The above is an attempt to make a face from some items plucked from my windowsill. I found all these things in remote corners of this amazing planet, and there’s at least one personal story attached to each of them.
But those stories are interesting mostly to me because I’m the one attached to those objects. Yeah, we could debate that. I do read and love lots of nonfiction.
On a canoe trip I found this
on top of a bluff.
Pasque flowers are the first to come out in the Spring in Interior Alaska and the fish head is probably up on the bluff from an Eagle carrying it. (There used to be an active Bald Eagle’s nest on the bluff close to where I found the fish head.) Now, I could have left well enough alone. I mean, finding Pasque flowers and a fish head are both pretty cool, but instead, I did this.
I heard the prolific YA novelist, Richard Peck speak a few years back and he said something like this:
A story is not what happened. It’s what might have happened.
Sometimes, for me at least, simple wisdom, like the quote above, is just what I need to keep digging. To try to see beyond what I’ve already seen. To keep reaching toward what my story is becoming. To remain open to what might have happened.
And to remember that yeah, this is my story, but it needs to be way bigger than me if I want readers to connect with it.