Saturday Six Word Story

Flies arrived. The decaying had begun.Typewriter-red

I love the concept of the six word story. Legend has it that Ernest Hemingway penned the following six word story to win a bet among writers: “For sale, Baby shoes,
Never worn.” 
It seems that this is probably just legend, or for that matter, an outright lie. That does not change the fact that a six word story makes for compelling inference.

As some background, I currently have an outbreak of fruit flies in my kitchen, and no amount of cleaning seems to dissuade them.

What is your six word story?

What should you be doing right now?



“Invitation” by Shel Silverstein

If you are a dreamer, come in
If you are a dreamer, a wisher, a liar,
A hoper, a pray-er, a magic-bean-buyer…
If your’e a pretender, come sit by my fire
For we have some flax golden tales to spin.
Come in!
Come in!

Silverstein, Shel. Where the Sidewalk Ends: The Poems & Drawings of Shel Silverstein. New York: Harper and Row, 1974.

LIarI come from a long line of liars. My dad is a liar. My grandpa was a liar. My great-grandmother was the biggest liar of them all. My sisters can be liars. I think that my niece and nephew might be liars, but they are young and only time will tell. The kind of liars I am talking about are story-tellers. If you read my “About” page, I claim to be a trainer of spies, named Rosie. Yeah, that is a mostly-lie, so I am part of that club too.

There is a huge difference between being a liar and being a good yarn-spinner, memory-keeper, truth-embellisher, leg-puller. The kind of liars I am talking about are the people who can tell a good story. Interestingly, the best storytellers I have known are also some of the most honest people. I think that when everything you come across has the potential to be an interesting story, there is no need to falsify the record. The facts are what make the story so amazing.

Why is this important? I have spent the day reading stories the “future-spies” wrote. It is 6:00 and I am about half done (Yes, these are one page stories. No, even with medication, I am not particularly focused today). Some of them are doing a great job writing stories and I have had some laughs, though it has not been a great day for me. For the past few days, I have been thinking about the difference between the truth and lies we tell ourselves.

I don’t tell everyone I meet everything about myself, but I consider myself to be an open and honest person. I try to present myself as I really am, without embellishment or excessive dramatics. I hope that when you know me, you don’t have to guess what I really mean or if I am engaging in some kind of manipulation. I was in one relationship with a man who would joke about “those games women play.” Among other things, that was one of the many nails in that relationship coffin. It may take time to get to know me, but you will never have to guess if you know “the real me.” Most of the time I have a good sense of who is a like-minded person, and therefore, trustworthy. I am put-off by those who strike me as false and avoid interaction with them as much as possible.

In previous posts, I have alluded to the “emotional stomach-virus.” The germ that started it was a very small lie that someone who seemed trustworthy told me. That lie turned into a bigger deception which could not be sustained. When those lies fell apart, his world came apart, and consequently, my world crashed down around me. Because I was being honest and transparent, I expected that he was too. I believed what I was told because I had no reason not to. When someone breaks trust with a genuinely honest person, the damage they do can be monumental.

There is a fine line between truth and fiction in real life. There are times to keep things to yourself. Trust me— there are times that people give me more information about themselves than I ever wanted. I suppose that this is just to say to those who are like me, be cautious. I am painfully reminded how tender the trusting heart is. To those who create a persona that is different from reality, is everyone involve in agreement about the charade? Can it be sustained? What damage will it do when it falls apart?

Now that I have expressed that warning, I am not going to stop telling stories. I hope that at some point I will be able to see the ridiculousness in life again and tell the story. Right now, the best I have in me is a chuckle every now and again. Maybe I will even figure out how to write some real lies— we call that fiction, right?

Now that I have killed another hour of my sweet time, I suppose I will go back to reading the young “spies” lies… since that is what I should be doing right now.

What should you be doing right now?




Favorite Words

I am a lover of words. At times I find myself searching for the perfect word, or I must excuse myself when I am not positive that I am using a Dictionaryword correctly. At times words seem to dig into my brain and I use them again and again.

My word at work lately has been “apoplectic.” It means very angry or exited. It can also mean showing symptoms of a stroke. Today I explained to a young man that I felt apoplectic when he interrupted me as I was trying to answer another student’s question. He facetiously responded, “Yeah, sure, I know I know what that means.” At least the student he interrupted replied, “It means she is annoyed.” At the very least, someone understands context clues. After almost getting hit by another car this morning (someone needs to fix the lines at that intersection— same thing happened yesterday), a series of strange e-mails which confirmed that adults do not read directions any better than students, and a day spent with a lot of wheel spinning, and some wheel reinventing, I left work feeling kind of apoplectic. Sigh. Tomorrow is Friday.

On a more positive note, I have also been thinking about the word “adorable.” I am not talking about cute, cuddly, stuffed animal, baby kitten, adorable. I am talking about “worthy of being adored” (per Merriam-Webster). If anyone called me adorable in the cuddly sense, I would kindly ask them to reconsider. While there may be some truth to that, I want to be “lovingly admired.” I want someone to be devoted to me. I think that everyone deserves to be considered adorable in this sense. I do not want to be worshiped. In The Fellowship of the Rings, Galadriel says, “In place of the Dark Lord you will set up a Queen. And I shall not be dark, but beautiful and terrible as the Morning and the Night!” I don’t think that I could take over a fantasy world, but If I was worshiped, I suspect I would become rather apoplectic. When all is right in my world, I am sure that I am quite adorable (in the admiration and devotion sense).

I am also reminded that I love the word “druthers.” Last year when a past group of “future spies” was reading the novel, To Kill a Mockingbird one of them asked what the word “druthers” meant. I began explaining that it was a word that came from a contraction of the phrase, “I would rather.” As I went through this process of explaining the word, I looked around at the “spies” and realized that they were staring at me with mouths agape, not because I was astounding them with my wit, but because they realized what a nerd I am.

Tomorrow I may have new favorite words, but those are the ones that are with me at the moment. What words sing to you?

What should you be doing right now?