Telling Stories, One at a Time

Ask anyone who knows me well, and you’ll hear consensus quickly that I have an active imagination. Always have. And God willing, I always will. My wonderfully creative parents would say I’ve been telling stories all my life – I think they would mean it in a “good” way, knowing that children with active imaginations are to be encouraged, nurtured, and reminded occasionally that the only time one gets away with lying is when one writes fiction.

That’s how I became a writer. Not so much the lying part, but the encouraging and nurturing parts I received in equal measure from my family and from teachers at what seemed at the time to be critical moments in life. For instance, when I was in second grade, my calm, favorite-grandmotherly teacher declared I had a writer’s bump on the middle finger of my right hand. Surely, she said, that was a sign of a great writer in the making. Looking back, she was probably just trying to correct the way I held my pencil – a frustration for an eight-year-old who felt certain she was “supposed” to be left handed like her best friend was, only to be stymied by the obvious. A southpaw was not in my genetic code. I latched onto Mrs. Mann’s encouragement, and announced with all the affirmation a kid can muster, why, of course I was planning on writing novels for a living when I grew older.

The writing for a living part of that statement of faith has indeed come true. The writing a novel part has taken far longer than I ever imagined (six years to complete the first one). The getting published part, longer still. The good news is that I still want to continue on this journey of what seems like ten million unknown baby steps. I’ve written a children’s story (this time, in six weeks on a part-time basis), and have started another novel – another story that I just have to tell. There are two other completed manuscripts begging for a serious editing, but I haven’t the heart to tear myself away from the new story to do it at the moment.

Like other writers, I sometimes get the question about the source of my stories. Like other writers, I’d have to say they come from a variety of places: clips of conversations or odd newspaper stories, a song, even a dear friend connecting on Facebook to bring a fuzzy, distant memory into focus. Tonight, for instance, I was listening to my own eight-year-old read an article about this fall’s meteorite schedule. All of a sudden, a story popped into my head. It always starts the same: what would happen if, during a crisp night’s viewing of a meteorite shower a great, big ….. Oh, wait. That’s a story for another day.

Laura S. Wharton is the author of the soon to be released historical maritime novel, The Pirate’s Bastard.


Filed under books, writing

6 responses to “Telling Stories, One at a Time

  1. christinehusom

    I laughed when I read about your writer’s bump–I’ve had mine for over 50 years, but it’s not as prominent as it used to be, now that most of my writing is done on the computer.

    Keep your imagination active!

    • Mine too — it’s just a remnant of what was there before. And my imagination is nothing that needs encouraging. Truly! It’s the time it takes to write everything that is an issue.

  2. Great article, Laura. Welcome to Second Wind. I look forward to your new release.

  3. Me too, Deborah! I’m in count-down mode, and have started to do some pre-press marketing. Thanks again for a warm welcome to the SW Family.

  4. Congratulations! I am really looking forward to reading your book. I am proud of you!

  5. Thank you, Margot, I’m tickled about the book, too! See you at the book festival!

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