Dwell for a moment on the word "story." It forms most of the word "history" (one of the terms for a wise man used to be the word histor
). Here's the Oxford Dictionary definition: Story: a narrative, true or presumed to be true, relating to important events and celebrated persons of a more or less remote past.
To mark the paperback appearance this month of The Last Storyteller
, a standalone novel that is yet the final book in my Venetia Trilogy, I'm asking, in a Twitter Challenge - a Twallenge - the question, "What's your
story?" You have to tell it in 140 characters that include the hashtag #140mystory - and you may win a cool prize.
Why am I doing this? I can hear you saying, "Enh, he has a book coming out" - but the deeper truth is that I'm fascinated, truly fascinated with "story." There used to be a comedian in London name of Max Bygraves, a cheerful fellow with a big nose and he'd begin his routine, "I wanna tell you a story." He had me. Always did.
So will anyone who tells me a story. It's our most powerful, our most available, and our most democratic medium of communication. News editors have always issued the basic directive, "Get the story." The U.S. elects presidents on the basis of who has the most compelling "story." Businessmen are now understanding that deals can be done through the excellence of "the story." And I've spent a great part of my life deep in the beautiful woodlands of story. To me it's one of the finest and most exciting words in the English language. I've encountered Irish hero-gods, English kings, Scandinavian trolls, Chinese dragons, Italian princesses, French cavaliers - and the Wild West.
Now - I want your story. So here's the Twallenge: Tweet your autobiography. Tell it like it is, and/or has been. Go for broke. Be kind to yourself - or cruel: e.g., Hemingway: I gave Life both barrels. Or Ezra Pound: They caged me but my poems got out through the bars and flew across the world. Or Gertrude Stein: They said I was obscure, and yes, meaning my meaning's hidden meaning had meaning hidden. Or Scott Fitzgerald: I didn't find wisdom in the bottom of a glass; I found my reflection. Be rude if you want to be; be merry; be introspective; be wild; be sad; be daring; be lonely. Above be original and truthful and, of course, be brief.
CHALLENGE RULES for #140mystory
Step 1: Follow @FDByTheWord on Twitter
Step 2: Tweet your best life story in 140 characters or less. Include the hashtag #140mystory in your tweet.
You may enter as many versions of #140mystory as you wish during the course of the contest.
The challenge begins Tuesday February 26th at 9am.
The challenge ends Tuesday March 5th at midnight.
On Wednesday, March 6th by 5pm Frank's top 10 entries will be posted to the blog. The top 10 contestants will all win the e-book of Frank's short story e-book, "Sea Folk." People are encouraged to vote in the comments section of Frank's blog to try to sway Frank's opinion as he determines who will be the final winner and who will receive the top, mystery, prize.
UPDATE: The final prize will be awarded Monday, March 11th.
Best luck and happy storytelling!
*The #140lifestory tweet must be your own. You will be disqualified if you lift it from a published work. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited.
*You may enter via mail (and skip steps 1 and 2) by sending a postcard with your 140 character verbage to Frank Delaney, c/o Meier, 907 Broadway, 4th Floor, New York, NY 10010. Entries must be received by Wednesday March 6th 2013.