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Guest blogger: Elizabeth Dunk

22 April 2018

The power of story

I am currently in England and today (Thursday morning my time, Thursday night Australian time), I visited Stonehenge. Tip for you all—you can actually get into the stones, but you need to book a special tour outside of normal opening hours.

I went on the special tour with 28 other people and we spent an hour wondering through the stones, studying them, photographing them, communing with them (but not touching them—that is strictly forbidden).

I came away from that time with a wonderful sense of peace, some beautiful photographs and one very important lesson:

Stories are important.

The construction of Stonehenge took hundreds of years. The stones themselves came on a long journey—larger ones over 24 miles from near Marlborough, while the small stones came from west Wales! Generations of people worked on building the Stonehenge we all know today.

How was that possible? How did generation after generation continue to do the work, spurred on to complete what their ancestors could not?

Story.

Story educated them. Story inspired them. Story commanded them. Story rewarded them.

So they laboured, and eventually they developed a complex that endured for more than a thousand years before it was abandoned.

Nowadays, we have good guesses and ideas of what Stonehenge was for, but we don’t actually know. Why?

The stories disappeared.

Why? Who can say? Problems with passing the story on? Lack of interest in the story? A feeling that they didn’t need to maintain the story because everyone knew it?

Whatever the reason, the failure of the story means that now we have no real idea what happened at Stonehenge and why, and never will.

So it’s a lesson to us all—we can’t let the story die. Every story we tell is important, both in educating and inspiring those with us now, and ensuring that our descendants understand our story.

Whether you are a writer or a reader, you are involved in the story because story isn’t just told—it is taken in. It becomes part of who we are.

So writers—write your story. Readers—take the story in and if you can, pass it on. We all have a part to play to ensure that our stories do not disappear.

Elizabeth Dunk is the romance-writing alter-ego of Nicole Murphy. Elizabeth’s latest electronic books is The Importance of Ernestine, an adaptation of the brilliant The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde. Her contemporary romance The Lies We Tell is being published in the omnibus Country Whispers later this month, available in all good bookstores. You can read more about Elizabeth at nicolermurphy.com.

The Importance of Ernestine

Love isn’t easy in the cutthroat world of Australian politics…

Cecily Carter and Gwen Fairford have both started a fantastic new life in Canberra—jobs they love, a fabulous friend (each other) and even, it seems, the perfect men. Or at least, they could be perfect, if they changed political allegiances.

Alec Moncrieff and John Worthing are leading perfect lives: great jobs, a great friend (each other) and even great new relationships. But when they are caught out in a lie, everything begins to fall apart. Alec, so used to manipulating everything to his own satisfaction finds he can’t manipulate his way out of his feelings. And Cecily’s past is about to roar into the public domain. Will Gwen and Cecily give their men a second chance, or is love just another empty campaign promise?

You can buy The Importance of Ernestine here.

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