We Connect Through Our Stories
I never kept a diary or a journal any longer than a family vacation.
I never dreamed of being an author.
The summer of 2005, at age 32 my life transformed. My home was leveled by Hurricane Katrina. My husband of seven years left suddenly that same week. Holding my one year old daughter, a single mother looked back at me from the mirror. My life split in two - Before and After Katrina. The physical loss and destruction paralleled my broken and confused heart.
Initially, I wrote to get my story, the dialogue out of my head. A great purge indeed. Late nights at the keyboard with wine or tea in hand turned my journey into something almost artful. Not a diary or a chronology of events, instead patterns and motifs emerged as I reflected, fingers typed. The craft energized me.
The writing process took me beyond the mental health exercise to somewhere I’d never been. The soil runs deep in Mississippi. The history, art, and culture of storytelling have perhaps grown on me and in me.
Publication brought such tender moments. Readers from all over write to connect. My heart bursts. They know me. They find themselves in Naked. Touching people like this was completely unexpected. Tears a reader cried because it was her story too. Another empowered to change her marriage. A mother reminisced about delicious babies.
A thrill to see my life and dreams, painted in words. But the connecting - that has been the ultimate gift. I have touched others I will never meet.
At 40, I’m a relatively young memoirist but I do know if there is a story inside of you, only you can tell it. And in telling your story you serve not only your soul but readers who will connect with you and with each other.
We are never alone. And I want every woman and man to feel that way.
That is my dream – We are connected through our stories.