Sunday, May 29, 2011

Word for the Week: Story

"People tend to forget that the word 'history' contains the word 'story'." --Ken Burns

The word for the week over my way is: story. As in querying my story, and immersing myself in others' stories in preparation for my next historical fiction book now in the plotting stages.

Story is also a fitting word as we commemorate Memorial Day.

Memorial day was originally set aside as a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation's service. From Memorial Day History: "Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on May 5, 1868, by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, and was first observed May 30, 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery...Memorial Day is not about division. It is about reconciliation; it is about coming together to honor those who gave their all."

Think of the stories embedded in all the Memorial Days down through history. There wouldn't be enough history books to hold them.

From Wikipedia: "Begun as a ritual of remembrance and reconciliation after the Civil War, by the early 20th century, Memorial Day was an occasion for more general expressions of memory, as ordinary people visited the graves of their deceased relatives, whether they had served in the military or not."

More stories, passed on generation to generation. Beautiful stories, sad stories. Courageous stories. Hopeful stories. Stories of endurance, love, adventure, sacrifice. Multiplied over and over again. Story is a word that speaks of humanity, and of living life.

  • "You have to understand, my dears, that the shortest distance between truth and a human being is a story." --Anthony de Mello
  • "There have been great societies that did not use the wheel,but there have been no societies that did not tell stories." --Ursula K. LeGuin
  • "Stories are the creative conversion of life itself into a more powerful, clearer, more meaningful experience. They are the currency of human contact." --Robert McKee
 Story happens to be my word. What's your word for the week?

*photo courtesy of


  1. Hi Kenda,
    Nice to be here at this beautiful place.
    Well arranged stuff with eye capturing pics
    Keep inform
    I joined in
    Hope you find little time to drop in
    Best regard

  2. Love those quotes! And good luck with the querying :)

  3. So beautifully said, Kenda! Thank you!


  4. Oh my goodness, I love those story quotes! copying them right now. I am sometimes blown away by how powerful stories are; how they can reach people where counseling and other methods fail.

  5. I love the story quotes, too. (Did I tell you I teach a course on classroom drama and storytelling?)

    Let me see... My word for the week is PERSEVERE. I saw a TV show on J.K. Rowling the other night. No one wanted her book at first - and then everyone did! She stuck it out. I'm kind of thinking about that this week.

  6. GREAT quote! I think (okay, actually, I know) that's why I've alway been drawn to history. The pages of the past are rife with fascinating people.

  7. Thanks for this post~ sorry I didn't see it sooner (I missed a lot of posts when I was on vacation). I love the photo at the top and I love Ursula LeGuin's quote!

  8. Thanks to all for stopping in, appreciate all the comments and positive feedback! And Peggy--I'll borrow your word, persevere, for the upcoming week :-) And, no, I didn't know you teach a class on drama and storytelling--I'll want to check in with you for recommendations on good books about storytelling, that's for sure...