The first written story I recall making was on a visit to my great aunt and uncle. I may have been 7 or 8. Uncle Clair and I drove to the woods, chopped wood, stacked it in the back of the truck and trailer, then cleaned and put away our tools. We had lunch in the front seat. I had peanut butter and home-made jam with milk. Unk ate a turkey sandwich crowded with lettuce and cheese chased down with steaming hot coffee from his worn green Thermos. Even though it was cold our windows were rolled down and the forrest chattered around us.

We drove back to the house a block from the McKenzie river. Theirs had been the model home for the development. Buying that home was the first and last time they took out a loan. My aunt Bonnie painted beautiful landscapes, smoked cigarettes, and played the multi-tiered organ at home. She populated their yard with rose beds that formed S curves through the front and back yards. Unk worked the night shift security at Weyerhaeuser and built custom cabinets during the day.

Behind the back yard was a tall fence which hid the firewood pile. Unk backed the truck and trailer through the side yard and we began the task of unloading and stacking. We spent the rest of the day into the evening getting that giant stack in place. I had a grin that didn’t fade for the rest of the night.

The next morning Unk was sharing stories over breakfast when we heard “BOOM!” And the earth shook, We looked out the sliding glass into the patio and a cloud of dust rose up from behind the fence. “What the hey…” He puzzled out loud. We pulled on our shoes and the three of us walked out to see what had happened. Unk opened the gate and peered in, he hitched back his hat and scratched his head. Aunt Bonnie and I stepped through the gate to see a 20′ long carpet of logs. Our stack had fallen over. Upon investigation Unk discovered moles had undermined the front of the stack and while we rotated the old wood to the top, we did not look beneath the plywood base.

To share the story of our heroic efforts to originally gather the wood and stack and then re-stack it I made a one page newspaper. It had a Title, columns, and even a “photo” drawn in pencil. Something inside me felt compelled to shape the story into written words.

Below are some reasons I have written stories in the past. Do some of these resonate inside you?

Tell a story


Make a point


Share a moment


Salve a wound


Right a wrong


Bleed a bruise


Illuminate a vision


Sing a song


Build common experience


Capture time


Sell a point of view


Kill an enemy


Drown a sorrow


Affirm your faith


Validate a group


Build a following


Tell a joke


Thrash a bully


Expose a crime


Destroy my future


Build a world


Feed a hunger


Ride a wave


It hurts if I don’t.

If one or more of these made you nod then you came to the right place to get your write on.

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