Alison and Dave Courtney are staking everything on a classic ‘family dog’s point of view’ format for their popular annual newsletter.
Although “sincerely humbled and deeply validated” by the way previous newsletters “touched and healed” the lives of their extended family and friends, this year they felt the need to stretch themselves.
“And that’s when we came up with the idea of wrapping this year’s teachable moments within the gift of laughter,” Alison said, “didn’t we Dave?”
“Yes,” said Dave.
Alison explained that she really cherished the skills she gained from last year’s correspondence course in life coaching, when writing this year’s newsletter.
“She really did,” said Dave.
However she confirmed she was worried that some readers would struggle to cope with the revolutionary ‘leap’ of imagination, the new format requires.
“Take an ordinary scenario like the good news about Dave’s colonoscopy. Now, imagine that told from a dog’s perspective. Is granny ready for that? Are Nathan (9) and Alan (7)? Will they follow the action through the doggy pun-laced plot? I don’t know, I just don’t know…”
Although pushed hard to release an excerpt, she insisted they weren’t willing to break the midnight embargo on this year’s newsletter.
“Quit hounding me!” Ali quipped with her trademark quick-witted wit for quips.
Then she asked if she could be “profoundly serious for a moment” and offered to share some of her own thoughts on what constitutes good writing.
“Ok, the key to all good writing is ‘finding a voice’, yeah?” she said.
“Once you have that, you have your way ‘in’ to the story,” she continued, placing her hands together as if in prayer, before using them to make an awkward pointing gesture.
“Because only then can the magic start to happen.”
“Easy peasy,” Dave added and was rewarded with a fond glance and a little hand squeeze to remind him not to interrupt.