a quote from my favorite author

“The most solid advice, though, for a writer is this, I think: Try to learn to breathe deeply, really to taste food when you eat, and when you sleep, really to sleep. Try as much as possible to be wholly alive, with all your might, and when you laugh, laugh like hell, and when you get angry, get good and angry. Try to be alive. You will be dead soon enough.”

-William Saroyan, The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze

Thursday, March 1, 2012


I wanted to leap from my seat when I heard the announcement that The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr.Morris Lessmore won the Oscar for Best Animated Short Film.  If only I had a book about Humpty Dumpty to play ‘Pop Goes the Weasel’ on piano to accompany me, I would’ve been dancing about the room in pure joy. 

Since I first heard about this movie from various blogs, I have watched it at least 20 times.  Each time I view it, I fall deeper and deeper in love with Mr. Morris Lessmore and his books.  If you are not already enamored, you must hurry on over to iTunes and download it for free.  Seriously, don’t even finish reading my post.  Go.  Now. 

In honor of its Oscar win, and because I thought leap day deserved something special, I showed the short film to my 8th grade language arts classes yesterday.  Each class watched it all the way through—twice.  I mean it is just that layered of a story.  It needs time to seep into the marrow of one’s bones.   What better way to spend the gift of an extra day than by reminding ourselves (through a story) of the important role stories have in our lives? 

I read multiple articles about the short film that describe it as a movie about “the curative power of stories.”  One thing that struck me about the film is that it covers the healing power of both reading and writing stories.  The stories we read and share make up our own stories. 

I am so lucky that Mr. Morris Lessmore’s story has found its way into my own story.   I will tuck it away in a corner of my heart for when I need to be reminded that stories heal. 


  1. I downloaded it Sunday night. I follow itunes on facebook and they posted it. I haven't watched it yet though. I planned to show it to my English classes. Glad to hear it's worth the time! And now, I must find time to watch it!

  2. Thank you for the recommendation. Cheers to storytelling and writing.

  3. I LOVE that film and actually wrote about it in my blog several weeks ago: http://ihabloespanglish.blogspot.com/2012/02/fantastic-flying-books.html
    I shared it with some L.A. teachers at my current school and they showed it to their classes last week. The kids were SO excited to find out that they had watched the short that won the Oscar! :-)

  4. We love that ebook app, and I still think it one of the best 'books' from last year, never mind a movie. I heard something recently on NPR about the company that made it and how they were supported by state grants, and I found it fascinating. It's a great piece of art.

  5. I can't wait to see the short film now. Heading to iTunes. Great post!

  6. Love this! Yes I clicked the link, and yes you are right. :)
    Thank you for sharing this!

  7. Stories heal. I love it. Can't wait to read your slices this month (and not have to wait until Tuesdays!).

  8. "I would have been dancing around the room in pure joy" - awe, that is the best!

  9. I shocked my husband when it won the Oscar and I said I had seen this movie. I watched it when Jennifer posted it. It is incredible!
    There are so many posts, I've been looking for you today, so I am glad I found you.

  10. It is such a special film. Wonderful idea to show it to the students. We have testing next week and that will be a welcome little break for them.


  11. I did stop and follow the link, but will have to wait until I can pay for it. Your love has convinced me it is worth it.