October 22, 2022
I have had an interesting life.
It is fodder for interesting stories.
In my experience, life is at once the most gripping and unbelievable thing we tell.
In college I was thrown together with people whom I did not know. They also did not know me. An effective tool for building friendship is to understand another’s story.
I would tell my stories to my housemates. One housemate in particular, John, was skeptical of what I said.
“I was driving my motorcycle in the rain,” I told. “The street was slippery. I took a curve too fast. In an instant I was airborne. I glanced to my side and there was the motorbike flying with me in a surreal formation. I felt as if I could reach out and touch it when I suddenly struck a grassy patch of ground, skidding along like a slip and slide. The bike kept flying, striking a tree and smashing into a hundred pieces.”
John said, “That’s a tall tale. You should have died.”
I am sure his skepticism was based on other unbelievable, yet true, stories I had told.
I discovered that if I put the story in the third person that John would accept the tale more readily.
“I once had a friend named Pete,” I might say. “He became caught in a series of natural tubs in a stream. The current was so strong that he was trapped in the whirlpools, tossed from tub to tub and nearly fell over a 30’ waterfall to the rocks below. Had his girlfriend not saved him by pulling him out with a towel he would certainly have died.”
Those of you who have read my book, “Technically Human,” know that the tubs story is a true event that happened to me. Had I told it to John in the first person he probably would not have believed me. On the other hand, had I done so and he believed me he might have known me and my character better.
When I set out to write my upcoming book, “Skydivers Know Why Birds Sing… because they can Fly,” I made a vow to myself to tell the truth of every story. The truth will reveal the true adventure of Paula and my 35 year skydiving career. There will be skeptics, I am sure. Sadly, they will not gain a true understanding of the adventure and love story that skydiving has been for us.
In the past I have exaggerated some of the stories I have told for effect. When recalling a real story of an encounter with a bear I said, “I entered a clearing in the woods. Just then a bear entered the clearing from the other side. I froze.” I noticed that my audience was not as engaged as I would like, so I said, “And then another bear entered the clearing.” That got them interested and I told the rest of the story.
A good story does not have to be true, but the truth will breath life into the stories you tell.
“Technically Human” by Ricki T Thues, the iMentor, is now available on Amazon.
It is a compilation of selected episodes from this bLog which tell the story of Humanity through the eyes of the iMentor.
Click HERE to buy the paperback or Kindle ebook at Amazon.
The ebook version of “Technically Human” is also available on Kobo. Click HERE.
For you Barnes and Noble Nook readers it is available for Nook. Click HERE.
The “Technically Human” ebook is also available on Apple Books . Click HERE.