It’s been a noisy week in Tampa…

In the mid-1990s, I felt like I had a surplus of free time. A new transplant to Florida, I worked a menial job in a mortgage company, spent my evenings tightening up two out of my three Great American Novels, and trying to live a bit of the single life on weekends.

I still remember listening to Garrison Keillor on Prairie Home Companion, spinning tales of his fictional hometown. “It’s been a quiet week in Lake Woebegone,” he began each tale, the audience erupting in applause at the well-worn tagline.

Keillor’s reputation has suffered badly in recent years – I won’t post links here, as I’m not thrilled with the trend to excoriate people based on hearsay with no due process – but the fact remains, the guy is a gifted storyteller.

As owner of my own company and power of attorney for my mother, I’m in too much of a time crunch today to sit around listening to the radio like I did 20 years ago. But I still remember that era fondly, and the power of story has a lot to do with that. Yes, it’s been another noisy week for me, but just thinking about stories calms me right down…

Give Me More

I’m doing a weekly video series these days, and on Wednesday I’ll be talking about, for lack of a better term, story structure for dummies.

Of course, you have to have a beginning, middle, and end. But you also should have some conflict and some rising action before a climactic moment of some sort. I could hear those elements clearly in a ten-minute talk, much more than I could see them in The Odyssey or even a three-act play.

What does this all have to do with you? Well, if you’re a storyteller in the traditional sense – using story in your books or your talks – then you already know. But if you’re in business, it’s something else entirely.

The fact is, most of us learn about the world through stories. And a good story, whether about your aunt Sara or your best client’s success, will hold someone’s interest. So the lesson is always there: tell a great story and people will listen to you – and want to hear more.

Radio, Radio

Last month, I had the pleasure of being the guest on a terrific radio show for authors: the Joy on Paper program hosted by PatZi Gil. PatZi was kind enough to invite me on the show to talk not only about my third novel Miles of Files, but also about my company, Sahno...
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