"Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by doing so some people have entertained angels without knowing it." - Hebrews 13:2

Monday, August 20, 2012

It's all about the story...

I’ve been writing like crazy these past few weeks. Over the weekend, I put down 20,433 words—to be exact. My eyes hurt, but my heart is content. This is what I love to do.

It’s all about the story…

Recently, I’ve been going out of my way to notice other artists and their story telling—the singer and her song, the painter and the flow of the colors on his canvas, the dancer and the dance…etc. I watched an old Judy Garland movie from 1954, the original, A Star is Born. It’s quite a sad story. The thing that caught my eyes and ears was Judy—not her acting, but her singing. In the movie, she played a singer, Esther Blodgett, who is discovered by a very famous actor. Unfortunately, the actor is an alcoholic and his own career is in deep jeopardy. They marry, she loves him dearly no matter what he does, and saves him over and over. The real conflict, however, is that his job opportunities become non-existent because of his boozing while she rises to super stardom. He is pulling her down and he knows it. Of course, the story ends in complete disaster and is very painful to watch. There was a remake of this movie in 1976 with Kris Kristofferson and Barbra Streisand.

Sorry, sort of got side tracked on the story, back to Judy now…

Judy Garland was older in this movie, into her thirties. We all remember her as the sweetheart, Dorothy, in The Wizard of Oz. Even back then, when she was sixteen and sang Somewhere Over The Rainbow in a Kansas barnyard, it made us cry by her magic storytelling with words and music. I can hear Somewhere Over The Rainbow sung by others without getting those same goosey emotions. It was the way Judy told the story about a special place that brought a tear to my eyes, and I believed her every second that she sang it. She was that good.

In A Star is Born, there is this scene where she gets “discovered” by James Mason, who plays the boozing actor, Norman Maine. She is in a nightclub, it’s very late, and it’s just her and the boys in the band just playing for the love of it. She sings for them this song called, The Man That Got Away. The song is about love gone wrong, but when Judy sings it, I truly believe her. I believe she’s been burned by this scoundrel, and I feel her heart break. I got major goose bumps and found myself humming that tune days later.

It’s all about the story…

There are so many stories being told if you look around for them. The way the landscaper designs a garden, the sculpture in the park, the clothes designer’s latest fall fashions, the director and his vision, the songstress, the novelist, the street performer, and the architect’s latest building…and so on.

It’s all about the story…

What do you think? What stories have you noticed lately? There is so much creativity in the world. I would love to hear from you.

Below is the best Youtube version of the song sung by Judy from the movie, A Star is Born. If you read the comments below the Youtube, you see that I’m not the only person who felt the goose bumps. Her singing talent was immeasurable.

Between you, me and the gatepost,



Beth Vrabel said...

I love watching other story tellers at work, too! But for me, any version of "Over the Rainbow" makes me a weepy mess. But then again, my go-to inspiration while writing is music. I've made a playlist for each manuscript I've written.

And, wow! More than 20K words in one weekend! Impressive!

Lindsay Harrel said...

Great job writing so much this weekend! That's awesome.

Music touches my soul in a deep, deep way. I'm a singer so it's so awesome to be able to experience music in that way as well. There's nothing like worshipping the Lord in song...so many stories are born right then and there.

Victoria Lindstrom said...

Love, love, love this post, Loree. I agree - creativity and the stories it can craft are endless. Living with an oil painter I see it everyday in his art. However, I also am most inspired by nature. Thanks!

J.L. Campbell said...

True that, Loree. Stories are everywhere, if we but look to see them. I do know that version of Somewhere Over the Rainbow by Judy Garland.

Brandi Boddie said...

Holy cow! 20k+words over the weekend??? Go, girl!!!

I love how God gifted us all with creativity. I feel my creativiy is strongest when I write, but there's also ballroom dancing. When the music plays, I get inspired to interpret the rhythm through the dance steps. It's freeing to let your body move without inhibition.

No one can compare to the late great Judy Garland. The tragedies of her life were what brought genuine character to her roles and a voice to her music.

Sandra Orchard said...

20,433 words! That's amazing! Way to go!!!

Last night I was helping a friend come up with titles for art she's presenting in a show. She showed me one group of art photos that instantly set my mind buzzing with suspense story ideas. It's so cool where inspiration comes from sometimes. :)

Cindy R. Wilson said...

Congrats on the impressive word count! I was just telling my hubby the other day that it amazes me how creative people are. They come up with things I'd never imagine.

Jessica Nelson said...

I love to study stories and artistry of all forms! Well, except crafts. Crafts make me shudder. lol
HUGE congrats on your wordcount. :-) I have like 15k left to finish my WIP. Maybe I need to do what you did! lol

Loree Huebner said...

Beth: Music is such an inspiration. I also have a playlist for certain scenarios in my writing.

Lindsay: I should have known you sang - you have an angel's face! I bet the Lord just smiles when you sing!

Victoria: I've seen some of your hubby's incredible work. Beautiful! God's awesome nature is a great example of inspiration. I love sunsets!

J.L.: I should have also posted Over the Rainbow. She sure had a way of painting a story with song.

Brandie: I know you love dancing! What a wonderful way to describe how it inspires you! This movie I watched sadly mirrored Judy Garland's real life, except she was the one who couldn't escape her addictions.

Sandra: Photography! Yes! There are some photos that need no words. Great example. Definitely so cool that you were inspired by the photos.

Cindy: Thanks for the well wishes on the word count. I think I'm blind now...lol. You are right, there is so much creativity flowing around...I tend to look for the beauty.

Jessica: No crafts for you! lol! Hey, I don't know what came over me, but the story just flowed and the word count grew. I couldn't stop myself. I am taking a break today.

Thanks for stopping by everyone! Loved your comments!

troutbirder said...

I, like many people, love to tell stories based on my own experiences. Hook the audience, develop a flow, save the punch line for the end is the way the pros do it.... easier said than done....:)

Charlotte Sannazzaro said...

That song gives me double-goosebumps at the moment, because it speaks to my present life experience. It's a bit of a comfort to know others have been there before, and I think that's one of the most powerful thing about stories. They remind us we're not alone, that all human emotion is universal.

I love how you have widened the definition of what a story is. It's a lovely idea that they are all around us.

Sarah Forgrave said...

Wow, congrats on cranking out the word count, Loree! And thanks for the reminder to find the story in everything.

Have a great week!

Gwendolyn Gage said...

I'm cheering you on Loree! Wow, over 20 K! I love watching movies (especially old ones) for writing and story inspiration. Every now and then, a talented actress or actor just hits you--wham!--and you fall all over yourself to find a pen and paper as a new character takes shape in your mind. :-D

Loree Huebner said...

trout: You have a great formula, trout, I love to read your stories.

Charlotte: I'm sending you a hug, Charlotte. Things will get brighter soon. You are so right that human emotion is universal. We need to know that others have felt what we feel...it helps us move forward.

Sarah: I'm still in shock over how the words flowed...I love being a writer!

Gwen: Thanks for the cheers, Gwen. I love to see stories everywhere!

Thank you for popping in everyone!

Jess said...

First of all, over 20,000 words??? You're superwoman!!! Second of all, I can't believe I haven't seen A Star is Born. I only knew about tthe Barbara S. version, but I'll have to look into the Judy G. one as well. Great comparisons to writing :)

Cynthia Chapman Willis said...

What a lovely post. There really are so many stories and as many ways to tell them. I would add that many, if not all, people have stories, too. Every where we look, stories. How great. ; )

Congratulations on all the writing productivity! That's awesome!

Loree Huebner said...

Jess: I had never seen that version either, and it was on TCM. I started watching it and got hooked. I did write over 20,000 words. It felt awesome!

Cynthia: There are stories everywhere! I think it was Alfred Hitchcock who said, "Ideas come from everything."

Thanks for chiming in Jess and Cynthia!

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

I'm not a big movie buff, but there are a few that had a lasting effect:

The Sound of Music
Chariots of Fire

Love the stories and the music.

Stacy Henrie said...

I've heard of this movie, but never watched it. Sounds like a good one, though a tear-jerker. :) I think tapping into emotion is what makes a story/character believable and memorable.

Melissa Tagg said...

Judy Garland is a-ma-zing!!!

I so agree...it's all about stories. As for movies, I'm a huge classic movie and musical fan. I'll talk black and white any day over the cheesiness of so many of today's movies. :) I'm not really a snob...I'm just nostalgic for the past. :)

Loree Huebner said...

Susan: The Sound of Music is one of my favorites!

Stacy: The movie, A Star is Born was very painful to watch at times. There is this particular scene where Esther wins the Academy Award and Norman strolls in to the ceremony drunk and goes up on stage with her as she is making her acceptance speech...the scene is so hard to watch. I cringed for her!

Melissa: Both hubby and I are real fans of the classics, and I'm love the musicals.

Thanks for stopping in! Love reading your comments!

Pat Trainum aka P. T. Bradley said...

20,433 words. I haven't been able to get past that! You Go, Girl!!!
I've love to hear Judy Garland ever since the Wizard of Oz. Her voice was one of a kind. I think she sang from the heartache of her soul.

Great post, Loree!

Maria I. Morgan said...

Congratulations on that writing accomplishment! Keep it up! I must agree with you - Judy Garland was a very talented singer. God bless~

Cecy said...

The most I've ever written was 4,000 words in a day and I was looking cross-eyed. But you're right, it's all about the story. ; D

Carl P said...

That's one reason why Jesus' teachings were so effective, He told great memorable stories (parables) that had all the components of any good story. Drama, celebration, disappointment. Characters you wanted to root for or against...yep, a great story makes the difference.

- Carl P

Loree Huebner said...

Pat: My eyes still hurt! And I have had a mild twitch since Tuesday. I had to buy lubricating eye drops.

Maria: Thanks for the well wishes! Judy Garland was very talented. It's a shame the pressures of stardom took their toll on her.

Cecy: I had to take a two day break after. I really pushed my limit, but I was glad to see what I could really do in a few days. It felt good!

Carl: You are so right! The stories Jesus told were awesome! I love the parables. Every time I read through one, I find something new that hadn't sunk in before. They are timeless, and as you said, filled with drama, disappointment, and celebration! Great point!

Thanks for chiming in everyone! Love your comments!

Julie Musil said...

I've never seen this version of the movie! I only saw the Barbara Streisand version. I love classic movies, so I'll definitely have to check this one out.

I love country music because each song tells a complete story. Such a small amount of words have a great impact.

Loree Huebner said...

Julie: I do love country music for the lyrics/stories too. So many great stories set to music in the country genre. Great example!

Thanks for stopping by!