Storyed Crate Unboxing – February 2016

I got my first Storyed Crate and I was really impressed by what came in it! But first, for those who don’t know, let’s talk about the Storyed Crate for a second.

Storyed Crate is a subscription box for storytellers and writers. As the site says, “Every month, you’ll receive a box of storytelling and writerly resources — books, storytelling tools, inspirational items, writing prompts and more — curated by Justin McLachlan, the writer behind the Station One series and creator of the hit podcast EOS 10 . As a bonus, every box comes with a special code to download 20 new fiction writing prompts written by Justin, absolutely free.” This month marks the first Storyed Crate shipment and I was more than excited to be a part of it.

This packaging appeals to my inner dork.

To start, we have these postcards that remind you just how awesome your writing is, because who doesn’t doubt themselves or their work from time to time. I love the art work on these postcards and they’re nice and sturdy, as well. I immediately taped one to my computer tower that sits right next to my monitor so I can see it every time I sit down to write. So, I only photographed one, because I didn’t actually realize that there were two until I went to pull what I thought was the only postcard out of the protective sleeve it came in. The second postcard has a red and orange galaxy instead of blue but has the same message as the first. I’m actually really glad that there were two, because now I can look at one while I’m at home on my computer and I can use the other one as a bookmark in my notebook to encourage me while I’m out.

Next is a copy of Jonathan Gottschall’s The Storytelling Animal. The description says:

“Humans live in landscapes of make-believe. We spin fantasies. We devour novels, films, and plays. Even sporting events and criminal trials unfold as narratives. Yet the world of story has long remained an undiscovered and unmapped country. Now Jonathan Gottschall offers the first unified theory of storytelling. He argues that stories help us navigate life’s complex social problems–just as flight simulators prepare pilots for difficult situations. Storytelling has evolved, like other behaviors, to ensure our survival. Drawing on the latest research in neuroscience, psychology, and evolutionary biology, Gottschall tells us what it means to be a storytelling animal and explains how stories can change the world for the better. We know we are master shapers of story. The Storytelling Animal finally reveals how stories shape us.”

I am so excited to dig into this book! I am constantly fascinated by the theories that come out of evolutionary biology and neuroscience and what writer isn’t even a little bit interested in psychology. On top of that, one of my obsessions is lore and the human instinct to tell and search out stories. I’m interested to finally read about some of the science behind that instinct, as well as how we, as modern day storytellers, can use this to our advantage.

Now this next item — these are so COOL!

 

The Writer Emergency Pack was created by screenwriter John August and was crowdfunded successfully through kickstarter. According to the site the cards are meant to “get stories unstuck”. There are two parts to this deck: the first part is a series of 26 illustrated cards that you can shuffle and draw from like tarot or oracle cards; the other 26 cards match up with one of the illustrated cards and contain a deeper explanation of the “prompt” one side with some examples of how to utilize it in your story on the other.

I love that these cards aren’t prompts to help you start a new story, but instead ways to help move your existing story forward when you’re at a loss for where to go next. There are so many prompts and story starters in the world, but there just aren’t that many methods for helping you when you find yourself at a seemingly dead end. And, just to add to the excitement that I have about this new tool, according to the website, the kickstarter was set up as a “Give One, Get One” campaign. This means that for every deck sent to a backer a deck was also donated to a youth writing program. Since 8,000 decks were ordered from backers, 8,000 decks were donated. How amazing is that? Writing got me through some of the hardest parts of my teen and pre-teen years, because of that anything that supports encouraging and helping out young writers immediately earns my respect.

And finally, we have some animal crackers to go along with The Storytelling Animal. Some of my animals didn’t make it, but how many pieces their in doesn’t change how nostalgically good they taste.

This box is so worth investing in! I love that the book that was included wasn’t some generic “Write a Novel in x Days” or “Copy This Formula Exactly and You’ll Write a Bestseller” sort of thing and that it talks about actual theories and methods in storytelling. I would have been happy with just a book, if I’m being entirely honest, but the added deck of cards and motivational art made this box so much more fun.

If you’re interested in getting your own Storyed Crate, you can use my referral code to get $5 off your first box (and I’ll get $5 off my next box! It’s a win-win!).

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