Review of Storytelling and the Art of Imagination

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Review of Storytelling and the Art of Imagination
by Ron West

Some time after I first came to STAR, I commenced a morning practice of writing. Each morning I start writing in a foolscap size notebook (legal size), and my pen never leaves the page until—three complete pages later—I am finished.

Mainly, it’s about getting words on paper. Sometimes I’ll write stories or poems using this technique, other days I’ll work on a dream I had the night before, or I might simply prepare myself for the day ahead. Doing this exercise grounds me, somehow, but it’s easier some mornings than others!

Recently I spotted Nancy Mellon’s book Storytelling & the Art of Imagination on my bookshelf. It had arrived from Amazon more than a year ago, at a time when I was particularly busy, and I simply opened up the parcel and put the book on the shelf. 

Then I forgot about it until a few weeks ago when I happened to see it, and picked it up. I was hooked when I read about the author reeducating through imagination of her own inner child, and how she “found a deeper breathing.”

I kept reading and found plenty of ideas to enrich my three pages of writing every morning.

Nancy Mellon explores such aspects of telling a story as beginning and endings, scenery, and characters.  She introduces us to wise fathers and wise mothers, not so wise fathers and not so wise mothers, brothers and sisters, tricksters and jesters, wizard and enchanters, and gives ideas of how we can incorporate these characters into our stories.

I haven’t written a story yet based on any of the suggestions for characters, but I’ve had a lot of fun writing stories using animals, another of Nancy’s ideas.

It was easy to take an animal to represent some part of me, and then another animal for another part, and so on.

Scaredy Cat, one rather frightened part of me, was able to benefit greatly when, after he fell into a storm water drain and was swept into a harbor, he was found by Free Flowing Dolphin and nudged safely to shore—to a sense of very deep gratitude, and more courage.

Often, when I’ve written stories like this, I’ve found a sense of resolution as my pen finishes the story. When I’ve begun I’ve had no idea of where the story would end up.

Throughout the book, Nancy gives many examples of where the mere act of imagining a story has changed the lives of the person telling the story, or the person hearing it.

Storytelling and the Art of Imagination is published by Yellow Moon Press, and is available through Amazon for $17.95 or less. Recommended, if you’re interested in your own inner writer, or in exploring—through writing—the many parts of you.

For more about Ron West, reviewer of this book, go to our staff page at http://starfound.org/our-staff .


It was amazing. I really had no idea what to expect.
I was blown away by my experience.
I’ve never felt safe. At STAR I felt love and safety for the first time.
I’m forever grateful and forever changed by this experience. I’ve been changed for good!!!

Graduate, STAR January, 2011

STAR Calendar for the remainder of 2011
April 22-May 1
July 22-31
October 21-30