This blog is focuses on the power of story. That includes the wisdom that comes from paying attention to our family stories. It also includes ways that people put experience into story and how those stories get shaped and used.
Fiction is story that mirrors life. The complexity of human experience can only be expressed as story. That has been true since the start of time or when the first storyteller began the first story, which might be the same.
Parts of this blog include raw material for my memoir, ideas for my fiction and additional musings.
I’ve challenged myself to write a series of short-short stories of less than 300 words each. Here’s FOUND–DIAMOND RING. Enjoy.
Karin found a diamond ring in the dirt along the path where she hiked most mornings with her dog. It was a spot where engaged couples come to have their picture taken in front of Boulder, Colorado’s famous mountain backdrop. Karin would never have engagement pictures taken here. Too ordinary.
Karin wasn’t ordinary. She wasn’t beautiful either, but her dog loved her. Toby was her third golden...
This is a rainbow seen from an airplane. Perspective changes everything.
Our dog really liked drinking from the hose, but she hated having it splash her in the face. So she worked and worked until she got it just right–the water flowing full force straight down her throat, no splash. Watching her arrive at that exact position was like watching her wrestle with some kind of splash monster until she’d won. And every time I watched her do it, I held my breath until she’d conquered the Hose Monster one more time.
Thing is, it’s ever so much more exciting to talk about Oola and the Hose...
“It’s a good day when you don’t have to release the flying monkeys.”
Love that quote. On second thought, I’m not sure what loving the quote says about me.
Of course, everyone knows the flying monkeys from the Wizard of Oz movie. The movie and the story have become a staple of American culture. Sadly, in the end, good, sweet Dorothy melts the wicked witch with the flying monkeys.
I know, I’ve got the story wrong. I’m supposed to cheer for Dorothy. She is the hero who saves the day (that’s hero,...
The Dalai Lama is coming to Boulder, where I live, October 20 and 21. The following is a key paragraph from the announcement:
“It’s a long-standing tradition at CU-Boulder to host the world’s best and brightest achievers,” said Chancellor Philip P. DiStefano. “We all benefit from hearing their stories. In that spirit, we are delighted to welcome and learn from the Dalai Lama.”
Slight problem: The Dalai Lama doesn’t advocate achievement. He values storytellers, wisdom, and peace. I’m guessing that...
I think short stories are harder to write than novels. Every word needs to count. You have to create a single strong impact. The short story has to be more about character than plot etc. etc. etc.
And snakes. Yes, snake will catch the reader’s attention.
I’m leading up to the fact that one of my short stories (you can read it under Fun Stuff on this website) won Second Place in the Laura Awards Contest sponsored by Women Writing the West. It’s called The Family Snake Oil and it really does have lots of snakes to...
I’m on the board of an organization WOMEN WORK TOGETHER that is trying to keep Guatemalan girls in school. The New York Times (2/12/2015) did an extensive article about that same area of Guatemala and the fact that girls as young as eleven drop out of school and are married and pregnant by age twelve or thirteen. Breaking that cycle is not easy. How does WWT approach the problem?
We have the girls interview and write their mother’s stories. How that becomes a tool for culture change is pretty amazing. Here’s the...
Because the last passenger pigeon, named “Martha,” died a hundred years ago, I’m suddenly seeing a lot of commentary about passenger pigeons.
In an 1808 journal, quoted in the New Yorker, a woman recalls the “gayety” of pigeon hunting. This was when there were still something like five billion birds left. Yet already she worries that future generations will not know the euphoria that accompanied raising a gun at a flock of pigeons so thick it was impossible to not bring one down. Reading that, I can’t help...
Last Saturday, the City of Boulder renamed the park closest to where I live. It was a big event with city officials, flags, a mariachi band, cake, flowers, a television news crew, and a huge plaque changing the name from Canyon Park to the Emma Gomez Martinez Park.
Emma was there
–85 years old
–dressed in purple
–leaning on a cane
–smiling (clearly pleased with the honor)
Everyone who knew her, seemed to like her. That included family, Boulder’s hispanic community, and her work...
Following the Trayvon Martin trial, a couple of my cousins posted things on Facebook about how it was time someone stood up for “the white guy.” They’re both from Idaho and love their guns. That said, there was a time when I was just about as dumb.
A few years ago, I was awarded a six week stay at the Hedgebrook Writers Colony on Whidby Island near Seattle. Great place. Six a-frame cottages and a farm house. Each day, the writers-in-residence worked in their cottages. Evening, we walked down to the farmhouse for a shared...