This post should probably contain a warning label. Thanks to Paper Schmaper, I found the most wonderful treasure trove. When you have some free time on your hands, you simply must check out Waterstone's What's Your Story? project. It is incredible!
Four thousand, five hundred twenty two people wrote their own story on a postcard in celebration of the UK's National Year of Reading. J.K. Rowling, Neil Gaiman, Lauren Child, and other noted authors wrote their own postcards, which were auctioned and raised over £47,000 for literacy charities. Now that's my kind of fund-raising event! Neil Gaiman is one of my favorite living authors and you absolutely must check out his story. Just follow the links starting here.
I have spent several hours reading the postcards. One of the things I enjoyed most was the glimpse into so many different lives. There is a huge variety of stories. Several are funny. A few of them are real works of art. There are sweet, sad, poignant, and downright wonderful stories. There are quite a few entries that are mediocre and even boring. But, I love even those because the authors had the guts to attempt something. They dared put pen to paper and send a small piece of themseves out in the world.
Here are a few of my favorites:
"Flying" by Rachel Kolman
"Owen's Instinct" by Phillip Arthur
"Things" by Heidi Hanns
If you go to the What's Your Story gallery you can search by surname. You might want to check out the authors listed below.
~ Susan Ishida (a real favorite) ~ Kasem Ghannam ~ Teresa Celsi ~ Anton Russell ~ James Kelly ~ Peter Scott (this is for you, Girl Hula) ~ Stephen Durrant ~ Josephine Ager (another big fave) ~ Hannah Walker ~ Christopher Davenport ~ Ems Forristal ~
So, my friends, what's your story? I'm writing mine right here - one post at a time.
You might want to pre-order the postcard book featuring all the contest winners. You'll find the pre-ordering information on the main website. The gorgeous opening image comes from a Flickr photographer. However, I accidentally closed the window and lost the Flickrstream. I have just spent more than a half hour looking for that image and can't find it again. My apologizes to the photographer. If anybody recognizes this image, please let me know so I can give credit. Thanks.