Published!

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In December I decided that I was going to put myself out there a little more and start sending entries to writing contests. So far, I’ve entered one. I found out last week that I’ve been chosen for publication in that contest!

zee-blk“Writer, Warrior, Royalty: Carrie Fisher” will appear in the Zoetic Press Dearly Beloved Anthology later this year. The anthology focuses on the large number of entertainers, icons and larger than life personalities that passed on in 2016, and how they impacted the lives of people they never met.

The piece being published is in the same vain but significantly different to the piece I wrote about Carrie Fisher a couple of months ago. Fisher remains a hero of mine, and I still find myself thinking about her passing with sadness. It’s strange when someone you’ve never met has such a lasting impact. That’s part of what I tried to get across in the piece I wrote for Dearly Beloved.

I have to say, I’m really excited about this opportunity. I know it’s a small step, but it is a step forward, and I haven’t had too many of those lately. I’m not stopping here, I have a second novel in the works (the first having been completed, ripped apart and eventually put on the shelf for a bit because I’m having trouble on getting from point C to point A- it’s a fantasy chick-lit piece so that is actually an accurate description of the issue). I’d love to get that completed in the next couple of months, but timing is up in the air with everything else going on. There are several short story and essay contests I have my eye on as well. Those may be a little more doable with the time I have available, so I’m starting to put some ideas together for those.

I’ll share publication dates and additional information as it becomes available. Until then, there are more stories waiting to be told. On to the next…

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Tell Me a Story Tuesday: Waiting Room Edition

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woman-865111_960_720I haven’t done a Tell Me a Story Tuesday for a while, so I thought it was time. For those of you who don’t know how this works, I tell you a little story and then ask you to tell one too. There are, of course, a few rules, but for the most part, you’re free to do your thing.

No one likes to sit in waiting rooms, well maybe more correctly, no one likes to wait. You do meet some interesting people and see some interesting things when you’re waiting. I think the level of interesting depends on where you’re waiting. For example, the ER waiting room can show you the best and worse of humanity. A doctor’s office or the waiting room at a mechanics bring a different atmosphere and clientele.

At the moment I’m at the car dealership getting a free oil change, sitting in a waiting room. This one is pretty tame. Well except when I looked up a minute ago and saw a car backing up into the waiting room. I get that it’s basically a big space, but you don’t usually glance up and see the taillights of a vehicle while you’re sitting inside. Everyone in the room got quiet and turned and watched it. Then went back to what they were doing.

Okay, that’s not the most exciting story. But as I’m writing this I drew a blank on the other story I had in mind. But my point is, everyone has a story. A kid who were pitching a fit. Someone on the phone who was having a very personal conversation that you really wish you didn’t hear. A couple having a fight or…the opposite…

So it’s your turn. What happened in a waiting room that you’ll never forget? Comment below with your story, or post a link to your own page with a story on it. It can be funny, it can be sad, it doesn’t even have to be real! Come on, tell me a story!

Telling No Tales

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woman-41201_960_720I’ve hit on this before, but sometimes it’s almost impossible to sit down and tell a story. Sometimes the stories are just too difficult to tell. Sometimes life just gets in the way. And you know what? That’s okay.

I mean it’s not okay if you can’t tell stories sometimes because it probably means that you’re so stressed out your brain, body, and soul don’t have the energy to do it. Trust me, that kind of stress is not okay.

Pressing on and trying to force yourself to put thoughts into words can be…painful. Again, trust me, I know. When that happens, when you find yourself in that situation, by all means, step back and take a break. Walk away. It’s okay to give yourself a vacation to clear your head or to take care of whatever it is that’s blocking your way.

Just don’t forget to go back and try again. That’s the part of the crazy trip I’m on at the moment. My brain and my body keep telling me at the end of the day when I would normally write that I just don’t have the energy left to try. I feel worn out and washed up and can’t imagine trying to capture the stories in my head.

writing-933262_1920But then we lost power during a storm about a week ago. With no phone, no computer to distract me, I say on my bed with a tiny lantern and tried to think of something to occupy my time until I settled enough to sleep like everyone in the house had already managed to do. So I grabbed an old notebook I use to capture bits and pieces of stories, dug out a pen, and took a deep breath.

I pictured a scene in the novel I’m working on and started to write. It started with carefully crafting the letters and words that came from the end of the pen as my brain tried to find what belonged on the page. Within a few minutes, the writing went from neatly printed to cursive as I started to write faster. A few minutes more and the writing became messy, misspelled and incomplete as I tried to force my hand faster and faster to capture it all as it poured from my brain.

It was an awesome feeling to finally have the words coming out again. Until sitting at an odd angle with the lantern got to be too much for my back. Then it was a little painful. Overall, I felt like a weight was lifted off of me.

The good news is, I know the words are still inside me. I know that I can access them. I just needed to look at it from another angle. I’ll be trying to write again soon, but with a lot more light.

 

New Year, New Look, New Outlook

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As my intelligent and beautiful ones of readers have already noticed, I’ve not only changed the look and feel of my blog, I’ve changed the title too. A Look Through Lorie’s Lens was created when I was working in video, and while video production will always be my first love, it doesn’t reflect me or what I want to do any more.

laptop-820274_960_720I want to tell stories, my own and other people’s. So, We’re All Just Stories in the End was born from what was on editing room floor. (Bonus points to anyone WHO knows where I got the title from.) With the change in title comes a change in perspective.

We’re All Just Stories in the End is going to focus on telling stories. I’m going to look at how business and individuals can use stories in their marketing to grow their reach and their profit. I’ll be talking about how different mediums can help tell stories. Of course, I’m also going to talk about telling my stories.

Regulars readers will also notice that I’ve added a page with samples of some of my writing. This is all part of my plan to continue to work as a freelancer to help people tell their stories. If you’d like to talk to me about your story, and what I can do to assist, just drop me a message here.

I’m really excited about the opportunities that lay ahead in 2017. I hope you’ll join me.

 

 

 

Sometime the Story Just Won’t Be Told

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I’ve talked a lot about telling stories. About how important it is to tell your story, because no one else can. But, something I haven’t really discussed are the stories that can’t, or won’t be told.

Old fashioned typewriter

Some stories just won’t be told.

I’m not really talking about stories you can’t tell for legal or moral reasons. Really, those are kind of self explanatory. I’m talking about the stories you can’t tell because…well you just can’t. Maybe they’re too personal. Or too emotional. Maybe you don’t even know where to begin. Maybe even the thought of putting words down just makes you anxious. Well, I’m here to tell you, that’s OK too.

Right now I’m in one of those places. There is so much going on, so much happening (and none of good if I’m going to be totally honest) that I can’t get the words out. My usual approach to stress is to write about it, but right now I can’t.

I can’t write. I can’t talk. All of it just swirls around in my head and I can’t really grasp a single thought that I can use to start with. Normally I can put something down about what’s going on and impart some positive wisdom at the end. The light at the end of the tunnel.

But not now. Not yet. Maybe never.

Maybe one day I’ll find the words. Maybe one day the story will want to be told. Maybe I’ll find the happy ending and I can turn it all around. Today is not that day.

And you know what, I think that might be alright. Maybe some stories are just not meant to be told. Some stories are so personal, so overwhelming, so…big that they just can’t be told.

SO, today’s advice on storytelling: if you have a story that just won’t be told, a story that you just can’t tell, give it time. Give it space. Today may not be the day to tell that story. Don’t give up though, there are lots of stories out there waiting to be told. So hang on, grab the next one and don’t let go.

 

Tell Me A Story Tuesday – Back to School 2016 Edition!

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It’s that time again in our neck of the woods – Back To School! Now, I’ve mentioned in the past that I’m not a huge fan of school starting. For us the world gets even more crazy once the school doors open, and when you add that to the fact that my oldest is a high school senior this year…well this fall becomes even more meaningful. I thought I would celebrate with Tell Me A Story Tuesday!mobli_img_2013-08-28_04.59.35

For my new followers Tell Me A Story Tuesday is pretty much what it says on the tin. Sometimes I’ll tell you a story, but I always ask you to tell ME a story. There are some ground rules to be mindful of, but other than that, go for it.

I’ll get the ball rolling with a very short story…

Our daughters were born six years apart. That’s not the way it was planned (we wanted them about four years apart) , but that’s the way it happened. Despite the age difference they are very close, annoyingly so sometimes. My oldest was so excited to be a big sister and help take care of her that we never had any real issues with sibling rivalry, sure there were some bumps, but no one tried to sell anyone or hide them or anything. Their closeness has come in handy on days like the first day of school.

My youngest was very excited to start school. She’s very smart and learns quickly, so she was happy to be doing something other than workbooks and library dates with Dad. There were no real tears her first day of school, lots of excited chatter but no tears (not on her end at least). We lived closed enough to the school to walk, so we skipped the whole way there (well some of us skipped, some of us drug our feet because WE were not ready for this) and didn’t really hesitate at the door.

Kindergarten students were allowed to have their parents walk them to class the first day. But that’s not what we did. Big Sister had promised to get Little Sister safely delivered to class, and to check the place out and make sure she felt it was safe. So we stopped in the lobby and watched our girls walk hand-in-hand down the hall to a new adventure.

So now it’s your turn. Use the comments section below to tell me a story. It doesn’t have to be long, it doesn’t have to be good. Just tell me something that happened to you at the beginning of the school year. Don’t forget to follow the rules. Class is back in session – I can’t wait to hear about it!

4 Ideas to Make Storytelling Easier

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I’ve gotten some questions recently about storytelling, and I thought I wold share some of the discussion with everyone. First, let me clarify what I mean about storytelling.

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Tips for telling your story

To me, storytelling can be anytime you’re telling people something. That could be in the traditional sense like a novel or autobiography, or in a marketing sense like a marketing or social media campaign. Instructional design, script writing and video production as well as content development can all fall under storytelling – you’re trying to share information or persuade someone by telling someone something. I look at all these things as storytelling because it puts you more in the mind of getting your information out in a creative and/or interesting way that is more likely to hold interest and make an impact.

With that out of the way,  let’s look at 4 ideas (and a bonus tip) that will hopefully make storytelling easier for you.

  1. Who cares? I know, everyone should care about what you have to say. Unfortunately, that’s not actually true. So ask yourself, who am I telling this story to? Who is going to care from the first word, and who do I want to make care? Spend a few minutes thinking about the audience the piece is for and what you want them to take away from the story your telling.
    Old photo from New Your Times Newsroom of reporters working, on phone and reading

    These guys might care….

    I know that’s the first step in any kind of writing, but too often I see people trying to tell a story, market something or teach something taking a shotgun approach – spreading the information as thin as you can to try to reach as many people as possible. The majority of the time that only makes the story boring and too diluted to have the impact you want.

  2. Watch your language. It’s no secret that when people write for business they write more formally, it’s what we’ve all been taught. But, that’s not always the best option. You need to look at the audience and the story you’re telling. If you’re talking about profit and loss margins something more formal is probably the best choice. If you’re talking about a client’s theme park or telling people about the time you were having such a run of bad luck that your left shoe fell down a sewer grate and you never saw it again, you probably want to be a little more informal.

    What do I mean by informal? Using contractions for one. A lot of people seem to have issues using contractions in their writing, and that quickly makes everything more formal. Word choice is important too! Using slang can also be a big help in making what you’re writing more approachable. If your writing a young adult (YA) romance novel and say, “Would you like to go spend time at the local shopping complex?” versus, “Do you want to go hang out at the mall?” your reader is going to feel like they’re reading a text book – and chances are if they’re reading a YA romance novel they probably get enough of text books in their daily lives and won’t give your novel the time of day.

  3. Let your Medium guide you. I’m not talking about Madam Elaine, Psychic to the
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    Let your medium Guide you!

    Masses, I’m talking about the medium you’re using to tell the story. Are you telling your story verbally or in writing? Are you doing a slide show presentation or blog post? Consider the length of time or space you have to tell the story. Shorten or expand as necessary.

  4.  Say it out loud! One of the easiest and fastest ways to check on how your story sounds is to read it out loud to yourself. Listen to how it sounds. Does it sound too formal? Not formal enough? Is there a sentence that’s hard to understand when you hear it? Is it something that is easy to understand and hit the notes you’re looking to hit? The answers to questions like these will tell you a lot about the writing style you used for the piece (or your writing style in general) and the how others will hear it – even when they read to themselves most of your audience will be hearing their voice saying the words so in a way they are hearing it out loud.

    Bonus TIP! Reverse it! If you’re worried that your writing style or speaking style is too formal and you want to work on that, start verbally rather than in writing. This especially works well if you’re telling your life stories. Record yourself telling the story verbally before you start to write. Listen to it carefully. What do you notice about how you tell the story? Is your word choice different than when you write? Are your sentences shorter? Do you use a storytelling voice that is warm and approachable? Keep these things in mind when you start to write and see the difference it can make in the final product!

I would love to hear from you! Drop me a note and let me know what you think of the post and what tips or ideas you have to make storytelling easier!