Slipping The Trap

Slipping the trap

Cloud Cuckoo Land, which instantly became one of my favorite novels when I read it in October, is a layered, moving story about the power of stories:

“ ‘I know why those librarians read the old stories to you,’ Rex says. ‘Because if it’s told well enough, for as long as the story lasts, you get to slip the trap.’ ”

What’s the trap? A reality that’s too limited, too painful, too ill-fitting. This summer I’ve slipped the trap of our 2021 reality by watching K-Dramas, especially Crash Landing on You, which my BFF and I discovered and watched together in July.

I’ve thought a ton about how the people at Studio Dragon in Seoul created a story that overtook my whole heart. I think it’s partly because Showrunner Park Ji-eun dives into the depth and purity of our most powerful emotions without ironic reserve. She builds longing, grief and joy into a nearly perfect story formula surrounding a courageous (but vulnerable) heroine. When I saw how deeply this show hit me I asked myself: Why am I writing a novel? What do I want the story I am creating to do?

The stories I love are about people who face terrible challenges and come through them grateful, wiser, seen and loved by others and, most importantly, by themselves. Facing obstacles is the most painful and courageous thing we do as humans. It heals a part of me when I fall through the window into a story where I can feel the heroine and hero’s grief, fear and triumph with every part of my heart.

So, as scary as it is, that’s what I’m trying to do with my novel too. To make a case that love is worth the risk and the fear, that healing is possible, that our deepest needs can be met. So I’ll keep going, because I could not go on without stories. It’s my turn to brew some of this magical medicine.

George Saunders, in his miraculous gift of a book A Swim in a Pond in the Rain wrote: “What exactly is it that fiction does? . . . it causes an incremental change in the state of mind. That’s it. . . . .But, you know – it really does. That change is finite but real.

And that’s not nothing.

It’s not everything, but it’s not nothing.”

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About Lisa

Lisa Poulson is a voice in favor of the complex beauty of female power, the descendant of fiercely resilient Mormon pioneers and a woman who survived the death of her fiancé four months before their wedding. Lisa lives in San Francisco, where she spends her time absorbing and creating as much beauty as possible.

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Lisa Poulson is the legal copyright holder of this blog. Contents may not be used, reprinted, or published without written consent.

About Lisa

Lisa Poulson is a voice in favor of the complex beauty of female power, the descendant of fiercely resilient Mormon pioneers and a woman who survived the death of her fiancé four months before their wedding. Lisa lives in San Francisco, where she spends her time absorbing and creating as much beauty as possible.

Join the conversation on Instagram!

Reminder

You are reading of your own will and choice. How you read, act on or don’t act on what you read here is up to you.

Reassurance

While lisapoulson.com does use cookies, which helps us understand how you engage with our site and where you’re from, we do NOT save your personal information - like e-mail, name or address. And, if you join our mailing list or comment on a post, we will not share (or sell) your contact information. We are not responsible for commenters or other third parties here.

Clarity

Lisa Poulson is the legal copyright holder of this blog. Contents may not be used, reprinted, or published without written consent.