Author’s note: It seems that a lot of my new ideas are coming when I’m in the toilet. I’m not sure what kind of message my subconscious is trying to tell me…
Amy Rose Davis’ story about how she’s wired for stories, much like her son was and her father was, as is her father’s mother was, reminded me of my own heritage. As I’ve mentioned before, I love writing. I love the act of creation, of watching how events unfold. I love especially interacting with my characters, of drawing their histories out from them and seeing where they want to go (I find it amusing and yet not surprising that the youngest and most protected of my characters is also the one who wants to go down what I call the riskiest path; gambling).
I know I inherited my love of words and telling stories from my father. He inherited his stories from my grandfather and grandmother. Perhaps more so of my grandmother, as she was generous with her store of stories, but Papa did tell us stories once in a while, I think. Grandfather (Papa), also instilled in us a desire to do good. I take it back. It’s not so much to do good, as it is to share. During his 50th wedding anniversary, he mentioned that he gave back as much as he could, because God had given him so much (specifically, he quoted Luke 12:48, “From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked”).
Thus in my family, we never really kept things to ourselves. Sharing is second nature. We share stories, we share moments, we share hearts and minds with those around us, family or not. Writing though, is intensely personal. I knew my grandfather wrote, but whether he wrote a journal or letters I don’t know. I know he loved to sit at the coffee shop with his friends and talk all day long. Yet whatever talents we had or have, we shared with the world. More importantly, we shared with the Church, especially my cousins.
I am not gifted with music, nor can I write songs. My cousins though, are. One of them has even made it his life’s calling, taking up secondary jobs just to survive so he can have time to play bass. His mother, a deeply religious woman, loves to sing. His elder brother, her first son, is exploring sound engineering. There is much more to the family than simply this, of course. I’ve got a cousin who teaches. I’ve got other cousins who share. They share of themselves and the things they have around them.
One example is food. Due to my dad and his siblings’ personal experiences when they were children, they vowed never to let their own children go hungry. Going into anyone‘s house will be met with greetings, an offer of water at least, and the all important question, “Have you eaten? You want something to eat?” Giving food may be easy for a lot of people, but making sure your relatives are fed is another matter entirely. I’ve never wanted for food as a child, and despite the size differences between some cousins, I don’t think any of us has ever starved.
Someone mentioned that writing is intensely personal. I don’t deny this. Yet to keep my stories bottled within me until it gets published is something I cannot do. So I share snippets of them online. I commission drawings. I write their stories.
With the exception of a good role-playing friend, I doubt most people pay attention to my stories regarding my main characters (I’ve gotten very little feedback from anyone else). To me, it does matter, but it doesn’t matter as much as I thought it would.
Because what matters in the end, is the joy in sharing my stories. That’s all.
And in the end, it really is just that.