What is the best thing that I love about my work? Every writer has access to an uncharted country and I love traveling to the country that’s mine, and telling my readers about it. Sometimes I think of myself as a trip leader.
What is my idea of perfect happiness? In Zen there’s a saying, “Every day is a good day.” It’s something I take seriously; however nothing is better than a great night out with friends.
What is my greatest fear? I’m most afraid that irresponsible leaders will devastate the world.
What is the trait that I most deplore in myself? Hyper-perfectionism when I re-read my work.
Which living persons in my profession do I most admire? There are too many to count.
What is my greatest extravagance? I love clothes and think style is the literature of the street.
On what occasion would I lie? To save someone’s life.
What is the thing that I dislike the most in my work? I’m so hypercritical I can’t begin to answer.
When and where was I the happiest, in my work? I think I felt happiest before I was published and no one knew what I was doing.
If I could, what would I change about myself? Relentless self-criticism.
What is my greatest achievement in work? That’s a hard question to answer. Heidegger’s Glasses was translated into ten languages. But I think the greatest achievement was the first time I wrote what I knew was a real story– i.e. something that had a narrative arc and the whole was greater than the sum of its parts
Where would I most like to live? I’d most like to live in New York, where I lived for eleven years. I love the different neighborhoods, the passion, the street talk, the sense of unity.
What is my most treasured possession? Access to the imagination
What is my most marked characteristic? That’s a question I can’t answer because I can’t see myself.
What is my most inspirational location, in my city? I live in California for practical reasons, but neither Berkeley nor San Francisco inspire me. Sadly, if I’ve seen one tree I’ve seen them all.
What is my favorite place to eat and drink, in my city? A Cote is a bistro that reminds me of Paris. I meet there with my students and all my friends.
Who are my favorite writers? I hesitate to answer this because I’m going to leave so many writers out. But in terms of influence, As I Lay Dying (Faulkner), Parts of a World (Stevens), anything by Yeats, anything by Kafka, Borges, Schulz. I veer towards voice-driven writing, with the exception of Jane Austen and P. L. Travers.
You Only Die Once. What music would I listen on my last day? Jimmy Yancey-master of blues piano.
Who is my hero or heroine in fiction? People have criticized Austen for having a conventional view of women. But Elizabeth Bennett, in Pride and Prejudice insisted on absolute equality. In this sense she was a true feminist.
Who are my heroes and heroines in real life? Doctors Without Borders.
Which movie would I recommend to see once in a lifetime? Rather than one movie, I would tell people to watch Meryl Streep in all her movies.
What role does art play in my life and work? All the arts are about seeing things in a new way. Visual art is a kind of instant reassurance.
Who is my greatest fan, sponsor, partner in crime? I can think of at least seven key people who are helping me. But I’m my own partner in crime.
Whom would I like to work with in 2017? I would like to collaborate on a project with someone from Latin America, South America or the Middle East.
What project, in 2017, am I looking forward to work on? Novel and a collection of short fiction.
What do the words “Passion Never Retires” mean to me? When I was eight and had a sense that I was a writer, it occurred to me that writers never have to retire and this was a great part of the profession.
How can you contact me? Thaisa@thaisafrank.com
What is Your Story?
Two Day Tour with Peter de Kuster in the greatest bookstores of your favorite city. In Paris, Rome, Florence, Barcelona, Berlin, London and Amsterdam we offer this unique What is your Story? experience. To (re) write your story about yourself and your work. In the process transforming your capacity to successfully have the creative life and work you love.
In this journey, Peter de Kuster, founder of The Heroine’s Journey explores with you the way we tell stories about ourselves to ourselves — and, most important, the way we can change those stories to transform our creative business and life.
“Your story is your art, your art is your story,” says Peter. As human beings, we continually tell ourselves stories — of success or failure; of power or victimhood; stories that endure for an hour, or a day, or an entire lifetime. We have stories about our creative challenges, our art, our clients, our money, our self promotion, our time, our families and relationships, our health; about what we want and what we’re capable of achieving. Yet, while our stories profoundly affect how others see us and we see ourselves, too few of us even recognize that we’re telling stories, or what they are, or that we can change them — and, in turn, transform our very destinies.
Telling ourselves stories provides structure and direction as we navigate life’s challenges and opportunities, and helps us interpret our goals and skills. Stories make sense of chaos; they organize our many divergent experiences into a coherent thread; they shape our entire reality. And far too many of our stories, says Peter, are dysfunctional, in need of serious editing. First, he asks you to answer the question, “In which areas of my creative life and business is it clear that I cannot achieve my goals with the story I’ve got?” He then shows you how to create new, reality-based stories that inspire you to action, and take you where you want to go both in your work and personal life.
Our capacity to tell stories is one of our profoundest gifts. Peter’s approach to creating deeply engaging stories will give you the tools to wield the power of storytelling and forever change your creative business and life.
Become a great Storyteller
That’s why I set up What is your Story? service in the great cities of the world and their great bookstores. A new way to use the power of your story. To guide you to life-changing, eye-opening but often elusive works of literature, both past and present, the books of fiction that truly have the power to enchant, enrich and inspire.
In two days with Peter de Kuster you’ll explore your relationship with books so far and your unique story identity will be sketched. You will be guided to books that can put their finger on what you want to rewrite in your story, the feelings that you may often have had but perhaps never understood so clearly before; books that open new perspectives and re-enchant the world for you.
You will be asked to complete a questionnaire in advance of your session and you’ll be given an instant story advice and books to read to take away. Your full story advice and books to read list will follow within a couple of days.
What Can I Expect?
Here’s an outline of the WHAT IS YOUR STORY? journey.
- What is your Story?
- Are you even trying to tell a Story?
- Old Stories (stories about you, your art, your clients, your money, your self promotion, your happiness, your health)
- Tell your current Story
- Is this Really Your Story?
YOUR NEW STORY
- The Premise of your Story. The Purpose of your Life and Art
- The words on your tombstone
- You ultimate mission, out loud
- The Seven Great Plots
- The Twelve Archetypal Heroines
- The One Great Story
- Purpose is Never Forgettable
- Questioning the Premise
- Lining up
- Flawed Alignment, Tragic Ending
- The Three Rules in Storytelling
- Write Your New Story
TURNING STORY INTO ACTION
- Turning your story into action
- The Story Effect
- Story Ritualizing
- The Storyteller and the art of story
- The Power of Your Story
- Storyboarding your creative process
- They Created and Lived Happily Ever After
RESERVATION AND FEES
The “What is your Story?” fee is Euro 2.495 excluding VAT for a private tour with a small group of 1 or 2 people.
Questions? Contact Peter de Kuster at 0031 6 33661772 or mail him at email@example.com