…to be a well-favoured man is the gift of fortune; but to write and read comes by nature.”
I was born a storyteller.
Here’s a new story about my life:
A boy wakes on a gray day, and a man in a gray suit tells him, “Get dressed. Come with me. You are leaving here today.”
There by the one tree at the old orphanage stood a dryad. She took his hand and they left together. When he opened his eyes, he found himself surrounded by trees, flowers, and gnomes.
“This is my home,” said the dryad. “And it is your home, too. We live here with other children, like yourself. We are all friends. We are a family.”
That really happened. It’s the new story.
I was so happy to have arrived at last. The dryad gave me a present–a leatherbound notebook–and as soon as I got it, I sat down right there on the sidewalk and wrote the new story so that I would always remember it. While I was writing, the other children arrived, and we were there together, all of us, like a band of lost kids that had found the magical creature that would take care of them and give them a home. That’s us. And this is our story.
Sometimes, a life is a story–we live it, and we tell it. At the same time.
My new sister Emilie is a writer, too. And she told me that she makes up stories but not about her life. She makes up make-believe stories and then it’s like she has two lives. Or more. One life for every story.
“It’s like living a hundred lives!” she told me.
I feel happy that my magic pathway led me to a place with another writer–it’s like fate.
When we write together, I feel super energy–I feel the story from my mind and the story from her mind, and the stories join and we get a super buzz from our writing. We become that much more. We become better.
Emilie feels it, too. She said to me, “It’s like one of those writers’ colonies here. You know? Like Yaddo.”
Emilie knows all this stuff about old writers. She says she just reads everything, and everything she reads, she remembers.
I don’t do that. I read everything, and then I forget everything except for just those things I need to know for my particular life.
That’s why Emilie and I make a good team.
“Our mentor is a writer, too,” said Emilie. “She’s famous, and so was her great, great, granduncle. He was part of that whole thing at Concord.”
I don’t know about history excpet for the history that I make. I told Emilie, “This is the new story now, Em. It’s you, and me, and our dryad, and these other kids.”
“I know exactly what you mean,” said Emilie. “It’s like kismet. The last lost raja. The mad and angry pirate. The good sister that eats everything. The world renowned writer who takes in lost children. You. Me. It’s all of us and each of us and more!”
I wrote down her words, exactly as she said them.
I know that this is what bards do–we inspire each other.
I told a new story right then. This one was about a merry band.
There were five–five wild robbers and one tall kind cook. The robbers were not robbers of gold. Oh, no! They were robbers of something much more precious! One robbed all the music notes! He played the trumpet. One robbed all the cupcakes. And she shared them with us. One robbed the jokes, and two of them… two of them robbed every single story. They were the story thieves! So if anyone wanted a story, they had to get a story from them!
“And what did the cook do?” asked my brother Dalton.
“She made butternut gnocchi,” I said.
This was maybe only the third time in my life when somebody listened to my story. Usually, I tell the story or I write it, but it’s just for me. Today, a whole kitchen full of people listened. And they liked it.
I was so sleepy. I had written pages and pages from my super writer’s buzz with Emilie. I felt my eyes closing as I marched up to my very own bed in my very own bedroom. My eyes were closed, but my mouth was smiling. I was a happy storyteller. I had an audience.