We are the story.
Awake and asleep…you and me…here and now…what and where…before and after.
Once upon a time…
Stories at birth, before birth, every moment of our lives to the end.
We breathe telling tales. And then what happened? The story ends?
The story never ends. We are immortal. We are myth. We remember.
Did I ever tell you about…?
Once Upon a Time will celebrate the story—in all its manifestations, which are many, as I see it, know it, teach it, write it, work the hell out of it to this day (my favorite ‘form’, the one I began with as a writer)–and propose to tell my side of the story on this site as I feel it.
Monsieur K. and I have created a huge and growing readership among writers and readers through Poetry Dispatch, Notes from the Underground, Basho’s Road, NBCoop News, and for a long time it has been my desire to move this passion in yet another one, two, three? areas as well, especially the sad, mostly neglected state (art) of the story today—short, long, minimal…traditional, modern, contemporary, experimental… Story “consciousness”. That’s what I’m after.
So, what’s the story anyway?
Something to be explored, told, experienced, enjoyed, as I bring many plates to the table in the days ahead, variations on the theme of who? what? when? and where?
This, like any creative endeavor, will be a work-in-progress. Which is the way we learn best. Success and failure. To throw in everything including the kitchen sink, whenever the mood strikes. I begin this work as I begin almost any new piece of writing or painting–no outline, notes, plans, nothing but a head full of images and a burning passion. Let it all tell itself, be its own story, find its own way till it forms some kind of shape that leaves me space (minutes, days, weeks, months, years later) to go back in and refine. The art of writing is rewriting…reading your own words aloud. Remembering Picasso’s words as well: “Not every painting need be a masterpiece.” I make no promises, apologies, or commitments concerning the stories I choose, the ideas I examine on Once Upon a Time. . Only ask you to bear with me. Enjoy. Take what works. Ignore what doesn’t. But give it all time to settle. Do something with it if you care. Read more…write more stories if you will. Comment occasionally if you are so inclined. (Thank you.)
CAUTION, perhaps, or occasionally: If I find myself engaged in sharing a story I love that is much too long…(given the nature of our failing internet attention span these days)…I may just lead the reader into part of the work, and hope he/she will take it upon himself to read the rest at his own leisure.
So…EVERYTHING is on the table. On its way.
Let’s begin (middle, end) with this. A piece of writing I have ‘taught’, used for many years in classes and workshops…brought to the attention of other writers who are so ‘fixed’ upon just what a story IS–and is not…a piece of writing I often tell beginning writers: “If you understand this…fully grasp what is going on here… if you seek to employ, in story, poem, novel, or essay, the true artistry of this master of the written word, you may eventually find yourself on the road to writing something memorable.”
A thrust plunged home:
Under my feet, in our bedroom—
My dead wife’s comb.
[from, THE WORLD’S SHORTEST STORIES, An Anthology, edited by Richard G. Hubler, Popular Library, 1962, 40¢]