I Wonder... do stories change your life?
Updated: Oct 30, 2019
I grew up loving books, ever since I picked up my first Asterix comic book, then went onto the C.S. Lewis Narnia series. For me, books opened up a world of magic, entertainment and learning like nothing else could. I haven’t put them down since! I still have the whole Agatha Christie collection in my bookshelves, as old and worn as they are, with many of her insights into people highlighted.
Quite a few strong female characters helped shape my identity and beliefs. From thirteen I had re-read Gone With The Wind three times! Scarlett O’Hara’s determination lives on in me, with a dash of Melanie’s kindness and steel backbone. As a young teen I also loved Clan of the Cave Bear, admiring Ayla’s warrior skill and in A Woman of Substance, Emma Hart’s self-belief and entrepreneurial talent (that I wish I had!) Looking back now, I marvel how much influence a good story has had in my life - and they’re not even real people!
I’ve spent 12 hours straight buried in a thick novel that I can’t put down because I get so immersed in that world created in someone else’s imagination. There have been many a late night unable to stop turning the pages, causing numerous book ‘hang overs’! Through my heroes and heroines going through their trials and triumphs, my view of people and events has often shifted. For instance, if I ever went to Africa all I would think about is Wilbur Smith capturing its soul, along with Bryce Courtenay’s Power of One. It is like I've already been there in a way.
With books I’ve experienced a-ha moments galore. Characters like Dantes in the Count of Monte Cristo are forever etched in my memory. He finds the greatest treasure on earth but eventually realises the pointlessness of using it for hate and revenge. He said, “I know the world is a drawing room from which we must retire politely and honestly; that is with a bow and our debts of honor paid.” Ahh. This says to me that love and its lack will be what humbles, no matter the amount of money or power achieved. It may be the only thing that really matters in the end.
When Little Lord Faunleroy’s mother tells him, “The world should always be a little better because a man has lived” forever echoes in my mind.
In The Wizard of Earthsea, Ged couldn’t master his wizarding powers before facing himself as his own greatest enemy. I see the wisdom of looking for the source of what shows up in my life; little ol' me.
Anne of Green Gables journey to become a writer and at one point realising her ideals aren’t ‘out there’ to find, but inside. So true!
The wisdom in Beauty and the beast, that beauty is in our soul, not so much about our physical appearance. And that nasty beast? It is what only love can heal. Fairy-tales are real.
These are just a few!
Yet, I struggle to think of a particular genre that I like best. What about you? Do you have a particular taste for horror, fantasy, historical fiction, romance…? I’ve read and loved so many, I can’t pick a favourite.
For instance, I never thought I’d become a Poet. Nevertheless, my first published book Wonder Woman in Disguise still tells a story. The powerful story of transformation; that of the archetypal hero’s journey. My new eBook is a short story launch into fiction. Allura is in the supernatural/occult genre, with a rags-to-riches theme and a splash of thrilling crime. Maybe I’ll add romance to her next adventure, because I’m getting told I can’t leave the ending the way it is. People want to hear more, which is the best feedback I could have hoped for.
What are your favourite stories and why? I’d love to hear from you, please share them with me.
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