“Everyone has a story that will stop your heart.” – Claudia Shear
“Everyone has a story. I don’t believe anyone can go through life without encountering at least one amazing thing.” – Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
Is writer’s block causing you to lose sleep at night? Does your writing feel forced or stale, despite your efforts to hit upon a fresh, new idea? The cure, my friends, is to simply realize that everyone has a gripping story to tell.
And I do mean everyone. Every person who has ever walked the earth, real or imagined, has encountered unspeakable delights and unthinkable cruelty. As authors, all we have to do is seek out these stories and tell them in a compelling way.
Don’t leave out household objects, either! Walk into a thrift store and you’ll be struck with the overwhelming feeling that everything – every book, pair of glasses, and teacup – has a story of its own. Dare to tell these untold stories, and you’ll never be at a loss for words again!
Below is an example I put together using the upright piano which now sits in my living room. It’s a piece of household furniture which goes overlooked most days, but I decided to give its story – what I know of it – a voice.
The Life of a Piano
I consider myself to be, among all household belongings, most blessed. Crafted from the finest wood by the steady hand of a man who poured love into every piece, I was finished with a sigh of pure delight. I’ll never forget the first time he ran his fingers across my ivory keys… it was as if we were one soul. My musical strains quaked as he wept, and my copper strings vibrated with laughter as his fingers raced across the keys in rag-time.
Moving to a new home was an event I always thought would be accompanied by sadness and loss, but nothing could be further from the truth. Instead of losing the touch of my original owner, I realized that I would carry a piece of him always – it was in the sound of my music, and the feel of every key. But my joy was multiplied when I met my new musical companion. A young college student with eyes as bright as her future, she was studying to be a concert pianist and had entire worlds of opportunity lying open before her. We spent hours upon hours enraptured by the enchanted sounds of Mozart and Chopin, and I was spellbound by her lightness and grace.
Finally, she waltzed into the limelight and I was left behind at her mother’s house. After years of gathering great amounts of dust, I yearned to sing again from the very depths of my wooden bowels. At last, I met a family. They didn’t have much money, but the children – a slender, brown-eyed boy and a lovely young girl with blonde hair and blue eyes – held a deep love for music. That was all I needed to know. I lent the children every ounce of my expertise, helping their novice fingers to become more sure and steady with every glorious hour of practice.
The children grew and ventured into college life, and I glowed with pride as my boy (I’d come to think of him as my own) earned a musical scholarship. A few years later the brown-eyed boy took me into his own home, where he relied on my familiar touch to teach his own two children – a slender, brown-eyed girl and a handsome young boy with blonde hair and blue eyes – how to make music of their own.
I am very old now, my paint dull and chipped. But I am fairly bursting with sweet memories, and this tinges my music with love. I wouldn’t trade anything for the life I’ve lived. Many have sat at my bench and drawn the beloved music from my brittle strings, and I love them – each and every one.
Today’s post is part of the A-to-Z Challenge, where participants commit to posting one article for each day during the month of April – one for every letter of the alphabet.
Check back here at “The Artistic Christian” for a daily slice of art (art reviews, practical tips, and motivation for artists), all steeped in a rich Christian worldview