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Sing Me a Story

Pencil. Paper. Thought.

By Blondie WillettPublished 9 months ago 5 min read
Vieques, PR

I was a traditionalist, still very much am when it comes to relaying my thoughts, speaking my truths, painting my stories through words. Over 80% of my ideas are transcribed on physical pieces of paper, anything blank and able to be scribbled on are my canvases. My notebooks become collages of scraps from newspapers torn, reciept paper slowly fading from fingertips turning them over and over, graded elementary papers, backs of pictures, postcards, even the occasional ticket stub. In and of itself there's a story with every piece, a time period, a thought frozen in the moment it's formulated and consolidated in my brain. While half written sentences and misspelled words can be their own mystery to solve, the time in which its set can immediately take me back, put me in the mindset of 6 year old Blondie. Sitting as high as she can on the jungle gym, anxiously waiting for her parent to arrive to after school care and take her home to stuffing her face with hamburger helper. Passively listening to her father play video games, she'd kick her dangling feet from the barstool she sat at doing "homework" that included coloring in the lines and learning that 1+1 doesnt equal 11.

At that time, understanding the images in your head, communicating them outwardly is the purest imaginings of a childs minds. Fantasy and silly stories, no plot or flow, no character development to undestand dynamic vs. flat; no conception of hero's journey and tragic romance. There's no point or end because there's no necessity for one. With no end the book never closes, the hero never stops, death never comes. Only when we grow, learn to formulate, to transcribe those endless fantasies to paper and blank canvases, do we taste the bitter sweet feeling of finality. Every author and artist has to step away from a piece, the time comes when it's completed, but the brain never will. As real as you or I am, our characters and scenes we create are with us until life leaves our mortal bodies. Subconsciously that thought would always eat away at me. I have started and paused thousands of stories, poems, songs; all of them stuck in the time in which they were given life. Alone that gives each artist immesurable power; overwatchers, deities of their own worlds. Yet we are children, playing with dirt and rocks, eating kraft mac and cheese, with an all too early bedtime.

The human voice was my first story. Singers of every genre held me in baited breathe, they had elegance, captivating energy, the ability to draw your gaze no matter the room. They became my princes and princesses, their voice was my fairytale book. A kindergartner has little motor ability to write more than their own name, but even without pencil and paper, I had thought. My own internal notebook in which I imagined scribbling words I had no concept to spell, but felt were nested inside my adolescent body. Acute feeling backing those scribbles I narrated my internal stories to the sun as he was my only audience. The only entity I trusted to listen without judgement or fear of rejected laughter and shame. In turn he would slowly set upon the horizon, warming my skin, bleaching my already whitening hair. The breeze gently brushed through each strand as she sang in harmony with my improvised melodies. When the final light disappeared behind horizoned homes, the breeze stilled, the story would end, a mouthed silent thank you to them both for listening. Goosebumps ran over my sun soaked skin as the breeze waved a final goodbye for the day, encouraging me to return to the building of my peers and caretakers.

These were the majority of my childhood afternoons, completely detached from the realities of school, home life, sports, TV and other humans. These were my first stories, the first prologues in my waterfall of notebooks, scraps of paper, word documents and note app bibliography. Nature was my reoccuring audience and she never hid from me, rain or shine, I felt at peace with her. Something I still don't yet have from my peers today as perhaps my disconnection and fear from negative reaction is engrained farther than I've ever realized.

Yet...I still create. That is my cosmos.

While development of my understanding for the beauty in complexity of character growth and a storyline are all necessary for an audience to follow the journey, it is emotion in its rawest form that embraces them. Like an anchor cast to the sea floor, it grounds you, secures you in the knowledge that no matter the storm or if you decide to disembark, your vessel will be waiting for you. It invites the reader/listener to let go of modern worries, disappear with a traveler, float up into the stars, fall in love with love, fight dragons, come out the hero, be the damsel and embrace weightless freedom.

Have I evolved since? The six year old alone singing in tongues to the sun that might make a stranger walk by a little faster? Yes.

Have I become the celestial ruler of my own worlds? Yes.

Are characters stuck in limbo waiting for me to rescue them from a dreaded forest or perhaps the throws of battle? ......maybe.

Yet forever a new character, story is born, with every waking day my mind will deliver a new face, a new creature, a new song, not entirely familiar to even myself, into my realm. Every moment we live is an opportunity for inspiration to flood our mind's eye. We must keep the door open, let the thoughts form, breathe life to these creations, deliver them on any surface available so that even if right now is our last moment, they will have existed for a fraction of a second.

We might not like our story. Whether it be our reality of jobs, spouses, family or just ourselves that we loathe, it is undeniable that if it comes from us it is ours. Yet the beautiful thing about stories is while we give them life knowing there's an ending (some day our lives will too), there are chapters, acts, sections that we don't like, but we have to get through so that we can get to the excitement, the resolution, the climax. We get to write them, we get to change them, we get to navigate them in any way of our choosing...but we have to begin. And as a great inspiration of mine has said countless times:

"The scariest moment is always just before you start." (Stephen King)

Writing has never been a chore, writing has never not been a part of me. I know now that as long as I have pencil, paper and thought, the bearest necessities, the child that longed to vocalize her stories will forever live to tell her endless tales.

ProcessWriter's BlockLifeInspirationChallengeAdvice

About the Creator

Blondie Willett

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Comments (1)

  • Test4 months ago

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts and reflections so eloquently. Your words are a celebration of the joy of storytelling and a testament to the enduring power of the human imagination.

Blondie WillettWritten by Blondie Willett

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