Childhood, bedtime and stories are three things that if not always go hand-in-hand…
They darn well should.
Growing up, my nephews were two loveable scamps who just loved to be read to. To this day I remember curling up with them, and reading to them one of their favorite books as I settled them down for the night. Then reading it to them again…Then “once more”, cause once was never enough.
I look back on those long-ago nights, with the sentimental fondness born of cherished memories. I remember the excitement of the boys as we selected a book from their shelves, I remember the coziness of a good bedtime snuggle, and I even remember the stories. And speaking of those stories? There are definitely some that stuck with me far more than others.
The question of “why” got me thinking. Why is it, HOW is it, I can remember certain stories that I read fifteen years ago, and recall them line by line, to this very day, and not others? What makes these particular stories stand out?
It’s not the subject… It’s the beat. Their rhythm…Their rhyme.
There is an abject rhyming majesty in their simplicity in stories devised for bedtime reading. And because there is… I remember them. And remember them long after I should have forgotten them.
According a study by the Journal of Psychology it’s the repetitive nature, in beat and lyric, which makes a SONG a “hit”. It is because once heard, once connected with the song? Our brain understands it, and is drawn TO it. Craves it.
Why then, one must ask themselves, wouldn’t the same apply to writing a piece that is read? Especially if beats and lyrics, are repeated enough in the written piece to cause a “Mere Exposure Effect”?
Answer is: It would.
Our brain longs for that which it recognizes. Ever heard a song that sounds “familiar” to you, though you have never heard it before? If you have, you will also know that very song will become an instant, and a forever favorite.
The same can be said for that which you read.
My desire, as an author, was to try to recreate this instant recognition, connection and acceptance with my story Penny Willan and the Well.
If it’s a task accomplished? Well, that would be up to you to decide…
Penny Willan and the Well, Excerpt:
The Demon Envy said, “Girl, I remember well,
ye, who I flung from Hell,
and not a day has passed, I haven’t missed
the loss of your soul that I mourned,
I’ve been bereft and forlorn,
for the sweet taste of your flesh I’ve yet to kiss.
But no worries—bygones,
that’s the past—long gone,
I don’t hold a grudge, no, in no way.
And though your family they did swindle
my joy of flaying ye on a spindle,
I begrudge ye not a little, so let’s play.
So, merely toss your token in my well,
and all your dreams I will unveil,
for ye alone, them I’ll grant.
Come closer, little Penny,
your hands I know are not empty,
ye have something I truly want.”
The March 10th, worldwide release date of Penny Willan and the Well creeps ever closer.
I hope you are as excited for it as I am.
In the meantime, stay tuned for more excerpts…
The Well is coming!