There are days when I love when something knocks me on my ass. When I am challenged and I think wow, I need to hone my craft and be better. A story is a way I can be wowed. It can suck me in, make me forget what is on my To-Do list, make me want to stop everything to find out what happens next. The art of the story pushes me to learn more about myself and dig deep. A few weeks ago, I read a novel called “Barefoot Season” by Susan Mallery, about a war veteran who came home after serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.
She struggled to acclimate herself back into civilian life. In the end it was an abused dog that brought her back to normalcy. Having the need to care for an abused animal helped her heal her own wounds, both physical and emotional. Her story sucked me in. I wanted to read on. I wanted to know more. The author did an excellent job at making you forget that you had a bathroom to clean or laundry to do. It was compelling enough that I forget my surroundings and could not wait to find out how it would end. Yes, it was a chick lit book. Yes, it was cheesy, and yet I got sucked into her story, her pain, her success.
There are times when a book will knock you on your ass because it will transform the way that you view the world. You are altered. Changed. Your filter and view of life will no longer be the same. You look at your friends, family, and neighbors with a renewed lens on life. Whether from a book you read, or from the mouth of someone you know, stories take us outside of ourselves, and often put us in another’s shoes. Whether it comes from a novel or the raw realness of life, the art of story means we are never the same.