Why Stories

Stories inspire our souls for sure. They also heal our minds and I suspect, bodies as well. I’ve always said a good book is my drug of choice and I’m not exaggerating. I have no verifiable proof, of course, but my experience tells me I’m on to something. Under stress, feeling bad, going through a rough patch? Crawl into a book. I’ve been doing it since I learned to read.

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I just had one of those weekends. Frankly I did not feel well; I’ll spare you the details, it would be too much information. It was enough discomfort that it was hard to think. Besides that, heat and humidity laid me flat; my asthma objected and sapped my energy. I often use walking as a way to charge my creative batteries. It wasn’t happening. Gardening isn’t my favorite thing to do, but it gives me satisfaction and also redirects my thoughts. That wasn’t happening either.

What’s a girl to do? I read Victoria Thompson’s Murder on Trinity Place straight through. Considering it is number 22 in her Gaslight series, I had low expectations, and I was delighted when it pulled me in and her characters engaged me. That done, I grabbed my kindle. There were several new books I’ve picked up but an older one caught my eye. I had already read Mary Balogh’s Someone to Wed, but I opened it just to take a peak. I was hooked in the first half dozen screens. I wandered into the Wescott family world and didn’t come out until the following morning. Sometimes when I really need comfort and old familiar story is even more attractive than taking a chance on a new one. SIGH

It got me thinking about what I do, storyteller that I am. It is important work for many reasons, but giving comfort has to be one of them. The thing is, a good story takes my mind off pain, forces my body to relax, and soothes nerves. I think someone needs to study the impact of a good story on generalized inflammation. I guarantee you it helps my mental health; i’m betting it also leps me physically.

On the plus side, I managed to pull together the Grand Prize for the Bluestocking Belles’ July event, Swoodworthy Summer Reading, on Facebook. If you use Facebook, you may want to take a look. I also settled on a title for the Belles’ next joint project. I’m calling it Ethan’s Honor. The hero is a veteran of the Napoleonic wars, more wounded in heart and mind than body–and his body took a beating. I’m finishing it up now. But first, coffee!

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6 thoughts on “Why Stories

  1. I sooo agree ‘Caroline’ that ‘losing myself’ in a good book is very healing!

  2. I too, will attest to the fact that a good book is a wonder drug and comfort food for the soul.

  3. Yes, books have been my drug of choice since I learned to read, and my storytelling is often a way to escape pain or boredom when I don’t have a book available. I agree we have a power and a responsibility as authors. I write escapist literature and–in my view–so does everyone else who ever publishes a story for others to read. If a reader can’t escape into the book, it isn’t a very good one. (Whether people prefer to escape into a nightmare or a happy dream is entirely a personal choice.)

    • Good point about people’s preferences. Either way the world has to be so real the reader can escape into the book.

  4. I have read the three books in the “wife” series, and increasingly enjoyed them. I did find it was best to read them sequentially. I hope there may be more to come. Thanks for the entertaining hours of reading. I don’t know if you have or use preliminary proofreaders, but would love to be of help.

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Caroline Warfield, Author

Email : info@carolinewarfield.com