Sunday, 10 July 2011

Creating A Legend - Candy Gourlay

Thank you for coming to the Awfully Big Blog Adventure Online Festival! I'm the 4pm act and I'm very pleased to welcome you to my little session on Creating a Legend in Your Own Time!



Visit the Tall Story website
Art by Sarah McIntyre
In my novel Tall Story, I sewed in myths and legends from the Philippines and elsewhere to add magic to the story of Bernardo, a boy who is eight feet tall.

In the Philippines where I was born, legends were a way of ordinary people explaining the often unexplainable forces of nature around them - the volcanoes, earthquakes, the strange shapes of mountains, caves, the existence of plants and other creatures.

A lot of Filipino folk stories are handed down in the oral tradition - grown ups telling children stories, and the children growing up to tell the stories to their own children.

And every time a story is told, the teller adds his own spin to the story, so the story is always changing. It's a very exciting process!

In the video, I tell The Legend of the Bellybutton - as imagined by me and a group of children at the Hay Literary Festival after a hilarious brainstorming session.
Photo by Another Sergio
(Creative Commons Attribution)

It was just one of many legends we made up in that hour we spent together. We had great fun - we must have written 20 legends in one hour!

It's easy! And it's so much fun!


1st Choose something to make a legend about. It can be anything at all! 

eg. The Legend of the Nose

Thanks to Jon-Eric Melsæter on Flickr
(Creative Commons Attribution)

2nd Decide how things used to be. 

eg. People didn't have Noses. So they couldn't smell anything. So they didn't enjoy eating because they couldn't smell food. And they thought flowers were boring because they couldn't smell how lovely they were. And they themselves smelled bad because they couldn't smell themselves.

People became very grumpy

3rd Something happens to bring your something about!

eg. Someone tripped and grew a bump on their face. Then tripped again and got holes in the bump. And then discovered that they could smell food and flowers (they also began to wash). And everyone became so jealous they went out and accidentally on purpose tripped over too!

And that is why we have noses!

Thanks to Bazusa on Flickr (Creative Commons Attribution)


If you're a teacher or a librarian and you fancy creating legends with your own posse of children, check out my Legend in Your Own Time download on my website!

Thank you!



Other downloads you might enjoy:




Find out about me on CandyGourlay.com and my blog, CandyGourlay.blogspot.com
And more about Tall Story and the Philippines on TallStory.net

16 comments:

Elen C said...

Brilliant video! Really inspiring. Thanks, Candy.

fionadunbar said...

Fab, Candy! I'd love to have been in that session while you were coming up with this story!

Lucy Coats said...

O.M.G! This is the coolest, coolest video, Candy. I absolutely loved it. PLEASE can I have a lesson in How To Do It Properly? :-)

Jan said...

Yep, Fabulous
and have to say it -
a legendary performance!

karen said...

Absolutely brilliant video. Made me smile so much.

karen said...

Absolutely brilliant video. Made me smile so much.

Candy Gourlay said...

thank you! i think i've embarrassed my kids beyond repair!

Miriam Halahmy said...

Another great video. What a LitFest! Well done.

Sue Purkiss said...

Brilliant!

Rebecca Brown said...

This was fantastic! So entertaining and inspiring! I have to say, I've enjoyed all the videos in the lit fest, you are all so brave & so talented!

Rebecca Brown said...

This was fantastic! So entertaining and inspiring! I have to say, I've enjoyed all the videos in the lit fest, you are all so brave & so talented!

Elaine AM Smith said...

What a vivid video, Candy. :D I loved it. I agree with Lucy lessons in How To would be great.

Joolze said...

What a video and what a superb idea. As an ex teacher I loved it - where were you when I needed fresh activities? Would it be OK to use this on my school visits if the occasion arose?

Maureen Lynas said...

Brilliant! The kids must have had so much fun. Well done all of you :) And I loved all of the pics :)
Maureen

Luisa Plaja said...

This is brilliant!

Nicky Schmidt said...

Totally brilliant, as always, Candy!