18 Jun 2019

Story Time

Award winning author Orson Scott Card once said, “Everybody walks past a thousand story ideas every day. The good writers are the ones who see five or six of them. Most people don’t see any.” It is the hallmark of a gifted author…the ability to see “the story” in everyday circumstances, surroundings, faces and places. But what sets the truly accomplished writers apart from everyone else, is the ability to draw us into their narrative – to literally bring the text to life. In the words of another famed author, Anton Chekhov, “Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.”
This past week was the annual Nantucket Book Festival. It has grown into a highly regarded affair showcasing talented writers from around the globe. The works featured are as versatile and noteworthy as the authors themselves. Covering a wide range of genres and relevant topics, unapologetic bookworms are introduced to everything from the latest breakthrough (literally!) in cancer research, to the finest recipes from one of Nantucket’s most popular summer restaurants…and everything fiction and non-fiction in between.
I was excited and humbled to attend a few of the scheduled events and symposiums throughout the week. As someone who’s passionate about painting word pictures and bringing stories to life (or at the very least bringing Nantucket scenes to life), being in the presence of such esteemed talent was an adrenaline rush. I particularly loved listening to summer resident Charlie Graeber ardently describe some of the findings from his immunotherapy research for his best-selling and award-winning book The Breakthrough. My husband and I both read this while on vacation this winter and were absolutely riveted…and very encouraged…by the strides being made to cure cancer.
Meanwhile, I was equally thrilled there was an event honoring local chef Erin Zircher, along with fellow Cru Restaurant Managers Jane Stoddard and Carlos Hidalgo, in the publication of their gorgeous cookbook. It’s filled with detailed recipes and stunning photos straight from their popular menu. The perfect hostess gift for those summer dinner parties! I love the way Nantucket supports its local authors…and the way they encourage each other. Soon after I published, A Nantucket Experience, almost 6 years ago, Robert Gambee, fellow local author of the beautiful coffee table book Nantucket Impressions, sent me a signed copy of his book with a handwritten note saying how much my writing inspired him. I’m not sure I’ve ever received a higher compliment or a nicer gift. Nantucket unites us in spirit…and creativity.
We’re at the precipice of the summer festival and vacation season. Make plans to spend countless hours exploring Nantucket in the coming weeks. Don’t miss the hundreds of “story ideas” that are happening in real time all around you. Put your devices down, pick up an armful of good reads at Mitchell’s Bookstore, Nantucket Bookworks or The Atheneum and head to the nearest beach. You’ll be mesmerized by the tales, the word pictures and the passionate creativity of the people who bring them to life.
True Story!
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