The Short Story: The Advice Edition
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The Short Story by Ava Love Hanna
Welcome to the fourth issue of The Short Story! 
Every week I’ll be sending out a collection of things to read, watch, or think about relating to a central theme. Like a good short story, I’m aiming for thoughtful brevity, with just enough material to give us something to ponder or make us laugh before we jump back into our day. Thanks for joining me!
The Advice Edition
This week I’m thinking about advice – good and bad. How can we tell the difference? When should we heed the words of others versus trusting our own instincts? From Odysseus to Alice, literature is filled with stories of mayhem when good advice is ignored – and just as many from when bad advice is followed. Is there ever really a way to tell good advice from bad or is it always a game of chance?
This American Life #129 - Advice
I'm a huge fan of the radio program, This American Life. In this episode, Advice, the hilarious Sarah Vowell solicits advice from different people about her insomnia and experiments with trying all of it. Ira Glass then explores why so few of us actually ever take advice when it is given.
I took all of albus dumbledore's advice for a week, and here's what happened
Of all the fictional characters I'd likely take advice from, Dumbledore would be at the top of the list. In this hilarious article, the author Charlotte Graham followed a random piece of Dumbledore's advice for a week in order to see if it improved her life.
Make Good Art - Neil Gaiman
One bit of advice that I have personally followed is from Neil Gaiman. He shares tips that he wished he knew when he was first starting his writing career. View a Zen Pencils comic of his message or take a few minutes and watch the entire speech.
Ira Glass
"It's normal to take a while."

In this short film, Ira Glass discusses storytelling and shares the advice he wishes someone had given him when he was first starting out. It's applicable to anyone working in the arts at any age. Also, If you're interested in Ira's storytelling process, make sure to watch all four parts of his interview.
Amy Poehler at Harvard
No collection on advice would be complete without a nod to commencement speeches. NPR made a list of The Best Commencement Speeches, Ever. Mother Teresa, Barack Obama, and even Amy Poehler made the cut. I plan to pick one at random and follow the advice every week. Will it change my life for the better or create personal chaos? Update soon.
Open Letter to My Crew - Ava Love Hanna
When I think about the perils of not listening to advice, I pretty much always think of Odysseus and his epic journey to return home.

In my poem, Open Letter to My Crew, Odysseus shares a few thoughts with his men about their voyage home.

Open Letter to My Crew was first published in Laurels.
Thanks for joining me this week! If you like The Short Story and want to support it, feel free to forward it to a friend or come visit me at
Ava Love Hanna - Writer & Storyteller
Have something you've written, made, or read and would love to see it featured in a future edition of The Short Story? Email submissions to:
Copyright © 2016 Ava Love Hanna, All rights reserved.

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