Well shut the front door – I am my father’s daughter. The acorn did not fall far from the tree. When my wife says this to me, I am a little offended, but I’ve come to realize that I do share a number of his traits, both good and bad.
When did this epiphany come about? Right after I posted Coloring Outside The Lines, a kind reader/author noted a huge inaccuracy with one of my statements. I really appreciated when she sent me a private message to point it out and gently suggested that Word Press allows you to edit your blog easily. I laughed out loud at the absurdity of my original statement when she did the math for me. It’s a good thing I can laugh at myself.
My original statement said that, I literally read thousands of books a year, which as the person pointed out would suggest that I read 5.5 or more books a day. Unless that is all I did twenty four seven, or practiced Evelyn Wood’s speed reading skills, this is impossible. I promptly changed the thousands to hundreds.
Yes writers do embellish, but this was a tad bit more than embellishing. That is when I realized I am my father’s daughter.
My father is a fisherman and a storyteller. Combine the two and you get someone who has the propensity to tell an outrageous yarn. The fish he caught were always ten times bigger. He was the world’s greatest fisherman (in his eyes). Yet, one thing I’ve always loved about my father is his ability to tell entertaining family stories. They are always much larger, more dramatic, and definitely more entertaining than what I remember of the actual events.
I’m not a fisherman, but in everything I do, I tell stories and I embellish. For example, I do new employee orientation and in an effort to keep the new employees engaged I warn them that, I tend to embellish on my stories and sometimes they are the honest to God truth and other times, well….
The most outrageous story I tell in orientation is that I have a five year old daughter (I’m fifty-six). I tell this story to demonstrate the attitudinal equation (look it up it is really cool). The story goes something like this…My daughter spills milk on a report that I’m supposed to turn in to my boss in the morning. In my first version, I yell at my poor five year old daughter and as a result she has a very negative reaction to me. She cries and goes to her fictional room and locks her door. I ruminate over the fact that one should never have a locked door for a five year old. My yelling creates a certain outcome. In the second version, I tell the new employees that maybe I’m not such a bad mother after all. I tell my fictional daughter, Heather, that everyone spills milk sometimes. The new outcome is that she greets me that night with a hug and a I love you. The whole point to the story is that if we think our responses to the events that occur in our lives everyday do not affect the outcomes, we are naïve, because they do. So choose wisely. The section of the class is on Choose Your Attitude.
Sure, this is a nice story and the new employees lap it up (pun intended), but I’ve never had kids, so it is completely outrageous. In my defense, I do tell them that not everything I say is one hundred percent truthful. I tell stories to entertain and fortunately get positive reviews with my way of doing orientation. However, it got me to wondering. Could I be equally effective if I told more truthful stories? Nah. Thanks, Dad, for showing me how to tell a good yarn.
However, there is nothing better than having a good editor call you on your bullshit, or your lazy, sloppy, research. Every day I get better at this and appreciate whenever someone points these errors out. I always admit that I am a work in progress. I do need to review things more carefully and not depend on the wonderful editors, especially in my blogs, because I don’t have an editor handy to check my words.
This is as honest as I am likely to be – no embellishment and no bullshit. My books on the other hand are pure fiction with a fair amount of embellishment and bullshit.
A link to the first chapter of my new book, Asset Management: First Chapter of Asset Management,. My first novel, Love Forever, Live Forever, is available in both e-book and print format. Links below will get you to all the places you can purchase the book. Keep scrolling down for the links to Asset Management. Thanks for supporting a new writer!!
Here are the links to Asset Management: