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My Own Backyard 

The Power of Story

I don't know about you, but I'm pretty much over 2020. I think many of us were over it a few months ago. As soon as we get back up, it just seems to knock us down again.

Stories have always been important to me. I can't remember a time in my life where I wasn't reading a story, watching a story, or writing a story. We moved from Florida to Colorado when I was 10 years-old. I remember sitting at a folding card table my mom had set up for me with her typewriter (I know, this ages me) and tapping out a story about two chipmunks who were best friends and one had to move away. Writing was my way of processing how I was feeling about leaving my best friend.

When I was a kid, I loved to read the Ramona Quimby books by Beverly Cleary. I WAS Ramona. I had a bossy big sister and was always living in my head, which caused others to see me as "flighty" or not paying attention when in reality, I wasn't any of those things. I was paying attention. I was also imagining in my head the stories that helped me process reality. Reading Ramona allowed me to feel that I wasn't the only one who got excited about the first day of school or imagined heart-shaped bangs would make me more girly and noticeable.

I don’t think there has ever been a time when stories have been more important.

As we are all at home, MUCH more than we are used to, streaming shows and watching movies is the norm. I am a rabid reader, and I'm reading MORE than I normally do. And after time away from my computer for various reasons, I am now ready to write books again. It is hands down the most unusual period in our history. We are navigating things that we have never had to navigate before, and we are finding hope in other's stories. Left and right, in the media, we see stories of parades for birthdays and those graduating. We see people visiting loved ones through windows of nursing homes and hospitals. We see city blocks erupting with applause for the relentless work of first responders and those tirelessly working in the medical field. We see and read stories of hope, and we are comforted and don't feel quite so alone.

There is power in stories. They cause us to not only escape sometimes, but draw us into the experience of others. They bring us comfort and a reminder that, although our own story is unique, there is so much we share with those around us. 

What are some of your favorite stories?

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