This week I’m pleased to welcome to my blog Madelyn Lorber, the author of The Eyes Have It, a remarkable (get this) paranormal love story/suspense thriller/private eye novel set in multicultural New Mexico. I had the pleasure of editing The Eyes Have It, and of working with Madelyn and watching her grow as a storyteller.
When I invited Madelyn Lorber to be a guest on my blog, I asked her to write a piece about what “The Joy of Story” meant to her. She responded with an account of recent high school reunion she attended, where stories were swapped fondly. It comes in the form of a letter to her classmates:
By “everyone” I mean everyone from our class, the Miami Beach High School Class of 1955, and especially those who came to the weekend celebration of our mutual 75th Birthday Party, but also those who couldn’t make it, and even those of you reading this who were never fortunate enough to be part of our class.
This fellow student let the euphoria subside, allowed the real world return, then with proper perspective, hereby shares what became the abundantly clear gift of our gathering: The Joy Of The Story.
Our tales from that yesteryear revealed that as kids, we were nearly perfect. We were almost all nice. We were mostly innocents. And most important, we grew up to be kind, caring, intelligent, wise, courageous, generous, fun-loving real people with pleasures in common: the company of one another, and reminiscing about the youth we shared.
Anecdotes, legends, yarns were told and retold. With each word, life’s big and little bumps only made our early years more precious. Narratives that brought us up to date proved that life’s triumphs and failures only made us more compassionate, with a truer sense of what is really important.
Being together once again, is such a gift. With the wave of a wand—we were kids once more. Through the magic of a long-lost script, familiar cheers, tunes, and our Alma Mater; through the images enlarged on the slide show screen, some loose photos, souvenirs, menus, and numerous memorabilia; and through all those faded tales vividly revived, a precious time was recaptured. The places we went returned to their old locations for the moment. The crushes we had, parties we attended, classes we struggled in, clubs we joined, shows we saw were retrieved. Teachers who either stimulated us to greater achievements or forced us to face our limits were recalled with affection, or angst.
But we, and those we’ve lost along the way, were back again, together, vibrant, in memories reignited, as we embraced one another. Distances shrank, episodes recalled, life relived for a moment, amidst friends looking down and smiling.
We ate, drank and gabbed; we danced, caught up, and gabbed; we reminded one another of our luck to grow up on Miami Beach in the 50’s. How lucky to be us. To you, dear classmates, friends, and pals— here’s to a kind and gentle 2013 and a happily ever after. You see folks, the joy of the story is not just living it, then telling it, it’s in the retelling.
Madelyn’s post was especially meaningful to me, because two years ago I attended the 50th reunion of my boarding school class, an event I went to with grave misgivings but came away from with joy. Why? Because the whole weekend was made up of stories.
I should add that I’ve recently finished writing a novel partially inspired by that weekend and the stories that came out of it. I’m shopping it around and will let you know if anything comes of it.
Madelyn Lorber, forever a daughter, is first and foremost a wife, mother, grandmother, sister, sister-in-law, and friend who has also always written, from teenage diaries to grown-up journals; from letters, poetry, essays and short stories to novels, all the while honing her craft.
She is a member of South Florida Writer’s Association and Florida Freelance Writers’ Association, and attended several of their writer’s conferences; won writing awards from the Florida Freelance Writers’ Contest, 1996, and the Tallahassee Writer’s Association Annual Fiction contest and was published in that organization’s Seven Hills Fiction Review, 1997. Several of her short stories were published in Full Circle, a Collection under the auspices of the University of Miami’s Institute of Retired Professionals from their Lifescripts© class. She also had numerous non-fiction articles published in their Focus Newsletter, 1995-7. She won an award for the Writing Competition.com’s 2005 contest.
Her debut novel, The Eyes Have It, is the first of a trilogy starring Triplet Private Investigators. While the second of that series, You Have No Idea, is under construction, her collection of short stories is nearing completion with the working title, Talking To Myself.
About The Eyes Have It
A New Mexican business woman faces ridicule, danger, and ruin when long held secrets with metaphysical overtones are revealed in The Eyes Have It.
When a desperate woman hires a private investigator, they discover secrets about her birth that force her to choose between two shocking possibilities. About to become a no one with nothing, she suddenly finds her life is in great peril. Set in a contemporary southwest rich in ethnic diversity, The Eyes Have It takes the reader on a page turning journey involving prejudice, ridicule, and the search for both a missing person and the answers to controversial age-old questions.
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