Let’s collaborate on an art project! This is WEEK 1, so jump right in! Here is how it works.
Write a story, true or not, in roughly one-two paragraphs. From those stories I will choose one for us to be inspired by, and the following week, we will all create an image (or any art!) based on that story.
Create art based on the chosen story. Submit it in the comments of my blog after I release the next video. The top 3 interpretations will be chosen plus featured on my blog, and the first place winner will receive a personalized package from me containing one of my costumes.
Here are my top tips for storytelling:
1. Know your character. A character can be anything from a person to an animal to an inanimate object. Think of character as the main subject of focus in your story. It should have an arc. For example, often that means the character will make a tough decision, go on a journey, or discover something about him or herself. Understand who that character was, why you are choosing this particular moment to write about that character, and where that character is going.
If you are writing a true story, still consider each of these things. Often they lead to the most compelling part of a story which helps to narrow your focus on what to include in the narrative.
2. Connect the dots. It always helps me to think, as simply as possible, in terms of beginning, middle, and end. For example, I ask myself the following questions: How did my character end up here? What is stopping my character from getting what he/she wants? How will my character resolve the problem?
3. Find the theme or moral. Every good story has an overarching theme to it, or something that a viewer can connect with because they inherently understand the point the story is trying to make. Often this comes in the form of a moral, or a lesson to be learned from the story. Other times it comes from a motif, or a recurring tone that the story takes on which lets you know it is dealing with a bigger picture.
Great movie examples of this would be The Lord of the Rings or Alice in Wonderland. In the Lord of the rings the moral is that truth, honesty and goodness will win. In Alice in Wonderland, the theme is magic and the importance of believing in the impossible.
Post your stories in the comments of this blog post, and have fun!
This isn’t about finding the best writer, just the most compelling story. Put yourself out there in a new way this week. Embrace it!
Adriana Moretta - The moon shone through the window, spreading its silver light all over the bedroom. Grandma told stories with her sweet, tender voice. The girls were almost asleep, slowly slidind to a quiet sleep.
What the two girls didn’t know was that their grandma was about to be arrested for her political actions and that their childhood would never be the same.
But in the magic moonlight, no harm could be imagined. The girls dreamed of fairies and dragons that night, unaware of what was about to come.
Haley Weber - I keep having a dream. It’s reoccurring every night. And most days it continues to play in my head. I think about it a lot. There’s always a girl. I’m walking through a bunch of trees, woodland area of trees, and off in the distance I see her. Shes beautiful, wearing all white. Almost looks like a beautiful bride of sorts. She seems to waiting. Waiting for something. I don’t know what she is waiting for. She always has her back to me, I can’t see her face, and every night as I’m about to touch her shoulder I wake up. I don’t know who she is or what she is waiting for but there must be a reason.
I decided to take a stroll through the woods behind my house today, maybe find something to give me a hint about my dream. I know it’s probably silly, but I need to know what she could possibly be waiting for. As I walked along the daisy lined path, I hear something, a voice. It’s repeatedly whispering, “Hurry, catch up, you’re too slow.” Automatically I wonder in my head, “What’s to slow?” I start to pick up my pace, walking faster, trying to catch up to whatever it is I’m being slow about.
I come to a clearing and that’s when I see her, the girl in white from my dream. I still can’t see her face but she’s sitting on a swing, she seems to happy and peaceful. I call out to her, “Girl! Hey you!” I start to walk over, “Was it you who I heard? Are you the one from my dream?”
She giggles faintly, “Yes that was me. It’s about time you show up. Come sit with me, wait with me.”
I cautiously approach her, “What are you waiting for?” I ask quietly as I sit on the swing next to hers.
She turns her head and for the first time I seen her face. It’s flawless and beautiful, “My love, we are waiting for the world.” She says in her honey sweet voice.
“The world?” I question mesmerized by her beauty.
She nods, “The world is far too slow to catch up with us, time seems to be holding everyone back.”
I didn’t understand this but I decided to not question it any further. I look back out at the scene around us and stayed quiet. I wasn’t letting time hold me back.
Sydney Paige Richardson - This is beautiful! I want to know more!
Melissa Little - This is so exciting, Brooke! I love having thought-out stories to go along with an image. It really brings it full-circle. Thank you for allowing me to share my story here…
These four walls are invading my space. The wearier I become, the more they enclose on me. Movement is not an option as I am completely sealed in. Gasping for my last breaths, the tears begin to roll. I am a prisoner. My chains encircle my body, my mind. These walls stare at me as I close my eyes to hide from reality. The seconds have turned into hours and I am getting weaker. Darkness has set in. The world is black to me. I am alone. I feel a chill running through my veins. My mouth opens and I silently scream. No one comes to my aid. I try again and my lips crack as I am dehydrated. I can taste my own blood. It is not enough to quench my thirst. My thirst for life is dwindling. I have been neglected, left alone to deal with the depression, the voices in my head, and the hyperventilation of the demons within. Release me of this madness. Allow me to escape the negativity and be free again. Give me the strength to break through these walls. Summons me to something greater than this hell I live in. Mortified by the way my life has been lived, I have no one to blame but myself. I now repent and wallow in my self-induced dungeon.
Vernon - Crawfish Story Tryst
A Few decades ago, in a town wouldn’t you like to know. There was a colorful band of old folks who played the jazz and blues, the people’s unsung heroes. The children loved them, especially for their fanciful tales, tis only but three of them, they took turns at the limitless.
On this summer’s day was Brown Oak’s turn, he always stirred up anticipation with delay. The other two sat in the shade tuning up their instruments. A new little girl joined the others to listen, his tanned smile commenced to fidgeting. “Today I will tell you a story, it is the story of how this here land ended up on the back of a turtle, oh did I mention, here you.” Brown Oak lent his outstretched hand to the new observer. “You will help me won’t you?”
King Of Aeons ~*
Candace bottella - In the beginning god created the heavens and the earth. Breathing life into lakes and rivers, wind through newly formed trees, and sending stars glittering into the unviverse. This planet is a beautiful gift, I’ve seen early morning mist sleepily rolling down hillsides, I’ve seen stars streak across its skys, and sunlight dance in the forests but I’ve also seen a sad side to this place.
Ribbons of red and yellow plastic floating through our oceans tangled in the sea life, soda cans and cigarettes litter the sand. Graffiti cover the mountain rocks and are carved in to its trees. So leave just your footprints on beaches and mountains but feel free to take with you all the photographs your heart desires. Heal the world with knowledge and ways to keep our planet clean.
Esther Acereda - The text mud be in English?
brookeshaden - I wish that I could understand other languages (very lazy of me!) but if you submit in a language other than English I’ll have to put it through a translator, which is okay, it just might be a little bit off 🙂
Curtis P - It’s around dusk, after laying on the ground having a nap this girl called Hanna awoke. She tried to get up but a glass box was surround her, covered in leaves,dirt and vines, unknowing of the time, date and year. Not haven’t a clue how long she had been asleep. Hanna tries to break the glass but nothing seamed to happen, she was getting more and more exhausted, slowly giving up and fell back to sleep.
Waking up to a dog licking her and everything was back to normal, kinda… Hanna had been asleep for 2 days.
Danielle anderson - She is beautiful, the kind of beauty that radiates from the inside pouring her life force into the balance of everything. Flowers sprout from her fingers and saplings spring from her toes. The seasons and weather patterns ebb from her like the waves washing on the shore
Her essence is known by many and put in danger by few, the greedy who want this land for profit, the animals for their price. They slay her efforts with machines she cannot control. Her perseverance in this forever battle is felt by all her efforts are protected in the cups of her hands she will never stop fighting, she will save us all.
Michelle Shustack - Lena wakes up to the sound of a soft whispering voice. She is in a forest of green vines and trees with green leaves. It is the morning and she can hear birds singing. She tries to get up, but she is tied down to the ground by the vines and she is only able to turn her head. Purple and green butterflies fly by over her. She looks to the left to see a path in the distance and there is a purple hooded creature standing in the middle of it. She cannot see the hands or the face of this mysterious creature. Then she notices the hooded creature changes to the color orange and the forest starts to change. All around her the leaves on the trees turn orange, yellow, and red. The hooded creature has the power to make the forest switch seasons. Lena sees that the vines have turned brown, so she is able to get untangled. Lena gets up and walks toward the hooded creature only to see the creature start to disappear.
Amani - Hi Brooke <3 quick question – if we don't send in a story, can we still participate in week 2 and create something based on the story you pick?
brookeshaden - Absolutely! 😀
Paul - Hi Brooke. I’m not a storyteller by any means, but I like the idea. I think you will have a lot of dodgy stories to read, so here is another. haha.
– He moves. He has to. It’s not a question of need or want anymore. It’s visceral, real. Dreaming this was one thing, but dragging it into existence, seeing it play out, it becomes the definition of necessary. Across the dirt floor and out into the moonlit woods he runs, heavy and liquid, like the dream. ‘It’s easier on all fours, you know that.’ So it is. He goes on all fours. ‘A clearing is what you need.’ Yes. Just a space where the earth itself is not trying to impede. He looks up. It’s still there. ‘Good.’
A caw from the crow cracks the night stillness. He runs. Two feet, how he was made. The clearing opens bright like a floodlit stadium. He looks up. It’s still there. He runs faster, till his lungs burst with ice. Beyond endurance he finds his will. He looks up to see a single feather shake loose from the wing of his quarry, a black knife against the moonlit sky. ‘It’s too far’. He runs, two feet. The feather falls like a weightless pendulum, closer, closer. ‘You must not let it-‘…
He holds out cupped hands in front of him and runs.
michele noble - As the dew fell to the ground, the girl would stare at the sky. A strand of her hair she would brush away from her eyes.She would sit though out the night staring at the sky,only to watch the stars.Someday she thought to herself her dream would come true. That night she would make many wishes on the starry night sky.
Jerry Méndez - Las polifacéticas noches manipulan con sabia inteligencia su propia esencia ataviándose con mascaras de imprudencia o disparate y plagándose de dominio y dictadura; presumen sus disfraces estampados de luna llena y estrellas brillantes ocultando sin temores sus negros rostros debajo de antifaces rebeldes, indomables y rebosantes de luces artificiales; ellas suelen jactarse, ¿por qué no?, de ser misántropas, hurañas y esquivas por si mismas. Sus oscuros, casi absolutos, son excitantes, embriagadores y espinosos en cualquiera de sus expresiones; su maquillada desfachatez nos vuelve suyos, manoseándonos a su libre antojo y dejándonos idiotizados e inmersos en su autentica oscuridad envuelta de petulante silencio y, por si fuera poco, ocultándonos de tajo todas las hipótesis para liberarnos de sus sombras. Las intermitentes noches se suceden dictadoras de las vidas desinfladas de los hombres débiles, convirtiéndose en su vital oxígeno e imponiéndoles su inhalación de manera prevista o repentina… apremiándoles a gozarlas, pero, desde luego, obligándoles a sufrirlas. Ellas, por ser conocedoras de las cualidades y limitaciones propias de nosotros los seres humanos, aprovechan la imposibilidad inherente que poseemos de alejarnos de nuestras mentes sin poder evadir nuestros pensamientos y, sobre todo, sin poder olvidar nuestros recuerdos. Las contradictorias noches nos intiman y nos vuelcan a vivirlas consciente o inconscientemente…, sí, pero a vivirlas embriagados por su breve, pero reincidente, tiempo.
En selectas oportunidades ellas nos inducen al desmán, no importa que sea noche de juerga o no, se proponen convertirnos en espectáculos carentes de dolores o abundancia de ficticias alegrías, ¡puras frustraciones! Las noches emergen como escenografías festivas y aparte conviven como nuestras coprotagonistas principales, volviéndose cómplices de una infinidad de estupefacientes suministrados sin respeto a nosotros mismos, pero con idiota predominio; a la par del crepúsculo se vuelcan en irracionales alegorías, malditas tiranas ennegrecidas que como venganza nos tornan pusilánimes y con su malevolencia nos atropellan arrojándonos a los lacerantes recuerdos de esas noches de estúpidas sinrazones, de ridículas demencias y en ocasiones de imbéciles muertes, pero, ¿al olvido?… al olvido ¡jamás!
Marcy Criner - “Where is this place?” I think as night fills the air. A chorus of frogs sings in the distance, while boards creak and groan as the dark shadows of horses press against them. As I sit quietly in my padded folding chair, a crisp brisk air permeates my layers of clothes, while soothing sounds of slow rhythmic breathing punctuated with loud horse snores fill my ears.
My husband, Martin, glances at me with a small smile as we both retreat to watching and waiting. A small dusty lamp casts just enough light to make out the faint outline of the large belly stretched to the limit with the life within waiting for the moment to enter this world. Time slides by as my mind focuses on the outline of our pregnant mare, Aspen. Small things come into focus. My own breathing slows as I watch her head nod as if she is saying “yes”. She begins to turn circles in her stall filled full of straw and hay. She paces and continues to move, while occasionally taking breaks for a bite of hay. I stare at her outline and feel nothing. No dizzying array of thoughts, no planning and best of all no list making enter my mind. Nothing but that moment, just like the night sky, clear, vast and broad.
Develyn Quinn - I am not a photographer myself I Admire art & photography. But my passion is expressing myself.
“I don’t know if it came from being wounded but ever since then I been afraid to step out on my own. There are thoughts of, “I can have all the money in the world” but it won’t fix it. I was mistreated in the past and I found that very hard to cope. That, that level of hidden truth could scare me into not being able to fend on my own. I guess most of my life I lived in Rose-Colored Glasses and that being shattered. I know the struggling of others. A suffering I know all to well”.
Malek - She gathered the last pieces of herself. Yet broken and useless, but that is what was left of her. She opened her eyes.
The first rays of the morning reminded her that it was the time to leave. Again she spent a sleepless night, in a stranger man’s bed, taking him company, taking yet a part of her dignity away.
This one was kind of nice. At least, he let her sleep an hour. She wouldn’t take all of it, as a thank you gift. She got off the bed, slowly. She could barely stand on her feet. Well, maybe she would use all the money. She will take it all after all. With blurry eyes she searched the floor for his pants. She found it. She searched his pockets for his wallet. It wasn’t really hard to find. This guy was wealthy. She threw the money in her overused purse, wore whatever she was wearing the night before, and stormed out of the motel room, careful not to slam the door and warn him of her leaving.
With her high heels, she could almost make two steps without falling. It’s time to change them, she thought. Was there enough money to buy new ones ? She didn’t know, or care. She will shoplift again. She’s sick of shoplifting. Again another dilemma in her head she needs to think about. She took off her shoes, tossing them in the first trash can she found. It felt good to feel her feet again, even if feeling meant pain.
Her stomach growled, reminding her she needs to eat. Where can she go, dressed like this ? And now, everything is dancing around her. How can she keep up to that while she can barely stand ?
A wall came to her rescue, she closed her eyes to steady her breathing, and all went black around her.
She woke up. Again in a strange place. No one looked at her. No one even noticed. She tried to stand up. Her arm is lighter than usual. Her purse has disappeared. She has drawn attention to herself after all. Enough to be stolen from, not enough to help her on her feet. She stopped trying to stand. It felt useless to even try.
After all what have been done to her, after being used, abused, taken advantage of in all imaginable and unimaginable ways, even her body left her. She couldn’t bear breathing anymore. She couldn’t think of going through any other day. She just couldn’t live anymore. So she stopped. Everything.
Paul - hey Brooke. I put up a story earlier today. was there a while ago, but not now. Sorry if it was off the mark or something. Wasn’t really a story I guess, but yeah, any suggestions for improvement are welcome, or reasons why it’s been removed. It wasn’t offensive or explicit in any way. Maybe I just missed the point of the exercise. oh well, get em next time. Good luck with this project anyway. Love your work.
Paul - Actually Scratch that, it is there now for some reason. now I look like a doofus! haha. I’ll stop now Sorry bout that!
Denis Oei - Hi Brooke! Love the images and love the site!
Here’s my entry, enjoy 🙂
Tears, one by one, slowly leaving trails on my face. I try to hold them back, but I can’t. Arms wrap around me, warm and caring arms. A dam bursts inside and the tears flood my face. The storm outside mirrors the one inside.
Until moments ago; was it seconds? a minute? an hour? I can’t really tell. I was alone at home, secretly carving a bird, waiting to be released from the wooden block it still was. I always start on my woodworking when my parents aren’t home, it’s the only moment when I can. Woodworking just isn’t appropriate for a girl, or so they say. The doorbell rang and I excitedly got up, wondering who that could be. We rarely have visitors and never when my parents aren’t home. It’s the constable with the long face, he tells me to sit down.
I just cannot fathom what he just said. I heard the words, but my mind is twirling, spinning and shattering into a million pieces.Disbelief and an intense sadness well up inside of me. Slowly, but steadily, followed by a growing feeling of elation. Of jubilation. A sense of finally being free. Soon to be followed by a horribly heavy feeling of guilt crushing it, squashing it. My parents just died horribly and I started thinking of being free…
I get out of the constables embrace and he looks at me. “Will you be alright miss?” he asks with concern in his eyes. With my sleeve I wipe away the tears. I force a smile and nod. “Yes constable, thank you very much for coming here, but I would like to be alone for a while.” He keeps looking into my eyes for a while longer and finally nods. “If you need anything, just let us know. Your parents were good people, always there for us whenever we needed it.” I nod and close the door behind him. I run out the back into the storm, fall onto my knees and scream a wordless scream. Screaming until I could scream no more.
Lea M. Callais - The girl was sitting alone in her garden, having endured the most traumatic experience of her life, when her grandmother approached her. In her grandmother’s old and gnarled hands was a gift for the her. It was something meant to replace the absence of the girl’s most beloved one in her time of need. It was a Teddy Bear. The girl hesitantly reached for the bear and looked and the bear with wonder and awe, She then clutched the bear to her breast and was immediately comforted. Her grandmother faded away into the distance.
Throughout the rest of her life, when the girl experienced something traumatic, she would pull out that old tattered bear, go to her garden, and find comfort and solace.
Lea M. Callais - I did proof-read this story before submitting, but I didn’t see my errors until now – silly me…. The line should read: The girl hesitantly reached for the bear and looked at the bear with wonder and awe. Please excuse the error.
Naiya - Yesterday there was a jar and it contained hope. The jar was found under a large oak tree, nestling in tangled blossoming weeds. It was made of thick glass and was sealed with waxed cloth and wire. I cannot tell you what hope looked like, but she must have liked what she saw therein.
She picked up the jar of hope and carried it home in her backpack. She placed the jar on a splintering window sill, dislodging flakes of faded paint as she did so. The man in the bed heard her come in. He heard her moving around the room. She knelt down beside him and kissed his hand. She relayed her journey to him: the long grass that had brushed her outstretched arms, the stream that numbed her nimble feet, and the tree.
The tree that had the air of the beginning. Stronger with each year gone by. The place she found hope.
“I found a jar. I was curious so I brought it home for you. Look at what’s inside.”
“My dear I can no longer see. But I can hear the music. There is a drum beating and a harp playing. And something else. I don’t know how to describe it – it’s beautiful.”
“I don’t hear it”
“And I don’t see it”
She left the room. At the top of the stairs she sat and cried. In her head the jar became a wall. Sound and sight separated by thick glass.
“I cannot say what I see, he cannot say what he hears. What are we now?”
This is where I come in. I am the one you can feel but can’t see. The one you might hear but can’t hold. I am ever-changing and never still. I swept through that little cottage, stronger than I should have been. I rushed up the stairs and swirled around the room where the man lay. I took the jar in my stride and let it fall to the floor. It shattered on the floorboards. I am the breeze that set hope free but I was no longer there to see it. I hope that hope works.
Anne Parsons - Fear is darkness—fear is a monster that consumes one’s life. He had the power to control her, because of her fear. Then the wind changed direction. With his hands around her throat, she realized she was looking down on this scene. She was in a place where the light was warm and soft; her breathing mingled with the whisperings of the ancients until she became one with them. Just as a baby does not want to leave the world of the womb for the unknown, she had always been afraid of leaving this life. Now she knew why death was referred to as ‘a passing.’ One passed through the portal of life into the next realm, without the heaviness of the physical body. It was a subliminal experience. She wanted to stay in this light.
“Open your eyes, you have much to do in this life,” the ancients whispered. “Remember you are a soul with an eternal life, so let the light guide you.”
As her eyes fluttered open, she felt an exciting and powerful current rush through her body. She gazed intently into his eyes and knew that her fear had fled.
Vernon English - Crayfish Story Tryst P2
The young girl looked confused, this was her first time hearing the Elders of the town, pretty much all she intended to do, she had not anticipated transforming into a muse. “Yes you! young one,” Brown Oak said while moving his lips as if to an imaginary tune. “We gon help one another, here come round.”
The crowd split, the young girl walked up to the edge of the building. “Don’t worry, you won’t want to sit,” said Brown Oak with a glint in his left eye. Closer, the young girl could see his peppermint hair that looked as if a special effects make up artist smeared in. His brown eyes looked over to the crowd then back at her to whisper, “What’s your name?,” “Ana,” she said innocently. “Pleased to meet ya, we gon tell them what happens when Gods and Goddesses lose they temper,”
King of Aeons
Vernon English - Crayfish Story Tryst Pt 3
Brown Oak smiled, “Let me tell you youngings something. This here land of marsh and water was beyond anything you could muster, It was made of light clean water, dirt of course, but so much luscious green for the sun to foster. You’d be amazed, you would barely recognize the ground. Here c’mere sit lil bit closer”
The youngings eyes lit up as Brown Oak’s arms began to move, “Many beings existed, some who look just like you. Some that did not, but hey, don’t let that make you hot under the collar, Mama dukes used to say that’s what makes the world taste good, more flavor come in different ships, leave what they look like at the harbor. Ain’t that right Red Note?” A deep voice chimed in with wit. “Hardly”
King of Aeons
Vernon English - Crayfish Story Tryst Pt 4
“The lands were mysterious, the same as they were now. I’m serious youngins. In the forest there was this woman.” Brown Oak halted his speech, leaned over to the new girl who was to assist. “See this where you come in, you know what to say.” It took her a split second to remember what the old man spoke before in his speech that day.
The young girl blurted out when the answer to her question arose, “Goddesses!” so loud it left a few of the youngins in front startled. “I knew you would get it, yes, there were plenty on the Earth, still is, but back then it was all love, even though there was fear.” “But wait,” The young girl interrupted. “There were Gods then?” “Exactly,” said Brown Oak, that is where the miscommunication of this story gets started.
Vernon English - “There was balance,” Brown Oak screamed, leaning over into the sunlight. “Everyone agreed, yet there was the definition of love that caused a rift. It birthed the Gods of Destruction to act where love was housed, it was left homeless, replaced with violence.
Many Gods and Goddesses saw this as the Great time of contraction.” All of the youngins fell silent. One Goddess in particular went out her way to protect what she loved most, so she called upon the help of an old friend, a giant turtle. That’s how this here land was almost flooded.”
“Amazing,” the young girl whispered, Brown Oak smiled from ear to ear, “This y’all, is one of her ancestors…..”
Jesse Parajeckas - A person who fights their inner self, struggling to find peace while battling to overcome their own destructive self that weighs he/she down. This character constantly struggles with their own person battles, fighting their mind alone disconnected from the outer world. They want to be reach freedom from the darkness of their mind and find hope and joy in the world they have been disconnected from. This person embodies the idea of fighting to get past the tough patches in our lives; loss of loved ones, mental illness, financial struggle, social disconnection, etc.
Sydney Paige Richardson - Rays of sun barely cut through a thick fog that had rolled in through the forest, almost obscuring my view. Didn’t matter, though. Father said to run and never look back. I held my hands out in front of me, grasping at branches and bark of trees, using them as a guide through the fog.
Father said to run to the Willow – she would save me. I was sure I was on the right path when I heard the music. Soft whispers of glorious notes clung the air and danced around me. I slowed, the earth was now cold on my bare feet and dirt covered the bottom of my nightgown. As rays of sunlight finally pierced through the fog the shadow of the Willow tree was revealed. Thin branches moved around me and one gently caressed my cheek, letting me know I was safe now. I was safe from the hunters.
Tilde Sofie Garmager - She held the blade near her lips, and felt the cold air circling around her. The frosty air from her breath. Every twitch in her mouth filled her body with pain, dragged her thoughts away from the death surrounding her heart. A simple drag to her wrist would end the pain and the blindening redness in her eyes. Would anyone care when she was gone? Of course… It had to be someone. There is always someone.
Brutal loneliness. Self pity. These were now a part of her the same way as her own limbs. Ever since that night, when he drank a little too much. Played a little too much. Nothing is forever, they told her. “Death is forever”, she thought. She sighed slowly while looking up at the stars. They were beautiful, shiny. But still fuzzy. Like a burned photo from the past. Eternal, but forgotten. It happened slowly. She fell, floated away. Then nothing but darkness.
Tilde Sofie Garmager - I took these paragraphs from a short story I wrote last year, but left out some of it, to make it more open for interpretation. Just in case mine is chosen. Since I’m Norwegian, I’m not sure if there’s any misspells or grammar mistakes.
Hanna - I love this challenge, Brooke! Here is my contribution, I hope it’s not too long 🙂
The door opened, slowly. It was heavy and made of dark wood, taking its time. Snowflakes and the whistling wind whirled in an everlasting inferno. The snowflakes that found their way inside left little puddles on the floor. She pulled the cloak tighter to her body and paused for a second.
There was no sign of light, she couldn’t make out the contours of anything out there. The familiar road, usually with green trees beside it, was drowned in this surreal winter storm. Without her noticing it, winter had come, behind that closed door.
As she had stayed inside the house for a long time, the walls were getting closer and the air was feeling all too used up. She had become so skinny she could feel her ribs, and there was a wheezing sound when she breathed. The wallpaper began to fall off and the windows were covered with dirt and dust. There was no room for her inside anymore, nor could she see where to take the first step outside. But she was certain that anything was better than no air to breathe, even if it meant she had to face those whirls of icy snow.
So finally she took the leap, one foot in front of the other. The heavy door closed behind her, making a loud noise. At once she changed her mind. What had she done? How would she make it through? But then came the reminiscence, something familiar. A soft touch, in the midst of the struggle to even stand up straight. In her chest, she could feel something awaken. The snow was unpleasant, but at least it was moving. Movement. Her hair, dry and dull from staying inside for too long, began to whip her face. Movement, she repeated to herself. She must move.
She leaned forward and began to walk, not really sure how to place her feet.
She was not sure about how long she had walked when the air suddenly felt lighter. Something caught her eye. The whistling and whirling had faded. A small butterfly landed in the palm of her hand. The color felt rare, as did the touch of something other than icy water.
She lifted her head, gazed at the horizon. The road, bathing in sunlight. Only a vision, a mere wish or something real? It didn’t matter, she had regained her long lost sense of wonder.
Lisa Nevolo-Lewis - Yesterday I was given a gift…today I want to share my gratitude. I have waited years to find the right person, the right moment. I am not even sure how I stumbled upon this beautiful person who shared her god given talent to give me a work of art on my body.
I have been so fortunate to be surrounded by incredibly talented medical professionals that have brought me to this point. If not for all of them I surely would not be here; that is not meant as dramatic effect…just the truth of my diagnosis…they had to be good and they had to buy into my belief of surviving. Every last one of them did and still support me with ongoing dedication.
The gift I received yesterday allows me to find beauty in the things that were taken from me in exchange for my life. I have rarely reflected on the parts of me that have been taken from me…that keep me from being a whole woman (all the female plumbing included). My facade is for all intense purposes still in tact. Not the person I remember before BC, but the new normal I accept as I find ways to be ok with the visible changes I live with now. That is what this part of my journey is about. To steal a phrase from my beloved Lindsey…”finding beauty in the broken”.
My love for the arts and my own artistic gifts had me chasing this idea that many others have already done. It wasn’t as easy as just walking into a tattoo parlor and having scars covered by the next artist in line. From the moment I saw the work of Mo Southern I knew she was the one to do this for me. It took time to arrange. After I finally met Mo I was sure I had the right person with the same vision. My instincts were right…I trust my instincts because they have served me well in my life and in particular in this war with cancer. I call it a war because it is the many battles that we face…The war will only be won when I die of old age and not a life cut short by this disease. So for now I celebrate the battles won.
These tattoos are not a way to cover my scars. I never want to forget. If you think tattooing your chest could possibly make you likely to forget…I don’t think so. Just the opposite. A statement to myself of what I am capable of and to never ever forget or fog the lens. It helps me be my brothers, more importantly sisters, keepers. It took being the 2012 Bat Girl for the Dodger’s to open my eyes to the value of my story and the journey to others. Finding out you have cancer…if you know others have survived what you are about to face, gives you the HOPE and COURAGE to charge ahead and take no prisoners.
We so often say Thank you doesn’t seem like enough. Sometimes it isn’t, but Gratitude is. Mo Southern the gratitude I feel for you and your work will now impact me till the day I go skidding into my grave with chocolate in one hand and a camera in the other to make sure I capture the moment. My heart is full and more importantly happy…and happiness is the key!
Kayla - Being alone but not really alone is the loneliest of lonely. Standing silently in a crowded room as she feels her body being pushed this way and that way slowly losing control of herself. Hands begin to grab her and pull her in every direction and just before she thinks she will break it stops. The room goes silent. Whats worse than being pushed and pulled is being ignored. She tries to talk but no longer has lips. She struggles to find help. With no one and nothing left, finally she just fades into the wallpaper. The last thing you see is her out stretched hand begging for help.
Michael - Winter will be coming on, the last red summer sun rises, one hand high above the tree line, and in the valley, whitetails are leaving for cooler grazing ground. I am where I was yesterday, my brim pulled low over my eyes, waking, as sun slivers find me, slicing me, scorching me deep in my own hardwood prison. For hours, days, weeks beyond measure, I struggle, crawling out through the claws of the hawthorn thicket, my blood still on its briar, its seeds still on my shoes, until, just outside its grasp, I rest on the ridge of tall grass and chicory for a time, beneath the daystars of Queen Anne’s lace, where hope hangs overhead, and I can breathe it in long enough to forget. By twilight, the deepest cuts have dried, the blood has blackened; I am weak, seeking sustenance, and eating fallen berries, before fading back into the fitful sleep of guilt and despair. As dawn wakes me, the hawthorn seeds have grown around me and I am once again in the thick of it. Day upon day, I crawl homeward, and night after night, the thicket grows, with me at its middle.
Beyond the briar walls, a staccato of cicada fades in and fades away. Blackbird and wren build nests above me; they welcome the thorn, the berry and branch, a fortress from feral cats. Field mice skitter in and around the quickthorn, while, slowly, the cats, patient predators, circle the perimeter. Bindweed wraps looptight around the branches and draws bumblebees to its bloom brights by morning, and whitetails to its leaves in evening. This unlikely troop follows up the ridge, as each day I grow another vaulted hell, another solitary cell of cyanide seed and cockspur. The lot of us, a hedgerow of outsiders advancing, almost imperceptibly, in a parade of black hearts and blue blacked wings with the devil’s coach horse at the front, and sow bugs and buzzards as the rear guard cleaning the bones of the no man left behind.
Pensée follows a furlong behind this rain parade; my last muse, scarred and bruised, patiently collecting the remnants of my life in her broken bone bag. She says it so simple, “Wipe your shoes,” and I will, but not well; the seeds still take root. She cannot fathom that I wear my father’s hand me down genes, and carry seeds of hawthorn and Osage orange in my pocket to grow my own thickets of thorn, when I need to bleed, when I need to feel his strap on my back.
It was not always this way. We once walked the long line, three hundred years of follow thy father, until that path was paved over, the plank road replaced with asphalt and abstracts. A family of seeders in a world of cash crops and cotton gins, blacksmiths in a time of motorcars and aeroplanes, my father and I were not like the crows that adapted; we strayed from the rattle and chatter of the city. Pensée says it was our weakness, like bread and beer, but it was our hearts, broken by the babble of brimstone, and left searching for a home to sit in peace with the silent sermon of nature.
There was no home, once my father took to his potion, moonshine mixed with peaches, stoppered in bottles, sealed with paraffin, and in time, I took to it too. I hated him for it, and he hated himself and everyone else. He left to fight the world at their center, in the city, and I went deeper into the woods of my own world, where even love would not find me. We both arrived at the same broken center, my father poisoned by toluene gin and I, drawing my own black and blueprint, designed this prison of thorn.
But winter will be coming on, the weather will cool, the growth will slow in the shorter days of autumn; let it take lifetimes, I will make my way home to Pensée and the silent sermon.
Kisa Kavass - The sweet smell of honeysuckle drifting through the steamy summer evening air transports me back to a time when she was still alive. When my sisters and I spent our summers roaming the woods next to the small apartment house we called home.
In our imaginings we were transported to other worlds, magical places filled with fairies and creatures that lived in the cool, dark, earthy places carpeted with bright green moss and lit by bright shafts of light streaming through the hanging branches of the trees.
We collected tadpoles from the pools of water and proudly carried them home in old mayonnaise jars. Those same jars were later used to collect fireflies as the day gave way to dusk. Running in the dark with no light felt comforting and safe. No one could see us. We were not afraid of the dark. We ran the same way the next morning through the thick, white clouds of bug spray that a city truck fumigated all over the neighborhood. No one told us not to. It was another magical situation we had to take part of and the heavy mist of repellent provided secret places to hide even out in the wide open play field. We walked with our mother to the old 7Eleven store where we picked out our Icee flavor, Coke or Cherry or perhaps half and half. Slurping on the cold
treats we picked our way back through the cotton field along the road. The dirty white puffs of cotton were a strong contrast to the red dirt that we kicked up as we shuffled along absorbed in sucking the melting sugary syrup. She saved cardboard boxes for us. We taped the boxes up and cut out windows and doorways and they became castles or better yet, spaceships. Tucked inside the spaceship we rocked back and forth as we took off and hurtled through space and then landed upside down with a big thump. Crawling out we had arrived on a new planet. A planet filled with animals of all sorts. Animals that lived together in peace and knew no evil. Other times we landed on planets that were filled with flowers growing so thick, overwhelming the landscape like the kudzu that grew on the sides of the road outside our apartment. The kudzu vine blanketed whole hillsides and valleys creating shapes that resembled cloud formations in the sky. Sometimes if we looked hard enough, the shapes became large green rabbits, or bears, or monsters, or skyscrapers. She drove us to school in the morning and we stuck our noses to the window and called out the objects we saw appearing out of the dark green carpeting of kudzu along the roadside. Nature never frightened us. He frightened us sometimes. Sometimes he and she would fight and then we would hide in the closet, far in the corner under the hanging clothes. It wasn’t all the time, but he would give love and then in one short burst of anger, take it away. She dreamed of more in life than being just with us and him. She wanted to be in the big city. She wanted to be lost in the swirl of people scurrying to their places. She wanted to absorb the colors and vitality being excreted from the swarming of humankind and all it’s preoccupations. Instead she stayed with us as we clung to her and sucked all the love and wisdom she parted out. Then one day we moved to the big city. The old white station wagon with artificial wood siding was piled high with our belongings and the big smoke stacks and cement buildings were in front of us as we drove into the city and then out again to the other side. We were frightened by the noise and the straight, sharp lines and angles that represented metropolis. Two months later we were frightened even more. She had pain and she cried. She cried and wished that she were dead. Something was wrong with her heart. It hurt so much that she didn’t even want to be with us or him.secret. One day we came home from school and the house was empty. The trees had begun to turn as fall was on it’s way. The sun shone brightly through the window and the warm colors bounced across the blue and white papered kitchen wall. She was gone. Her wish came true.
Barbara Simmons - Oh Daddy; how will I ever do anything or be anybody if I’m always scared.
She was fearful…as far back as she could remember. Afraid to walk to school alone, of failing a test, of not being good enough; afraid of going to Hell if she committed a ‘sin’. Even her dreams were scary, filled with darkness and monsters. So many fears for such a little girl.
The little girl’s father took her by the hand and together they went to the attic. He dusted off a big wooden box and slowly opened the lid. The box was empty except for what looked like an old piece of cloth. Her daddy removed the cloth to reveal a beautiful shiny sword. Whenever you feel afraid; all you have to do is touch this sword and you will have the courage to do anything.
One by one she conquered her fears with the help of the shiny sword. As the years passed she grew into a confident courageous woman. Yesterday her Daddy died and as she lay the shiny sword beside him, I heard her say “Thank you, Daddy, but I won’t need this anymore. I realize now that the courage was within me the whole time!”
Alo Murillo - Storytelling has also been my passion, but somehow part of me was not seeing it clearly. Only two People took me blindness away. One of them was one of my professors at the university to taught me that telling a good story could not only change my life but also the one around me. The other person was you, Brooke and this blog. I knew that I need to explore my art throughtout photography and go ahead and shoot, meet people, getting them involved. Creating has given me relief. At last.
kim yanick - I am not the most eloquent storyteller but this is a true story… at least a snippit of a long journey dealing with Cronic anxiety as a young woman.
‘You can’t be serious- I mumble.’ I look in the rear view mirror to see what is going on and what triggered her tantrum. Nothing out of the ordinary, I am driving on a country road lined with cows, fields and beautiful farm houses …“Come ON!” I mumble again in frustration,’ I am going to be late’ as I refocus my mind on where I have to be right now. She settles down a bit ‘whew’ I think to myself. I start to bless my lucky stars and look around at the road ahead of me. It’s windy with wide open fields of wheat and the sun is just going down, not a soul around, I am daydreaming a little enjoying the view and the drive. ‘Damnit!’ there she goes again, but this time she is really throwing a fit! Crap. Crap. Crap. Oh she is mad.. this is not going to be an easy tantrum to deal with, she is pitching a fit like a 2 year old. ‘.. I hear you..it’s ok…shhh shhhh shhhh. We will take the next exit and stop, ok?“ I say outloud. I can feel the shift and that seems to stop her tantrum.. again whew. I see the next exit comming up I look into the rear view mirror and figure I am ok, she seems to be calmed down again, maybe, just maybe I can just keep going without waking her. So I drive on. However, there is no tricking her. I feel it coming, the tantrum, my tantrum my inner child my panic. My hands start to get clammy, my breathing gets faster my heart beat is racing… damnit. I have to pull over. I can’t breathe! I can’t breathe! I can’t breathe!
FIT BMX - Holy monkey! You are going to have a ton to rad through!
So I will throw in my goofy little story! 😉
From a fly on the wall.
I approach a human fighting a mechanical beast that is as tall as him and twice his girth. The man struck at the beast with his fist and kicked at it, the beast clanged and rattled under these blows but would not yield. With its spinning corkscrew spikes and glinting chains, making it a formidable opponent for the human. The man stepped back and yelled incantations and waved powerful hand gestures at it. As if that gave him renewed strength the man rams his hand into the beast’s mouth, as if he was going to rip out the internal workings. But the beast seems to have grabbed his hand, after some yelling he finally gets his hand free, yelling even more incantations with more ferocity than before!
Right as it seems the beast had won the fight, a second man came. Wielding a small shining weapon, with one struck he stabbed the beast. As he twisted the weapon the mechanical beast made a loud clang, the man tore off the whole front of the beast as it gave a loud scream. The second man reached into the beast ripping something out and handing it to the first man, whom tore the item open and start to eat it.
And with that this great clash of human and machine was over.
Of course to any human this was just a vending machine that didn’t want to give him his chips!
Lily Ireland - Story for promoting passion week1.I wrote it few month ago in French. I post it in French and a quick translation in English, like 2 stories : La Mystérieuse aux mains miroir or The Mysterious Mirrorhands de Gaëlle Quod:Un Jour, dans un Passé Lointain et un Monde de Mille et un Fracas, de Mille et une Boites fermées a double tour de Merveilles et de Terreurs, de Tyrans et d’Arrache Coeurs, ,Une Jeune Fille appelée Sansnom se regardait dans un Miroir, elle voyait son reflet qu’elle n’aimait pas; elle débordait de rage et de colère, elle se disait ” si je n’aime pas ce que je vois, c’est que je ne suis pas aimée, mon reflet aussi me hait “. Elle continua tout de même avec espoir à se scruter sans relâche jusqu’à ëtre aimée du Miroir. Elle devenait intrusive et tentait de forcer un passage, pourrait elle transformer son image ? Abusive, Sansnom tentait de s’emparer de l’espace de ce Miroir, qui ne lui appartenait pas, qui portait un Nom et qui renvoyait son reflet pour se protéger des projections de cette image de scories, de ses Invasions Barbares; or était ce un Miroir ? Parfois la jeune fille apercevait une autre jeune fille absolument différente , c’était la Mystérieuse aux Mains Miroirs qui avait une Autre Vie dans un Autre Monde. La Jeune Furie Sansnom, rongée et possédée par sa Douleur se mit a développer une Jalousie Féroce contre la Jeune Mystérieuse Mains Miroirs. Les jours passaient, une Amitié étrange naissait, sculptée de Mille et un Fracas, de Mille une Boites fermées a double tour de Merveilles et de Terreurs, de Tyrans et d’Arrache Coeurs..Sansnom jouait sa Mère avec son reflet et voulait la Peau de Mystérieuse aux Mains Miroirs : ” Fais a ma Place puique tu es moi, ce n’est pas ma mère que je projette sur toi, je suis ma mère avec toi ” et pour Mystérieuse Mains Miroirs, un morceau du Miroir était devenu un Hameçon. Ainsi réside la Subtilité de cette Histoire. Et ce Jeu Dangereux prit Fin en Explosion Atomique. Mille et une Histoires silencieuses dans cette Histoire Mille et un Miroirs. Mille et un rêves, Mille et une vies….One day, in a distant past and a thousand and one crash world and a thousand and one double locked boxes of marvels and terrors, of tyrans and rppers heart, a young girl named Noname looked at herself in a mirror; she saw her reflection that she didn’t like, overflowed of rage and anger, Noname thought: ” If i don’t like what i see it’s that i’m not loved, my reflection hates me too “. She kept going just the same with hope until the Mirror loves her. She became intrusive and tried, like an army to cross..Could she change her image?..tried to steal the Mirror’space which not belonged to her and had a reflected name to protect from projectings of this dross image, barbaric invasions, anyway was it a mirror ? Sometimes the young girl catched sight of another young girl absolutly dissimilar, she was the Mysterious Mirrorhands. As days went by, a strange friendship in carved one thousand and one crash, one thousand and one double locked boxes of marvels and terrors, of tyrans and heart rippers. Noname played her own mother whith her reflection, acted as, and wanted the Mysterious Mirrorhands skin : ” Do instead of me because you are me, you are not my mother’s projectings, i’m my mother with you ” and for Mysterious Mirrorhands, a mirror piece became a hook..And lie the subtleties of this story, this dangerous game ended with an atomic explosion, one thousand and one silent stories in one, one thousand and one mirrors..One thousand and one dreams..One thousand and one lives..
Linda - There’s so many things in this world she doesn’t understand or know how to deal with. She feels so lost.. She’s so tired, lonely, and darkness consumes her.. After an eternity of trying to keep everything(and herself) together, she eventually starts falling apart.. She tries to hold herself together but her body can’t sustain any longer, pieces start falling off flying away as she tries to catch them holding them back… She falls to the ground.. Through the crackes left by the off-fallen pieces this beautiful light shines out from within. It consumes her and she suddenly feels connected to everything. She realizes she is so much more than her pain, so much more than her story. She is scared but realize not limited by anything. She moves forward again, never seeing herself the same way. «Just when the caterpillar thought it was dying, – it turned into a butterfly» . And the most beautiful one <3
Angela Willis - This is a super fun challenge that inspired me*, Brooke! Good luck to everyone. I hope you enjoy mine.
It broke her. Physically and emotionally, she was no longer the same. In her arms she was left holding something more precious to her, more beautiful, than she could ever imagined creating, life itself. Even still, seeing her reflection in the bedroom mirror, she somehow could not fully accept what she saw; her perfection had been marred.
Gently tiptoeing out of the room she walked into her tiny kitchen to make a cup of tea, still trying to understand what had happened to her. As she reached for one of the tea cups that she adored, her hand slipped and the cup and saucer crashed to the floor, breaking into pieces.
The next morning she lovingly wrapped the broken pieces in a cloth and carried them to a shop for repair. As she watched, the master craftsman fitted the pieces back together, joining them with lacquered gold. Before her very eyes, the broken tea cup was transformed, into not only something stronger but something more beautiful than it had been before.
Every day, after that, when she saw the tea cup with its lovely golden crack, she no longer saw the imperfections but saw its beauty.
* I work an educator, with postnatal women that have a condition called diastasis recti (a split of the ab muscles, from having large or multiple babies). Most see their injury as making them ugly, or hate the way they look.
I believe repair requires transformation, that the pristine is less beautiful than the broken, and the shape of us is impossible to see until it is fractured, till a wound like a crack runs its length. That’s how the light gets in.
“The world breaks everyone, then some become strong at the broken places.” ~Ernest Hemingway
Erica Rodriguez - She sat in a room full of noise yet her mind was completely silent. She refused to allow the confusion of the world to seep into the cracks of her human heart. Instead, she hoped for the light of truth to pour out and bring the sweet peace that surpasses all understanding, a hope that lifts the soul, and a love that springs forth as a result and deafens the noise.
Ponts'o Mpholle - Her fingers hovered, too closely, above the crackling flames. Slowly, sensually, the boney thumb traversed the index finger in a half-hearted attempt to soothe the sting of the burn as the fiery tongues licked her skin. A frenzy of amok neurones and failed reflexes had erupted. She did not flinch. Instead she watched herself sizzle red, the pain registering everywhere within her body, sending a tingle down her spine, prickling her scalp. Nothing escaped her mouth; no squeal, no expletive – nothing. She relinquished herself to the fire, if only to suppress the raging one inside her, yet to incinerate the sacred relic in all its deceptive glory. Only she knew of the great power she possessed which had latched onto her unbidden until it morphed into her flesh and rendered itself art for the eyes of the gifted. They did not know the damage she could cause. With a child-like abandon she began to giggle hysterically, allowing the flames engulfing her hand to creep towards her wrist like a vine. After wading through rivers which meandered gracefully between her lashes, she rose from the chair and ambled to the bathroom. She would need ointment for the burns . . .
Argie Yañez - The idea of the story is about TIME, which life is a matter of fact in line with time and everything works with time. The idea of being with so many things to want at the right time with the same person. I may not know how to express it in words but I would love to connect the idea of clock and every TICK TOCK of it that’s in my head.
My life is in really deep in expression of counting the numbers yet forgetting the other side of possibilities that could happen in life. I just want to show my inner being of being me as a machine made like a clock which counts the years of birthdays to celebrate and every second that counts together here is cherishing every moments and memories in life. TICK TOCK TICK TOCK TICK TOCK!
Mariuca - -With marshmallows and cream please!
-Sure, right away!
-Do you also have some cinnamon?
-Of course, coming right up! Are you sure you want this half of my heart? It’s been stepped on, broken and glued back together. It’s not really that tasty and it’s not worth it. On the other hand, I’ve built towers around the other half. Sure, it has some spider webs, but all the really precious things have.
-Wow, you do know how to sell your products! I’ll tell you what…give me all of it and I’ll make sure you won’t be able to tell them apart when I’m finished!
Promoting Passion Week 82: Collaboration Week 2 » Promoting Passion - […] Read all the stories here! […]
Elisabeth on Earth - Better late than never. 🙂 This is something I wrote for a gallery show display. My print, “The Writer”, is on the wall, then my grandmother’s typewriter (used in the picture) is sitting on a small table. The piece of paper in the machine says, in an old-time typewriter font:
“She had strayed from the beaten path, wandering in the dark woods –
a scene that mirrored her own uncertainty. Around the bend, an old typewriter seemed to hover above a boulder. It beckoned the girl to share her heart. She approached cautiously. Tucking under her long white dress, she sat in the moonlight, allowing the tap-tap of a few keys to echo into the night…
Nothing happened. She tapped a few more, and a few more, gradually disappearing into a space all her own, a space she didn’t know
existed. The girl’s words became less guarded as her passion
augmented, and this honesty, this vulnerability, refreshed the soul.
A small puff emanated from the machine and grew larger, manifesting the detoxifying effect of her truth. She smiled as she watched the smoke danced higher and higher, carrying her story to the Universe.”