All posts tagged: storytelling

do what you love, write your heart out

Sometimes I feel like a wannabe writer. In journals, I write letters to my future and old selves. I thank my old self for being brave. I plead my future self not to change, not to become prideful. I think I’m a wannabe writer, but there’s a thing or two that I have learned about writing. We are all writers. It’s a beautiful thing to witness beginning writers grow. My students ask me, how do you spell this word? They ask me, what does effable mean? (If you’re wondering, effable means able to be described in words.) As writers, we keep adding new words to our vocabulary. Writers pay attention to sentence structure and word choice. Writers paint a picture when they compare two unlike things. Writers write with a purpose. Writers know good writing when they read it. Writers read. I love reading good writing. I hate finding good writing that tells sad stories though. I feel too much. Those stories become too much to bear. I feel like a wannabe writer but sometimes …

Telling Stories at a Bonfire without Any Companions

The outcast, deep thinker, and storyteller, Thomas Builds-the-Fire, doesn’t stop sharing his stories even when no one listens to him and everyone rejects him in Sherman Alexie’s short story “This is What it Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona”. He says: “We are all given one thing by which our lives are measured, one determination. Mine are the stories which can change or not change the world. It doesn’t matter which stories as long as I continue to tell the stories.” In addition to storytelling, Thomas has the gifts of seeing visions, receiving messages about the future, and knowing what people are thinking. One of the problems with Thomas’s storytelling is that he’s been retelling the stories for so long that his community becomes tired of hearing them, but one begins to wonder: are people actually listening to them, taking in their messages? At one point during the short story, Thomas asks his former friend, Victor, for a favor that seems really simple, but which will take a lot of effort and courage: Can Victor listen …