The storytellers

“And then what happened? Well, I’ll tell you how he got out of the trap…” Story teller image courtesy of tommiks at Wikimedia Commons.

Have you ever met someone whose life story would make a great book? I’m not talking about someone famous. I’m talking about the ordinary people you see every day — the elderly woman who stands behind you at the grocery store, the smiling server who provides your latte or tea at Starbucks, or the dedicated dog owners who faithfully walk their dog every morning and evening in your neighborhood.

It’s fascinating to hear what history lies behind these ordinary faces and I often think those stories would make a wonderful book. Because I’ve lived where I’ve lived, I’ve met people from all over…people from Asia, Africa, Europe, South America, Australia and other parts of North America. During a conversation, I’m often treated to their back stories about how they ended up living in this area or visiting it at this point in their lives. One American woman, for example, fell in love with an Irishman and neither wanted to let the other go, so they ended up marrying, having two beautiful daughters and settling in the area where I met them.

I also knew another couple that met during World War II. I’ll call them Mrs. H and Mr. H. As I recall the story, Mr. H was a German pilot, who was captured and held in prison in Scotland. The person in charge of the prison permitted the prisoners a short period of liberty as a privilege and Mrs. H’s father allowed Mr. H to come to dinner since Mrs. H’s father had been decently treated by the Germans during the previous war. Mr. H saw Mrs. H and fell in love, but had to return to Germany later. After the war was over, Mr. H came back to Scotland, found Mrs. H again and married her. Their marriage lasted for several decades.

From what I’ve read in the blogging world, many bloggers incorporate life experiences into their blogs at some point, depending upon the main topics of their blogs. Sometimes the story is about them, sometimes it isn’t. Some stories range from scary to sad and make me think “Oh, boy!”, while others are filtered through a comedic lens and make me laugh.

It’s good to know, however, that although many of these life stories may never be captured in a book, they are preserved online in blogs and available to read. I’ve been privileged to see some amazing back stories from people all over the world and appreciate their willingness to share their history with me.

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23 Comments

Filed under Writing

23 responses to “The storytellers

  1. My, you have met some interesting people. For my part, I have often had people ask me to write a book, although I think I’d best do it later on in life, when my parents are no longer able to read it. Might cause their demise if I did so now.

  2. wordpressreport

    Reblogged this.

  3. When I worked in retail, I would take notes of repeat customers with distinct personalities. One of my favorites was a woman who would always dress in red, white, and blue – usually sparkly with stars. She would talk about how patriotic she was (I’m in the US by the way), and say, “I was born on the Fourth of July,” and tell us outrageous stories.

  4. I agree. Normal people have amazing stories, but we usually take them for granted and don’t think they’re anything special. Talking with people makes you realize how amazing they are.

  5. So true. I think my sister’s life would make a great book. She has travelled all over the world and had lots of adventures! Great post!

  6. There are definitely some good stories out there. I hear them all the time from my students :-).

  7. Real stories often make the best fiction.

  8. DeeAnne

    Enjoyed your post! How true! Everyone has a story!

  9. Yes, I have often thought about people I would love to write about. In fact, I do; sometimes I like to take bits and pieces of this and that and put them into one magnificently interesting person. People offer so much in the way of fodder. Being observant and friendly helps bring it to the page. πŸ˜‰

    Hope you’re well,
    Cara

  10. Another great post! I think it’s interesting to see all the different angles people bring to their stories. Reading the blogs on here (both yours & WordPress in general) has caused me to re-examine some of my own beliefs and opinions and given me insights into other people, places and things that I might not have been exposed to by other means. I agree, most people do have an interesting story or two to tell. I think one of the strongest parts of the whole blogging experience is that it gives all of us the opportunity to see what’s going in the rest of the world through the perspectives of people not entirely unlike us and not just the opinions of the media outlets.

  11. My dad’s definitely one of those people… He’s an inspiration for the protagonist of a novel I’ll be embarking on. But yes, so many of us “ordinary” people have fascinating stories… πŸ˜‰

  12. Gabriel | εŠ η™Ύεˆ©

    Love this post!

  13. Sometimes the best stories are based around ordinary folk and their lives. I liked this post a lot.

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