Stories are in our blood

"After nourishment, shelter and companionship, stories are the thing we need most in the world.” ― Philip Pullman

Stories are deep in our blood, aren’t they?  

  • Stories we forced our parents to read to us over and over again…
  • The first books we checked out of the library, with their crackly plastic protectors…
  • An essay that made you think, “So I’m not the only one…”  
  • Your grandmother’s origin story. How your parents met. Your first crush.   
  • The novel you don’t stop reading even when you really should have gone to sleep hours ago.
  • The movie you saw that taught you about a world you didn’t even know existed.

Even though we sometimes think that brilliant writers are people who descended from the sky on a fluffy little cloud of genius, fully-formed and wholly original, they too have stories, books, and writers who are their roots, their creative lineage, and their north stars.

It’s really fun to see who they are, too, which is how some of us end up spending way too much time looking at their “Ideal Bookshelves” (Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Jennifer Egan, Jo Ann Beard, Dave Eggers, Junot Diaz, George Saunders, oh my!)

Loving all the stories,

Carolyn & Katie

P.S. What’s making you want to write these days? A recent experience you want to explore? A fable that started writing itself in your mind? A stranger who would be fun to turn into a character?

We're hitting the keyboard this week working on a family history essay (Katie) and a ghost story that's going to be a birthday gift for a man living in a very old, possibly haunted house (Carolyn). We’re all ears if you want to hit reply.

P.P.S. Registration for our fall workshop is O-P-E-N! Early birds still have 1 week to get in for almost $100 off, and friends doing the buddy system can register at a nearly 2-for-1 rate, at $200 per buddy.

Dig In: 

Read It

  • Well, read or watch, it's up to you. But here are fantastic TED Talks that are really stories about stories: StoryCorps's founder David Isay on real ones, and novelist Chimamanda Adichie on the danger of the single story.

Write It

  • What is an origin story for your life? Your family? Try the "once upon a time" formula to get you started.

  • Scribble or type up a list of the stories that are deep in your blood. Maybe start to collect them on a special bookshelf?

Literary Friendship and a Postcard Prompt

Our wonderful, urgent, mystifying compulsion to write