A Story in 6- 50 Words -Return Tutor

A spine poem for the local library

A spine poem I created whilst living  in Tully 

‘Return tutor; bookshop; purchase it all.’

Well not really, just three books.

But since cyclone Yasi I haven’t been purchasing many books, more giving them away to good homes or recycling them into art (yes some were too mouldy to do anything else with them).

I realised after moving house twice in quick succession, and going through the delicate operation of rescuing physical books,  that we owned far too many; I swore after several ute trips with books and some heavy lifts up stairs with books, only to add as I subtracted (ie buy one give one away).

Why own books anyway we can always make trips to the library?  Up until I was sixteen I owned about 25 books. I saved all my pocket money to buy several JD Salinger books.  At the time I just loved his writing; having library copies was just not enough. University was to see me develop a great love for the bookshop!  Any spare money went to a purchase, but they had to be precious I’d reread it again ones.

I like to own manuals  and guidebooks I  can come back to on: bird life, plants, and how to improve any aspect of writing.  I borrow these from the library and have to return them before I finish every time. I do extensive online reading on these subjects and collect blog links to come back to (but sometimes I am distracted by the internet itself), but love having a cohesive chapter book that I can perch on my desk and refer to.

I like to own books for the feel of them, and arranging them on the shelves to remind me of the journey I have taken in study and life.

Back to the  present day university book store; I purchased:

1.Chris Sykes,How to Craft a Great Story

2.Hazel Edwards,The Writing Experiment

3.Markus Zusak,The Book Thief

I’m having so much fun with them and have read the first chapter of Skyes and Edwards.  I picked these two because I am now a registered tutor with a local university and will, cross fingers, have some students to mentor in the creative and research subjects. I wanted to get a handle on some of the contemporary university texts they will be studying as I wait for bookings.

I’ve been constantly studying and sharing writing, research and creativity in the field of general life, but just wanted to regain access to the academic point of view.

Soon I will have a uni library card again; then I can also explore the library shelves, but now to have a couple of on tap text books to work through and re-tune into the academic lexicon.

Why The Book Thief – I’ve heard so much about this book and so thought it would be good for my daughter’s birthday (and I could read it as well.)  I wanted to see why people love it so much and encourage the whole family to read it.

I’ve given so many books away – but those kept represent the most important aspects of my writing, life and reading journey. Maybe I’ll take you on a tour of my bookshelves.

I’m going to make a big effort this year to purchase some ebooks of contemporary fiction as I’d love to see what in the now writers are publishing.

Chris Skyes – Chapter 1 – is about developing 50 word stories.  He challenges readers by presenting them with a six word story and analyses how it is possible to create a story in just 6 words. I love this challenge and am already feeling enriched by reading Edwards and Sykes methodologies.

How great it would be to teach creative writing at university and develop a cohesive way of teaching creative methods like Sykes and Edwards have done, and then read the imaginative responses of students. Ah another dream in the making.

(c) June Perkins

8 thoughts on “A Story in 6- 50 Words -Return Tutor

  1. The poem in book titles caught me eye – now i am looking around my bookshelves. i do believe we can have too many books, When my mother moved into a nursing home several years ago, it took my daughter and son-in-law two days to transport all her books to op shops and second hand bookshops. when she died she still had a huge number of books, so we donated them to the nursing home library. they were delighted as she always bought new books. so if only for my family’s sake, I try to keep the numbers down and hand on books i have read but don’t mesan to keep, or release them into the wild, which is fun. just leave them in a shopping centre or at a bookshop. having said that there are books i cannot part with – mainly from my childhood – but also, like you, books on things that interest me, like botany, herbs and so on.

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  2. 6 Word Stories–now that’s a challenge. Have fun with these endeavours and books, June. The Book Thief is one of my all time favourites. In my book club, it divided the ranks–half loved it. For the others, it was a turn off. I can’t wait to hear your thoughts!

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