I’ve been reading some books written by exquisite storytellers and thought you might want to check them out for yourself (if you can stand all the pleasure).
I was completely enchanted by Geri Larkin’s Plant Seed, Pull Weed. Larkin, an ordained Buddhist and gardener, has created a lovely handbook of life lessons gathered from her spiritual practice and her work in a Seattle nursery. In fact, the subtitle is Nurturing the Garden of Your Life. Larkin notices the stories around her and passes them along. Lucky readers!
I’m nearly finished with another stunner which has been gracing the bestseller list for some time–and it deserves to be read. If you haven’t discovered The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows, run, don’t walk, to your library or bookstore and grab it. The book is a series of letters and each one is a self-contained masterpiece of storytelling from post-World War II London.
A few weeks ago, Ode magazine mentioned the six-word story exercise. The idea is to summarize your life in six words. I didn’t know at the time that the inspiration for that is a book called Not Quite What I Was Planning which gathers six-word stories from the famous and the obscure. It’s such fun to read. Here are a few samples:
Revenge is living well, without you. ~ Joyce Carol Oates
Changing mind postponed demise by decades. ~ Scott O’Neil
Followed rules, not dreams. Never again. ~ Margaret Hellerstein
Secret of life: marry an Italian. ~ Nora Ephron
Try it for yourself. It’s harder than it may appear. Then go read something splendid this week!
You don’t have to have a dramatic story. It’s all in the telling. ~ Chuck Close