Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Stories Live. They Really, Really Do (plus ROW 80)

(ROW 80 update tacked onto the start of the below entry, since the below business has a lot to do with what, why, and how we write.

Monday - more poetry work - did crit work on three poems for my UK poetry partner Julia Stothard. She's submitting work for a massive poetry competition - GO JULIA!

Tuesday - 40 min. of editing on the WIP, really losing the extra weight and adding detail to scenes that felt bare. Also Heritage Writer's group where I learned about LOCATION from Rosemary Matos. I feel fortunate - she's a good teacher and really helps me get the gears spinning.

Wednesday - headachey morning, but wrote a review for Claudia Lefeve's BRILLIANT "The Fury".  If anyone wants to read a smashing good novella and support a women's advocacy group for sexual assault victims, please purchase "The Fury" within the next 23 days or so - all proceeds will then go to this group - The Pandora Project - www.pandys.org. I LOVED this story and got to feel Quite smug since she is quite sneaky about the fantasy portion of the tale. And I figured it out :-) Ooops - get it at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004WSQFBE, or Barnes and Noble: http://search.barnesandnoble.com/The-Fury/Claudia-Lefeve/e/2940012361752.  And, of course, if you read it, and love it, tell someone - it's a great cause :-) Now, back to the story below, about, well, :-)


Somewhere, tonight, perhaps even now, a 14 year old girl has deduced that it is far better to be an Emma Woodhouse than a Harriet Smith - except for all the baggage which also comes with being a know-it-all.

Somewhere, this afternoon, Samuel Coleridge's albatross is flapping about, presaging doom.

This morning, a curious agnostic paged through the Acts of the Apostles and found Paul getting snakebit on the Isle of Malta (er, after starving, getting seasick, and shipwrecked earlier that same day).

Stories live.

Bella Swan and Harry Potter are carrying on in the imagination of teenaged readers, having different adventures in different places - all at the same time.  Nancy Drew is still creeping up the hidden staircase at the Sign of the Twisted Candle, and the kindly maid is showing them how she makes 'Butterfly Pie' for old Asa. Trixie Belden still teaches her cousins and friends her 'memorize the room' game, and beating her brother at saying 'Rabbits, Rabbits" on the first day of the month.

When you put a story out there - in pictures, in words, in binary, in lovingly dipped crowquill script - yesterday, or a thousand yesterdays ago, those names and places and faces will carry on, whether you claim them or not. You still have to stand behind anything you write - being gentle with the younger-and-perhaps-less-wise author, nonetheless. Because if your story was read by anyone, than it is still 'there'.

For my story, so far, there is exactly one person who knows that a girl named Justine has fine, almost transparently white blonde hair, and that she will never willingly speak.  Another knows that a bad person named Eli should really get the splinters out of his tongue before they, er, fester.  And, a third reader knows that there is a girl, on an old mine road, thinking she knows everything, who has learned all she will ever, ever know, too late.  And that some cups should be passed, and some water never drank.

Your stories will live long after you do - tell them carefully, and tell them well. Watch, closely, the stories you read and write - fiction or not - those names and faces and places will live in your head, and are almost impossible to evict. They will remember you, whether you want them to or not. They will keep you company, for a very, very, long time.

Sweet dreams, my story tellers, my readers.

Read and write and dream well.

Visit the ROW 80 challenge team here, and give them a look :-)  You'll be very happy you did :-)


  1. Busy week thus far!

    And a beautiful post. It's pretty awesome to think about. Did Shakespeare think, when he put ink on paper, that his stories would be so alive 400 years later?

  2. :-)

    Thank you, Katen - and it's very nice you stopped by :-)

    Someone told me that Stephen King would be an equivalent of Shakespeare, in terms of legacy at the very least. Volume and popularity shouldn't be underestimated in understanding 'what endures'. King is already steeped in our culture and references to his work are world-wide. And, therefore, already a prime example of what the post is about. He's not my favorite author, but always an enjoyable read.

    And, it's fair to say that Shakespeare shaped popular culture in many ways that he never would have believed! Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this, and have an AWESOME weekend!