The Emerald Girl

casual. classic. curious.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

How to tell a really great story

I used to think I could tell a story about anything because of this one experience I had as a child involving a bum's grocery cart.


In elementary school, my family traveled to Denver every summer. We had a condo in a suburb with this large trail system about a block away complete with a small stream. My sister and I were riding around one day when we noticed a grocery cart stuck in the stream. We heaved and hoed and lugged that mass of metal up out of the water to the trail when we suddenly noticed someone was living under the bridge. Hurriedly, we pushed the cart back to the paved pathway and out of nowhere the bum appeared and started talking to us about the cart. The conversation ended and we put one of our bikes into the cart and ran as fast we could back home. before we got home, though, we stashed the cart in a tree a few blocks away terrified that the bum would come looking for his cart and find out where we lived. The next morning the cart was still there. We had stolen what we thought was his bathtub but thinking about it now it could very well have been his toilet.

That's the story that started my obsession with being able to tell stories. If I could tell such a story about a seemingly uninteresting grocery cart then I could tell a story about anything. Everyone has a story to tell. Even if it's not their own. If you watch close enough or listen hard enough you'll find them - the stories.

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