All righty. BANG. Some far reaching miracle has occurred and there I am. Staring at an invitation to give TED talk somewhere. Here's what that would look like. Not that, you know, I've planned it out or anything.
TITLE: The World Inside Us
High Concept: George Lucas had it wrong. The Force isn't what permeates us and binds the galaxy together. It's story. Story is the unifying force, across culture, time, and all possibility.
*Insert cheesy story here about how here I am, an author. Four published novels, short stories, a novella, a couple of awards to put on my shelf. But I was a lonely little kid who didn't really fit in anywhere. I didn't fit this world. It didn't fit me. And I didn't seem to be growing in the right directions to have any hope that the fit would improve. Then a relative handed me a box of worn paperback books, all by the same author, Andre Norton. I was maybe 10. "Read these," my aunt said. Those stories saved me. I learned that not fitting the world made me something specific and peculiar. It made me a story-teller. End slightly humorous, cheesy story.*
Talk Brief (this is the condensed idea set - yet to be fleshed out because - you know - no invite as yet...)
What unites all of human-kind? Stories. What defines our psychology? Stories. What connects us to our ancestors - the ones reaching up to etch something into the rock wall of a cave? Stories. What, if you believe in this sort of thing, connects you to the past lives you lived across history? Yep. And what is it that links you to the vast stretch of future - the past your mortal existence? Right again.
Brief history of the origin of language - really brief. Segway to lying as predating actual proto-language (behavioral experiments done with chimps who learn muffle food calls - essentially lying to their troops). What is story - combination of pretending and communication - so by this definition, cave paintings are stories. Oral tales, ballads, a shaman's vision quest or journey into the underworld. All story. In as much as dreams are stories, we can claim to be connected by story to every living thing that dreams. (more brief data here)
Universality of emotion as connector and story as a means of evoking emotion
Pretending. Imagination. That's the important part. That's the part that connects us across all time, space and dimension. That lonely little kid who didn't quite fit the world? She never really did settle in. She still doesn't know what she wants to be when she grows up. EVERYTHING. Astronaut. Veterinarian. Rock star. Movie star. Lawyer. Doctor. All of it. So her job is clear. BE all of it. In story. Try on all the hats. Step into the clothes for the space of 90k words. Be someone else in story. This is a sacred tradition of stepping out of your life and your world (shamanic traditions) in search of lessons among worlds not your own.
How does it connect you to past and future? You're imagining. Your ancestors imagined, your past life selves imagined, future generations will imagine. And it's likely that you're all imagining one another - what was life like/what will it be like ? How did/will it feel? For the brief moments your imaginations align, you make contact. What if there are infinite universes? Infinite copies of you? Right now, in some other universe, you are a doctor. An astronaut. A great artist of some kind. Every time you tell a story and try on one of those personalities or vocations, you connect.
Close: *Insert brief story about belonging as a demonstration of what the lonely kid learned by embracing story.*
Story becomes art when it resonates with an audience as true. When your stories ring true, they reach across the world, across cultures and maybe even across time and space.
There it is. A rough draft from a disorganized brain.