Listen. Think. Speak. Write.

Saturday, February 11, 2012


I don’t remember how this started in my house but it’s been happening for a few months.  It goes something like this:
We’re all eating dinner, and someone will say, “I remember that time we had Chinese in Hawaii.”  Then someone will add to it.  Suddenly, the kids start bouncing up and down, yelling, "Story time! Story time!"

So, we keep going.  One story leads to another.  Maybe about Hawaii.  Maybe about another trip we took or our favorite local Chinese restaurant.  It doesn’t matter.  We don’t stop until the kids have either lost interest or we’ve run out of ideas for the moment.
Usually it’s latter.
Last week I talked about appreciating the middle—both as a writer and in life.  I’m finding “storytime” to be a really effective way for me to do both. 
As a writer, I would not say that my work is autobiographical, but I certainly develop scenes from personal experience.  "Story time" sparks new ideas, layers, subplots, character details, etc.  They help me visualize scenarios and place people in them. 
Perhaps, more importantly, they teach me that when things in the middle start to drag, maybe it’s time go back to the beginning.  Storytelling has been so much fun, and not because all of the stories have happy endings, but because they remind me about me. About everything I’ve done and the people I love.  They reveal layers I’d forgotten.  As a result, they bolster the middle. As a family, the stories have given us new ideas about things we want to do and places we want to go.  My children know more about their family history, and ultimately, about themselves. All the little stories are a part of the setting and/or the conflict and rising action a much bigger one. Perspective.

My second post on this blog was titled, "What's Your Story?" I guess the better question is: what are your stories? And which ones will you tell today?

1 comment:

  1. This is pretty cool. Family time and story time prompting ideas and a little writing analysis as well. Can't beat that.