June 22, 2010

It's All About Stories

        I enjoy learning stories and I enjoy telling stories.  Some of my stories are told in books, some are told in pictures, and some are told to my husband D when he gets home from work.  It's the first two that I intend to explore in this blog.  The genre of written stories I will specifically be thinking about would roughly be called juvenile fantasy.  The genre of pictures is relief block printing.
        So, why stories?  Everything about humans is stories.  Have you ever noticed that although we watch the Olympics for the sports, it’s the personal profiles of the athletes that get the news coverage?  Although we care about political issues, it’s the biographies of the candidates that have everyone talking.  I admit that I get pretty annoyed by the media in both those cases, but nevertheless, there is a truth at work here.    People think in stories.  People like stories.  People live stories.  Everything about humans is stories.  This will be a blog about reading and writing juvenile fantasy, and about enjoying and making block prints - but when it comes right down to it, it’s really a blog about telling stories.
        A picture can be worth a thousand words, and of course a good book is worth more than a thousand pictures (and how many stills are there in the average movie these days?)  But the math isn’t the important thing.  The important thing is that both words and pictures can tell stories, and stories are who we are.  I plan to post twice a week, and I hope that my posts can start a conversation – or at least contribute to some trains of thought – on subjects relating to the writing and reading of fiction and the making and viewing of art, and the stories told thereby.

        (Who am I?  It wouldn’t matter, except that of course opinions mean less without a story behind them.  Here are a few tidbits from my story: Once upon a time there was a girl who wanted to be a writer…  I was born and raised in Cleveland Heights, Ohio.  I loved it there.  In college at Yale I majored in linguistics, with a thesis at the intersection between historical and sociolinguistics.  I loved Yale and I loved linguistics.  After graduation, for reasons relating more to the desperation of a school’s staffing needs than my qualifications, I got a job teaching middle school art.  I loved teaching.  (Are you noticing a theme here?  It continues.)  Teaching art was how I became, de facto, an artist myself.  Along the way I got married, and when our children were born I became a stay-at-home mother, and realized that since I could no longer call myself a teacher, I had better make sure I could still call myself an artist and a writer.  And here I am, calling myself an artist and a writer, despite being essentially self-taught, primarily self-published, and inclined to be self-effacing  (so admittedly I’m probably not a natural blogger.)  My other hobbies include gardening, playing cello, quilt-making, and failing to do housework.  Except when feeling grouchy, I love it all… And she lived happily ever after.)

[Picture: Story Time, rubber block print by A.E.G.Nydam, 2003 (sold out).]


Pax said...

What a great beginning! I am eager to see what Anne writes next.

Anonymous said...

I like your blog. I'm also a stay-at-home mother and am interested in music, singing, art in general and writing, so I can sense a similarity here that atracted my attention. Besides, you write well and without being pretentious express your point of view and 'hit the point'. It is nice to find blogs like yours, which mention fantasy and the importance of stories. Your reflection about how stories are the center of our lives is clever and very true!

Anne E.G. Nydam said...

I'm glad you found me! Thanks for commenting, and be sure to weigh in with your thoughts about other topics in the future.

Kristin said...

Now that A to Z is finished, I am wandering around your blog to see who you are. So far, interesting :)