in Blog, Reads

Reading and Writing Our Life Stories

It occurred to me just now that reading and writing are so very intertwined, that you can’t really tease out just one from the other, if you do both. So I’m probably just going to let

 lie fallow, and post here about writing when I have thoughts about it.

Kerry Madden (

  ) wrote a beautiful post about all the different places she’s paid the rent. Each place had stories to go with it, and each of them made me think of my own stories. As a reader of primarily fantasy and science fiction, I tend to forget that even the wildest of stories have to come from a place within ourselves, and that the things that happen to us in real life, whether or not they seem extraordinary, are what our stories are made of. I remember this every once in a while, and use it to write something with some emotional truth. I feel like most recently (i. e. in the past 5 years) this has been in my Firefly fanfiction, where I use the sibling relationship of Simon and River to explore the emotional truth behind what I think has been and hope always will be the most important relationship in my life: my relationship with my sister. Sibling stories speak to me more than any other stories, more even than love stories. Not because romantic love isn’t an important part of my life, but because my sister has been with me since she was born and I was 4 years 6 months 4 days and 30 minutes old. So those stories will always be older and I think the things that happen to you as a kid shape more of the stories that speak to you.

Kerry Madden is one of my writing heroes. She loves the classic Southern authors like Flannery O’Connor and Eudora Welty, both of whom touched me the most of any American authors I read in school. Her stories are about home and family and little things that don’t necessarily seem like stories when they happen to you, but later you realize that is what stories are. 

I hope when I write, I will write things that are as real and right to other people as Kerry’s stories are to me.

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