Life After The Slammer: A journey of inspiration, insight and oddity. 


For just over five years Geraldine was involved in bringing creativity, hope and inspiration into Maryland prisons and jails, first as a volunteer and then, for almost two and a half years as a chaplain at the Maryland Correctional Training Center – Maryland’s largest men’s prison.

Since then she has been catapulted into the world of professional storytelling and speaking, traveling throughout the US and as far away as New Zealand bringing programs that cause people to laugh and think. She has performed everywhere from people's living rooms to being a featured performer at the National Festival in Jonesborough, TN - the jewel in the crown of the storytelling world.

Join Geraldine as she writes about her life after hanging up her chaplain's hat and taking to the storytelling road.

Entries in Storytelling (19)


Destination? Slammer! Has Been Recorded!

I am delighted to report that the recording of my one woman story show “Destination? Slammer!” on Sunday evening was a great success.

Thank you to all who came out.  Thank you to all who prayed. 

Thank you Lord for answering those prayers!

Beans in the Belfry, a defunct Brunswick, Maryland church, now a delightfully quirky coffee shop was the perfect choice for the venue.  The place oozes with character and on Sunday it was packed with people and the applause and laughter were loud and frequent.

Three days after the event I am only just landing after being afloat in a bubble of “once upon a time” delight! 

My euphoria was enhanced by the comments of attendees.  Bruce Saunders, a friend and excellent professional communicator who attended the show with his family, wrote on Facebook:

“Not many people can use words effectively – you are a masterful story teller. I think all in the room ended up on your magic carpet, taken to other times and experiences.  Really loved the wry and gently humor and the way you brought things back around to points of growth and life lessons for each vignette.”

Another review was written by Chuck Tressler, the founder of the North Eastern Storytelling Festival, He wrote:

Buckley A Hit! 


Approximately 20 members of Redeemer International Family Church and dozens of others experienced the taping of Geraldine Buckley's first CD at Brunswick's Beans in the Belfry coffee house Sunday evening, the 25th.

In a word, Geraldine was sensational.  Thoroughly not only words, but in her gesticulations and presentation as well...she regaled the audience with stories of an incredibly varied and altogether fascinating life.  A life that spanned Nancy Drew-style capers in Catholic boarding school to serving sangria to nuns in Spain to suppers with Lady Bird Johnson (yes, the President's wife) to years in prison (buy the CD and find out what that means!) Oh, and her British accent added to the charm.



Enough tooting of my own horn! 

It is back to reality...

Editing and packaging are the next tasks.

I am hoping that the CD’s will be ready by the beginning of September.  I will let everyone know as soon as they are available.  Indeed you might not need to have access to this blog, Facebook or your email to receive the news.

If you listen carefully you might well be alerted to the arrival of the finished product by my nation-spanning squeals of delight!

Yea God!



Awash With Words

The last ten days – all oppressively hot - swirled past me crackling with creativity.

A SpeakeasyDC open mike; as many Capital Fringe shows as I could stuff into my schedule; rehearsing my upcoming show “Destination? Slammer!” and discussing plans for another show, a possible collaboration with Storyteller Ellouise Schoettler, have kept me deliciously immersed in the creative process.

Followers of this blog will know that I am a sold out fan of the Washington DC biographical storytelling organization, SpeakeasyDC – so it was a joy to be part of the lineup for their monthly gathering on July 13th

The theme was “Lonely Planet: Stories About Road Trips, Travel And Being Away From Home” and the tales were gripping – each one a gem. 

Top notch storytellers told tales that ranged from reaching international accord on the ice flows of the Artic, discovering a true calling while at a Grateful Dead concert and a malaria-induced change of philosophy. 

I shared about going away from home at eleven to attend a convent boarding school, longing to have a midnight feast and the subsequent ensuing adventures.

The audience loved it and I had such fun in the telling! 

Part of SpeakeasyDC’s success is having Education Director, Stephanie Garibaldi, give each participant a compulsory one hour telephone coaching session before taking the stage. As always the finished result was an excellent evening.

The Capital Fringe ends on July 25th and I managed to see six shows (next year I’ll plan to attend many more.)  One of those I saw twice and three were packed into the same day! 

Besides Ellouise Schoettler’s “Pushing Boundaries” I particularly enjoyed Slash Coleman’s thoughtful one man show ‘Chaidentity” where Slash, a Holocaust survivor’s son, learns to embrace his religious and creative heritage.  (His maternal grandfather, originally a performer at the Moulin Rouge in Paris, became a Resistance fighter after Hitler banned Jews from participating in any creative activity.)

On the opposite end of the seriousness scale was the sold out show “Logic, Luck or Love,” where two men and two women explore the thrills and heartbreak they encounter along the road to find true love.  It received a standing ovation on its opening night and garnered a fabulous review – all well deserved.

So now I am awash with glorious words! 

And I’m loving every syllable!


Story Genesis

A funy thing happened on the way to the conference….

On Saturday I was headed towards Washington DC to be a storytelling groupie at the American Library Association Conference, where friends Linda Martin and Kim Weitkamp were going to be performing with Southwestern Storyteller Joe Hayes at an evening tale telling session, when I was struck by a story in the making.

Right there on the side of 295, vividly outlined against a bright blue sky, an orange VW Beetle was alight – red and yellow flames  bursting out the top as though the sun was rising through its roof.   Standing about a hundred yards away, slumped against a wall, space in between them, their eyes on the ground, a young man and woman, looking despondent but completely unharmed, were speaking into cell phones. 

All the way to DC “I told you so” story scenarios danced through my mind. 

Had she wanted to stay at home and watch the World Cup?

Had he nagged her to have the car serviced?

Were they always cast in non-traditional gender roles?

Would the relationship survive the inflagration?

Or - my favorite - was this bonfire an answer to prayer where a paid off, fully insured lemon had gone up in smoke?

I’m hoping one day to hear the true tale of the roadside fiery furnace…

Praying it has a happy ending.


Theater Of The Spoken Word

A friend I haven’t heard from in a long while called me the other day to ask what I was doing and I told him all about my headlong plunge into the world of storytelling. 

He phoned back yesterday to ask if I was still busy reading books. 

I wouldn’t have known what he was talking about except that I had just read an article online by Jason Gelt* about California’s  Ojai Storytelling Festival where artistic director and founder of the festival, Brian Bemel, is quoted as saying: “One of the biggest misconceptions is that people just stand up and read books.  That’s why I started using the term ‘theater of the spoken word,” because they don’t read, they perform the stories.”

Theater of the spoken word!  I like that!

And I was delighted to have such a succint nugget to pass on to my slightly cynical friend. 

Thank you Mr. Bremel!

Have they got a tale for you in Ojai, by Jason Gelt, Los Angeles Times, April 29, 2010

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