A story is always autobiographical.
Tolkein, Lewis, Hemmingway — they know of the wielding of a sword, saving the kingdom, strength and honor.
Christie, Grisham, King — they live to solve a mystery, conquer the enemies, find redemption.
Dickens, Angelou, Kingsolver — they understand injustice, endurance, grief.
When we are drawn to someone’s story, it is because it speaks to the trinity in all of us – our physical senses, our personal souls, our Godly spirit. A story writer unearths experiences and emotions in a world parallel to actuality. She helps us remember, imagine, hope.
A story heightens our senses. We can see the gnarled and wrinkled fingers of the homeless man in the city. We hear thundering hooves of a wild band of horses. We smell the decay of autumn leaves.
A story reveals our souls. We despair because of our own regrets of unrequited love. We identify with the cunning intuition of the detective. We celebrate the courage of the victor.
A story awakens our spirit. We delight in serendipity. We yearn for redemption. We pray for a miracle.
When I write a story, my senses, soul and spirit must all be engaged. I must remember the sting of saltwater on my scraped knee and the hard sweetness of the lollipop from the old Japanese service station owner. I must remember the folly of my sarcastic remarks to Sister Mary Frances and the surprising joy of holding Marco for the first time. I must remember how my family survived the stigma of public housing and how I felt when I knew, deep down, that God loves me.
A story is a trinity of words – a beginning, a middle, and an end – that should, for a little while, speak to the trinity within others.