“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”
Latin, 17th century
2. Coinciding with reality
Example: In my relentless search for veridical information, I avoid anything involving politics.
Just after the October 22 presidential debate concluded, First Lady Melania Trump and Dr. Jill Biden joined their respective spouses on stage for the traditional photo op. While Dr. Biden immediately hugged her husband, it quickly became obvious there was tension with the First Couple.
“Four or five months ago when we started this whole thing before the plague came in, I had made it, I wasn’t coming to Erie. I mean, I have to be honest. There’s no way I was coming. I didn’t have to. I would have called you and said, ‘Hey Erie, you know if you have a chance get out and vote’. We had this thing won.”
“He’ll listen to the scientists. If I listened totally to the scientists, we would right now have a country that would be in a massive depression instead – we’re like a rocket ship. Take a look at the numbers.”
– President Donald Trump, at a rally in Carson City, Nevada, on Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden’s pending response to the COVID-19 pandemic
“Who do these people think they are? Debate commission will mute the mics? Can you imagine if they’d-a told Abraham Lincoln we’re gonna mute the microphone if you don’t shut up, sir?
“Abe Lincoln would say, why do you think people are gonna be there? To watch you hit the mute button? Who do these people think they are?
“You know, if I didn’t know better, I would swear that the debate commission is trying to get Trump to pull out of this. I think they’re goading Trump. I think they’re trying to provoke him into pulling out of this thing by announcing they’re going to mute microphones.
“Look, I understand when these people — and these are tiny people compared to Donald Trump, folks. Whoever’s on this debate commission, they are tiny people. Now, they think that they are the country’s elite — and, hell, they may be.
“I mean, given the definition of elite and who these people that think they run the country are. But they are tiny people compared to the giant that is Donald Trump.
“Donald Trump is a giant of achievement, a giant of personality, a giant of appetite, a giant of energy. There isn’t a single person in American politics that can hold a candle to Donald Trump.
“There’s not a person that can keep up with him energy-wise. There isn’t a person with his drive. There isn’t anybody close to his ambition at his age.
That’s who they are. So they come along and they threaten to mute his microphone. I don’t think these people want Biden taking a risk of looking like a deer in the headlights when confronted with his treason.
“The treason that involves these deals between his son Hunter and Hunter’s buddies and Biden’s family members that resulted in the massive enrichment of the Biden family.
“Donald Trump, however he has earned his money, he has not done it via corruption of the United States government. Donald Trump has not enriched himself by sticking his hand into the U.S. Treasury like all of these other government players do.”
– Rush Limbaugh, on his radio show, criticizing microphone muting rules for the October 22 presidential debate
“You turn on CNN, that’s all they talk about: COVID, COVID, pandemic, COVID, COVID, COVID. People are tired of COVID. People are saying, ‘Whatever. Just leave us alone.’ They’re tired of it.”
– President Donald Trump, lamenting ongoing coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic, at a campaign rally in Las Vegas
“Trump is his own worst enemy. He is basically helping Biden make his case about his response to the pandemic. Dr. Fauci is one of the most popular figures in America, even if Trump’s base doesn’t like him.”
– Cornell Belcher, Democratic pollster, on Donald Trump’s relentless criticism of Dr. Anthony Fauci
“I can’t imagine what purpose is served by going after a man trusted by 68% of Americans on the most important issue facing the country.”
– Whit Ayres, Republican pollster, on Trump’s ongoing verbal attacks on Fauci
“Homosexuals have a right to be part of the family,” the pontiff said in. “They’re children of God and have a right to a family. Nobody should be thrown out, or be made miserable because of it.”
“I couldn’t put it down.”
What author doesn’t love to hear that?! Especially about their debut novel!
I had a late lunch/early dinner (I’ll call it “lunner”) at a nearby restaurant. It had been a full, yet satisfying day. On many levels, things are starting to improve for me. I won’t go into dramatic detail, but I felt better Friday than I had in months. The stress of dealing with aging parents and now unemployment in the midst of a global pandemic has beaten my mental and physical health down worse than anything I’ve ever experienced.
So I decided to treat myself for a good meal and a couple of mixed drinks. My favorite server, Kendra*, was staffing the bar, and after providing my first beverage, suddenly told me how much she loved my novel, The Silent Fountain. I have known Kendra for a few years and only through the restaurant where she works – long and hard. It seems every time I visit the place, Kendra is there. I had provided her an autographed copy of the book back in June, shortly after my mother died. Friday was the first time I’d been to the restaurant since then.
I didn’t expect Kendra to bring up The Silent Fountain. Her reaction to it was extraordinary. It’s my nature to be suspicious of people most of the time. I don’t know Kendra that well, but I like her. She has a pleasant and personable demeanor. Still, it took me a little while to accept fully how much she seems to like my book. I thought she might be exaggerating just to make me feel good and because I’m somewhat of a regular who tips very well. So I just let her talk.
And I quickly realized the impact the tale had on her. In fact, it had the effect I hope to achieve with my readers – for this and all of my stories. The characters and the locale meshed with the pastoral imagery to create the universe in Kendra’s mind that I envisioned in my own. A few others who have read it so far have had mostly the same response.
It’s intoxicating to hear all of that, but I have to temper my literary ego with sanity. Writers work hard to compose a world – realistic or fantastic – within their stories. We always want to attain that level of likeability as raconteurs; as someone who can dream up a tale – no matter how outrageous – and still be credible. But then isn’t that what all artists want?
I’ve come to accept that I may never become rich and famous with my writing, and that’s genuinely fine with me. I don’t write stories – and I didn’t start this blog – to become acclaimed and unbelievably wealthy. Admittedly, that would be great and ideal, but it simply isn’t realistic. And no one should engage in any kind of artistic pursuit with that goal in mind. It’s foolish.
But if I don’t achieve any kind of notoriety until after I die, then that would be just as good for me. We are still consuming the writings and other artworks of people who passed away long ago. Kendra is just one person, yet her opinion meant so much to me. She expressed what I hoped someone would feel when they read that book. Again, that’s what every artist wants: to be appreciated.