Are You a Storybird?


I’m always hearing about authors who get stuck. Whose creativity has hit a wall. Who have hit a point in the story that they’ve lost interest.

Or there are the down times. When emotions have them hogtied. They’re too sad or depressed or frustrated or overwhelmed to write.

Well, I don’t have a cure for all of those things, but I do have something that can help. It’s called Storybird, and it’s wonderful.

On Storybird, you can choose the most wonderful art, and then write a story. Short or long, funny or serious, it doesn’t matter. Just write what’s on your mind, what the art inspires.

I just wrote a Storybird because I was upset with myself for letting a friend down. In fact, that friend was Steve Laube. I forgot to send him my blog post for the agency site. And I knew he was disappointed in me. Thing is, I’ve forgotten to send the blog post before, too many times. Fibro has shot my short-term memory full of holes. So when I get stressed or overwhelmed, I tend to forget things. Even important things. I don’t like it. In fact, I hate it. But I can’t change it. So I’ve learned to work around it, using notes and alarms on my computer, and enlisting the help of friends and family. But when it affects something important, like making sure I do what I’m supposed to for Steve, I feel terrible.

So when that happened, I went to Storybird. And I wrote a story. For me. For Steve. For all of us who struggle with changes we don’t like. And it helped. A lot.

So those days when you’re struggling, when you feel ensnared by something or like your creativity is used up, give Storybird a try. And even if you’re not feeling all those things, check it out. It’s a way to create and have fun.

What more could you ask?

Oh, and you can look for my storybird under the title “I Let A Friend Down Today,” or by searching for my user name: k57ball.


15 Responses to Are You a Storybird?

  1. Avatar
    Laura McClellan April 11, 2012 at 4:02 am #

    Thanks for this post. It was timely for me. I am working on my first novel, and just this early morning was lamenting the facts that (a) my day job takes up so much time and energy that I struggle to find the mental resources to get words on the page for the novel and (b) my novel consumes so much of my attention that I feel like I’m shortchanging my day job! Letting people down.

    I guess it happens to all of us, doesn’t it? We all have our own “stuff” to overcome.

    I’m going to give Storybird a try.

    Thanks, Karen.

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    Jennifer Major April 11, 2012 at 4:08 am #

    I can understand your frustrations. Thyroid disease has taken a nice chunk of my short term memory.
    Unfortunately, certain spouses don’t buy that *excuse*. He’s a scientist, he wants imperical evidence…umm, but he’s a TREE scientist, he doesn’t read medical journals…but he still wants evidence. I might nail a scientific paper on “memory loss as related to auto-immune diseases” to a tree.
    Ahem. Where was I?
    I have forgotten quite a few biggies, and have had the humiliation fairy fly around in my head. But since I make freakishly good cinnamon buns with cream cheese icing, I haven’t been to Storybird.

    But my youngest son’s grade one class has. Which is great. Sniff.

    I’m sorry that your have to suffer with fibro. But I get it, I do.

    • Avatar
      Connie Almony April 11, 2012 at 5:42 am #

      Jennifer, I have empirical evidence. It’s an very specific EEG test of how my brain works. Hippocampus is quiet. But thank goodness the pre-frontal cortex and right brain are screaming loud. Can’t blame it on thyroid. Just the way my brain works. It means I am a creative problem solver–well yeah! Now, if I could only remember what the problem was.

      • Avatar
        Jennifer Major April 11, 2012 at 6:11 am #

        Connie, THANKYOU! This whole pre-fountain vortex thing has be wondering. Why is it that I can remember almost the entire score to Annie Get Your Gun (senior year musical), the Quechua words to “Jesus in the Family”, AND the soprano part to Vivaldi’s “Spring, her lovely charms unfolding” (learned that in sophomore year) …but cannot remember to pick up bagels?

  3. Avatar
    Jennifer Major April 11, 2012 at 4:10 am #

    Not, I get it…I *understand*. Yo comprende. Je comprend.

  4. Avatar
    Nathan April 11, 2012 at 4:13 am #

    Karen, NPR did a show about a new book I’ve ordered to read. Have you see the book Imagine, How Creativity Works. It has some helpful insights about what creative people experieence.

  5. Avatar
    Connie Almony April 11, 2012 at 6:18 am #

    Karen, I so relate. I have a lot of difficulty with short-term (working) memory and have so many bells, whistles and sticky-notes to remind me of things they have now become part of the background noise of my life—like the air conditioner and the wallpaper. I try not to use my particular brain-wiring as an excuse and I try to work harder so as not to disappoint … but I do sometimes. I, too, work with wonderful Christian people who are very forgiving, which sometimes makes my disappointing them so much harder. Thanks for sharing this piece of yourself. I love the storybird idea. It uses the side of my brain that works (right/creative side). Funny you mention this today. I review The Overcomers book about Christian Fiction authors with learning disabilities on one of my blogs. They’d all relate, too.

  6. Avatar
    Peg Brantley April 11, 2012 at 8:18 am #

    SOLD! I just signed up for Storybird. What a nice diversion. And I looked for yours but it wasn’t available publicly.

  7. Avatar
    Ruth Douthitt April 11, 2012 at 8:52 am #

    Very nice. I just might have to give it a try! Thanks for sharing. Glad to know there are other “humans” out there who make mistakes!

  8. Avatar
    Karen Ball April 11, 2012 at 9:49 am #

    Peg, Steve just let me know that fact! I’d set my profile so that everything was supposed to be public, but apparently you need to set each thing you do as either public or private. So I’ve reset the Storybird I did to public. Should be available in a day or so. Yay!

    Everyone, thanks for the encouraging responses. The good news is that it’s never been easier to have an external memory! Between BusyCal, PostIt, and alerts on my iPhone, I have reminders beeping or singing at me all the time. Love technology!

  9. Avatar
    Sherry Gore April 11, 2012 at 11:03 am #

    It works! I signed onto Storybird and let my mind soak up the imaginative pictures. I came to one that instantly reminded me of a funny situation years ago. That sparked the memory of an even funnier one. And now I have the guest blog post written that will post next week on the website of a New Times bestselling author. I had been battling since Monday to come up with even a single idea to let simmer. Whew! Thanks for sharing!

  10. Avatar
    Erin Taylor Young April 11, 2012 at 11:26 am #

    So I’m not the only mom who has to set an alarm to remember to pick up my kids from school?

    I always feel like my parent card is gonna get revoked over that…

  11. Avatar
    Rachel Wilder April 11, 2012 at 12:14 pm #

    I had no idea you have fibro too, Karen. I too suffer from it and it makes things challenging. Thank goodness for my desktop gadget linked to my Google Calendar and Windows Sticky Notes! Actual sticky notes are a disaster waiting to happen since my cat’s favorite place to nap is on my desk.

    And Evernote. That thing has saved my sanity so many times since I started using it. And I love that I can use it on my phone too.

  12. Avatar
    Linda Caviness April 11, 2012 at 7:06 pm #

    God is so good. I wept as I asked Him to show me some encouragement and then I opened your blog. Thank you for letting Him use you. I have brain damage from chemotherapy and heart disease from radiation (for breast cancer). All those things that saved my life back then are making it difficult now. I will get the summary done. I just didn’t get it done today(again). And I will go to Storybird. Thank you, Karen.

  13. Avatar
    Heidi Chiavaroli April 12, 2012 at 5:15 am #

    What a neat website! And your story touched my heart. Whether we have a good memory or not, I think we can all relate to letting a friend down.

    My oldest son always wants to write stories. I think it might be a fun thing for us to try together on Storybird.

    Thanks for this post, Karen!

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