Ubi spiritus est cantus est

Where there is spirit, there is song.

Or, depending on what context you craft with, where there is spirit there is a story, a portrait, a damn good recipe for chocolate cake, or whatever floats your figurative boat. While my baking skills are passable and my artwork is laughable, I do believe in stories.

“What is a story?”

Ah, a question as banal as the chicken and the egg. Who the hell knows? If you have a clever idea, characters who insist you work with them, or the setting for some fantastical place, you are going to–I assume–write about it. If it is too good to pass up, you are going to put it on paper. You are also going to have a reason for writing it: I have an opinion to express, I want to discover more of human nature, I want to satirize the government, I want this really funny joke to be laughed at. Ergo, the root of your story is simply going to be your desire.

Some people raise their eyebrows at me because I have a tendency to spit out a great globule of words on a weekly basis. The thing is, that’s just my desire running the show. It’s an impulse to get down as much as I get, whenever I can, because I have words stored up that need to be written. And, believe it or not, I moan over how much time I spend on a scene.

“Do I really need to talk about what color the eggs were? How important is it to know that this character can’t sit comfortably because of a recent case of hemorrhoids?”

Well, far be it from me to decide on the spot what is and is not necessary. That’s merely my desire to discuss what the reader might find interesting. Sure, these things might be cut later–after all, no one wants to hear about hemorrhoids…or do they?–but the point of the matter is that I want to write about what I want to write about. And there you have it: a story.

It’s no magical feat or back-breaking labor (however, it is quite strenuous even at the best of times). It is the sheer desire to sit down and find words to describe how you are feeling, or what the trees in autumn look like, or why a dragon might one day decide to attack a village (hint: he’s having a bad day).

What have you thought to put into words? You might be surprised to find what comes out.


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