March 1, 2014
The Power of Storytelling
I am a purpose driven woman. Perhaps it’s because of my name, my mother so wisely chose for me. Or, maybe it’s my desire to live up to the title. I often reflect on the why of everything I do in life. From childhood, I’ve naturally expressed my reflections, fearlessly, for everyone I thought would benefit. I told stories. Not lies, stories. Fabulously detailed, rich with imagery and emotion, recounts of experiences and ideas based upon my own observations and reflections. Since I was in my training pants. It’s my gift.
Stories connect people. When you tell a friend how you felt when something great (or something devastating) happens to you, they share in your experience and empathize. They see themselves in your experience, and understand how you may feel. There is a bonding in that sharing. You both learn valuable things from it, and from each other, as well as draw closer to each other in your relationship.
Stories also establish a public narrative. They are powerful. Society conforms to the public narrative created. This is why entertainment, media, and journalism are the most powerful careers in the current age. The masses are ruled by information. And, that information influences so many different lives in so many different ways.
You can read a story to experience another perspective, one that you would never have otherwise had the chance of experiencing. For example, a poor young, white teenaged girl from Alabama can understand the experiences and feelings of a wealthy 50-something, full-figured black woman from New York, by reading a book and following the journey where she is the main character. The teenager lives vicariously through the older woman, by experiencing her story while reading.
Storytelling enables small populations of people to affect a larger group, and vice versa. The more diverse the populations the better. Diversity breeds evolution. When we learn from our differences, we evolve to a higher level of understanding and interaction. That’s the power of storytelling.
This is why I write. I write essays, and novels, and screenplays, and poems, and television shows, and films. I write to share stories, to connect with people. I write to connect people, and to help make our world a better place.
So, share your stories with each other. Talk about your experiences, with your friends. Expand your circle, and interact with people different from you. The stories you share with each other will elevate you, and the impact will enrich our society.
April 30, 2014
The WHY Behind Vengeful
I’ve been very busy. Actually, too busy. I had to cleave a few projects from the herd. The biggest member of the remaining herd is the web series I’ve created, called Vengeful.
|Click to visit the Vengeful Tumblr and access to exclusive content.|
We launched our crowdfunding campaign through Patreon.com on June 1st, and to get the word out about the campaign, we started a #Thunderclap. (It’s a collection of shares sent simultaneously, and the more shares the more people know about the campaign. We needed 100 shares. We reached our goal, so over 100,000 shares of our Patreon page went out over social media! View our #Thunderclap here: http://goo.gl/skjlHO)
For the fundraiser, I decided to sit down and distill the overarching WHY for the campaign. Because, if someone asks me to support their cause, I would want to know why they have taken up the cause in the first place. So, I sat down and wrote my WHY:
I’m a storyteller. I’m a huge fan of stories and storytellers. Stephen King is one of my favorites. And, like him, I make stuff up for a living. Here’s why: Like Stephen King once said, “Fiction is the truth inside the lie.”
I believe that storytelling is how we evolve. Through stories we learn, we empathize, and we experience a catharsis that enables us to approach life with a refreshed perspective. We get to the heart of who we are, and we enjoy the ride.
That’s why I create the stories I create: to tell the truth, to get to the heart of who we are and have fun while we’re at it. People love watching movies and television shows. We see something of ourselves in the stories, and we uncover some truths while having fun on the journey.
Cut to: Vengeful.
Some of the stories on network and cable television are entertaining, but most of them are missing some truths. One of the biggest truths missing is that Black women exist in the world as major positive contributors to society; along with being beautiful, smart, talented, and funny. I love crime dramas, and Vengeful brings to life much of what we love about crime dramas, plus a beautiful truth: a Black woman is at the heart of it all.
So, fund a project that will break stereotypes, entertain, and tell some beautiful truths inside the fiction. We will enjoy the ride together.