hundreds of something, just up and disappeared.  And what about his gold?  This episode contains a story from California's past about lost gold on ridge above the old mining town of Camptonville.

Teller:  Eric Hurtt

Telling Simple Guest Announcer:  Ruth B.

Production Voice:  Special thanks to Julia H.

Produced by:  Squeaky Metal Stool Productions

#Camptonville, #California, #mining, #prospecting,

#lostgold, #lostmine, #illness, #logroad, #pumporgan, #digging, #gold, #storytelling, #storyteller, #corduroyroad

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Episode #5

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Killer Love Story (Indian Gulch):

A Groom's Doom

Podcast Description:  Love is given.  Love is taken, sometimes by others.  But the love that was given, that feeling, never goes away.  This episode contains a love story from California's past, an old story that came out of Indian Gulch, many, many years ago.

Teller:  Eric Hurtt

Telling Simple Guest Announcer:  Amika W.

Production Voice:  Special thanks to Julia H.

Produced by:  Squeaky Metal Stool Productions

#love, #lovestory, #tragedy, #indiangulch, #california, #murder, #jealousy, #lovetriangle, #mystery, #storytelling, #storyteller, #marriage,#courtship #suitor, #1800s

Episode #6

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Hungry Bear Story (near Bishop):

All Pooped Out

Podcast Description:  A snowshoer vs a bear wearing snowshoes.  Staying alive is on the mind of one.  Hunger is on the mind of the other.  Who can walk-run or hop-run faster through deep snow?
This episode contains a famous, never heard of, chase story from California's past, an old story that took place outside of the town of Bishop, many, many years ago, originally reported by the Mammoth City Times back in the 1880's.


Teller:  Eric Hurtt

Telling Simple Guest Announcer:  Christine R.

Production Voice:  Special thanks to Julia H.

Produced by:  Squeaky Metal Stool Productions


#bear, #grizzly, #brownbear, #winter, #snowshowing, #bishop, #california, #running, #chasing, #storytelling, #Storyteller, #Mamoth, #ranch

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Episode #7

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 Tall Tale Story (Sierra Nevada Mountains)

Cross-Eyed Buck

Description:  What do you call a fella who can hear trees growing, see around mountains, rip snakes out of the ground, and make a buck cross-eyed?  This episode contains a taller than tall story from California's past.  It is an old story that came out of the Sierra Nevada pack mule era, with special thanks to Mr. Harris, who took the time to share much of this tall tale you are about to hear.

Teller:  Eric Hurtt

Telling Simple Guest Announcer:  Cynthia Speakman

Production Voice:  Special thanks to Julia H.

Produced by:  Squeaky Metal Stool Productions

#storytelling, #california, #talltale, #familypodcast, #mules, #packmules, #humor, #snakes, #hunting, #sierranevadas, #sierramountains, #deerhunting,