Monday, September 11, 2017

My Storied Treasures’ Treasured Stories!


I am 100% certain: I learn as much if not more than do my students and writers with each class I teach and each coaching session I facilitate.
And I’m pretty sure I’m incalculably smarter, thanks to my storied treasures as I labeled them in my TeachingAuthors THANKU launch in 2011.

Like Carmela’s students, my students and writers remind me daily of the requisite hard work writing demands and the ultimate joy writing delivers.
Like my Newberry Library students whom I labeled new berries in my 2013 THANKU, they also feed me and juice my batteries.

This past year, courtesy of my students and writers,
I’ve been to Latvia, Mississippi, Detroit and Idaho (twice!),
traveled back in time to 1908, 1948, 1953 and 1967 (twice!),
hung with chipmunks, Scotties, warthogs, abandoned kittens, a heroic mosquito and an opera-loving Gila monster.
Their works-in-progress taught me about dyslexia, lambing, simple machines, MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING and jump rope jingles.
With each manuscript I learn something new – about a format, a genre or an element of narrative, a subject matter, a readership, a relevant book or author.
And if I’m lucky – and I usually am, I learn my writers’ Back Stories, their treasure, and where it resides in the story he or she is telling.

All of those gifted learning opportunities together REconfirm an important Truth: each of us has a story worth telling.


So what if a theme has already been spoken for?  So what if a plot or incident or time period or famous character already claims a book?
The New Baby. Moving Away. Desire for a Pet. Civil Rights.  The Holocaust.  Someone-or-Something lost, then found.
"There’s only one you,” I remind my students and writers, “with your head, your heart, your feelings, your experiences.  No one can tell your chosen story your way.”

Oh, how my storied treasures prove me right with their treasured stories again and again!

Here’s to your story and the treasure it holds!

Esther Hershenhorn

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