Writing, and other Ways of Telling Tales

WWriting is my personal preferred method for telling story’s.  I like being able to commit my story to the page, have the chance to organize my thoughts (and take my time to think about just what I want to say).  Occasionally I relish the opportunity to search for just the right words to say what I am trying to say though, in the interest of full disclosure, sometimes I agonize over the fact that the English language will not convey what I want it to.  Those times when the words come out perfect on the first try, when a phrase develops just perfectly, are precious.  One of the things that makes me sad is when I think of a perfect phrasing but have nowhere to write it down and, inevitably, end up forgetting it.

This month has pretty much highlighted the Telling of Tales in written form here on Eclectic Alli, but there are so many other ways of of Tale-Telling that deserve to be explored.

Verbal Storytelling:  There are stories that have been handed from person to person in verbal form, often changing and shifting with each new telling.  There are grand literary examples of such stories that have since been written down – such as old mythology, folk-lore, and legends.  But we also practice a form of this throughout our lives.  Stories told late at night during sleepovers, or around the campfire.  Or, think of those times when you see a friend or loved one that you haven’t seen in a long time, I know within my circles there is often an amount of time that goes towards the retelling of our time together, “Remember when….?”   We pass down stories of events that we have experienced, stories intended to scare or inspire.  We share these stories without them ever having to be put onto the page.

Theatrical Arts:  Actors, dancers, playwrights, lighting-designers, sound-techs, directors, set-designers, all come together to convey a story to an audience.  These stories are also often put into writing in some way, in the form of a script or choreographers notes.

Music: Ballads, of course, tell a story, but so do most other musical creations.  The lyrics will often tell a story, but so do the notes of the song, the choice of instruments, and the musicians interpretation.

Visual Arts: Paintings, drawings, carvings, sculpture, they all tell their own tales.  Often, in one still scene an artist is able to convey a full story — leaving enough clues for the view to fill in the blanks.


I’m sure there are many, many more that I am not thinking of.  While writing is my preferred method to tell tales I am a fan of them all.  Though I’m not terribly skilled as a teller in all these other forms I like to surround myself by them, absorbing storytelling in whatever ways I can.

What are your favorite ways of Telling Tales?

If We Were Having Coffee – Reading and Writing along!

If we were having coffee, I’d be honest with you that I’m kind of happy it’s just virtual coffee.  I’m a little peopled-out this week.  You know, one of those moments where I kind of just want to curl up and not do anything, and certainly not interact with people very much.  Virtual interaction is okay, but actual talking… not so much.

I’d tell you that I’ve really been enjoying the A to Z Challenge, and especially pleased with how supportive everyone has been.  It’s great to be able to give some of the young story-tellers in my life a chance to tell their stories to a larger audience, and to know that people are going to be supportive of their efforts.  I’ve enjoyed telling my own stories – writing shorts has been fun – but I’ve really loved getting to share these kids stories with everyone. (Again, thanks to Josh, Adel, Isabelle and Jenny — and their parents!)

I’d also tell you that I’m supposed to be reading today.  On a complete last minute whim I joined the Dewey 14 Read-a-thon I vaguely recall seeing something about it last year, but this year I saw the information before the event (not even a full 24 hours before but… you know… before) and decided to jump in.  I’m certainly not going to read the entire 24 hours, there is too much writing that needs to be done, but I hope to get at least some reading done.  I’ve been picking my way through a few books, getting a few paragraphs read here or there when I am not brain-dead during my commute, so I want to try to make some good progress on them.

If we were having coffee I’d also tell you that I’m excited about some plans for post-April.  Most of my ideas have been just brewing in the back of my head, but I’m putting out some tentative feelers on them and hope to make them a reality.  I’m looking forward to having more guest posters on this blog, and to do some guest posting of my own!

I’d also tell you that I’m making some good progress on my novel.  It needs a title, it really does, but for now I’ll just call it Bria Lana, since that’s what the file is saved as (it’s the Main Character’s name).  This is a story I started years and years ago, then finished a draft of during NaNoWriMo 2014.  I’ve been needing to put the scenes in order for ages, but life kept interrupting and I wasn’t making any progress. 20150414_125516 I bought myself a cute little Alice In Wonderland themed Moleskin to use in helping keep some notes in, which helped to provide me that final incentive – I spent this money, now I need to put it to good use.  It seems to have done the trick, because I have a rough outline of scenes as well as some character notes about a few of the characters that had been kind of elusive before.

The book is currently divided into five rough sections.  So I’m currently trying to put the first section in clear order, making sure the scenes all make sense, figuring out any glaring continuity errors (such that come from a scene being moved earlier than it was originally written, or after a scene that no longer exists), and adding in scenes that need to finally be written.  My hope is that by the end of next month I’ll have a semi-functional draft of the entire thing which I will be able to print out, read through, and start some real editing before sending it along to a few friends for initial reads (before what will likely be another thorough revision).  Exhausting!!

That’s probably all I have in me today, so I’d be happy to hear what you have going on these days.  How have you been?  Any big projects that you’re making progress on, or that are stalling out?

Today’s post is a part of the Weekend Coffee Share, graciously hosted by Part Time Monster every weekend! A time for us to come together, share a cup of coffee (or our beverage of choice) to share some of what is going on in our lives.  It’s a lovely check-in time.


This piece was inspired by my guest-posters and those essays that always seemed to be assigned to write about summer vacations.


My Vacation

By Myra Halanski

This summer we went camping at Lilly Lake. I don’t know why it’s called Lilly Lake. I didn’t see any lilies there. There was a plant that Mom said was Poison Ivy. It was kind of pretty, but it makes you itch. A lot.

Dad and Mom like to camp. They call it the “great outdoors.” I don’t see what is so great about it. It’s dirty and boring mostly.

Dad says its relaxing. Mom says she likes the quiet. I don’t know how she thinks it’s quiet. The kids in the next campground were very loud. My brother told them about the ghosts that haunt the lake, and then when something bumped into their tent at night they screamed so loud. I don’t think they’d been camping before. They didn’t know that you were supposed to tell pretend stories at night. All campfire stories are supposed to be scary, but then you tell the pretend ghosts to stay by the campfire and they wont follow you to sleep. My Daddy says so, and he knows lots.

My brother loves to camp. He can run on the trails and pretend he is an explorer. My brother thinks he is a great explorer and discoverer. Sometimes he is.  This summer he discovered that bees don’t like when you throw things at their nest and that chipmunks are afraid of bikes. He didn’t think the chipmunk was though, so tried to stop his bike. And then he fell. He also learned that the doctors can give you bright green casts, and that you aren’t supposed to scratch under the cast, and that when casts get wet they start to smell really gross.

I didn’t like camping. It was boring, except for when the kids in the next site started screaming. And when my brother showed me the cool tree with the strange things growing out of it (before he learned about chipmunks, but after he learned about bees). And when I got to go swimming every day — until there was a lizard that scared me. Then I was not wanting to go in the water so much.  I remembered reading about lizards that could hurt people, and it looked slimy.

We were gonna camp for two weeks. Dad said it would be fun. When I learned about poison ivy he said we would still have fun. And when the neighbor kids screamed (and their dad talked to my mom and dad in an angry voice), Dad said we could still have fun. And when my brother learned about the bees Dad said we could still have fun. But he didn’t sound so certain.

When my brother learned about the chipmunks I think Dad was going to say we would still have fun. But then it started to rain, and Mom said there was only so much fun she could handle and she didn’t want to know what the second week would be like.  And that if Dad wanted to camp he could set up a tent in our backyard. So the rest of the summer we had fun at home.  And I got to go swimming in the pool at the rec center, and ride my bike, and climb the big tree in the yard and learned that Mom can scream REAL loud and she doesn’t like dare-devils.

Celebrate the Small Things: Celebrating Young Storytellers!

Today’s A to Z post is the last of my SUPER SPECIAL guest posts!  I do have one more guest post still before we reach Z, but my SUPER SPECIAL are done.  I was really thrilled that Josh, Adel, Isabelle and Jenny all agreed to write for this! As a child I always appreciated when people gave me a chance to share my stories, and I want to celebrate that I had the opportunity to do the same for some of my young friends!  I also want to celebrate (and thank) all of you who took the time to read and comment, supporting these young storytellers.  I am pretty sure this is not the last you’ve heard from them! :)

What do you celebrate today?

Today is Celebrate the Small Things Friday.  Hosted by Lexa Cain, L.G. Keltner of Writing Off the Edge, and Katie of The Cyborg Mom, Celebrate the Small Things is a time when we all take a moment to celebrate something good from our week.  It can be small, it can be big, just something to look back on the week and celebrate!

Celebrate the Small Things

Underwater Adventure in the Bathtub

Another post by my super-special guest posters!  Today’s story is brought to you by Isabelle and Jenny.

Isabelle is 5 years old and she likes to dance, sing,  beach-comb and hang out with her friends.

Jenny is ten and she likes to read, draw and act.

UOnce upon a time there were two girls named Aleena and Maureena who had never met one another.  It just so happened, that they shared the same date of birth.  On their seventh birthday they were both taking bubble baths at the same exact time.

When Maureena got into her bath, the water started rippling and thrashing, then a big wave washed over her and pulled her under.  Aleens’s bath water started swirling until it turned into a whirlpool, which dragged her down into darkness.

The next thing they both knew, they were holding hands with one another and swimming through the ocean.  They looked at one another and both had so many questions.  Who are you?  How did we get here?  Where are my legs and where did this tail come from?  But before they could start answering each other they saw a big shark.  The shark was looking right at them, and was licking his lips.

The girls started to swim as fast as they could with the shark close behind them, snapping at their tails.  Maureena saw an entrance to a sea cave and pulled Aleena into it.  The entrance was just big enough for the girls to fit in, but not the shark.  The shark was swimming so fast that he couldn’t stop in time and he ran in to a rock wall.

While in the cave the girls started talking about all that had happened to them and how magical it all was.  They both couldn’t believe they were mermaids and that their bathtubs were magical portals to this magical undersea world.  The girls agreed to meet every Saturday at 10:30.  They had many magical adventures together, but neither forgot the first time they met on their seventh birthday.

T is for Time Slip by Guest Poster @blurosemd

Today’s post brought to you by my guest poster – Bohemian Nerd!  We’ve undertaken a post-exchange today, so be sure to pay her a visit to see what I did for her “T” day poetry post!

TYesterday while my dog took me for a walk, I met  a cool looking dog, named Ronnie, who was  a street performer trying to earn a little dough on the side going towards a new bag of dog treats. He isn’t about to take a free meal ticket, and even though he has gone through some rough times and even spent a little hard time in the pound, he has since graduated from rehab and is a brand new dog. However, he has trouble keeping a job so he has decided to try out this panhandling thing out.
He told me during a recent interview that “if those animals on two legs and cellphones can do it, so can I. I support equal rights! Dogs need support too!”
Ronnie can usually be found either downtown in the park enjoying a nice hotdog from the Nathan’s stand or volunteering his time at the local soup kitchen. “It’s part of my rehabilitation program. When I was on the inside, group talked about making a difference in our communities and how important it is to stay busy so I don’t relapse. I have too many responsibilities and and a family to think about now.”
He was recently placed with his adopted human, Dan, who depends on him to help pay the bills. When asked if he had any puppies or a wife, he was very quiet. “I did before I got thrown in the Bars (slang for Pound). I did have a wife, but she made the decision to move on without me. I’m clean now and I’m working on me for now. Perhaps in the future…this pup gets lonely too.”

Slugs Eat Anything That Is a Plant

Today’s SUPER SPECIAL Guest Poster is Adel (and she gave us a little science lesson, a story AND a picture)!

Adel is 6 years old.  She loves to go to Out of This World Pizza and playing in the yard.  She decided to write about slugs for today because “I see them all the time and have lots of good slug stories.”


SlSugs are a type of invertebrate.  That means they are a type of animal that does not have a backbone.  A slug is also a type of gastropod, the word comes from greek and means stomach foot.  Slugs have four tentacles, two are used to see and two are used to touch.  A slug has one foot, it can be used for moving along the ground.  Most of their body is made up of tail. They breath out of a hole on the side of their head called a pneumustome.

This is a story of Grontoe the slug.  Grontoe the slug is special because he can play basketball with a ball the size of your little finger. He is a banana slug that is very big and has big black spots.

Grantoe and I went on an adventure, but first Grontoe wanted a snack. He ate some compost  but then he was so thirsty! We didn’t have any water so Grontoe and I went to the pond. While we were getting water a fish jumped up and ate Grontoe.  Then I started to cry. My only friend was eaten by a leopard fish! I couldn’t tell which one it was because there were hundreds of them!  I went home and found another slug and a fishing pole. I caught all the fish in the pond looking for my friend Grontoe and found him in a fishes stomach. To my surprise Grontoe was alive! And then I found out that the slugs liked each other they mated and laid eggs to start their happy family in the garden.

The human family was well fed with fish and very happy to have friends like Grontoe and his family.

Slug Drawing

A bit of this, a bit of that, the meandering thoughts of a dreamer.


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