Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Magic of Stories

Posted by: Ruth A Casie
Stories are an important part of our society and culture. We find stories in the books we read, movies we watch, painting we study, music we listen to, even in the news of the day and the liturgy of our religion. You can see its impact on the people in every culture whether being listened to or told and even re-told. Storytellers have shaped our society and our ways of thinking. Their stories are used to entertain, teach, and pass on knowledge and wisdom. Stories define our values, desires, dreams, as well as our prejudices and hatreds.

No one knows when story telling began. All we know is that it is an ancient well respected art and played an important part is society. We can only guess what promoted the first story. Perhaps a hunter came back from the hunt and told of his heroic deeds or was it to explain why he came back from the hunt empty handed? Did a mother try to calm a child’s fears or doubts? Did a Shaman or tribal leader tell of an important event? The storyteller held an important position in these early societies. They were typically the priest, judge or ruler. People found their stories interesting and listened to them. Storytelling days were considered important.

Before man learned to write, he had to rely on his memory to learn anything. For this he had to be a good listener. With the importance of the story established, the listeners paid close attention. These stories were not only told amongst themselves but, when people traveled they shared their stories with others in faraway lands when they traveled. And when they returned home, they brought back exciting new stories of exotic places and people.

The oldest surviving story is believed to be the epic tale of Gilgamesh. This story tells of the deeds of the famous Sumerian king. The earliest known record of storytelling was found in the Egypt. Cheops’ scribes recorded the stories told by Cheops’ sons who told their father stories to entertain him.

There are all kinds of stories myths, legends, fairy tales, trickster stories, fables, ghost tales, hero stories, and epic adventures, and that over time these stories were told, and retold. Passed down from one generation to the next, these stories reflect the wisdom and knowledge of early people. Stories were often used to explain the supernatural or unexplainable, confusing events and disasters. It was common for people to believe in the stories of gods that bound them to a common heritage and belief.

Most historians and psychologists believe that storytelling is one of the many things that define and bind our humanity. Humans are perhaps the only animals that create and tell stories.

Tell me your favorite story in a comment and your email address here and win a free copy of Knight of Runes (epub or pdf format), a new story by Ruth A. Casie.   One person will be randomly selected on November 20.

The characters are strong, vibrant, true to their nature, and albeit very heroic.  The author, Ruth A. Casie, weaves an exciting and beautifully told legendary tale that is both rich and engaging.  It is full of, ‘on the edge of your seat’ suspense, mind-boggling drama and a forever-after romance. Ms. Casie's sparkling new novel, KNIGHT OF RUNES is a winner! ~ Romance Junkies – 5 Blue Ribbons
I totally enjoyed this time travel romance. I actually felt like I was Rebeka immersed in her adventure. I found this book well written, warmhearted and believable. I loved the use of runes, magic and ancient Druids as part of her plot. The romance was heartfelt and not overly mushy. ~ Bookloons – 3 Books

Knight of Runes

It’s the 21st century and time travel is still a Wellsian fantasy but not for Rebeka Tyler. While on an impromptu tour of Avebury, she takes a misstep at the standing stones, and finds herself in the right place but tossed back into the 17th century. When Lord Arik, a druid knight, finds Rebeka wandering his lands without protection, he swears to keep her safe. But Rebeka can take care of herself. When Arik sees her clash with a group of attackers using a strange fighting style he is intrigued.

Rebeka is desparate to return to her time. She poses as a scholar sent by the king to help find out what’s killing Arik’s land to get access to the library. But as she decodes the ancient runes that are the key to solving his mystery and sending her home, she finds herself drawn to the charismatic and powerful Arik.

As Arik and Rebeka fall in love, someone in Arik’s household schemes to keep them apart and a dark druid with a grudge prepares his revenge. To defeat him, Arik and Rebeka must combine their skills. Soon Rebeka will have to decide whether to return to the future or trust Arik with the secret of her time travel and her heart.


  1. When I was growing up, my favorite story was The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe. See? Even then I was into paranormal! Scientists have proves that crows pass information about their specific enemies to their young, and who knows what dolphins and porpoises are saying to their pod-mates. And what about those elephants! Don't tell me those old matriarchs aren't passing stories on to the younger generation. I am not convinced that we humans are the only species telling stories. At least I'd like to think we aren't. :0)

  2. My favorite tale growing up was Beauty and The Beast. There's just something about things on the surface being one way, while a whole other truth waits just below. Nice Post Ruth. :) Thanks for sharing.
    ~Rose Anderson

  3. My dad related the story of William Tell for all the children who came into our family from my sister, me and our many cousins down to his four granddaughters. You see, according to family history, we are related to Tell, though some have begun to believe he was only a fable. Two interesting twists on the figure know as William Tell is that he didn't shoot an apple off his son's head but a summer squash as cross bows were much less accurate back then - as the legend continued to be told and crossbows became more precise the fruit was changed to fit the feat. The second twist is that his sister was unable to go back to the quiet life after the revolt was over. She became a highwayman shaming the illustrious name of Tell. Mortified, the family changed their name to Ell which was my paternal grandmother's maiden name. Hmm...fact or fiction.

    Kate Welsh

  4. My favorite story growing up was probably Robin Hood. Loved the idea of living in the woods, doing good deeds, a little romance! Enjoyed the post and the other comments - fun topic!

  5. I had so many favorites as a child; what can I say, I was a major Bookworm even then! LOL!

    REALLY enjoyed the article! Thanks for sharing.

    Hugs, Kari Thomas,

  6. Hi Barbara -
    I agree with you. I don't think we're the only creatures with stories.
    My favorite adventure story growing up was The Black Stallion. Black didn't talk but the adventures he and Alec had were fantastic.

    Thanks for your support,

    ... Ruth

  7. Hi Rose -
    Beauty and the Beast is a wonderful story. You're so right. I love stories where what you see is not necessarily what you get!
    Thanks so much for sharing,

    ... Ruth

  8. Hi Kate -
    What a wonderful family story. We have a story too but it's not confirmed. About 600 years ago there is rumor that there was a liaison with one of the royal houses in the north countries.
    Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

    ... Ruth

  9. Hi Roni -
    I adore Robin Hood. I like the entire premise of taking from the Sheriff of Nottingham and saving Lady Marion. For me, romance has to also have adventure.
    I'm glad you stopped by.

    ... Ruth

  10. Hi Kari -
    I wasn't a bookworm when I was younger. I enjoyed making up stories more than reading. It wasn't until I got into high school that I 'found' reading, then I couldn't stop.
    Thanks for you comment.

    ... Ruth

  11. My little sister's favourite story as a kid was "The little red bus". I can still quote parts of it "brrrming into town" and it's a wonder it didn't put me off story telling for life!

    I don't think I can pick out a stand out favourite for myself, but I do like Beauty and the Beast, especially after I read McKinley's Beauty as a teen.

  12. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe was/is one of my favorites also. Black Stallion and Black Beauty are some others - I loved horses.

    Enjoyed the post.
    Jen Sampson

  13. My favorite story as a child was Little House In The Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder. We had recently moved to a new house on 5 acres with a thick forest of pine trees covering at least 3 of the acres & I felt like I lived in a similar place.

    drainbamaged.gyzmo at

  14. I still have somewhere a book of Hans Christian Anderson Fairy Tales. It was a gift from my step mom. I read that book over and over. The stories are fascinating. I guess I'm a fantasy lover. Paranormal is great too.

  15. Ooh! I want to win this book!

    I always loved "The Goose Girl." The focal point is that a trouble girl tells her secret to an old furnace (at the request of the king). And of course, the king hears her, discovers the truth, and it all ends well.

  16. So many favorites! I read all Lucy Maud Montgomery's "Anne" books again and again. She taught me how to pick out a husband. :) Anne of Green Gables, Anne of Avonlea, Anne of Windy Poplars, etc.

  17. I have so many favorite stories but Little Women and the Little House on the Prairie series really stood out. It was a different world and yet I could relate to the young ladies who developed throughout the story facing fears and overcoming obstacles.


  18. @Lisa Dale

    Hi -

    I haven't read "The Goose Girl" but I may have had the same experience as the King.

    I remember how surprised I was when I was in the bathroom and could hear my kids in the kitchen downstairs talking about the surprise party they were planning for me. We have a forced hot air heating system.

    Thanks for stopping by.

    ... Ruth

  19. @Anne Frazier Walradt -

    It's amazing what lessons we learn from the stories we read. My favorite, the one I read every year, is "A Christmas Carol." I think I'm drawn to it because even a curmudgeon can change and have a happily ever after (and it isn't even a romance).

    Thanks so much for leaving a comment.

    ... Ruth

  20. @Na

    Yes! Both stories are wonderful. I'm drawn more to Little Women than Little House on the Prairie. I think that has more to do with the setting. I'm definitely an England historical gal.


    ... Ruth


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