• The Writer


    Hello! My name is Laura, welcome to my blog! I write weird stories, collect dragon plushies and stay up too late with my nose in a book. I am a wife, mom and child saved by grace. My hope is that you find encouragement here or at least a smile or too.
    God bless!

  • “Now go, write it before them in a table, and note it in a book that it may be for the time to come forever and ever.”
    ~Isaiah 30:8.

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  • Quotes

    We have come from God, and inevitably the myths woven by us, though they contain error, will also reflect a splintered fragment of the true light, the eternal truth that is with God. Indeed only by myth-making, only by becoming 'sub-creator' and inventing stories, can Man aspire to the state of perfection that he knew before the Fall. Our myths may be misguided, but they steer however shakily towards the true harbour, while materialistic 'progress' leads only to a yawning abyss and the Iron Crown of the power of evil.
    ~J.R.R. Tolkien

    "The only just literary critic," he concluded, "is Christ, who admires more than does any man the gifts He Himself has bestowed."
    ~J.R.R. Tolkien

    “Fantasy is escapist, and that is its glory. If a soldier is imprisioned by the enemy, don't we consider it his duty to escape?. . .If we value the freedom of mind and soul, if we're partisans of liberty, then it's our plain duty to escape, and to take as many people with us as we can!”
    ~J.R.R. Tolkien

    "Writers who see by the light of their Christian faith will have, in these times, the sharpest eye for the grotesque, for the perverse, and for the unacceptable. To the hard of hearing you shout, and for the almost-blind you draw large and startling figures."
    ~Flannery O'Connor

    You write to communicate to the hearts and minds of others what’s burning inside you. And we edit to let the fire show through the smoke.
    ~Arthur Polotnik

    Words - so innocent and powerless as they are, as standing in a dictionary, how potent for good and evil they become in the hands of one who knows how to combine them.
    ~Nathaniel Hawthorne

    "There are forms of insanity that condemn people to hear voices against their will, but as writers we invite ourselves to hear voices without relinquishing our hold on reality or our right to control."
    ~Writing Fiction by Janet Burroway

    Christians have sometimes been suspicious of stories, because they really can influence you. If you read the Twilight novels once a month for a year, I think you'd be a different human afterward—and not a sparkly one.
    ~Nate Wilson

Tell Me a Story

I scribbled away on the white pages of my little notebook, flipping filled sheets over the spiral bindings to start again.  The pastor droned on, his voice rising and falling as he preached about a topic I really wasn’t paying attention to.  Instead I focused on the little sketch in my hand.  I wrote little snippets of prose around the boarder, nothing to do with the sermon but maybe I could fool those watching me into thinking I was taking notes.  Then a phrase pricks at me ears and I look up.  “That reminds me of a time…”  With those six words he suddenly had my full attention.  He was about to tell a story.

Growing up, if you asked me on Monday what the sermon was on Sunday I wouldn’t have been able to tell you, however, if the pastor had included a story to illustrate what he was preaching on, I could.  When my dad pulled out Little House on the Prairie, Doctor Sues or Uncle Author I had to be in his lap, staring at the type as I listened to his voice make the prose come to life.  Stories made everything interesting, from school work to Sunday sermons.  If there was a story involved you could count me in.  As a young student, history was the only subject that really interested me.  English was just bearable with the books I got to read.  Math, well, I passed anyway.  Even in recent years I would eavesdrop or just sit and listen as my mom read history lessons to my younger siblings.

Even before I could read them for myself I was drawn to stories.  At people’s homes I would scan their shelves, gazing at the books that lined the wooden planks wondering what things were hidden within them.  Though reading was a daily battle for me, something I dreaded and even hated, books were sacred, thinks you could look at, but never touch.  Oh, and they smelled wonderful, the older the better.  It didn’t matter what the story was about, if it was a story, I wanted to hear it.  There are two things that could get my immediate attention, the sound of my name, or someone beginning to tell a story.

So what is it about stories that draw us in?  What is it about a story that can turn a boring English lesson into something interesting?  For centuries stories have been told to entertain and illustrate lessons and truths.  We know our history by the stories laid down by people who are long gone.  Jesus used stories to teach to the hungry crowds.  Millions of dollars are spent every year on movies.  Stories are far more than just entertainment though, there’s something deeper to them, something that pulls us in.   They’re pictures, they’re escape, they’re reality through a gilded looking glass in mirror image.

Stories are powerful tools.  They can do great good or great harm.  They influence our culture, how we perceive things and people around us.  From word of mouth, to books, to movies.  Stories stick with us too.  You might not remember details about the summer camp you attended when you were ten, but you remember that story your camp counselor told at the nightly camp fire.  You might not be able to remember Sunday’s sermon, but you could repeat almost word for word the story the pastor included.  You might not remember the name of that lady who lived down the street, but the story of her and her crazy cats has almost become an urban legend.

Through stories we are shown life in new ways.  We’re given a different perspective.  Stories can show truths and provide lessons in ways no other outlet can give us (other than experiencing them for ourselves).  We get to see through the experiences of others, and see into them more clearly because we are the witness, not the participant.  Have you noticed, if you are going through a difficulty it looks hopeless with no way out, but if you see someone else going through it you can see the way out when they can’t.  Or times when you walk away from an unexpected conversation and can think of a millions things you could have said better.  When we observe something, the outcome, the lesson in it is clearer than if we were in it.  Stories give us hope by showing us others going through what seems like impossible situations and rising through them triumphant.  Fictional or based on a true events.  Super hero or desk clerk.  Even human or animal.

Stories influence us.  The can change our thinking whether we know they’re doing it or not.  This is why we need to be careful about what stories we’re letting into our minds.  What movies we watch, what books we read.  As Christians are ultimate goal is to bring glory to God.  We want to renew our minds through God’s truth.   “…whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”  (Philippians 4:8 KJV)

In the same way we need to think about these things when writing a story.  I don’t like preaching in stories, but there needs to be a foundation of truth.  There is evil in the world, you can’t show the light without the shadows, but you can still make it true, honest, just, pure and lovely.   Stories, show us truth, big pictures of right and wrong, dark illuminated by light.   They give us a place to exaggerate life lessons in order to drive the point closer to home.

Stories are far more than just entertainment.  In a way they’re “living”, an alternate reality.  Even if it’s just “fluff-fiction”, the author is telling you something, presenting an ideal or message and it could be negative or positive.   Stories have power.  Charles Dickens was writing to show people the things that were going on behind closed doors, exposing evil and change how things were done.   There are dozens of examples of authors who wrote to change their culture, and succeeded.  We will always have stories, they will always be a part of us, always there to give us a means of escape or a way to understand truth.  They will continue to change the culture and influence people.  Be careful what stories you allow to influence you.  

Christians have sometimes been suspicious of stories, because they really can influence you. If you read the Twilight novels once a month for a year, I think you’d be a different human afterward—and not a sparkly one.
~Nate Wilson

Why do you write?  What is it about stories that pull you in?

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2 Comments

  1. Really enjoyed reading your post.

    I liked your part about how stories are far more than just entertainment. I think this is so true. They definitely can change you in more ways than one.
    I think I write simply because I enjoy it, and hopefully one day I will be able to affect people in the way some books have affected me!

    Reply
  2. Thank you, I’m glad you enjoyed it. 🙂

    Reply

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