Did you know that when my first Kids were very small, I used to live in fear of the words, “Tell me a story”? Well, I did. I would read to them all day and all night and love every second of it. (Except for maybe the Cat. I have issues with the Cat.) But there was something terrifying about the very thought of sitting on the edge of a bed and making up a story. All the pressure. My Sure Knowledge that anything I said would not only be dumb, but dumb enough that even a two-year-old (a really pleasant one) would sneer. I had nothing worth saying. I knew it, knew it.
I dreaded that sneer.
But do you know what? Something changed. Obviously. I started writing it instead. And with the writing came a tiny bit of confidence. I couldn’t tell a story suitable for bedtime. I was sure of it. But I discovered that I could tell one that would make a kid laugh. And hey, what better way to go to bed than laughing? (I know. It’s a ridiculous claim. Calm is better. Duh. But we go with our strengths. We make it do.)
And I discovered that sometimes, I could get a good laugh by telling a true story. I could tell the Kids stories about… the Kids. (I know. Genius.) I could tell the story about the “nose-picking light.” I could tell the story about “have you ever x-rayed a chicken?” I could tell about haircut disasters, and tossing a kid into a dumpster, and spinning a shopping cart until the inevitable vomiting. (Those weren’t all me. Just the dumpster one.) I could tell about “baby bird face” and “pots and pans / In a rock and roll band” and chin stitches and “somebody stole my wife” and “the piano is the joy of my life.” I could tell about “Every day, my head gets bigger!”
And when I told, it mattered. The Kids knew that their stories mattered. Because they were the stories we told. Over and over.
So, guys, I have something cool to tell you about.
It’s a story conference.
That’s a little different from a writing conference, but I bet it will share all the best parts.  It’s called Story @ Home, and it’s in Salt Lake City, Friday and Saturday March 9 and 10th. Here’s the cool part: There’s a place for you there. Even if the words “Tell me a story” make your teeth sweat. Because it’s made to cater to people with different kinds of interests. Like this:
There’s a Family History track, full of all kinds of genealogy and personal history stuff that looks mighty intimidating to a person like me, until I realize that I AM TELLING OUR FAMILY’S HISTORY EVERY DAY.
There’s a Storytelling track, full of people who don’t even flinch at the words, “Tell me a story.” Who live and breathe story. Who delight in the sharing. And who want to learn how to do it even better.
And there’s a Blogging track. Where we can find the awesome, the crucial, the totally possible ways to tell our own stories (even if they’re not Absolutely True). 
So go over HERE to Cherish Bound’s website and take a look (Cherish Bound is the company presenting the conference). Guys, the tickets for a two-day conference are only $79. That is a STEAL. (Not that we approve of stealing, which we Do Not. Just to clarify.)
The conference is on the lovely Temple Square, and is hosted by FamilySearch, the online genealogy experts. That might make you think that this is for Mormons. But it’s certainly not in any way limited. We like to think of ourselves as a welcoming bunch. And there is good information here for everyone. Even you. And even me. But did you know that zillions and zillions of people use the internet for genealogy searches? And that means that as soon as the FamilySearch people release their tickets, this baby will sell out. So I’m here to tell you that you can go ahead and register right now. And I’ll see you there.
And maybe, just maybe, I can tell you a story.
 The best parts of a writing conference include awesome presenters giving awesome ideas, and also lunch.
 Not that I’ve EVER told a story that wasn’t 100% absolutely true. Somewhere inside the murk in my head.