I’m working my way through my first MOOC – The Future of Storytelling and have come to the first creative task. The idea is to think back to a story at any point in my lifetime and write a summary of it, then also write about what made it so special that I can still remember it. Here is my response:
I have been magically far away in my life before, many times. Once it was up a tree that Enid Blyton planted. I got to hang out with Dick, Fanny and Moonface. I’m sure there were others but I can’t quite remember their names. I climbed big branches, and went up through stairs and doors. I was fascinated by what I found each step of the way and at the top. I was so rapt with my adventure that I took the tree to school and got my Grade 3 teacher to replant it in our classroom so all my classmates could climb too. It was awesome and I was so proud it was my book the teacher was reading. I’m not sure of the details of this adventure as it was many years ago now, but I will never forget the feeling of awe and a couple of the images the words created for me while reading (or having read to me) Enid Blyton’s The Magic Faraway Tree.
In another instance of magical far away journeying I met a girl who wrote a diary. She lived at a boarding school which I thought sounded so incredibly cool. She got to wear a uniform and share a room. I remember the image of her at her desk writing, the connection I felt with her and the feeling I got when it was revealed at the end that she was so shy due to great trauma in her life. John Marsden created Marina in So Much To Tell You.
Lastly, for this bout of reminiscing, is Anne of Green Gables and her leather satchel. When Anne was a teacher she carried her papers in a worn brown leather satchel. I still want one and I’m in my mid-thirties. Perhaps she was even part of the reason I became a teacher. I don’t remember much else about her to be honest other than I thought she was fabulous, made me want red hair and want to wear those same long dresses and lace up boots. She helped me imagine what it could be like to be someone else.
I know the task was to write a summary of one story, but I can’t quite remember enough of these stories to do that (without looking them up!). I’m not sure that matters though. I can clearly remember the feelings that go with them, that I LOVED them, some of the pictures my imagination created as I read or watched them, and that I sometimes tried to be like these characters. So, what impresses me the most are the memories I am left with from these stories. Great, clear writing and vivid locations keep me travelling magically far away many years later even if I can’t remember too many exact details.
Image attribution: The faraway tree by Dadour