Who’s Reminiscing Next?

Paul Richardson
Neosho Daily News

Recently I was in conversation with an old friend, who, as it turns out, reads at least some of these writings. He questioned me as to whether or not I needed to write. Part of his query was due to the fact that a mutual friend that manages one of my writing’s destinations is compelled to write by his very nature. His question was deeper than just shallow conversation but inquired as to the depth of what drives me. Am I compelled to write?

The answer had been on the ready for an extended amount of time, as I had considered the question in a different form, “Am I a writer?” The answer is no. I like to tell stories. Currently the way that I tell some of my stories is by writing them out and sharing them in 500 words or maybe just a few more, as this is the length that at least one of my publishers prefers. I’m not compelled to write; I’m compelled to tell stories. A writer gets up everyday and writes. I am not that motivated!

Writing them down comes easily because the stories are always at the ready. During my days of employment, a co-worker questioned the validity of my stories. Rest assured that they are all true. My response to her was, “If you have led a colorful life, you don’t have to make this stuff up!” Therefore, all of my stories are true or are based on true content told from my perspective. If relayed by someone else who was present, the perspective might vary a bit.

Over the twelve-year period in which the shop was open, a group often assembled that would like to sit around and tell stories. Many years prior, I had heard the expression “The first liar doesn’t have a chance.” This was applicable to these ‘bench racing sessions’ since every story was going to top the previous one. If you were planning on telling more than one story, you would certainly want to hold your trump card until the very last moment.

It was a tough crowd in those ‘bench racing sessions’, as everyone had their personal story that they were partial to. Persuading them to consider your story as the best one took some real doing. It was great training in the art of storytelling; how to properly punctuate your delivery, how to highlight areas that needed enhancement or at the very least flesh them out, and how to embellish without leaving the realm of truth and reality.

So, yes, my stories may play on certain captivating highlights that are a bit more entertaining than the mundane events that surround them, but it is a bit rude of you to imply that I have embellished the truth out of what happened! There is a lot that hasn’t been told yet, my editor, the goodwife, has criteria for screening stories, eliminating those that should never be told. So, as I reminisce as to which story comes next, I may need to run it through review first!