Explorations in Storytelling


Stories mostly

Posts in Stories
The Deer

We zig-zagged up the steep trail early in the morning, too close to the edge in my mind. The sun was not yet up and our pace was steady and solid. Finally we reached the top, the mesa. It was filled with holly bushes and bright light and a monstrously gorgeous view of the canyon and river below. …

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The Rings

As a journalist, some of the best ideas came from the oddest places: an obituary with an unanswered question, a phone call from a "whacko" needing to unload a secret, a misfiled court document. This story grew from a classified ad with only these words: "Found: wedding ring, with date, word and initials engraved inside. Call ..." 

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The Typewriter

All of us have things, material things, that help define us. Mine is the typewriter. I knew this one as a kid. It was my Aunt Ruth's. I used to climb up on the chair of her desk and press down the letters one at a time. It was thrilling. As I got older, I actually made words. And then sentences.

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I once helped Jimmy Carter park his car. Really. It was late 1975 and the little-known governor of Georgia was making a stop in Biddeford, a mill town in southern Maine, and a quick swing over from New Hampshire. I was a reporter at the Portland Press Herald. Al, my editor, told me not to cover him. "He's coming in to meet with the editorial board tomorrow. Besides, he doesn't stand a chance. Go to the Old Orchard Beach Select Board meeting instead."

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The Journey(I) -- Train

Part 1 of a canoe journey to the Quebec sub-Arctic in 1983. It begins:

“Flip back in time to July 5, 1983. Five other men and I are about to begin what will become a 50-day, 800-mile canoe trip into the center of Quebec wilderness, then north to the sub-arctic region of Ungava Bay. We intend to follow the route NOT taken by a Hudson Bay Company explorer in 1620. He did not take our route because the passage was considered too dangerous -- almost constant rapids and drops.”

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The Journey (II) -- Bear

Part II of a canoe journey to the Quebec sub-Arctic in 1983. First night:

“With the last blare of the train whistle a memory, we set about pitching three tents, making a cook area and getting the canoes down by the water. It is fairly flat, scrub alders and a few tall tamaracks.”

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This story, of my youngest daughter when she was a little over two years old went viral, as they say, when it was first posted on cowbird.com, a wonderful photo story site created by Jonathan Harris. The story brought me some heartfelt and unusual responses including a letter from one woman who said that she named her daughter after mine hoping that her daughter “will have the same life energy as yours.”

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