Thursday, October 16, 2008

A Challenge From A Historic Children's Author

In a Preface to one of her writings, noted nineteenth century children's author Louisa May Alcott wrote, in part: “There is a sort of fate about writing books of travel that it is impossible to escape.... It is vain to declare that no inducement will bribe one to do it, that there is nothing new to tell, and that nobody wants to read the worn-out story... Sooner or later the deed is done, and not till the book is safely shelved does peace descend upon the victim of this mysterious doom.... The only way in which this affliction may be lightened... is to make the work as cheerful and as short as possible...[with the author confining herself or himself] to the personal haps and mishaps, adventures and experiences, of her [or his] wanderers." Think about what Louisa wrote, considering "books of travel" as more than travel books, and considering as characters the "wanderers" she mentioned, then accept the fate/challenge that she suggested to you -- her fellow writers -- and write a story with your unique touch while following her philosophy as stated above.

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