Category Archives: Story Quote

Story Quote # 12

photo of N. Scott MomadayThe storyteller is one whose spirit is indispensable to the people.

N. Scott Momaday, Kiowa

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Filed under Old Storytelling Traditions, Story Quote, Storytelling, Uncategorized

Story in 25 Words

Llama pisses on guy next to me.

20 years pass.

Me: “I’ll never forget that llama pissing on you.”

Guy: “You REMEMBER that?”

–Roger Ebert

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Filed under Animal Stories, Funny story, Memories, Story Quote, Uncategorized

Disappear? Shed Your Identity? Start Over As Someone Else?

cover photo for wired magazine articleWho hasn’t thought about it?

Yes, but how hard is it for someone to disappear in the digital age? Author Evan Ratliff goes on the lam for WIRED Magazine with that question in mind. The article “Gone” reads like a techno-thriller,but ends with a poignant twist that touches the heart of story, and why we need one.

Turns out the biggest hazard is loneliness.

Logo of Wired MagazineHe writes:

Had I shown that a person, given enough resources and discipline, could vanish from one life and reinvent himself in another? . . . More than all that, I’d discovered how quickly the vision of total reinvention can dissolve into its lonely mundane reality. Whatever reason you might have for discarding your old self and the people who went with it, you’ll need more than a made-up backstory and a belt full of cash to replace them.

cover photo for wired magazine articleThe story of what happens when you don’t have a story is worth reading.

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Filed under Personal Narrative, Story Quote, Why Stories?

Want Job–Tell A Story

job interview

job interview

Liz Ryan writes a column in the Daily Camera, my local newspaper, about keeping your career on track. On August 24, 2009 it was all about the power of story, especially in a job interview.

She writes:

A story answer to an interview question has three benefits over a stock “Yes, I’ve done {x} in spades” answer:

job interview

job interview

1. It’s more memorable to the interviewer.

2. It brings out more of you–not just your skills. It shows the interviewer how you think or how you handle situations.

3. It puts a picture in the interviewers mind . . .

Her example is someone who learned Adobe Illustrator over the weekend using “Illustrator for Dummies” in order to meet an unexpected set of circumstances. That person could have said, “Yes, I know Illustrator” and missed the opportunity to fill-in how she learned it on the fly, solved a crisis, etc

Ryan tells her readers that stories are the essential edge to getting the job.

job interview

job interview

We need a story about a time when we surmounted an obstacle, and a story about a time when we had to change our plans on a dime. We need a difficult-customer or difficult-coworker story and another story about learning from a mistake. I teach people to tell these stories on interviews, and even (in a very condensed) fashion in resumes and cover letters.


Filed under Personal Narrative, Sales Stories, Story Quote, Uncategorized, Why Stories?

Story Quote #10 (Joseph Campbell, Give Me A Break!!)

Jcflogo“All of the great mythologies and much of the mythic story-telling of the world are from the male point of view. When I was writing The Hero with a Thousand Faces and wanted to bring female heroes in, I had to go to the fairy tales. These were told by women to children, you know, and you get a different perspective. It was the men who got involved in spinning most of the great myths. The women were too busy; they had too damn much to do to sit around thinking about stories.” —Joseph Campbell

This is also the excuse that is often given for why there are few great women painters or composers before the 20th Century. We were too busy fixing dinner!

Fairy tales? I assume Mr. Campbell never thought to ask his mother, aunts, grandmother, etc. about his own family stories. Most families have a foundation myth, a story about how they came to be where they are, and those stories are largely preserved /retold by women.


Filed under fairytale, Family Stories, History, Old Storytelling Traditions, Story Quote, Uncategorized

Story Quote #9

Beast to Blonde Book“The story itself becomes the weapon of the weaponless. The struggles of women, for example, are not resolved by combat, on the whole (one or two Amazon heroines excepted) . . . when they need to undo error or redeem wrongdoing or defend the innocent, they raise their voices, if only in a conspiratorial whisper–hence the suspicion of women’s talk that haunts the whole history of the old wives’ tale.”

–Marina Warner From the Beast to the Blonde on Fairy Tales and Their Tellers

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Filed under fairytale, stories, Story Quote, Uncategorized, Why Stories?

Story Quote #8

Kitchen Table Wisdom“We carry with us every story we have ever heard and every story we have ever lived, filed away at some deep place in our memory. We carry most of those stories unread, as it were, until we have grown the capacity or the readiness to read them. When that happens they may come back to us filled with a previously unsuspected meaning. It is almost as if we have been collecting pieces of a greater wisdom, sometimes over many years without knowing.”  –Introduction to Kitchen Table Wisdom by Rachel Naomi Remen M.D.

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Filed under Family Stories, stories, Story Quote, Uncategorized