Topic Brainstorm

Day and Night 

I've always loved the idea of personifying day and night: as the guardians of light and darkness, and as the timeless couple that works together to keep the cycles of earth in balance. My grandparents have two beautiful native American sculptures that depict the sun and the moon as vaguely humanesque creatures. They live side by side on a wall in their home, and I have always loved imagining the special bond they share as the keepers of day and night. For this project I would like to explore how and sun and moon have been represented in different cultures, and what the concepts of day and night mean to them. (p.248)

A New Alice

Alice in Wonderland is a timeless classic, and one of the reasons it is so beloved is because of all the unique characters the reader encounters during Alice's journey. I think it would be a lot of fun to start with a different initial character (a "new Alice," so to speak) and write a version where we meet other unique characters, each with their own quirks. Alternatively, perhaps I could write the "unpublished" chapters of the original tale, and "reveal" the encounters Alice had with characters that did not make it into the final version of the book. A final idea would be to write a "backwards" version, where the encounters with the original characters are narrated from their point of view rather than Alice's. With any of these concepts, I would use the same general format of the original and stick with the endearing concept of a child exploring a new world.

Peacemaking Through Stories

An area of study that I have spent a lot of time focusing on is the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I respect and admire both of these peoples and cultures, and I support the rights and dignity of both sides. I noticed there are a good number of books on both Palestinian and Jewish Folklore, and I would like to read and compare these stories to try to understand how these cultures have grown alongside one another. I want to find the deep-rooted similarities and explore how storytelling has the potential to help inspire peace. When cultures do not understand one another, they are bound to clash at some point; words are a powerful tool in promoting understanding and helping to foster a mutually supportive environment where everyone feels like they are on equal ground. I know this particular conflict can be a very sensitive one for people, but I think the best way of helping to untangle the history of a conflict is by encouraging people to talk to one another, even if it is uncomfortable at first. By breaking down the personal barriers in our lives, we have the potential to create greater change for the common good.

Letters to the Gods

The idea of communicating with God on a personal level is prominent in many religions. I would format this storybook as letters written to different Gods by people from different cultures and walks of life. Perhaps the letters get criss-crossed in the divine mail system, however, and delivered to the wrong Gods. From there, the Gods have to figure out how to reply to messages and inquiries using their own unique wisdom and judgement, even if the thoughts/questions of the writers deal with aspects of a religion they do not represent. This would be a fun way of exploring the universal values we share and the similarities in the concept of "God" to different religions.

A Powerful Duo. Source: Wikimedia Commons


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