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  • Writer's pictureNancy Shelton

MO-TELL's Member Profile: Nancy Shelton

Tell a little about yourself and your family? What is your vocation and your hobby?

I am a retired educator in the state of Missouri. Following retirement, I worked part-time for the Springfield district, then became a pet sitter. I have recenltly given that up, partly because I adopted the next-door neighbors Lab puppy. Robin, the ten-month old pup, and Fred, my nine-year old cat are now good friends. I also write, on occasion, and have had several meditations as well as a few children’s stories published as well as an article in Chicken Soup: Inspiration for Teachers. In my spare time I garden, play bridge, coodinate a local storytelling group, and enjoy time with my family. I have one daughter who has six grandchildren, three girls and two boys, all teen age and older. Two live near me,

and I see them often.


What is your interest in storytelling? How did it begin?

I have coordinated telling for Storytellers of the Ozarks for many years. The group I have now usually plans a swap and two or more tells a month. When I was a school counselor I developed an interest in telling and attended some workshops and conferences. Soon after that I had a position as a counselor in an at risk school where I often had to cover classes for various reasons. I began to ask if I could tell stories while the teacher was out of the room. The attention and complete lack of any discipline problems fascinated me. I soon began all my classroom units with a story related to my topic. Been teling ever

since, and have two grand daughters who tell on occasion.


Why did you decide it was important to be a member of Missouri Storytelling? How can Mo-Tell improve?

Mainly to share storytelling news with my group. I love the newsletter’s information and extras. I feel more in touch with the other groups in Missouri because of the frequent email news.


What tellers have been influential in your life?

One year I went to Nebraska for a coaching workshop with Doug Lippman. That was very helpful for me as a developing storyteller. Steve Otto has always encouraged our local group. He has done free workshops and is a great model. However, I learn something from nearly every teller I meet or hear. I don’t make it to other locations often; however, I have

participated in the Kansas City Celebration from the beginning and plan to go again this year.


What was your most interesting vacation?

Several years ago I joined a church group for a mission trip to Espaw, a home for displaced children in Haiti. We left right before one of the Haitian elections. The locals demonstrated because of the results which closed all the roads. Also, American Airlines stopped all flights out of the country. A mob came demanding money and weapons came. Our group was shut up in a room and told not to look out or take pictures. We listened to many plans on how to get us back to the states, and finally managed, in spite of several problems, to be flown to the Dominican Republic where we could get a flight back home. Had a few rough days, but it makes a good story.

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