Guest Post: The Beauty of Stories

{Guest Poster Kendall Driscoll is a fellow writer and poet. Aside from kicking literary ass, she enjoys mastering every single instrument known to man, most notably the violin, flute, and piccolo. But seriously– you should see her play the Pic solo in “You Can Call Me Al.” It’s awesome. She will be attending Furman University in the Fall to study Music Education.

She wrote this post on her own blog not long ago, and I am re-posting it here with different pictures. Enjoy her words and check out her new blog at http://kendalldriscoll.weebly.com/}

Once upon a time, society valued the skill of storytelling. Mothers and fathers read to their young children every night before bedtime. Friends would boast to one another about who could tell the tale of the day’s road trip better. Writers were seen as the heroes of the era for they brought adventure to our boring afternoons and created an escape from our troubled lives.

Once upon a time, storytelling wasn’t a dying art.

Sometimes, it’s sad to see what society deems as “worth it” these days. Today’s society seems to value technology to the extreme. Every day we’re surrounded by iPhones, kindles, and ever-evolutionizing gaming systems. We love the sleek look of today’s technology, the hours of entertainment obtainable from these devices, and the compact nature of these devices that allow the user to take it wherever he or she wants. But whatever happened to entertainment that didn’t involve plugging yourself into a machine?

Once upon a time, people told stories for entertainment. People read these stories, thought up their own stories, and even wrote them down to create a storybook. Stories take a reader to another world and while that world may be realistic or just pure fantasy, stories have purpose and meaning. As readers, we all can learn something new and even something deeply profound if only we continue to keep these stories alive by reading.

Sure, I enjoy having a kindle that has a library of books I can easily access any time I want, but surely it never will replace the love I have for reading an actual “book book.” I mean, isn’t it a beautiful thing to pull your favorite book from the shelf and just enjoy the aesthetic value of a real book–its dog-earred pages, its papery feel as you turn the page, its bookish smell that’s no longer the “new book smell” but now it has acclimated and acquired the familiar scent of home.

Have you ever missed being read to? You know the time when a teacher would pull out his highlighted and written-in copy of Flannery

O’Connor’s short stories and he would read aloud to the class? It’s a beautiful sight to see a class of wild and crazy high school English students settle down and listen intently to the story being told. The reader of the story is not monotone, but rather he enjoys making every voice in the dialogue different and unique. It’s entertaining and dramatic with every pause, every crescendo and decrescendo in the reader’s voice, and every staccato syllable added in for the effect of a good performance.

Once upon a time, writers were acknowledged by people with utmost respect, not as people without “real jobs.” By no means is writing an easy job. Mark Twain once said that the difference between the right word and the almost right word was “the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.” Think of some of the great writers in history: Jane Austen, Homer, Edgar Allen Poe, Charles Dickens…the list can go on forever! Writers influence people’s views of the world by telling a story of some sort.

Stories are everywhere! A story serves as an excuse for the kid who forgot to do his homework the night before. A story serves as the ice breaker for a girl on her very first date as she drives off in a car with the shy boy who sat next to her in English class. A story keeps memories alive and the dead alive in our hearts as we remember with reverence who they were. Stories touch our hearts, our minds, and our souls. They can distract us, inform us, entertain us, liberate us, berate us, comfort us, and save us. Stories make a difference in the world in which we live.

Once upon a time, I realized how important stories are to the world around us. Keep stories alive. Always.

About derekberry

Derek Berry is a novelist, poet, and student located in Charleston, SC.

Posted on August 8, 2012, in Blogging, books, culture, Guest Blog, Language, library, Poetry, writer, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I’m fortunate to have the best of both worlds. I live in DC and almost every night there is an author reading at a bookstore or the National Archives, the Library of Congress, the National Press Club, or hosted by one of the hundreds of non-profits in the city.

    One of my favorite recent readings took place about a month ago. Ann Patchett read from her new book “State of Wonder” in the Washington National Cathedral. It was awesome to sit there, in that setting, with the stained glass windows throwing color on the white marble, and listen to her read her story.

    So far as technology goes, it’s never been easier to write and print a storybook with online services like Blurb and Lulu. I don’t think there’s ever been a better time to be a reader … and a writer.

    • Author readings at bookstores seem almost magical to me. Open mics at cozy little cafes excite me for there’s always great poetry to be shared and great performances of the spoken word to be performed. Books take me on adventures that I wish would never end. In this case, it is FANTASTIC to be addicted to writing.

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