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Tell Me a Story by Barbara Rudolf
A few  years ago, I bought this painting from Scottsdale artist, Barbara Rudolf.  It is entitled "Tell Me A Story" and it hangs over the fireplace in a room where I often write my novels and poems. 

When I first saw this piece, I was so drawn to it that I had to make it mine. We collect art, and we buy it when we fall in love and can afford to, but I have never been drawn to a piece as strongly as I was drawn to this one. 

It reminded me of Maya Angelou's quote: "A bird doesn't sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song."

It's interesting how in the process of writing, we often discover answers. It wasn't until I started this blog that I realized I was drawn to this piece because as writers, we are like those birds. We write because we have stories that haunt us, stories we need to tell in order to more fully understand life and our unique place within it. Stories we can't bear to hold inside any longer. Sometimes the stories are joyful ones--a way of reliving something that awed or inspired us. Other times, it may be sadness, loss or grief that drives us to write. Or a fantasy that haunts our dreams and needs to expose itself on the page. There are so many things in the life of a writer that trigger stories. And so, we create fictional characters to tell those stories that haunt us. Let's face it, we tell lies in order to expose a greater truth. 

Of course learning how to tell our stories in compelling and meaningful ways with extreme and interesting characters who are willing to do almost anything to get what they want, takes work. And, in some cases like mine, a lifetime of study and practice. In future blogs I hope to share some of the things I've learned about this craft and how they've made a difference in my life, in my work and in the songs I sing.  



06/28/2013 12:03am

Great essay, Susan. I would add that sometimes I'm curious about a subject and I tell a story about it to uncover some truth about it (that is if I'm lucky.)

06/28/2013 11:03am

You are right, Lily. That's a great addition to the reasons we write. I often write to try to figure out something I don't understand. Thanks.

01/25/2015 11:47pm

First, I was like this " I would like to write a story for my own amusement. Then now, I was like this " I would like to write to remember what my perspective on a particular issue. To put it simply, I write, because I don't want to forget what I stand in a society. Social, and political perspectives of people are quite worthy to shared by all. That's what makes us human. As humans who have a passion with art and stuff.

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09/10/2015 1:05pm

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09/14/2015 4:01pm

There are different reason peoples write. Some write to get better at it, some write to get a concept across, some write for satisfaction, and others write because its an store. It would generate them nut products not too.

09/18/2015 12:58pm

When you write, you need to make sure your tense is correct. For example, your first sentence is in the existing modern tense, while your second two are later on tense. For all three to be the same they should be same

01/14/2016 6:05am

As Ray Bradbury, in Zen and the Art of Writing, commented: “At heart, all good stories are the one kind of story, the story written by an individual man from his individual truth.” Thanks for sharing these with us, my talented friend.

07/30/2016 3:02pm

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11/28/2016 9:05am

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