Is your family story influencing you today?

‘It was a long time ago, but I remember it like yesterday…’

We came alive when someone shares a story with us.   We live in a world where there is a huge reliance on technology and where there is a vast amount of knowledge on every subject readily available to huge populations of people. In spite of this (or perhaps as a result of this) people are craving the simplicity of conveying a message through storytelling.

After all, these stories help us sort out meaning in this life and how we fit into all of it.

As a child, I recall my Grandfather regaling us with tales of how he illegally rode boxcars in the Dirty 30s as he searched for work.  That is until he bumped into my Grandmother and she gave him cause to stop this dangerous activity.  Then there was the tale of my Uncle falling from a horse and breaking his arm.  The boys and my Grand Dad all made him finish his chores assuming he was just being fussy.  When they discovered he had really broken it, they all swore him to secrecy about the chores.   These types of tales are legendary and tend to captivate our minds and our interests while teaching valuable problem solving and life lessons.

We all have stories like these.  Some are useful and some are not.  Some are simply entertaining

Every story has value at some level.  Including those we tell just for the simple joy of it.

When I began my series, I was focused on discovering a skill for weaving a tale.  I figure I come from a long line of story tellers, so why not put that ability to good use.

My big objective was to find a way to write business fiction.  In other words, tell a story that delivers insight, but never deviates from being truly captivating.  I am the type of reader that likes to get lost in a good story and I wanted my readers to have that experience with me.  All lessons aside.  Applying this focus in my writing has been a daunting and yet worthwhile undertaking.

If you have read the novels, you really must let me know how I am doing in this regard.  Are you fascinated and still learning?

Although each novel is really a suspense style page turner, each novel has an underlying theme applied to it as well.  This makes it easier for me to focus my objectives and challenges me to tell a better story.

Book 1 (The Accidental Audience) sets a tone around willful blindness and how this unconscious behaviour can lead us to draw poor conclusions.

Book 2 (Chasing Rhinos) highlights the conflicts that show up in the aftermath of Post Traumatic Stress.

Book 3 (Apology Accepted) explores the impact of self doubt on our gifts, talents and overall performances.

Now, Book 4 (Whiskey Snow) explores how the stories of our ancestors provide insight into who we are later to become.

Suddenly, she found herself walking a solitary country road—focusing on her feet, she paid little attention to anything around her, barely noticing as a man in overalls approached, a young girl dressed in a tattered white dress in tow. Did she know them? Then, as quickly as they drew near, Colbie backed away, unsure. The two coming toward her stopped, and she recognized the young girl as LaRee Beeman—red, curly hair was streaked with dirt, her face revealing a life not fit for a young child. How can that be, Colbie wondered – LaRee Beeman was Amanda’s aunt—the time period just didn’t fit . . .

Within the pages of this novel are glimmers of a grandmother’s story and how that history unknowingly influenced who Colbie grows up to become.   Inspired by my own Grandmother’s childhood, Book 4 holds even more value for me.   I am dedicating it to the courageous and resourceful women of an era that did not always respect or value their tremendous contributions.

(Before married women’s, property acts were passed, a woman lost any right to control property that was hers prior to the marriage.  She had no rights to acquire any property during marriage either. A married woman could not make contracts, keep or control her own wages or any rents, transfer property, sell property or take out any lawsuit.  Financially and materially, women were severely disadvantaged by a separation or divorce.  If a woman fled an unsafe marriage, she would struggle to provide for herself and her offspring.  Starting over was no easy task for women of this era.)

It is a rather strange thought to entertain that somebody who lived decades before us could have any direct or indirect influence on our lives. But the evidence is there, we must simply be made aware of it. Scientists tell us that trauma and fears are passed on to future generations through the DNA.  Fascinating!

If this is true, then I choose to believe that resourcefulness, courage and tenacity has been willed to us as well.

How do you nurture a  positive experience for your children through story?

If you want a happier, more resilient family, create those sacred spaces and start telling your stories.  Talk to your kids about the traditions you grew up with.  Tell stories about your family and your culture. Tell about the hardships and the triumphs.  That simple act may just increase the likelihood that your family will thrive for many generations to come.

I can’t wait to share Whiskey Snow with you when it launches in early December.  I hope you will join me as together we explore the ripples of the past.