True Story

An Essay By Anna // 4/5/2012


The day I write this, I saw an old witch on the side of the road. Or maybe she was a fairy godmother. Her blue cloak billowed; her wispy grey hair peeped and whipped out the edges of her hood. As we actually drove past, I realized, with a much bigger jolt than when I thought she was an enchantress, that she was just an old lady in a blue snow coat that reached her feet. She probably didn’t have the singing voice of Bernadette Peters, and I’m probably not a princess who will go to a ball or meet a Beast (no matter I sing through my chores). As the start of an urban fantasy, the incident is cliché. 
But it happened. It’s true. For a few seconds, she stepped right out of fairytale woods, that old lady squinting in the wind and waiting at the crossroads for the light to change. I think I still believe it, which must help in writing my own fairytales. Who wants to read a story of magic if the author scorns the old tales?
My family is a story. We’re more than funny incidents and “Do you remember how Grandma Leonardi made her ravioli dough?” What do I make of my great-grandmother asking for her long-missing brother on her deathbed? We had a family fortune four generations back, but little Elizabeth’s death of scarlet fever drove her father to drink it all away. These stories shaped us. 
I used to dislike parodies of my favorite stories, but now I often take pleasure in them. I am learning to laugh at, not just moon over, the things I love, which is a way of laughing at myself. Stories are told to be retold; there’s no shame in that. In fact, there is dignity in adding your own storytelling to the pack.
There are things I almost remember. My stories are dreams I can’t get out of my head. I only have this one life and it’s all I’ve ever had, but greater things are coming. Foreshadowing? But Bayard in another story taught me that to chase a prophecy or to avoid it is to defeat its purpose; “live the life that unfolds before you” and remember.
In the end, I trust my Doctor: “When you wake… you won't even remember me. Well. You'll remember me a little. I'll be a story in your head. That's okay. We're all stories in the end. Just make it a good one, eh? 'Cause it was, you know. It was the best.”



Loved this. I completely

Loved this. I completely relate to it-- to thinking of life as a story and to moments like the one at the beginning. (I still swear that car had no driver, and that man in the yellow coat had to be a spy, and...) Also, I really liked the way this piece was written. Nicely done. :) 

Hannah W. | Thu, 04/05/2012

This was so very true :)

This was so very true :) I can't tell you how many times I've had moments like that.

Erin | Fri, 04/06/2012

"You were not meant to fit into a shallow box built by someone else." -J. Raymond

 I have never imagined  a

 I have never imagined  a person before like you have (or at least, I do not think I have) but I can get very good with my imagination if I try hard enough.  

Otherwise, good essay! And it is humorous at some points :) You should write more  nonfiction... ;)

Lucy Anne | Fri, 04/06/2012

"It is not the length of life, but the depth of life." Ralph Waldo Emerson

I really, really liked this!!

I really, really liked this!! Please write more non-fiction!! :)

Lilly Putt | Fri, 04/06/2012

Jesus Loves us all!!

Thank you all! I only seem to

Thank you all! I only seem to write non-fiction when weird things happen to me, although at my blog you could find more disorganized musings.
Yes, that's a shameless self-plug.
Also, I do think imagination is a thing you cultivate. As Neil Gaiman puts it, "You get ideas from daydreaming. You get ideas from being bored. You get ideas all the time. The only difference between writers and other people is we notice when we're doing it. "

Anna | Tue, 04/10/2012

I have hated the words and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right. --The Book Thief

Oh, I so totally love this! I

Oh, I so totally love this! I very often have little imaginings of people out in the street. And I love to tell stories; make them dramatized and stuff. BUT I don't exaggerate!! That's one thing I don't do...

Maddi | Thu, 08/30/2012

Goodbye? Oh no, please. Can’t we just go back to page one and start all over again?” – Winnie The Pooh

Thank you! It's a great

Thank you! It's a great exercise to make up stories about images you see.

Anna | Tue, 09/04/2012

I have hated the words and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right. --The Book Thief