Wings, Not Angels–Telling Family Religious Stories

Wings, Not Angels–Telling Family Religious Stories

“So what?” “What’s the point?” “And the moral of the story is . . .?” Unfortunately, a lot of people seem to think a story needs to prove a point or why bother. These are usually the same ones who think everything has to be useful, or it’s useless. If you happen to come from a family with a strong religious background, you likely have two problems. 1. That engrained idea that stories have to have...

Read More

“Who Do You Think You Are” Videos Are Free Fun

Maybe you’re a fan and haven’t missed a single episode of NBC’s TV Show Who Do You Think You Are? If not, the complete episodes from season two are available on NBC’s site. My favorite is Gwyneth Paltrow discovering that she’s related to a long line of famous rabbis. She also uncovers the tragedy that scarred one of her grandmothers, making her withdrawn, described by her son as “an ambivalent...

Read More

Family History: What’s Your First Memory?

Most people remember events tied to a strong emotion, smell, or some other sensual detail. That’s especially true of first memories. Mine is a box of kittens my father brought home. I was two and a half, maybe three-years-old. I don’t remember why he had a box of kittens, where they came from, or whether we kept them. What I remember are the sensations–the fur, the claws, the smells, the sounds, and how they squirmed when I...

Read More

Who Decides Your Family Story?

I was teaching a class on novel-writing. One student was writing about three generations of women who all married men they didn’t love. The book was largely autobiographical. For that reason she was unwilling to make many changes. As I continued to listen to her, I realized that her family seemingly encouraged stories of my-misery-is-worse-than-your-misery. That meant marrying a man you didn’t love was a prerequisite and the novel was...

Read More

Story Quote #10 (Joseph Campbell, Give Me A Break!!)

“All of the great mythologies and much of the mythic story-telling of the world are from the male point of view. When I was writing The Hero with a Thousand Faces and wanted to bring female heroes in, I had to go to the fairy tales. These were told by women to children, you know, and you get a different perspective. It was the men who got involved in spinning most of the great myths. The women were too busy; they had too damn much to...

Read More