by Robin Byrd
There is a place for all of us – writers… on the page, on the stage, on film… We may not get into the venues we want to get into but there is a place for our stories. Don’t give up. Don’t settle for not writing your stories down or telling them out loud… record them somewhere – the library of congress, your website…
I think of this because of the book “Sounder”, the author’s note in the beginning admits that an old black man told him this story – an old black man that was his teacher and was sometimes allowed to pray in the white church from the balcony – a sign of the times. The author couldn’t even remember the old man’s name but he remembered the story. William H. Armstrong recounted the story of Sounder omitting all the names of all people in the book, the only name given was Sounder’s. The old black man was probably the boy all grown up. The lack of names gives the story a very poignant universal air now I can’t forget the story.
I am about to read Tennessee William’s first play, A Candle to the Sun. Why? He can tell a good story. I’m working on Suzan-Lori Park’s Father Comes Home from the Wars Parts 1,2 & 3. Why? She can tell a good story, too. They do it so well…this thing called writing… so well, it makes me try harder… Makes it a little bit easier for me to just do the thing and let come what may…as long as I telling a good story and doing my best to tell it well… someone somewhere will read it.
I finally finished a play I’ve been mulling over for about five years, Fiddler’s Bridge. Felt good to get it out and even better to see my evolution as a writer — not so much that I am different but I know my craft better and it’s easier to just do the thing… Now all I have to do is stop putting Fiddle, Fiddlin’ or Fiddler in the title…but then again, titles have to fit the piece. I imagine after I have completed more of my 80 plus projects there will be an evolution to the handling of subject matter that can be seen. Or not… All I need to do is keep telling good stories… How about you? Told any good ones lately?