From a friend who told me she had started to re-read the Brothers Grimm to tell the stories to her young son, discovering unremembered darkness within the familiar tales, to one of the last books I read before I left the UK for Japan: The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly, in which books whisper in the night while the wolves and worse-than-wolves howl.
From the stories I want to finish writing down to all the ones I tell out loud again and again, honing them as if they were the blade of a sword wielded by a handsome prince, in a tale told by everyone’s favourite cinematic Grandpa, the one from The Princess Bride, played by Peter Falk, now sadly no longer with us…
Stories are on my mind a lot at the moment.
Here is a secret that you probably already know: the stories you tell and the stories you hear are nothing less than tuning forks that you strike again and again. Your innermost being hears the notes and responds, not to the story, but to the music that carries it… This is the secret – the music underneath the story is what carries the magic.
Then I hear that today is Dahl Day, the birthday of one of the great music makers of storytelling, whose tales sang through my childhood and still ring deep in my heart today. There are many, many, of Roald Dahl’s books I could pick as my favourite, Matilda, the BFG or the autobiographies, Boy and Going Solo. Instead, I think I will choose Danny the Champion of the World, with its gypsy caravans and poachers in the woods, Danny and his Dad cocking a snook at the landed gentry and their gamekeepers. What better way to celebrate than to curl up with your own favourite. Happy Dahl Day!