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Posts Tagged ‘Stories’

One of my favorite authors, Charles de Lint, writes in The Blue Girl: “Don’t forget – no one else sees the world the way you do, so no one else can tell the stories that you have to tell.”

And that’s why so many of us write. We have stories to tell born from our view of the world, and a desire to reach out to the millions of readers turning pages in the house next-door or thousands of miles away. We hope we’ll find a few souls who hear us – and understand.

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Thanks to author, Jaleta Clegg for stopping by and reminding us of our need for storytellers. Enjoy!

The Need for Storytellers by Jaleta Clegg

biosmall Humans are storytellers. Look at our history. Stories have been handed down for ages. We have stories to warn and teach. We have stories to amuse. We have stories to help us remember. We even have stories about storytellers. Scherezade saved her life and the kingdom with her storytelling. Allan A’Dale recorded Robin Hood’s exploits and by doing so, became part of his legend.

Everyone of us is a storyteller to some degree. Remember when you were little and got caught with your hand in the cookie jar? “I didn’t eat the cookies, mom, honest. It was the giant gorilla who lives under the couch. He ate the cookies.” Or your imaginary friend who used to play with you. Or when you played make-believe. All of us have a need to tell stories. It’s part of being human.

Galaxy Quest brought up an interesting alien race. They had no concept of fiction or stories. It led to some very funny situations in the movie, but think if that were true. How would our society change if we had no concept of fiction or make-believe or lying? Everything we said, every story we told, would have to be completely true. I have a hard time imagining such a world.

Some people have predicted that we will no longer need storytellers because technology is making the paper book obsolete. But the paper book, and popular fiction as we know it today, have only been around a little more than a hundred years. We’ve had storytellers for thousands. The medium may change, but we will always need storytellers.

Think of your favorite game. I bet it tells a story. Think of your favorite movies. Someone had to create the story for those. Think of tv shows, music, art–all of these tell stories in their own way.

poisonpawn I started writing my stories after reading a lot of very disappointing books. I was frustrated by characters I didn’t like and endings that left me with a bad taste. I couldn’t find books with the type of stories I wanted to read. I love adventure, action, explosions, good guys who are mostly good, and bad guys who might as well wear a black hat to advertise their badness. I love a bit of romance mixed in. I love books that end with a positive note. Maybe I’m old-fashioned, but that’s the kind of story I love. That’s what I set out to create.

I’m addicted to storytelling now. I can’t stop myself. I’ve always loved it. So be warned, once you let your inner child loose with your imagination, you won’t be able to stop. But who would want to? We humans love a good yarn.”

Jaleta Clegg loves playing with words, stringing them into new worlds and spinning yarns about the people and creatures who populate those worlds. Her stories range from science fiction adventure to silly horror to everything in between. You can find more about her at www.jaletac.com and about her science fiction series at www.altairanempire.com You can follow her blog, The Far Edge of Normal at http://jaletaclegg.blogspot.com (and for fans of recipes, Jaleta also posts them on her blog). To buy her books, including the soon-to-be released Poisoned Pawn: http://tinyurl.com/jaleta-clegg-amazon

Thanks again to Jaleta Clegg for her guest post. Watch Whimsical Words for more guests, blogs from me, and my new feature, Readers & Writers Recipes. Have a magical day!– Vonnie

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In my mind’s eye and according to several dictionaries, Bards were traveling poets and minstrels who wrote and sang (or recited) tales of historical and legendary events. Sages were wise men and women who were calm, far-seeing, and prudent. And therefore, sages were often sought out as counselors or revered as philosophers. So it’s a great name for a speculative fiction magazine.

 Bards and Sages Quarterly lives up to the billing. It was with pleasure that I opened the April 2012 issue (which features one of my paintings on the cover), and discovered some delightful tales inside. Reading the stories printed in this issue made me want to sit down and write a piece of fiction worthy of acceptance by the editor of Bards and Sages.

As a writer, this isn’t the only time I’ve found reading a collection of stories inspired me to create a new tale. Fiction writers should be reading current fiction. Yes, the Classics are time-honored material, but in order to appeal to today’s readers – a writer needs to understand which books and stories are “hot” at the moment.

Plus, I recommend finding anthologies looking for submissions, and write a story (or poem or article) that would fit the theme. Even if you don’t manage to make the deadline or have a piece of writing accepted for that antho, it’s a challenge to write about a specific subject that’s perhaps outside your comfort zone. The worst that can happen is you have a completed story to submit elsewhere. One source for anthology markets is www.ralan.com

Tonight, I’ll be working on a tale for a themed anthology I saw listed on Ralan. Maybe, you’ll be doing the same. Or maybe, you’d like to see the full painting of Daughter of the Ocean for the Bards and Sages April 2012 cover at my website’s art gallery: www.vonniewinslowcrist.com/art_gallery You can also check out another painting, Garden Skull, on the wrap-around cover page of the gallery, that has been accepted for the cover of one of the 2013 issues of Bards and Sages.

Whatever you’re doing this evening, may your night be calm and inspiring.

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 If you’d asked me a year ago what a podcast was, I wouldn’t have known. But I’ve since become acquainted with the technology that allows a writer to share audio recordings of their stories (or poems) with listeners.

Although it’s intimidating to sit in front of a microphone, book in hand, and read — at least I can click on a button, stop the recording, delete the dreadful version, and re-record. Only Sandy the Black-Mouthed Cur knows how many times it took to get a useable recording — and she’s sworn to secrecy.

Public readings aren’t so forgiving. If you stumble on a word or mix-up a phrase or mispronounce your main character’s name — there’s no erase button.

 I have Broad Universe http://broaduniverse.org  that wonderful organization for women who write (and illustrate) fantasy, science fiction, and horror, to thank for pushing me into the world of podcasting. They have a monthly podcast anthology program that presents the work of their members. I participated in the May 2011 “Celebrating Motherhood” and September 2011: “Fairy Tales for Grown Ups” programs.

You can go to the Broadpod site and listen to my first 2 attempts at reading & recording  excerpts from 2 stories included in The Greener Forest:

“Birdling” – http://broadpod.posterous.com/may-2011-celebrating-motherhood – “Birdling” begins 1 minute & 51 seconds into the podcast.

“Blood of the Swan” – http://broadpod.posterous.com/september-2011-fairy-tales-for-grown-ups  – “Blood of the Swan” begins 19 minutes & 47 seconds into the podcast.

Just forgive my mistakes. I hope to get better at podcasting. Who knows, I might even manage to put together some music and a complete short story in the future and post it on iTunes. So take a listen, and enjoy!

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 Many authors, including me, have asked readers to vote for us and our story or poem on the Preditors & Editors Poll: http://www.critters.org/predpoll/  That’s all well and good for the authors, poets, artists, editors, and publications receiving votes — but what’s in it for the readers? Plenty! For readers, you get a chance to read stories & poems and look at books, magazines & anthologies you might not have heard about before. Perhaps you’ll find a writer who’s words you’d like to read more of.

Now, what’s in it for other writers? Gold! By checking out the various books, magazines & anthologies, you can find a few which might be interested in your writing. The nonfiction articles, bookstores, writers’ advice listings, etc. can prove to be valuable resources for you. And check out the editors, too. An editor that scores lots of votes might be someone you’d like to work with on a project. You can also check out your competition for the available slots in a publisher’s schedule. Is your work up to the standards of the work you see listed?

What’s in it for the artists?  Read the above paragraph. You, too, need to familiarize yourself with publications, editors, and your competition.

As for editors, they get a chance to see writers & artists whose work is popular with a segment of the reading population.  Though that information should never be the only deciding factor when it comes to accepting submissions, it is nice to know!

So go to the poll: http://www.critters.org/predpoll/ check-out the categories & nominees, and VOTE BEFORE 11:59 PM JANUARY 14th.  I, of course, would love your vote as a Poet, Artist, and Author — or for my 1 of my Poems: Sea Children or Spiders, my Story-Other: Bells, 1 of my Story-Science Fictions: Angels or Assassins or Sideshow by the Sea, and lastly, my Book Cover Art: Sideshow by the Sea.

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