Today’s post honors The Story. And a newly found twist. The Song.
My adult life work has been all about story—finding and writing it for the daily news, crafting ideas for a magazine, supporting college faculty with features, writing ad copy.
From the pen I gravitated toward photojournalism and photographic images to tell stories. Environmental portraiture, or people in their surroundings, became my forté for a time.
My Hawaiian landscapes in oil have no people in them. They represent scenes of which viewers may create their own stories. I paint pictures of places where you might have been and want to remember, and of places where you might rather be.
Three unrelated gifts support The Story, and I pass them on hoping they will inspire you as much as they have inspired me.
Tomorrow is Mark W. Travis‘s 70th birthday, and he is observing his big year with a trip around the world to continue his fine work as a film director and teacher of film directors and playwrights. Happy birthday, Mark! Hope to see you in the Islands.
Twice I took Mark’s Solo Autobiography workshop. I think he calls it Write Your Life now. Aside from drilling the class in clever techniques, Mark has the uncanny skill of listening to my lines and pinpointing the exact vulnerable spot in my heart that needs exploring. The real story. He stabs it right away, then twists deeper to that place where I don’t want to go. Unhhh. But that becomes the start of writing authentically. And it’s very healing.
I stopped going to his classes—too much crying—and he acknowledged, that’s okay, as long as you keep writing. I follow him on Facebook and read his blog, which is where I came across the second gift:
A story about an African tribe. It’s here: http://thegodmolecule.tumblr.com/post/48146343226/here-is-a-tribe-in-africa-where-the-birth-date-of
Since I’ve tuned in to my own music, writing down the melodies in my mind, this intrigues me. It suggests Song before Story. I hope you will click on the link to read the article. When Mark Travis swings by here in August, he will teach “Write Your Life/On Your Feet” for the first time, coaching the performance and delivery of autobiographical material. I’m on the waiting list.
Thirdly, I must point you to Playing Your Hand Right – Showing America How to Live, the funniest and sexiest writing I’ve ever read. Fact or fiction, seriously real or lovingly poking fun, it doesn’t matter, it’s hilarious! Oh, the stories! Definitely XX-rated. Damn educational if you’ve been sheltered and just read newspapers. Haha! Taylor Oceans is the author who “liked” and “followed” my blog (and everyone else’s) to attract readership to his. He says he needs to amass a following to prove to a publisher his work is successful, so he can make some honest money and buy his dream sailboat. At least that’s his story, and I say he’s there. Apologies if you find his writing offensive. It makes me laugh.
My take-away is that we always have Story. The best ones make you Laugh. But how about we listen more closely and tune in to our Song.