Pocket Story

Pocket Story

This experience is:
for 2 or 4 People

1-2 hours long

narrative, collaborative, 

  1. Participants should sit around a table with all the accouterments they usually take with them when leaving the house near at hand. This may include jackets, purses, bags, wallets, etc.
  2. Each participant place 5 ordinary personal objects from pockets, bags, purses, etc. on the table.
  3. Set a timer for 50 minutes.
  4. In pairs, interview one another to find the most interesting stories in the lives of the objects. Did that comb once get lost at the laundromat only to show up in a long-lost-friend’s basket? Is that pen just the right weight and smoothness to allow you to be the writer you’ve always wanted to be? Spend five minutes on each object. That’s 50 minutes for the ten objects in the pair. Take notes on your partner’s objects. Alternate interviewer and interviewee.
  5. (if in a group of 4, collect all the objects of the group together and do this step) Combine both people’s objects and together give them names. What kinds of characters are they? Which of one person’s objects might want to spend time with the other person’s?
  6. Set a timer for 20 minutes.
  7. Pick one object to be the protagonist. Tell a story about that object, taking turns in the telling. Each time you switch speakers, involve a new object. For instance, person 1: “Sally (the comb) loved to walk in Follicle Forest. She felt at ease there, her love of the light sensation of movement matched by her love of being alone.” Person 2: “One day, however, while basking in the sun in the bald spot of the forest, she saw Ernie the Key, as they called him, rattling and generally looking fat and confused and, as usual, lost.” etc. The story may take place in a fictional world or in this world, and the events may relate to a current situation or may be entirely abstract.
  8. After 20 minutes the story is finished. Take notes and repeat if desired.
  9. Send any observations you have about the experience to:librarian@odysseyworks.org

 by Abraham Burickson

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