Late this morning, I found inspiration once again in the shower, where the Muse lives.
I signed up for the A-Z challenge with pure enthusiasm. I really enjoyed writing the posts last year, met many of you there, and didn't feel at all drained or overwhelmed by it. Now that it's only a few weeks away, I feel tired just thinking about it.
I don't have a theme...or at least I didn't until I took a shower this afternoon.
As the water poured down on me and the room steamed up, I thought about how much I love telling stories, even more than writing them. I was an incredibly shy child, articulate with a pen and paper, but incapable of social interaction. This carried with me into my adulthood.
I worked hard on developing the skills it takes to participate in a conversation after I realized I was having problems relating to the extroverts at work, the ones for whom talking is everything and is effortless.
Social interactions were effortless for my first husband. He taught me how to be adept at telling a story, tweaking it, making it funny, telling the same story over and over again until it was perfect.
At home, I told stories every day to my children, stories about them, stories about me, stories intended to make a point, to teach a lesson. In my opinion, a good story teaches much better than a mere instruction to be careful or a statement that I understand how they feel. I can prove I understand with a story - I can show my kids I get it.
After my divorce when my kids were small, the stories were a source of comfort to all of us. We told stories when anyone was down; we told stories when anyone was up. Stories got us through it.
Now that I've been a mother for fifteen years, I find that I am thick with stories. They are with me and my children every day. I am up to my neck in stories. If my babes asks me to tell him a story, it's hard to choose which one.
Last year during the A-Z challenge, I think I may have used this cushiony pile of stories as the source of many of my posts without thinking about it much, without planning it, without realizing that's what I did. Or maybe I didn't - I honestly can't remember the details of a year ago, but plan to re-read those posts soon.
It occurred to me in the shower this morning that A-Z month should be storytelling month for me, short stories for sure because I've got some other writing to do and you all have plenty of other posts to read. Not complete stories, just anecdotal things, the kind of stories we tell over dinner every single day - the story of the day my husband caught the microwave on fire, the day my ex-husband caught the microwave on fire, the day my car caught on fire, like that - only not all about fire. (My babes is obsessed with firetrucks, which is why we tell so many fire stories.)
That's it. Problem solved. Unless the shower Muse tells me otherwise between now and then.
Isn't the shower awesome? For those of you participating in A-Z, what's your theme? I'm not the only one having problems finding a theme for year two, am I?