Making sense of the madness

I keep thinking I could make more progress with my novels if I approached each chapter as if it were a separate short story, instead of thinking of it as One Big Honking Project, but then I don’t even rouse myself to make that eating-an-elephant-one-bite-at-a-time effort. It’s almost as if a part of me doesn’t want to tell the stories that keep flowing through my mind.

But what else do you do with a story but share it? How selfish not to share. I suppose I worry that people won’t care about my stories. Look at all the lonely people who put their stories out to the world only to be ignored and overlooked. But at least they dared to put their stories out there.

It’s in our DNA to tell stories. We love to tell each other stories. I love to hear other people’s stories. It’s how we make sense of it all: “This reminds me of the time when …”

I suppose a story needs to have a “making sense of the madness” element or it falls flat. Casablanca makes sense of the madness of two little people who don’t mean much in the grand scheme of things but at least they’ll always have Paris. It’s A Wonderful Life makes sense of bad things happening to good people but other people care and notice the difference their goodness has made. The Wizard of Oz is mostly madness, but in the end we realize it’s because people who purport to be grand and powerful wizards are just humbugs and you can find everything you need inside yourself and in your home. Those are the stories that resonate over the decades.

Maybe my little stories won’t resonate over any decades, especially if I can’t make sense enough of them to finish writing them down. But they are stories none the less, and it’s fun to write them down.

Hey! It’s fun to write them down! Remember the part where storytelling is fun? Maybe that’s the part that I’ve misplaced …

Published by WarrenBluhm

Wordsmith and podcaster, Warren is a reporter, editor and storyteller who lives near the shores of Green Bay with his wife, two golden retrievers, Dejah and Summer, and Blackberry, an insistent cat. Author of It's Going to Be All Right, Echoes of Freedom Past, Full, Refuse to be Afraid, Gladness is Infectious, 24 flashes, How to Play a Blue Guitar, Myke Phoenix: The Complete Novelettes, A Bridge at Crossroads, The Imaginary Bomb, A Scream of Consciousness, and The Imaginary Revolution.

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