In Defense of Happy Endings

Lately I’ve realized something in my reading and writing habits: I like happy endings. This is not a new realization, really, but I started thinking about it recently in a new and deeper way.

As a kid, I loved Disney movies and similar stories, where everything was tied up in a neat little bow and they all lived happily ever after. I didn’t like feeling sad, and so I sought out happy stories with happy endings.

As an adult, I still like happy stories with happy endings—but there’s more to it than that. It’s not as much about everything ending on a perfect tidy note, but more about ending on a strong or redemptive note. Continue reading


5 Reasons I’m Thankful for Stories

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, here are five reasons why I think stories are important, and why I’m so very thankful:

Stories are entertaining. Some may say that there’s no real value in entertainment – it’s just a frivolity. While it’s certainly possible to sacrifice your responsibilities and productivity in the name of always seeking to be entertained, entertainment itself is not a bad thing. Entertainment can lower stress and raise happiness. Good stories do that, and I’m thankful.

Stories teach us. Whether it’s a true story or complete fiction, through stories we can learn about the power of the human will, good versus evil, what true love means. Anything can be taught through a story – whether it’s an elusive human value, or facts about history, science, or other cultures.  Continue reading

When the Stories are Real

We’ve all read stories or seen movies that deal with great tragedies. Characters who suffer tremendous loss, through no fault of their own, whose lives get turned upside down by an unimaginable horror. We cry for these characters, identify with their pain even if we have never suffered what they have, and we cheer for them as they resolve to push through and emerge victorious in spite of everything.

The pain and empathy that we feel is often increased when we learn that the story is based on a true story, or inspired by real events. And then that pain and empathy is taken to yet another deeper level when it happens to someone you know.

There’s no shortage of pain and tragedy in the world, and everyone can probably point to someone they know (or to themselves) as an example. But just last week, I was stunned and horrified to learn of a great tragedy that hit my friend and fellow blogger Jessica Cangiano of Chronically Vintage. She and her husband lost their home and all of their possessions in a fire – personal belongings, the entire stock for her Etsy business, a lifetime of mementos and treasures, and one of their pets. Continue reading


For this week’s post, I’m going to share a poem. A bit unusual, especially if you know me – I’m not a poet, and I don’t pretend to be. I wrote a poem for a writing contest for the Iceland Writers Retreat. I didn’t win the contest, but I wanted to share the poem anyway. It’s all about two of my favorite things, stories and Iceland.

Eternal Continue reading

5 Things I Like about Stories

Since my online moniker is StorytellerGirl, you know that I like a good story. Long, short, fantasy, factual – if it’s a good tale, I like it. I could wax über-philosophical about storytelling, or write another post about plot or character development. But this time, I think I’ll just make a short bullet list. So what’s so great about stories?

Stories are fun

Stories take us away from reality

Stories teach us about reality

Stories are everywhere

Stories tell the truth

And there you have it. That about sums it up for me. Stories are life.

Why do you love a good tale?