Dear Vox Machina, Enola Holmes, Addie LaRue, and Coco,
You are the stories I’ve shared my last week and this weekend with. You have forever reinforced that stories are hard and heart-breaking, but beautiful and worth every minute spent with them.
Vox Machina, I spent one year, five months, and 22 days with you. I witnessed forgiveness and love, friendship and grief, life and death unfold in a live-streamed game of Dungeons and Dragons. I love that the world will know that gnomes and goliaths, druids and half-elves, humans that make deals with devils and gods, can teach us so much as they rush to defeat the next thing. I expected the humor–because there’s a lot to laugh about when the fate of the story relies on dice-rolling. What I didn’t know was that Grog holding a grudge would be so satisfying and Pike forgiveness would be everything the story needed and that NPCs could be so real. It’s stories like these that cause me to buy hats and dice sets and add all Critical Role merch to my Christmas wish list so that I can carry your story around with me all the time.
Enola, Anthony and I watched your Netflix adaptation last night and it was amazing. I love that the Helena Bonham Carter is your mother. I love that she’s also the fairy godmother in live-action Cinderella, that she’s proving to be so versatile in her acting and us hardcore HP fans won’t just know her as Bellatrix Lestrange, the woman who took Sirius from us and took away a possible future for Harry. I immediately went to my library’s website and put the first book in your series on my list to read. I was reminded why I love mysteries and Sherlock Holmes, and I love that you’re his sister. It was an incredible way to tell a story. Definitely less tears in this story, but it was the bright spot of humor I needed.
Addie LaRue, I expect all of writers have a version of you inside of us, the story we wait to write because we’re finding ourselves in the ones that come before. There were a few unexpected twists in your story and I’m so glad for them. And V.E. Schwab writes beautiful sentences. I remember you, Addie.
Miguel, Henry, Coco, Dante, and the whole gang: I know, I know, I’m years behind in watching this. It was a spur of the moment decision, made while Disney+ was open and Ant was settling in on the couch to watch something while he ate a late lunch. First of all, the animation–beautiful. I will never be an animator, but Disney and Pixar make me fall in love with art and color every time I watch one of their movies. A reminder that we don’t have to be either-or, we can be both-and. We don’t necessarily have to choose sides, we can have our creativity with our family. Thank you.
Stories are powerful.
I thank each of the stories above (and so many more)–the characters, the plot, the setting, the plot twists–for what they teach me, the escape from real life, but also for nudging me in the direction of my own stories.
I don’t know who I’ll be sharing my week with yet. I have the sequel to Dash and Lily and the Neil Gaiman essays sitting next to my laptop on the desk. I do have two separate pieces that I wrote last week that I want to try braid together, so maybe I’ll spend time with my own stories.
Which stories do you love? Which stories drive you to pause or put down the book and create the stories inside your head?
This is a prompt from Callie Feyen’s Thirty Days of Grateful writing challenge. This is written to Day 22’s prompt, something powerful. You can follow the hashtag #thirtydaysofgrateful on Instagram here
Writing Process Notes:
// 11-22-2020: 7:50pm-8:22pm. Writing Desk. Raiders vs. Chiefs Sunday Night Football game on NFL app. Word count: 613.