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.

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