I have always been fascinated by stories. As a kid I used to read constantly. I was even featured in the town’s newspaper one year, holding a stack of books at the library, the winner of their summer reading program. Of course I read many of the classics of the time, but I was also fascinated with the lesser known stories of Native Americans who had settled the Pacific Northwest long before there were any white settlers.
The tribal storytelling tradition is extremely rich and even if you don’t understand the culture — what 10 year old boy does — the elements of the stories themselves draw you in, keep you there to the last word, and leave you wanting more.
That is the element of a good story. Even years later I could recount the details of these stories; they stuck with me like glue. And that’s what a good story does. It will suck you right in and keep your eyes and mind glued to every single word. It is tightly written, vivid in its details and it stays with us, sometimes forever.
Even in this day and age we crave a good story. Unfortunately, there’s a serious shortage of them out there. A lot of so-called brilliant writers couldn’t string enough sentences, paragraphs and passages into a well told story to save their miserable lives. A few minutes in front of the tele or a movie screen should be enough to confirm this.
I have been blessed in this life to have been given the gift of storytelling. I have been told by those who know me well that my written pieces sound just as if I am standing there telling the story in person. I consider that to be a wonderful and humbling compliment.
Never heard of a Story Laureate? There’s a good reason for that. Until now, it didn’t exist. For generations in countries around the globe there have been poet laureates. Officially appointed to the position, these individuals compose poems for special events and occasions. A couple years ago I decided storytelling needs the same respect, hence the title Story Laureate.
If you like a good story and want hours of laughter, food for thought and even the chance to shed a tear or two along the way, check out my books or my weekly column, RobZerrvations. I think you’ll enjoy them.