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Story Telling

We are story tellers, we writers and maybe it’s time to get comfortable with that.

It sounds so old-timey, firesides and marshmallows, the air thick with fireflies and we are grown up now, drowning in information, too sophisticated for a long, drawn out adventure just behind the flames. And yet what is Donald Trump but a story?

I recommend to you a wonderful piece by Margaret Renkl, a contributing NYTimes Opinion writer based in Nashville

She says, Eudora Welty, once asked by an interviewer why her home state of Mississippi has produced so many writers, notes that it’s partly the result of Southerners’ rural isolation. “In earlier days, people had nothing to entertain them but family stories,” she says.

I feel the pull of that observation and yet my childhood days played out in Evanston, Illinois, north enough to never be considered south. Now, the entire media machine conspires to entertain our every waking moment and I wonder at the effect of that on modern writing.

But we were unbothered in those times—eighty years ago when I think about it, but it comes to memory as clear as a crystal-set on a quiet evening. Social media was whoever had dodged out of the house after dinner, slamming the screen-door behind. We raised our share of hell in the daylight hours, but darkness was quiet and one of us inevitably unwound a story. Not even a good story, but we examined a hurt toe or a scrape on the arm and listened.

Read what Margaret has to say. It will make you a more thoughtful writer, if not a better one.

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