User stories change people

Last year, while searching for a video on YouTube—that definitely sounded more purposeful than what was probably closer to the truth, “while I was mindlessly scrolling through social media”—I came across a video by story analyst, speaker and UCLA Extension Writers’ Program instruction and author Lisa Cron called “Wired for Story”.

This quotation (at 44′ 05″) stood out for me:

A story is about how what happens affects someone in pursuit of a deceptively difficult goal and how that person changes internally as a result.

Lisa Cron

It stood out for me, not just because I’m fascinated with stories and because I am in the process of a long writing project, but also because in my day job we use something called ‘user stories’.

I shared Lisa Cron’s quotation with a former colleague one day during our weekly one-to-one and we quickly started considering how this might speak to our discipline of writing user stories within software development teams.

Continue reading User stories change people

In which Isaac tells a story about the sun and renames the days of the week

A very serious looking Isaac, aged 3 wearing a striped rugby shirt.
A very serious, but grown-up, looking Isaac (3).

The sun

Last night while putting Isaac (3) to bed he told me a bedtime story. It was about the sun. The sun, he told me, one day fell out of the sky into our garden.

“Please help me get back into the sky,” said the sun.

So Isaac got his small orange trampoline and the sun bounced and bounced on it until he was high enough to reach the sky again. And then he went to sleep. The end.

I think there’s a message there for all of us.

Days of the week

At bedtime this evening Isaac decided that he should rename all the days of the week. This began when he was lying in bed and said “The day after Thursday,” he said, “should be called Milksday!” I asked why and he told me that it was because he likes to have milk after he is thirsty. So Milksday should come after Thursday!

I had already told him that Thursday is named after Thor, the Norse god of thunder. So he decided that all the days of the week should have super hero names. Apart from Milksday, obviously.

Here’s his full list of days, starting with not-Sunday:

  • Batmansday
  • Hulksday
  • Ironmansday
  • Hawkeyesday
  • Thorsday
  • Milksday
  • Spidermanday (which he said could just be shortened to Spidey!)

I shall be submitting my suggestions to diary manufacturer Letts in the morning.