When I arrived, this last time, their dad asked, "Did you tell Auntie what you told me this morning?"
"Not yet," one of the girlies said sheepishly as if the words might spoil the surprise ahead.
"Well," dad continued, "I heard that you, Auntie, tell the BEST stories." As he wrapped his scarf around his neck and scurried out the door for a long-coveted date night filled with adult-conversation and food, he smiled, "No pressure or anything, just thought you should know!"
I've never really considered myself to be a storyteller and truth-be-told, while I read to them until they refused to sit through any more books, my own personal children did not have nightly storytelling. For the girlies, my stories, coming at the heels of bedtime story reading, were originally a way to distract suddenly-sullen-small children who seriously-missed their parents. Over the years, these stories have grown in length and improved in quality! Now, they might even be considered the coveted!
I usually craft some characters, roughly similar to the girlies and what they have done that day. I usually craft a setting that we can all "see" and have some problem or conflict that we can unpack and solved in just a few minutes
The other night, the story was set in a castle with 101 books, 101 toys, 101 steps, a bathtub swimming pool and a master bedroom trampoline bed! I spent an enormous amount of time elaborating on the moat filled not with alligators, but with goldfish, because they asked questions about the moat. I elaborated on the castle's floors and bedrooms when they seemed to want to know every detail. I must admit that the black-as-night bedroom with twinkling star lights I described sounded pretty cool and that shower complete with rainstorm sound effects sounded like it might be a best seller at Castle Depot!
As I finally, wrapped up the story, there were two smiling customers and I knew I had secured my title for at least a few more months! I could feel the influence of writing guru, Donald Graves, who long ago proposed we all find that voice inside us to be a little stronger when we have a purpose and an audience!