Neil Gaiman’s “Calendar of Tales”

Author Neil Gaiman is working on a project that completely does away with the idea of a writer holed up in a room somewhere, working out the latest plot twist or character flaw. He has partnered with Blackberry to make this collaborative art/story collection called “A Calendar of Tales.”

Instead of creating stories on his own, Gaiman reached out to his fans for inspiration. He tweeted questions (presumably on his Blackberry) to his fans, asking about things that they remember about a particular month, or the weirdest thing that ever happened to them in a different month. He did this for each of the twelve months, and chose a reply for each month — he then wrote a very short story based on that reply. For example, the October one went like this:

Inspiration for the October Tale

@neilhimself asked:
“What mythical creature would you like to meet in October? (& why?)”

@elainelowe replied:
“A djinn. Not to make a wish. But for the very best advice on how to be happy w/ what you already have.”

Gaiman then wrote this very brief story about a woman who meets a genie. The genie tries to grant her three wishes, but she just says, “I’m good.” The genie doesn’t get it, but eventually he learns that the woman wants nothing other than what she has, and he sticks around to be with her. It’s simple, and nice, and has a touch of the magical.

The other eleven stories are good, too. They’re really short, but he packs a lot into each sentence.

This is all pretty cool so far… BUT…

The partnership takes another step further. They invited readers and artists to also submit videos/illustrations for the stories. They’ll then make a final showcase of the stories and their images. What a cool collaborative concept. I hope more people do more things like this.

Read the stories & see the illustrations here — it’s free and worth the time:

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