Tuesday, November 1, 2011

To Tell a Story

I spent hours as a child, huddled under the covers with a flashlight, reading. I read classics and contemporaries, young adult books and very adult books, anything I could get my hands on. Some times, many times, I would stop and reread a passage aloud. I'd read it to my parents and later to boyfriends and later still to my husband. And if there was no one to read it to, I'd read it aloud anyway, letting the sound of my own voice speaking someone else's words bounce around in my ears. There is something musical about a well written phrase read aloud. The careful precision of prose possesses an eloquence that I rarely - okay, never - manage when I open my mouth on my own.

And while my writing tends to be grammatically loose, and parenthetically excessive, and uses the poor dash in ways it was never meant to be used, every now and again, I say exactly what I meant to say, exactly how I wanted to say it. Sometimes, just sometimes, I sit back and read a bit and think "Oh. That's just right." It is a ridiculously self satisfying feeling.

All I want to do is tell you a story. I can not sew or paint or do anything practical or of real use. I can't change a tire or even drive a stick shift. My children laugh at me because I specialize in Play Doh snakes. Just snakes. But they ask me time and again, 'Tell me a story.' Because that, I can do.

I can tell you a story. And maybe, sometimes, you'll read it and sit back and think, "Oh. That's just right."

This post was inspired by the NaBloPoMo prompt, "What is your favorite part about writing?" I'm participating this year, which means a blog post every day for the month of November. For more details, and to see who else is participating, click the badge over there on the left. Wish me luck, I will try not to suck.


  1. I think that all the time (oh, that's just right, not that you need to try not to suck)and I love your writing. A lot. =)

  2. I like it when Isak Dinesen is telling stories in Out of Africa and mesmerizes her audience.

    There are certain passages of Iain M Banks novels that I love to read aloud. He is interesting. Very.

    I now miss hearing my father tell stories of travel or conquest of some mechanical contraption gone awry. I didn't really miss them when he was still alive.

  3. I miss your Daddy's stories, the way he would take his time, in that slow Texas drawl, and reel me into the story itself. I love that you have filled that void with your stories......keep writing my dear daughter....your stories will be remembered and retold over and over again.

  4. You have a beautiful voice in your writing and as someone with an MA in English Lit, perfect grammar and punctuation are highly over-rated. I'm right there with you as far as not really having any obvious talents, which is why I tried defending blogging over the summer - check out:

    Some moms sew and cook. I'm snarky and use big words. We all got our thing.

  5. thank you, JRose. <3
    Yes, Boston! I love that scene! My dad was a storyteller, too. see my mom's comment, lol.
    Me, too, Mom - he sure could tell a tale!
    Marianne, thank you. And that piece? Yes, exactly.

  6. Found you through BlogHer! I was also an avid reader as a child. I think blogging lets me tell mini stories without annoying the whole world. I love it!

  7. Ha, pharmgirl! That's a good way to put it. I look forward to checking you out - thanks for reading!

  8. When I read this post I said to myself "hey that's exactly how I feel!"
    I have this urge to create. I envy people who can draw, paint, sing, dance and write 500 page novels.
    I am a knitter, but would have no idea how to design something. So I knit things that others have designed.
    But like you, I too tell stories. I've been doing it since I was a kid, entertaining the other kids with my stories.
    So now, I'm off to check out your stories, because one of my other favorite things to do is to read a good story.

  9. thanks, Lynda. I look forward to reading yours as well!