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Day 4 – Read A Fave

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Today’s task is a real hardship:

Read something written by your favorite author

This doesn’t have to be something that will ‘impress’ me.

You can say you’re reading Alice Munroe and I’ll believe you.

But if you tell me you’re reading Danielle Steele because of the way her books sweep you away and make time disappear and leave you breathless when you finally put them down…I’ll be just as happy (and possibly more convinced you’re telling the truth).

I’m not asking you to read something by an author you admire. I’m asking you to read your favorite “makes me embarrassingly emotional” author.

You might want to go back to a book you’re re-read over and over since you were a kid.

Bonus task: 

Write in your private workspace exactly how you felt while reading your favorite author’s work.

  • Did you get excited? Did they make you laugh? Cry? Swoon? Want to move to a small coastal island in the Gulf of St. Lawrence or the Eastern Shore of Virginia? 
  • Don’t worry about how they did it. Just capture how you felt. 
  • If you’ve been reading this book since you were a kid, what did it do for you, back then? How did it change the way you saw the world? Yourself.

How would it feel if you could do the same thing for a reader, that your favorite author did for you?

Seriously. How?

And would it be OK with you if you never knew about it?

Is even the possibility of having that kind of connection through time and space with another soul, at all exciting to you?

Imagine that kid, that woman, that person having a terrible day/life, who your stories gave a moment of respite to. Imagine showing them a world where they could be happy, accepted, celebrated. 

How is their day going to go, after reading your story?

Will they be a better partner, parent and friend, after your story improved their mood and their sense of themselves?

Will those partners, children, and friends, have better lives, because the person they love treated them better?

Take a moment to close your eyes and picture how your words could ripple out into these other lives. 

I’m not being overly dramatic..

 John Donne said it back in 1623,

No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main.

John Donne

(Smart man. Didn’t know about gender-inclusive language, but still. Smart.)

Bingo!

Right-click to save me. Make sure you set your printer to print this at original size, not full-page!

Here’s your next Bingo Piece. Download the pic, print it out and paste it onto your bingo sheet. Then share a picture of it on social media with #storyadaybingo

You don’t have to do all the tasks in order, so paste your tokens on the gameboard on whatever day you get to it!

Join The Discussion: After thinking about your favorite author and the ripples your words could cause, post one word that encapsulates how you’re feeling about starting work on your story, tomorrow.

(You can also tell us about who you read and how it made you feel as you were reading, if you want to.)

33 thoughts on “Day 4 – Read A Fave”

  1. (P.S. (both post and pre scriptum) I can’t delete the previous comment 😭 but I hit send too soon!)

    Aaaaah, it’s SO HARD to choose a fave! Roald Dahl, Lucy Maud Montgomery, Patrick Rothfuss, Elizabeth Gilbert (“The Signature of All Things.” Oh. My. God), Mary Oliver, Italo Calvino, Gabriel García Marquez, Neil Gaiman, Umberto Eco, Bradbury, Tolkien, Kate Grenville, there is so much!!!! (I so want to read all the ones being mentioned in the comment section, too! 😄)
    There are so many things I adore about reading (and writing and storytelling), but if I had to, I would narrow it down to style, cleverness, depth, truth, and meaning.
    To leave a story feeling that your inner world is a bit richer, stronger, and more honest.. That’s just priceless. Noticing new hues in life; appreciating, seeing more. Whatever we feel a connection to, that’s worth exploring.
    I would love to help people feel understood, seen, accepted, embraced, have my stories boost that; giving them the courage, imagination and energy to believe in themselves, help them recognise their value, life’s value, what they might offer to the world, in all their authenticity (simple, grand, whatever.) Discovering my truest nature, not the one others saw in or for me, but the one I truly have the potential to be and want for myself and my life—that’s what stories did for me.

  2. Aaaaah, it’s SO HARD to choose a fave! Roald Dahl, Lucy Maud Montgomery, Patrick Rothfuss, Elizabeth Gilbert (“The Signature of All Things.” Oh. My. God), Mary Oliver, Italo Calvino, Gabriel García Marquez, Neil Gaiman, Umberto Eco, Bradbury, Tolkien, Kate Grenville, there is so much!!!! (I so want to read all the ones being mentioned in the comment section though! 😄)
    There are so many things I adore about reading (and writing and storytelling), but if I had to sum it up (for a change) I would narrow it down to style, cleverness, depth, truth, and meaning. To leave a story feeling that your inner world is a bit richer and stronger, more true.. That’s just priceless. Noticing new hues in life, appreciating, seeing more. Whatever we feel a connection to, that’s also worth exploring. I would love to help people feel understood, seen, accepted, embraced with my writing, while at the same time making them believe in themselves, help them recognise their value. My truest nature, not the one others saw in or for me, but the one I truly have the potential to be and want for myself and my life. That’s what stories did for me, too.

  3. Sort of an ‘attacked by butterflies’ feeling. I’ve been re-reading (for the sixth time? Seventh?) Stephen King’s ‘It’. The book is so richly developed and packed with intensity and detail that I feel giddy whenever I get to certain passages, some of which have haunted me for years with their horror and beauty. It’s a deeply unsettling story, but also has no shortage of humor and even hope. SK is the author who first inspired me to take my writing further, so this task was fortuitous. Thanks, Julie!

    1. This makes me want to read It now. I am very new to Stephen King, having started with his non-fiction writing memoir On Writing and then The Green Mile and Carrie and then his collection of short stories titled Four Past Midnight most recent and his Different Seasons on the list. His writing is fascinating and sometimes I don’t understand it, but I think that’s okay. Anyways, will add It to my TBR…=D

  4. The standout books for me, that have stayed with me,
    are William Horwood’s ‘Duncton Chronicles’.
    These 3 books have the theme of love throughout and it’s portrayed with great empathy.
    It also demonstrates the comfort a belief gives when life is deteriorating around you. They are books of HOPE. They are beautifully written.
    They made me feel wistful and adventurous.
    I read them after a busy few years child-rearing where I only ever had time to grab a few minutes with a magazine.
    They swept me off to discover something of great importance to me and my community/family. Things happened but I got through them and emerged changed by the journey taken.
    They really allowed me to escape from being overwhelmed by the responsibility I felt for my children and the feeling of having lost sight of who I was apart from a wife and mother.
    I actually identified with the moles and their kingdom……how brilliant that author was!
    I realise from this exercise that these are the underlying things I’m aiming for with my novel.

  5. Excited with light nervousness!

    I re-read a George Saunders story that reminded me my favorite writers make me feel like an insider — swept up in someone’s thoughts or actions or in a mysterious sub-culture or part of the world that’s unfamiliar to me. It will be fun and empowering to make a reader feel this way!

  6. For me it’s “House of the Spirts” by Isabel Allende (or any of her novels) though that was the first book by her that I read when I was a junior in high school. I always get excited by a new book by her though I wish I had time to reread the earlier ones too. She is good at pulling you into a different place and time (Chile in this case) and a world filled with magic (Clara the Clairvoyant). She introduced me to the concept of magical realism.

  7. I chose Marguerite Duras’ L’Amant (The Lover) because its style had a strong impact on me when I first read it many years ago. When I did the exercise, this is what came out: “Her prose reads like music. Her words travel through my body, awakening something the same way music does, filling me up with a strange pleasure. She strokes my mind and fills it with life and possibility. Duras taught me it’s okay to describe our inner world, it’s okay to undress on the blank page and reveal all parts of ourselves”. Thinking I can do the same thing for someone else makes me feel rich and whole. Very inspiring.

  8. INSPIRED.
    MOTIVATED.
    EXCITED.
    [OOPS! SORRY! I COULDN’T CHOOSE!]
    Funny thing: I had you BEAT on today’s task! I was already in the midst of doing my annual spring read of “The Secret Garden.” It is a MUST for me EVERY YEAR because as I read it, spring is just beginning to SPRING, and the hope and renewal found in the pages of this book TRULY bring hope and renewal to my heart, soul, and spirit. To be able to do the same for even JUST ONE reader . . . it would be worth ALL the HARD work writing takes. WHO NEEDS awards and accolades if the mere hope my words could bring to others could exist.

  9. 2 words – indulging excitement.
    I loved reading Enid Blyton’s books as a kid and devoured everything I could get my hands on, reading them several times over. Her writing introduced me to “playing on words” techniques to create a memorable effect and it still inspires me to write words and descriptions of events in the most unique way I can find.

  10. I am so excited and motivated to do some writing. Not only do I have some story sparks but I have started to reframe the significance of writing to me.

  11. I have to go back to The Belgariad series by David Eddings; it was my first exposure to fantasy (gasp! before Tolkien!) in college and continues to be a comfort read and a safe place to dream about writing a fantasy of my own.

  12. I re-read some poetry by one of my favourite poets, Tyler Knott Gregson, at the risk of “I’ll never be able to write anything as good as this” sabotage and writing paralysis. They’re emotional and true and alight with depth if that makes sense to anyone other than me. Raw and honest and so thoughtfully worded. Inspiring and intimidating at the same time.

    To write something that somehow affects someone when they read it… please. Please.

    Is it writing day? I’m ready.

  13. I’m reading a newly-released book by a friend–South of Heaven, Patti Meredith. It’s re-reading in the sense that I’ve read quite a few scenes over the past several years. But it’s the first time I’ve seen it in book form with all the scenes in order. I’m caught up by the aha moments, and marveling at how the story all came together. This is a joyful celebration!

  14. Lovely wise words. Much needed perspective. Thank you for being brave to say these things. ❤️

  15. Another Ursula K. LeGuin fan here! I am rereading The Tombs of Atuan. I read it probably a dozen times when I was a kid. Never read the rest of the series, it wasn’t available at my local library. When I was young, I wanted to be Arha, with her own secret place. I didn’t care that it was dark and cold. Now I am happier with the ending, where she escapes the tunnels with Ged and reclaims her name. Either way, I like the way LeGuin tells a story, though I can’t put my finger on exactly what it is I like.

  16. Encouraged!
    Noisy Nora by Rosemary Wells. I’ve always loved how that little mouse expresses her frustrations. Still relevant today but now, as I writer, I get to see it through different eyes – and appreciate the brilliance of the story (and the author) even more.

    1. Oh this was a fan favorite in my house when I was growing up. I have a sister Nora. Love it.

  17. Today I’m re-reading my favorite book by one of my favorite authors, Ursula K. LeGuin. “The Telling” is not thick, but the flow is effortless. There is a dreamlike quality to her storytelling here. Even though it takes place in a different time, on a different world, it resonates with current and past events in our world. I love books like this, the ones that take me out of myself but still allow me to connect in different ways and on different levels.

  18. I’m reading Roddy Doyle’s s ‘The Woman Who Walked Into Doors’. I love the way he takes me to a place I am so familiar with (I grew up in Dublin in the seventies) and exposes the some of the injustices and problems of life in Ireland at that time – they haven’t lgone away yet but at least these days people talk about some of them more openly. I supose I aspire to pulling readers into my stories in the way Doyle does, make them think about the world they live in and maybe give them a few moments in which they can escape from their own reality.

  19. Ready! I don’t have a favorite author or book, blasphemous I know, but I thought about moments when I’ve read things I connected with and it reminded me of something a professor once said in a humanities class in college. About how once an artist releases art into the world, a part of it no longer belongs to them, the part that the audience connects with is something that belongs to each person experiencing it and no one else. That’s kind of amazing to me, to think I could create something that another person would have a connection like that without me even knowing.

  20. It’s a go to, and, yes, I do love the Minneota poets of the late 70s to the 90s. COMING HOME CRAZY, is a series of letters from a teacher spending a year in China as an English teacher. It’s parts funny, sad, ignorance, violence, and brave. I wonder how the students are today and how their city has changed/weathered all the time between 1988 and today.
    I aspire to the same immediate, human, type of writing in these short stories.

  21. I’m currently re-reading A Dirty Job by Christopher Moore. This take on being a Grim Reaper is very unique. I love the characterization of the Beta Male (Charlie Asher) and the way he does his best (which is often not very good, but he gets by) to juggle his fatherly responsibilities with that of his new and unexpected “job”.

    1. Christopher Moore! His first book that I read was “The Stupidest Angel”, which became my favorite Christmas book so far.

  22. I’m re-reading Miya Kazuki’s Ascendance of a Bookwork 2-2. This is the one where Myne finally makes a real book and it’s such an exciting moment after the struggles in the previous six volumes.

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