Guest Post by K.M. Herkes
Storytelling is the reason I write. Stories come to life inside me in a constant, private--personal--process. It's like digestion: both mysterious and unstoppable. Writing, in contrast, is an exercise in constant frustration and failure. I only subject myself to the pain of writing because I'm hooked on the feedback loop that comes to life between writer and reader.
It all started with a box in the bedroom closet. When I was oh-so-very-young and my mother needed to attend to household mysteries without being interrupted, she pulled out the knick-knacks. "Promise to be careful," I was told, and the lid rose to reveal a secret collection of treasures: a green glass elephant; tiny lambs of silky white porcelain, siamese kittens, one, two three, and a frowning metal sheep with a broken leg, showing his hollow insides.
Those figures were alive to me. They argued, they explored, they endured tragedies and disasters, they talked endlessly to one another in my hands. From them, I learned the power of a story to make the world a place I could understand. Later in life, as a camp counselor, a teacher, and a role-player, I learned that a story shared is one whose power is multiplied beyond imagining.
That revelation gave me hope that I could someday bring my own private stories into the open. It inspired me to believe that maybe, just maybe, baring the tender flesh of my imagination to the world might be worth the pain. Without the invention of the word processor, I could not be a writer at all. I do not draft. I craft. On paper, my thoughts are a jumble of asterisks, cross-outs and lines scribbled over every paragraph.
If I had a choice, I would be a bard. Storytelling is far older and more powerful than the written word. There are thrills to be found in oral tradition and shared creation that exceed the genius of any novel I will ever read (or write, for that matter.) A story properly told brings people together and breeds ideas in ready minds. It is a wonder and a miracle. I spin stories whenever I speak. I love the feel of words in my mouth, and I tell tales the way a bird flies: naturally and without thought.
Alas, bard is no longer a viable vocation. Even if it was, a lot of my stories are to complex for anything less than an epic treatment, and no one has the attention span for spoken-word sagas these days. Not even me. So, I write by necessity and in a constant state of conflicted discomfort because the magic is too addictive to give up. It's a crude modern means to an ancient end, and in the end, it's one that I'm stuck using to get my fix.
I am mostly quiet with a thirty-percent chance of loud, and the rest is subject to change without warning. Professional development has included classroom teaching, animal training, aquaculture, horticulture, retail management, inventory operations, and customer service. Personal development is ongoing.
When I’m not writing, I grow things, I camp and hike, and I pacify cats. I do a lot of research online and off. I also work in a library, which is a constant delight and a challenge. Vegetable gardening and butterfly chasing feature prominently in my current leisure pursuits.
Author Page: storysculpting.blogspot.com
Amazon page: www.amazon.com/author/kmherkes
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