Sunday, August 20, 2006

so what's your story?

We all have stories, and fall is the time we tell many of them. In the days when people depended on harvest, this was a time for work and winter was the time for stories. Now, we come back from summer hiatus and everyone asks where we have been and what we have done.

It's a lot of pressure. What if we haven't done anything except lie on a lawn chair in the sun (possible with a nice cold bottle of beer)? How does that compare with road trips and cottages and flights to Europe? That depends on your story.

There are many folktales about 'the man who had no story.' In each of them, supernatural forces intervene so that the man in question will never again be left without a story to tell. Generally, the experiences are funny - for the people who hear them. They are less funny for the man who has to survive them in order to tell about them.

So start to work. What's your story? If you make the beer sound cool enough, the sun warm enough, and the lawnchair utterly comforting, your listeners will soon believe that backyard holidays are the very best kind. If you've been away on vacation, you can tell about your heroic quest for the best lobster supper or your epic battle against mosquitos the size of humming birds. Or perhaps you got caught up in an hysterically funny home-made sitcome about crazy relatives, appliances with minds of their own, and children who seem to have escaped from The Jungle Book.

Listen to yourself - the story is starting. Let your focus land where it may, and start seeing the full, living colour in what you have done and what has been done with you and to you. Make it big; make it bold; make it live.

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