Years ago before alzheimer’s disease came and invaded my grammy’s brain she loved movies. She also loved books. If I had to guess I’d say she loved story. I spent a lot of time following her around blabbering about the plot of some book I was reading, and she always listened patiently (something I find a little harder to do now that I have children). She used story to feel better. Specifically about politics. Whenever she was feeling frustrated with the government she would watch one of her favorite president movies; Dave, The American President, Air Force One, or her favorite, Independence Day (true story she had a framed picture of Bill Pullman on her dresser for a long time).
Last year Independence Day Two was getting ready to be released and every time I saw a preview for the film I straight up cried. I’m pretty sure I’m the only person in the world who has cried during a Michael Bay preview.
But, that’s the power of story isn’t it? Stories move us, bond us, teach us something, help us escape (not Independence day 2, I watched it finally and it was not great.) It’s why I text my sister or Bethany on almost a daily basis about the latest episode of our favorite tv show. Or why I was impatiently waiting for Jen to finish this season of Sherlock. It’s why I read Harry Potter to my kids even though the weight of the book kills my shoulder, because we want to share story with each other. It’s why I love reading the tumbler of teen fans of The Lunar Chronicles. There’s a community being built around those books, there’s community surrounding the fandoms of our favorite nerdy shows and movies.
Story can build bridges, bring people together, help us ask scary questions. Story can teach us to be brave, that just because someone is different that doesn’t mean they’re bad. Story can do that and countless other wonderful things.
Story, it’s why I keep scratching pen across paper. Because I believe there is power buried somewhere in those words. Story is what keeps me going as I face down the challenge of draft three, the hope that maybe someday my story will bring two friends together, or give someone hope, or that some person somewhere will follow their grammy around telling her about the plot, and what they think is going to happen.