This Would Make a Great Story

June 28, 2012 § 30 Comments

Here is one of my favorite true stories: Police found a drunken man in the road, trying to give mouth to mouth resuscitation to a dead possum.  This story combines my three greatest weaknesses when it comes to men:  Animal lovers, drunks, and idiots.

When I notice a good story I take the same alert posture my mother has when she is fishing and she gets a bite.

Somewhere I might be part of a story I don’t even know about.

Blue is a story.  Mix it with red, you get another story.  Green dives in too, that story takes an ugly turn.

Sometimes people enter your story uninvited and take part of it from you. Like how those birds ate the bread crumbs Hansel and Gretel scattered on the ground.

Speaking of, when you have the awesome idea of making your house out of cake and you actually pull it off and then you discover a couple of brats eating it, the oven is not a bad place for them.

My father was a story. Maybe somewhere he still is.

I had a friend who would dream her boyfriend was mean to her and the next day she would make him pay for how he treated her in her dream.

One time I was telling two friends a story, and they said, that’s sad. And I said, no, it’s funny.  And they said no it’s sad.  And I wanted to say, it’s all right.  It’s about me.

Some stories I can’t watch, I can’t read, I can’t listen to.

A hunter may have killed Bambi’s mother, but a writer put him up to it.

When the world goes dark, I hope they use the last match to read the last story.

One time my friend warned me not to do something potentially stupid (long story) and I told her:  “I don’t care if I die. This is the best story ever.”  And I realized that maybe someday I would die for a story, covering it with my body like a mother covers her baby during a grizzly bear attack.

He and I were a story once but looking back, I don’t think I brought the right nouns.

Unbearable stories should have their own island, far away from dogs and good people.

There’s a horse in my head who writes, and this horse is named Clyde, and he loves a good story so much that I will run to his barn to tell it, even though he already knows.

And this is how I want to die, in the middle of a story so good I start running to the barn and shouting, Clyde you will never guess what hap



§ 30 Responses to This Would Make a Great Story

  • Scott Ware says:

    Are you there? You okay, Kathy? Whew, you had me worried. True story.

  • I’m alive Scott! Thanks for checking.

  • sue smith says:

    I love that you love stories…. I wonder if the barking dog next door is telling one….

  • Mark Olmsted says:

    Please write a play.

    • I won’t write a play til your film gets produced, Mark. One writer’s lonely protest against Hollywood.

    • Mark Olmsted says:

      Okay, I’m working on the musical. Here’s a snippet from the mother/daughter duet sung by the “Callie” and her mom “Patty” about the vagaries of love and life:

      You gotta take some bitter
      If you wanna get some sweet
      If you stand in the kitchen
      You’re gonna feel some heat
      If you love someone hard
      One day you’ll likely weep
      You gotta take the bitter
      With the sweet

  • You always bring the right nouns. It’s not your fault if people don’t hear.

    You have the brilliant talent for turning words into vibrant images. You take the quirky and make it real and believable. I’m pretty sure you’ve never been a 14 year old boy, but you tell his story as if you had been. (That evil hand…).

    Stories are a gift to the world and deserve our protection. Stories have made my life better. They get me through the sad times, the interminable flights to Europe, the warm sunny day when it’s raining outside. From Alice in a warped land, to Dr. Horrible and his sing-along blog, to the elves of Rivendell, and a dog with a frog in his mouth, all have made my life richer.

    To tell a story is one thing. To make a story live is another.

    • Wow, beautifully said, Eric. I think I heard a quote about God creating the world because he loved stories.

      “The sad times, The interminable flights to Europe, the warm sunny day when it’s raining outside.” That’s the amazing part. That while you’re reading or hearing or even writing a story you’re living in it. I’ve visited places that way every day in one form or another.

      Thanks, Eric.

  • Cassy says:

    I teach journalism, so dying for the sake of a really good story is a concept I understand completely. Loved the bit about a story people think is sad versus, “No, it’s funny because it happened to me.” Also enjoy how you jump from one idea to another, and then later in your story,
    I figure out, “Wow. That was a great transition.” Do you write poetry, too?

    • Hey Cassy, you teach at Baylor? My cousins went to college there and I’ve lived off and on in Austin. I used to write poetry a long time ago, mostly when I was under the age of 13. I remember one was about a soldier being tortured to death by the Nazis. I was a fun kid. Do you write poetry?

  • Kathy's Aunt June says:

    I used to have dreams of my current husband being mean to me and would awaken so angry I would refuse to speak to him. The dreams seemed to be a collision between former (bad) husband fighting with current husband and succeeding in turning current husband into bad former husband. Current good husband has, sadly, lost his mind. Perhaps he became weary of the fighting and anger…

    I believe the unbearable-to-hear stories should be banished not only to an island but to a new continent because there are so many.

    I love horses because they are so incredibly beautiful and magestic! Kathy wrote a poem when she was a child about me breaking a horse’s back. I’ve long since forgiven her (and lost weight). To prove my forgiveness, I assisted her in forays into watery ditches in search of elusive crawfish for her to use as fish bait. Ah, the delightful child she was and the amazing woman she has beccome…

    Aunt June

    • Aunt June I was a horrible child and I deserved a swift kick in the ass for writing that poem about you. Perhaps even a trip down a well? You had infinite patience and good humor. And a beauty that endures today. Love Kathy

      • Kathy's Aunt June says:

        You were most definitely not a horrible child!!! Well, I confess there was that time you and Randy said you were going to run away and I excitedly offered to help you pack… you didn’t mean to be cruel with the poem–you were simply trying to make it rhyme!

        I must go now–your Mother wants to blow debris off her roof and I’ve promised to meet the paramedics there to help hold the net…

      • As long as you’ve got her in the net, how bout hauling her over to Shady Pines?

      • Kathy's Aunt June says:

        Actually, I checked with Shady Pines a couple of months ago and was told that not only had they no space available but they had a waiting list. So, I added her name to the list–well (sigh), I added several names…

  • Melanie says:

    Another beautiful post. As it so often goes, I’m not sure whether to laugh or cry. By the way, I believe karma will take care of those bread crumb- eating bastards. If not, perhaps your Mom can.

  • Hey Melanie I’m back in Santa Barbara. Probably in LA next week. Hope I can see you. Bread crumb eating bastards, ha ha!

    • Melanie says:

      Aww, man! We’re heading home this weekend. Quite a series of bad timing moments we’ve been having. Let us know if you’ll be heading north again this summer – guest room, Labrador and hard liquor await you.

  • cuzin Bridget says:

    I love your writing,but if you ever leave me hanging in the middle of a great story like that s.o.b larry brown who wrote a miracle of catfish and you die when its getting good then they publish it, i promise to take my que from your mom abd stomp on your grave. This happened to me with that book and I was peed bc i had to create my own ending … Not cool at all…

  • kelly says:

    screw those people who take your story and add green without even considering that green may be your least favorite color, or even worse, that the putrid color makes you get sick and lose sleep at night.

  • Sher says:

    There isn’t a person I know who enjoys ANY story better than you! It’s such a testiment to your great character that YOU don’t have to be the story-teller, but that you want to be part of any story. You listen so intently to each word, no matter how long or detailed the story might be. You ask questions about emotions, locations, etc. that make even the story-teller more aware of their own story. You are the best audience for a story-teller. You find compassionate humor or humorous compassion, whichever is most appropriate. And thus you are a grandest story-teller. My sweet cousin/sister (I’ll stop there – wink, wink) you have given me countless stories each second that I am blessed with your physical or spirtitual presence. So, I think if I journaled all the things I love, have loved, will love about you…it is just one tremendous story of love.

    • Ah Sher what a lovely and wonderful post to get this morning! Some of my best stories have been with you. Remember the fish in the shower? HA HA HA oh… I mean, sorry! It slipped! More stories to come dear Sher…much love, your cousin.

  • I don’t know what I love better – your books, your posts, or your replies to the comments. It’s all art. Keep going.

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