Guest Fiction Wednesday

   Today’s guest is author Valerie Storey.  Thanks to Twitter, I was able to come across this unbelievably sweet lady and I am priviliged to have her as a guest.  I’ve read the following story several times and I love it.  I’ll be 100% honest…it makes my heart hurt and it makes me want to read more from this talented writer.
   Valerie is the author of seven books, including The Essential Guide for New Writers, From Idea to Finished Manuscript. Her eighth book, a paranormal gothic, is due out next year. (I will keep updates on this).  When she’s not writing or working at her day job, she teaches creative writing.

A Note From Valerie About This Piece:
I wrote the following piece in an all-day workshop I took with Natalie Reid, the author of The Spiritual Alchemist. Natalie teaches a technique she calls “writing with the mythological voice.” It is, to me, a wonderful way for both new and experienced authors to tap into the universal heart of all story-telling: “Once upon a time…” or, “There once was a tiny little child…” or, “Long ago and far away…” We all know those stories, and I think it’s safe to say we all love them, too. Writing with the mythological voice is simply about relaxing and separating from the inner critic or editor who demands we write a certain, publishable way, and in the style or voice “that sells.” As soon as we let go of those imperatives, we can begin to open up to both the stories and voices that more authentically express who we really are as writers.
A few months ago I shared on my blog a different piece I had written in Natalie’s class. That one was called, The Woman Who Was Fast and people seemed to respond to it so well that I’d like to offer you another: The Woman Who Lived Outside. This particular exercise, like all the others that day, was a timed writing, something I love to do, and it was the last.

The Woman Who Lived Outside by Valerie Storey:

There once was a woman who had no home except for the spaces that people gave her. Of all her possessions the one that mattered the most to her was her small wooden bed, because it was little and easy to carry, and because the man that she loved most in all the world had built it for her with his own hands. The bed was made from a brown wood that glowed in the sunlight and smelled like rare perfume at night. The bed held her through the worst of her days and gave her dreams on the nights she was most alone. Sometimes she had to place the bed outside under the trees where the birds cared nothing for her comfort and dropped seeds and worse things upon her sheets and pillows. And sometimes she could pull the bed into caves, or out beside the ocean where the tide had left for the afternoon, and she could lie down on the softness of her mattress and stare out to the horizon for hours. But every once in awhile someone would take pity on her and invite her in for the night and ask her to stay for a week or even a month at a time. Although she was grateful for the room they gave her, she also knew the room came with a price, and she grew to resent the hours and days the families required of her, handing her their laundry and brooms, their dirty dishes, and their endless complaints. Although it was nice to not worry about the wind and the rain, it was nicer to choose her own spot, her own refuge. It was best to know where she could place her own bed and answer to no one, listening only to her dreams of the man who had made the bed but now had been lost to the world for more than seven years and still counting. Sometimes it was best, she thought, to love the things you cannot have then to always say thank you for nothing.

Check Out Valerie’s Blog Here:

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