Off of this foundation I began collecting my own anecdotes and recounting tall tales of my adventures with Boy Scouts or a family vacation. I became an avid reader, in junior high particularly, and consumed everything I could find in the Encyclopedia Brown and Great Brain series. I sprinkled in a Judy Bloom book occasionally to lighten it up, but the boy mysteries were my favorites. That matured into a brief dalliance with Hardy Boys books and then a full on love affair with Agatha Christie. I read every Christie mystery our library had. I particularly enjoyed Hercule Poirot. I watched the movies on Mystery on MPBN with the enchanting hostess Diana Rigg whom I would discover was even more lovely twenty years later as Mrs. Emma Peel and Mrs. James Bond.
So many stories. I consumed them. I still do today. The concept of binge watching is something I did as a teenager. I'd often record on VHS an entire season of a house, like the short lived Flash series and sit down on a rainy afternoon and watch four episodes back to back, remote in hand to skip the commercials. This way I could watch more shows in less time.
It was in Junior High that I also started telling stories. Probably it started with Dungeons & Dragons. My friends and I would gather in the school library at lunch or recess during the winter and play an adventure of my devising. They were not great stories, but they were diverting, especially when wind chill made it 5 below outside. I wrote poems and short stories in high school and even tried to get one published. I co-author two radio drama in school, one of which was a fantastic Agatha Christie style murder mystery. I found comic books and went to conventions. I met wonderful comic authors and artists and started writing my own comic scripts in the hope of getting them published with Alpha Productions in Rockland. All the while I loved the process of creating.
That is what storytelling is in it's truest form. It is creating. It is creating the story, but it is also creating the moment when the tale is told. That could be setting the mood at a party when you tell an elaborate joke or exactly how you compose your narrative it is all creating.
I don't know how many of my readers have religious views or spiritual ones, but I'll lay mine out here. I believe there is a power greater than myself. I do not know what it is and I'm pretty sure all the people that claim they do have only a small part of it right. I also believe that if I wish to commune with this power I do not need an interpreter or intermediary however well intentioned they may be. Lastly, and probably most importantly when I create I get as close as I possibly can to that greater power. The act of creation is probably the most powerful thing a person can do and regardless of the scale you take on step closer to the divine. Maybe it's a god complex or an overblown sense of self importance. But in my mind it proves the old axiom; Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. It may just border on