It is just a little more two years ago – April 2007 - that a companion blog to Time Goes By, The Elder Storytelling Place, was launched. I no longer remember the reason I started it, but I have no doubt that it was and is still one of the better ideas I ever had. Every week I am delighted with the new batch of stories. It's some of the most entertaining reading I do – from all sources.
We seem to be hardwired for storytelling and indeed, experts say it is important to collect and organize our stories for ourselves as we get older - it helps give meaning to the lives we have lived. And it is good to share those stories.
Some say storytelling is a necessity, second only to food and ahead of love and shelter in its importance. It is not just books, movies and TV shows which tell us stories; everything is storytelling – advertisements, news, politics, television commercials, the back of the cereal box. Each one, however short, contains a beginning, middle and end and engages us in its plot.
Recently, a new contributor to The Elder Storytelling Place emailed supposing that many stories are rejected for not meeting some standard or criteria I have set. Not so. In these two years, I have rejected no more than three or four, maybe five stories and then only for bigotry or similar objectionable material. One execrable piece objectifying women comes to mind.
A handful of misguided people aside, I am awed by the storytelling ability that is on display at The Elder Storytelling Place. Certainly some are better than others, but overall the stories cover the gamut of emotions, are well told and entertaining. They amuse and teach, make me laugh and cry and never bore me.
I suppose one could guess that only people who are good at storytelling bother to submit any. But after two years and more than 500 stories, I suspect it has more to do with the fact that storytelling is bred in our bones.
And, perhaps, elders have simply spent more time with the written word than some younger people, many of whose blogs leave me cringing at the poor writing. I try to be generous and hope they will improve with time.
Having grown up without the distractions of 24/7 television and, in the past 20 years, video games and now with Twitter, Facebook and other social phenomena encouraging one- or two-sentence communication, elders may simply have more practice both at reading and telling stories.
Some contributors have submitted many stories over these two years. If there is a writer you particularly like, you can find past stories in the drop down menu in the right sidebar of The Elder Storytelling Place under the header, The Storytellers. Just click on a name and you will be taken to a page with links to all their stories.
Readership continues to grow at The Elder Storytelling Place but lately, the number of comments on stories has fallen off quite a bit. So I'm writing today to urge readers, when you have enjoyed a story, to take a couple of minutes to let the writer know. Or to add some information. Or pass on something the story may remind you of.
The Elder Storytelling Place is a community blog with many authors, a place to meet and talk and share. And, applause is good; everyone likes to be recognized for what they have accomplished.
At The Elder Storytelling Place today, is Brenton “Sandy” Dickson: Catching Old Age.