I tell stories for a living. I look at the faces of my audience. I register the silence in a room and then call on the forces that inspire me to tell the stories I have been waiting my whole life to hear. Stories about the old who somehow survive the wars that decimate their young. Stories about farmers who chase mystical chickens into caves, come upon chests of treasures buried long ago. Stories about fatherless boys who become the fathers they imagined for themselves and motherless girls who birth daughters born as mothers. All the stories I love in the lives around me and within. I began professionally telling stories 16 years ago.