My life is a story that I tell. My life is a story that I imagine. photo by Colin A. Danville

My life is a story that I tell. My life is a story that I imagine.
photo by Colin A. Danville

All these stories are in bloom.

The more I write and develop stories, the more I am interested in documenting my journey through the story. Creating characters, determining chronologies, deciding what to reveal and what to omit in my nonfiction writing, choosing the imagery for characters, finding a story from looking at a picture, tracing the evolution of a plot. The following storyboard links are story projects that I have in motion. I don’t know if my goal is to merely complete them. But rather I am excited about thoroughly initiating an adventure while creating my stories and then sharing the work of the discovery with the world. These storyboards are like maps, so that when the stories do exist on their own as whole bodies of work one day, I can trace my way back to the source.

The storyboards

  • The story of giving birth to the munchkin I’m ready to start writing our birth story now. It took months of just orally journeying through it before I felt like putting this miraculous story into words on a page. When things are written they have a certain finality that was too uncomfortable for me to commit to in the months just after my son’s birth. As we prepared to cross the threshold of six months, I felt my story opening up and shifting within. The more I reflect on our birth journey, the more beautiful it is to me. And I am excited to share it and add it to the powerful narratives of the mothering work happening everywhere in our world. | Explore this storyboard | Related content: Wednesday’s Bloom: Textual Portraits of a New Mommy series, other Mothering journeys, essays and stories in the Motherhood collection
  • Delilah walks away from a bad night Delilah is so much tougher than I think myself to be. In fiction, I play around with these reimagined moments from my life and insert Delilah into the difficult situations where I feel I failed, or let fear take over. Her confidence, fierceness, and verbalization of what she wants changes the outcomes of unhappy endings, sometimes for the better. With her, I am experimenting with the coexistence of opposing extremes. She is both lost and found, deliberate and whimsical, bold and reserved. She is actually the mother of a girlchild for a larger book/film project I’m also working on, and in imagining the complexities of the daughter, Delilah’s story kept growing. | Explore this storyboard | Related content: Delilah tells us about her scar, more characters and stories from the Embodied Character process
  • The story of my name I changed my name to Binahkaye Joy in September of 2005. I have been growing into this identity for a long time. I go through seasons of understanding with my name. I spent the first year with my new name just learning how to say it, and write it, and sign my signature. It was like being in Kindergarten all over again. Now, I do feel the scales have tipped, in that there are more people on the planet who know me as Binahkaye Joy than not. In be(come)ing a mother, and having to ponder how I will explain my journey to my child, I am revisiting my name process and want to write about the bumps and awkward moments and ahaas along the way. Many people in my family still call me by my birth name, even as I continue to work hard to know who this woman is that I have created in Binahkaye. I am so curious about developing these stories while mothering and essentially having to reintroduce myself all over again, this time to my son. Explore this storyboard | Related content: essays and stories in the Be(come)ing Binahkaye Joy series, a subsection of the Of Roots & Rivers: Mapping Mutable Identities collection | essay: My father named me first

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