I don’t have to tell you about the healing power of stories, because you already know all about it.
After a hard day’s work, we sit down in front of Netflix and binge our favorite show. We get excited about the next big blockbuster on the silver screen and head to the theatre to blow off some steam for a few hours. And when we’re scared or lonely, we ask our loved ones to tell us a story.
A good story is an escape to another world. It lets us put aside, if only for moments, the troubles of body and/or mind. A good story can elicit powerful emotions within that can change the way we feel entirely.
I suppose I could point to all sorts of research and quote articles, but again, I don’t need to, because we all know it. Storytelling is part of the human experience. It connects us and allows us to find meaning in our lives.
Think about your favorite story for a moment. How does it make you feel? Were you instantly transported somewhere? Regardless of what it was, thinking about that story did something to you.
I’ve had some success telling my own stories. And while you won’t see them on Netflix or the silver screen, I do believe I have a talent for it. But how to use that talent? For awhile, I pursued the idea of storytelling as a secondary career that would blossom into a vocation after my retirement. But I found that path frustrating and ultimately a dead end.
This is a good thing. Because I realized that what I really wanted was for my stories to have an impact on the world. I want to actually help people. But which people?
Two groups came to mind.
First, children who are hospitalized. I wondered how I might bring some momentary joy to them. That’s when I thought of my story The Flower. A wordless comic, the protagonist in the story finds a special flower and goes on a quest to bring it to his wife. There are no words, the story is told only with pictures. Suitable for any child, any language.
Second, the hungry. I’ve always had a special place in my heart for those who suffer from hunger. And it seems at Christmastime this need is most keenly felt. To that end, I will be attempting to raise money with my story Punch & Candy at Midnight during the holiday season. A short story of 5,500 words, it was inspired by the Christmas cease-fire of World War I. The story revolves around a group of elves and goblins who are forced to fight every year. But this year, one small elf and one weak goblin sit down together and talk, and find out they aren’t so different after all.
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