This week's prompt will again be from Jane Yolen's Touch Magic. I just now ordered my own signed first edition of this book so I can return the copy I keep hoarding back to its rightful owner.
Though Touch Magic is specifically a call-to-arms, a manifesto on the importance of fantasy and folklore in the literary experience of children, it is also a general reminder of the relationship of writer to reader, of storyteller to listener. Yolen lays the ground lamenting the passage of time and the onslaught of new technologies that she sees as threatening the potency of tale telling.
"In earlier days the storyteller knew the backgrounds of his audience intimately, knew their limits, their desires, their demands, tehir fears. But storytellers today no longer live in a small village. We live in what, for want of a better term, we call a global village. The modern storyteller knows that the printed tale speaks to an audience many thousands of miles wide."
She had that to say years before the World Wide Web and blogs were to enter the scene!
But It is later in the book that I'm driving toward here. Last week I told the story of the photographer who spent a year in his little city backyard to learn how to see, taking photos of the same objects over and over, each time with different results. Similarly, this week I happened upon a section in Touch Magic that speaks to the same story being made new by different storytellers and authors.
"That is why a fine artist can bring to an old tale a new approach, a new direction. . . . . If a story was rewritten in succession by John Gardner, Isaac Bashevis Singer, and Dr. Seuss--how different each story would be."
Precisely the magic we see with the 100 Words prompt. Each of you brings a unique interpretation to it, while at the same time there are often similar threads running through some of your stories (there were two "last quilts" last week). In short, I'm pretty sure we're busy touching our own magic here what with multiple stories crafted in 100 words all generating from just one word. And that word this week, from Touch Magic, is: