Your Next Story Is Hiding In Your Favorite Little Details

Your next story is hiding in your favorite little details, #365StrongStories by storyteller and writing coach Marisa Goudy | therapists | healers | content creationSome people remember exactly what everyone ordered during that special meal. Others have a vivid recall for the phase of the moon on an important day. Personally, I have fashion memory. I can tell you exactly what I wore from head to toe the night I met my husband. (And yes, I still wear that denim jacket twelve years later.)

The shoes I wore to my unexpected date with destiny just hit the bottom of the trash can, however. During the last big rain I realized that the cosmetic issues on the soles were in fact structural deficiencies. Turns life is too short to wear leaky shoes - even if they do have great sentimental value.

The details make the stories

What little things do you tend to notice? Those observations form your unique point of view. They allow you to tell the authentic story that only you could tell.

My husband wouldn’t remember my outfit and he certainly wouldn’t remember what he’d worn himself. But now, the story of how that redhead at the end of the crowded bar in New Paltz knew there was something about that guy with the sweet smile - even though he wore a tie-dyed Harley Davidson shirt, tapered legged jeans, and boat shoes - that’s essential to the “how Mike and Marisa met” legend.

Your favorite details also inspire your stories

The details that are special to you can also help you decide which stories to tell.

Though my first date shoes are long gone by now, I was reminded of them when I tripped over another pair of sneakers that have been sitting in middle of the hall for much too long. If “the clothes make the man” is true, then apparently “the shoes make the memories” is valid too.

What little details stand out to you? How can you make a practice of noticing these details and put them to work in the stories you write?

The Moment a Princess Becomes a Queen, #365StrongStories 26

The Moment a Princess Becomes a Queen, #365StrongStories by Marisa GoudyThe woman drew her spine straight though no one would accuse her of slouching. She glared at the shoulder blades of the retreating clerk but soon sighed deeply and settled her face back into its usual expression of benevolent calm. It wasn’t this dreadful man’s fault that the news he carried was so bleak. She had never known an officer from the merchants’ bank to come bearing anything but vague threats and insincere apologies.

In truth, she had inherited an impoverished realm but wasn’t given a single clue about how to rescue it. For more than two generations the family had eked out an existence on the afterglow of remembered opulence alone. But even that dance with delusion had ended, finally and without ceremony. She smiled wryly to think that there wasn’t money for ceremony anyhow.

Regardless of what the bankers said, there would always be enough to keep them fed and clothed. Mostly, she didn’t care if they had to move to the castle gatehouse because the roof of the Great Hall finally caved in. Though she hadn’t realized it at the time, she had made that decision long ago.

Before she ever wore her father’s heavy crown upon her head, she married a good man who would always be able to provide the essentials of life. But, of course, she had always been raised to expect more.

Nothing but the finest dreams and most gossamer promises were good enough for the young princess. She had been permitted to marry a man for love and was still allowed to keep the expectations of a bride who had made a strategic match based on riches and position.

Only now that the princess’s fantasy had dissolved into a sovereign’s reality did she see the weakness in the story of happily ever after. Now, she had her own daughters’ legacy to consider. And what about the ancestral ghosts that would lose their home if this palace was allowed to slide into the sea?

She took off her crown and looked at her reflection in the rosy gold. Her mind made up, for the first time in her life she looked into the eyes of a queen.