X Marks the Spot: Stories Within Stories


IMG_2615  Scott Todnem
“We’re all stories, in the end.” – Steven Moffat

I see stories in everything.

It is these stories that garner the most interest when visiting historical landmarks, museums, and memorials. The artifacts themselves are cool, of course, but they are all part of a bigger story. They serve to piece together a plot, whether minor or major; they help tell a tale. They connect people and periods of time. The stories matter because that’s exactly what history is: a map of the past, with a series of connect-the-dot steps leading to present day.

And X marks the spot.

If I travel, it is the stories I remember. Sometimes these are stories of the place I visited, other times it’s my own stories, created with friends and family, unveiled throughout the trip itself.

In addition, I like to believe that a place has energy. I like to think each location owns an existing aura because of human interaction throughout the years. For instance, any given location across the world has seen a certain number of human experiences. A number of events that shaped the “feel” of that place.

Uncovering the stories that contributed to this energy is like a treasure hunt, of sorts. And the right questions map the way.

What happened here?
What, throughout history, went down?
If the walls could talk, what would they say?
Was there struggle or even blood shed on this soil?
Are there horrors to be told, or maybe happiness instead?
Was there love spread in this building, on this block, in this city?
Is there a palpable energy of positivity, or a feel of dread and doom?

I also enjoy life stories that others have to offer. At times, a great storyteller is just as entertaining as a movie. Enigmatic and thought-provoking, captivating and life-changing. A good speaker can put forth an experience that uncovers emotions buried in the mind. A good story connects in a way that becomes ultimately personal for the listener; it unfurls in a glow like a treasure within.

As I’ve written previously, I’m a collector. I save things as mementos, as reminders of times in my past. But, again, it’s the stories that matter. It is in the stories that I lose myself, thinking about what has come and gone, contemplating what might be. I find myself daydreaming, wondering how I can become a better storyteller. I also get lost wondering what the stories will be of me. Friend or foe? Pirate or Patriot?

What will be my legacy?

• • •

I am closing in on the two year mark since I decided to write more— since I decided to put more words out on this here website.

At the time, I wanted to start the approaching new year by putting a monthly theme together in order to tell some stories. To simply write some personal narratives about anything on the mind, and to invite a few friends to do the same. In many ways, it has gained interest, and in other ways, it has lost momentum. But I’m proud to say, either way, I have posted each month just as I promised myself I would. It doesn’t mean my writing has been groundbreaking, but at least it has been challenging, creative, and fun.

In the meantime, I wanted to do additional short writing, and have done more and more poetry each week. The goal was to challenge my brain to write less, since I get long-winded in blog posts. So I’ve been attempting creative stories in shorter verse, often pushing that to be just a sentence or two in length.

Finally, it was nearly a year ago now that I began writing a novel. This has proven to be the biggest creative challenge, since a project of that size has proven to become a daunting task, particularly as I try to set an outline of the story I want to tell. Things are coming together, but slowly… and not without setbacks.

This is all part of the mystery of being a creative being. This is part of finding what stories exist and what stories are still being written. It is also a matter of finding the right words and using the correct analogies to fit any given scenario. Some work proves to be just a flash in the pan. Other pieces flow with the excitement of unearthing clues and hunting for more.

Not unlike a quest for jewels; not unlike a search for gold.

Now, onward, to ask the right questions, follow the right instincts, and connect the right dots in order to discover the treasures within.

ETSY PAGE: Etsy.com/Shop/ScottAmpersand


Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

search previous next tag category expand menu location phone mail time cart zoom edit close