Monday, July 16, 2012


I missed the Five Minute Fridays fun writing for a few weeks, disconnected during our move. On July sixth, her topic was, "story." We didn't get our internet up and running until the seventh, then I had two weeks worth of emails and blog posts to read. Oh my. Still not caught up.

Last week, on the thirteenth, LisaJo was on vacation and didn't post a word for her Five Minute Fridays. I hope she had a pleasant, relaxing, connected-with-family time. And, that she'll be back for this week's Friday Five.

I'm still stuck on "story," anyway. Story is fascinating, one that goes way beyond a five minute quick write. One I am barely beginning to understand.

What is my story?
What is your story?
How do you live a good story?

A good story, one we enjoy reading, is about character, a situation, and how each affects the other.

Who is my character?
Who is your character?
What is my situation?
What is your situation?

As a writer, I create a situation, I create characters, and tell a story about them. How they respond, how they grow, how they change. And, how they change their situation, their world, or the characters around them. Imagined, created.

Fiction can be easier to create than my own story. Perhaps that is why it is so pleasant to spend an afternoon absorbed in reading someone else's story. In a span of pages, the story is created, confronted, and resolved.

Meanwhile, my own story goes on, daily. Confronted with challenges, searching for solutions, reaching for resolution. Will this conflict ever be resolved? Sometimes a solution seems vague, distant, nebulous, confused.

When I write a story, it is a small, little piece of a character's life. A short scene pulled out from their years.

My story? It is hard to isolate one situation. Hard to focus on one scene. The situations, the people are all inter-related, overlapped, muddled together. A blur. I would rather write someone else's story than face my own mess head on. Rather than face the changes and growth I need.

The question, then, when I write, am I hiding from myself, or am I learning and growing as other characters learn and grow? I like to think I am learning and growing with them. Adventures or risks I could never take myself, can be ventured alongside a character. As a character deepens and understands, I can understand, too.

It was interesting to read some of the other posts from the sixth, the one hundred and ninety-four five minute interpretations of "story." I have not read them all. Here are some quotes from the ones I have read:

"Are you the villain, or the hero in your story?" (

:...being a mother required a wild trust and a brave so much more than ordinary story." (

"Stories swirl in and around this house...I see, maybe for the first time. I see deep. That everything I see has a story. Everything...Everything can be traced back to story upon story. To the beginning of the story. Genesis 1." (

Another gypsy mama post, February 22, 2012. "To write is to give. To be flat out, all out generous with your story. To wrap up your words, your life, your failings, your most miserable moments and your wild and wonderful discoveries and give them to somebody else. To share them with someone, to encourage someone, to re-gift what have been the hardest parts of your story in ways that make other people feel they are not alone."

I write. Some of my story. Some of created, imagined stories. I write to learn, to grow, to know that I am not alone, that others laugh and struggle and share. All of us, in this thing called life, with its glorious, wild, inspired moments, and its heart-wrenching, painful, befuddled moments, together.

Friday morning, I spent a couple of hours with two of our grandchildren. Now that we live closer, we'll be able to sneak in little visits here and there. Delightful. We played together. What did we play? Stories. We drove little cars around his rug mat, deciding who would be paired with whom, what their job would be, what house they would live in. We played Doctor Duck, the story of her enormous-eyed yellow stuffed duck who had to doctor the injuries from jumping off the edge of the bed, everything from broken bones to scratched tummies to smashed eyes. Doctor Duck could fix it all. We played alien attack, fending off the [whatever-they-were] coming at us [almost] faster than we could handle it. Stories. We laughed and giggled and fought and played side-by-side.

Story. I'll tell you pieces of mine, here, as I write and think and play at this keyboard.

What is your story?


  1. So much fun to share stories with the grandkiddos! Listening as their imagination takes flight and they make up rules for us to follow :)

  2. So true that it's easier to get wrapped up in other stories instead of facing ours head on. Enjoyed reading here. Thanks!

  3. I love hearing each persons story. It is one of the reasons I love blogging.