Capturing Stories

 If stories can incite an audience to action, then how do we go about getting our stories?  Janice Elsheimer in her book, “The Creative Call,” shares the importance of keeping a “day book.”  I can identify with her sharing that our journals can be our companions and confidants during the most important times of our lives.  “Writers can use their daybooks as a source book for ideas, images, characters, dialogue, and plot for other writing…” 

Jeanne Robertson, a professional speaker who specializes in hilarious humor based on her life experiences, in a session she conducted at the National Speakers Association entitled, “Don’t let the funny stuff get away: turn everyday experiences into speech material that audiences will remember” suggests “jotting down” when something happens and writing up as soon as possible so the stories can materialize.  Indeed, Jeanne Robertson is a consummate story teller herself and is described as “the aunt you can’t wait to talk to at the family reunion, who always has a new story to tell that keeps the whole family in stitches. (The Carlisle Theater, Carlisle, PA).  Read more about Jeanne at her website at


Reading the Classics

I recently attended the Festival of Faith &Writing at Calvin College – a gathering that brings together authors, publishers, readers, and academics – for conversation and celebration of religious writing.  To familiarize myself with some of the authors who would be attending, I read some of the books on their recommended reading list – and found myself enthralled and moved by the stories that I read.   And that is one way that you can start your journey of stories – read stories on issues that you have an interest in.   And don’t forget the value of reading classical literature.   

Elda Rotor, Editorial Director of Penguin Classis, spoke at the festival on the topic of “Why Read Classics” shared how reading classics “invites us to see a world in a new way.”  She said that, “Literature makes us smarter and makes us “us.”    Many of us who have read classic literature would relate to her comment that classic books have changed us, and as M. Roter says, “they become a literary soundtrack to our lives.” 

Don’t know were to start?  Get the Free APP – Penguin Classics: A Complete Annotated Listing!