In 2016, father/daughter storytelling duo Kevin and Gillian Rhodes took on the challenge of writing 52 short stories in 52 weeks, based on the prompts of an online writing blog. Tell Me A Story collects their stories and celebrates their unique creative perspectives. Dad limited his entries to 100 words (exactly), producing piercingly realistic snapshots taken over his lifespan. Daughter preferred fantasy, sci-fi, post- apocalyptic fiction, and futurism. Their strikingly different stories are a testament to ingenuity, imagination, and creative commitment.
Their adventures in storytelling begin with a prompt calling for a story entitled “A New Beginning” and end with a story entitled “The End.” In between, they wind through an array of prompts, from a retelling of a fairytale, a creepy story, stories about loneliness, secrets, and romance, stories set at sea and on another planet, one told from the villain’s perspective, another that takes place entirely inside a vehicle…. Kevin and Gillian’s responses vary from comedy to tragedy, dramatic to whimsical, autobiographical to fantasy. Their stories of past and future offer often poignant and relevant perspectives on the present, often drawing on the simplest and most profound experiences of human life.
The Rhodes family has a long history of storytelling, beginning with Kevin’s often raucous bedtime stories. More recently--a decade ago--Kevin abruptly left a successful law career to create and produce a stage show called Not This Day!, enlisting Gillian as his co-collaborator. Kevin and Gillian previously collaborated on an ebook entitled Not This Day! Special Features, a collection of videos, music, photos, newspaper reviews, graphics, and essays about what the show meant to them, then and now. A guest essay from daughter Hilary (herself a storyteller--she writes historical fiction) reveals how this family continues to engage with the show’s inspiring and challenging message of finding courage and hope to live in an often fearful world.