It was a dark and stormy night and all the Indians were gathered around the campfire. The Chief stood up and said, "Neewah, tell us a story." And this is the story that Neewah told, "It was a dark and stormy night and all the Indians were gathered around the campfire. The Chief stood up and said..."
And so it goes. That was a story Mr. Jackson's Dad told him, his sisters and their friends as they sat in their dark backyard wide eyed waiting for the next move Neewah would make...the older kids knowing the punchline watching for the younger kids' reaction. The elder Jackson setting the mood and telling the story to deliver the delight that resulted. Laughter and the joy of sharing is one of the components for a good story.
I love stories. I remember the first time I was able to string together a plot more complex than "See Jane run after Spot." I was hooked and wouldn't put the book down until the last page was turned. My breath exhaling as I finally knew the end, how it all worked out and my mind whirling at the possibilities.
Despite having a bit of the Irish in me, I never could tell a story without first writing it and even then, it's best if the reader or someone else takes over in the telling. No matter how hard I've tried, the telling, the punchline always gets lost because in the telling I am experiencing simultaneously the story and the possibilities of what might be. I laugh, cry and get angry all the while wondering where it is all going.
So for me, the telling must be done by filling the blank page and giving my voice to the characters in the story and ultimately, the reader.
And so it goes...it was a dark and stormy night....