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"Allow yourself the gift of story. You are the only one that can seek it. Welcome it…"


The Hour Stories

"As the vast needs of our world call and surround us, we may become so enmeshed or exhausted that we lose touch with what and who we are. Taking time each day to listen and write with The Hour Stories’ innovative and evocative cards brings us back into meaningful relationship with ourselves and with each other. When we tell our stories to ourselves or to each other, we are reminded of our nature, of our well springs. We see where we have been, where we are, and where we yearn to go."

The Writing Tables is the name of my studio and it is graced with the company of wonderful people who come to write. Many have been writing here a long time. After we write together, we share our stories, listening to each other, treasuring our time together and the stories here. We do not judge. Encouraging each other fully on the path of our storying, we are always becoming a writing circle. Our writing is deepening.

In 1995, one writer stayed after a workshop with a proposal. "What about discovering each night, a new story?" I was stirred to imagine a way. And so I listened and discovered a form for writing into story or "storying" as we have come to call it. The Hour Story Technique© is deceptively simple. It is made up of three passages: a beginning, a middle, and an end. Each passage evokes a portion of story. Each portion requires twenty minutes to write. Each portion opens into the next. The defined passages and the timed writing offer movement. We write for one hour and then read to each other. Writers are often surprised with the profound emergence of their writings.

The first of the cards in the series was our own first opening into story. As we continued on, there came to be fifteen more. The cards begin concretely, moving eventually into more ethereal realms. New groups take the cards in order. Older groups embark by first holding a question or an intention for writing and then choosing a card. Writers refer to the cards as "promptings." The cards seed stories.

For nine years, I have been teaching this unique way of writing using the cards again and again. The response to The Hour Stories technique has been remarkable. I have worked with hundreds of questing writers, now enthused writers, who are writing their family, personal, and literary stories. Copies of The Hour Stories have been purchased and sent to Australia, Estonia, Czechoslovakia, Africa, England, Canada, and the United States. Many who have sat at The Tables are continuing to write together in their living rooms and kitchens and offices. Some write across the miles using the cards and a telephone.

The Hour Story cards are training wheels for storying. Each is an energy of story. The story cards are like little boats. Get in and sail down the river of story to your own kingdoms. These cards are designed to help you navigate. Eventually, you will craft your own vessels.

"I am the author of three internationally published books, all of them bestsellers in Canada. Still, I felt there was something lacking in my writing, some authentic voice from the gut that I needed to connect with as I begin to write my fourth book. I came to Dale Adams Segal. At the very first session, Dale's Hour Stories took me to a place I had not foreseen. I found myself writing from a fresh perspective and with a voice I could immediately feel was genuine, yet new and free. As I set out on the task of authoring this next work, I Need a Fix, a book on addiction, I now intend to consult The Hour Story cards each time I sit down to write. It's an exciting prospect."

Gabor Maté, M.D.,
author of When the Body Says No,
Scattered Minds,
Hold On to Your Kids