Wayne Stinnett, Author

Wayne Stinnett, Author

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Story Telling

A long time ago, don't ask me how long, I'm not an anthropologist, some hairy ancestor of ours grunted. His buddy or mate heard him and was curious. Soon they were both grunting. In time, certain grunts had certain meanings, known only to others in that clan. A spoken language was developed and mankind evolved.

Shortly after, again don't ask me how long, could have been two weeks or ten thousand years, but in terms of evolution, it was shortly after, some caveman heard a wolf howling in the moonlight and he tried to imitate it. Another heard him and being curious critters, he tried it too. Soon, they developed a range of howls and learned the next clan's spoken language, applying words to their howling. Singing was developed and mankind evolved.

You know the drill, the following weekend? Okay, maybe a few months go by, then some simian ancestor, gnawing on a fire-cooked deer leg, dropped the bone on a skin that was stretched out to dry. The bone bounced off the deer skin and made a deep, resonant sound. Curious, the hairy, grunting beast picked up his bone, brushed the dirt off, and chewed the last bit of flesh off the animals knee-bone. Then he tapped the bone against the stretched skin. He smiled, and began making thunder noises in the primordial jungle. His mate came out of the cave, curious about the coming storm and saw her mate beating his bone on the skin. She picked up a dried, discarded gourd and started tapping it with a stick, making a high, hollow sound. A percussion section was developed and mankind evolved.

Fast forward a bunch of years. I don't know, you guess. The talking and singing clans meet the percussion clan and beat on skins, gourds, logs, and rocks, singing to the moon. Across the valley, another clan hears the sound. This group is still grunting and dragging their mates around by the hair. One accidentally plucks at a tasty morsel, crawling in his mate's hair, and the plucked hair rang. Later, he used a bow and stretched many hairs on it. He listened to the other clans across the valley at night, softly plucking at his bow strings, trying to mimic the strange words he heard. A string section was developed and mankind evolved.

Then once a year, at the annual harvest, or whatever these grunting, beating, plucking, and singing clans did, they got together for a big concert in the forest. The singing people developed their voices and sang in harmony. The percussion section dried different skins and stretched them over hollowed out logs. The string section tried all kinds of dried animal parts and stretched them across planks they fashioned with rudimentary tools and hollowed them out to get a distinct sound. They played Otis Redding, and Jimi Hendrix. They played Bill Monroe and Bob Marley. A band was developed and mankind evolved. Okay, so maybe they didn't know about Otis's work yet.

The talking clan, whose only development to the betterment of mankind was teaching the howlers to use their words, felt left out. They could communicate ideas and teach the howlers, beaters, and pluckers the words, but they still felt left out at the yearly shin-dig. So, they started making up stories. They told stories about the trees, and the earth, and the sky, and the stars in the sky. They told stories of great feats that the gods in the sky accomplished. Soon, the howlers, beaters, and pluckers wanted to hear the stores more and more. Every year at the big gathering, the storytellers started off the concert, with a story of sorrow, happiness, beaches, and rum. The many bands within the several clans loved the stories and used them in song. The storyteller developed and mankind evolved.

Soon, there was a divergence, a parting of the ways. Some went on to tell wonderful stories of great length. People learned the stories and acted them out on stages and in arenas. But, when other storytellers tried to retell the story they'd heard, they got parts wrong. This wouldn't do, so the storytellers developed marks on tree bark, using charred wood from a dead fire. The marks became more intricate and soon a written language was developed and mankind evolved.

The howlers, beaters, and pluckers also needed a way to record their sounds for posterity. They watched the storytellers from the shadows and learned their way of making marks on bark to mean this and that. They went back to their fires and did the same with sound, matching certain marks with certain sounds, so everyone's sound would work with everyone else's sound. They went on to write great masterpieces of music. Written music developed and mankind evolved.

If y'all are still reading this, you're probably wondering why, after more than a year without a blog post, is this raving novelist writing about cave people grunting in the jungle. Well, in my humble opinion, the two clans haven't evolved so far apart that the bridge can't be gapped. The long-winded story teller can find a counter-part in the micro-stories of the song-writer. And the song-writer might find an audience through literature.

Song-writers have been putting the written story to music for a long, long time. No, I don't know how long; I told you I'm not an anthropologist. I'm a storyteller. I'm not a writer, though. I have no training in the art. But, I like to tell stories. And I like listening to music. I can't carry a tune in a bucket, but I like good music.

Over the years, my musical taste has gone from the classic honky-tonk country music of the fifties and sixties, to rock & roll, to jazz and blues, to reggae. Then a long time ago; this one I know, it was 1973, I discovered Jimmy Buffett, a storyteller who can tell a whole story in three and a half minutes. He's been followed by dozens of talented trop-rock musicians and song-writers, telling their stories through their music, singing of the sea, the beach, the islands, the boats, and the girls.

My friend, Eric Stone is among them. Eric is an amazing musician and songwriter, but more important his reptile brain is that of the grunter, the communicator, the storyteller. Eric has a bunch of original music on a bunch of CDs. Don't ask me how many, I'm not a music producer, but a whole bunch. And I have them all. Great stories, wonderful humor, and a light island beat.

Anyway, what all this rambling is getting to is that Eric is going to appear in my upcoming novel, Rising Fury, the 12th story in the Jesse McDermitt Caribbean Adventure Series, due to be released right around Christmas. He'll be playing himself, playing his music at the Rusty Anchor Bar & Grill. If you've read my stories you know where that is. "Anywhere you want it to be." Eric has a strong connection to the Rusty Anchor and Marathon. He used to own Dockside, on Boot Key Harbor. Yeah, that place is real. I hope one day to make the Rusty Anchor a reality.

Not only that, Eric is going into the studio on December 18th to record what I hope will be his next big hit, The Rusty Anchor Bar & Grill. Yeah, a trop-rock song, about a fictitious trop-rock bar, straight out of my trop-fiction.

That's right folks, after billions of years of de-evolution, Eric and I are bringing the grunters, howlers, beaters, and pluckers back together again. Watch for it on my Facebook page, www.facebook.com/WayneStinnettAuthor.

And mankind evolved.

To get a taste of Eric's music, visit his website, www.islanderic.com

You'll also hear his music on Pyrate Radio, streaming at www.pyrateradio.com

Also, watch my Facebook page for an upcoming contest to win a new Kindle!


  1. Interesting development! Looking forward to the music and Jesse's next adventure!

  2. I was just now reading this. I found myself giggling out loud as my poor husband was trying to sleep beside me. I'm convinced, Wayne! I am going to listen to all of Eric Stone's "stories"! (Pretty positive I will love them.) And it goes without saying that I will be downloading Jesse #12 as soon as it's out!!!!

    1. LOL, thanks, Cindy! The song has been released. You can find it on Eric's website, linked in the OP. For his CDs, start like I did, Songs For Sail; Boat Songs #1. Guaranteed you'll like his stories. And some of his lines will give you a deja vu feeling. I've used some of his lyrics in my stories.

  3. Wayne - first, I love your novels, and I say this as a 30 year retired Army officer. I do want to ask if you've noticed the similarities between Jesse and a new Nelson DeMille character in his new novel, the Cuban Affair. Both are ex military types that become charter boat captains in the Keys. Haven't read his book, but I think this is a bit of plagarism, or if you prefer, flattery.

    1. If you read Michael Reisig's Road to Key West series, which is set in the Keys in the early 1970s, you'll meet a Jamaican mystic by the name of Rufus. It wasn't until after I'd released my second novel that I found Michael's work. Long story short, we've become good friends and found quite a few similarities in our works, when reading each other's unpublished manuscripts. Michael told me once, "There are no original thoughts." Anything we write is influenced by what we've read, heard, seen, or experienced. Michael and I lived in the Middle Keys about the same time, and definitely experienced some of the same things.