Meandering / Meaning / writing

Meandering Monday about Setting Your Own Narrative

First off: Congratulations to Tom Brady and the New England Patriots for a hell of a game – and a hell of a win. It was almost as good to watch as if my Cowboys had made it (maybe next year?)

It seems like most everyone has a love/hate relationship with the Patriots (especially with Belichick & Brady); why is that? Allegations (supported and otherwise) of playing dirty, sometimes out-and-out cheating seem to be part and parcel of their persona, but they also do something else exceptionally well – WINNING. The upshot of the stories that circulate about the Patriots is that YOU CAN’T COUNT THEM OUT AND THEY WILL WIN AT ALL COSTS.

How did they arrive at this reputation? They built some of it through their own actions, actions that resulted in stories that built a narrative about who they are. Even though they have cheated at times, quite often they are accused of cheating when they didn’t, because, after all, WE ALL KNOW WHO THEY ARE.

We all have stories we tell about ourselves – they have some special significance, and when we share them with others. Other stories are told about us by others – these can be good, bad or indifferent, but they’re the things people either think of us, or want others to think. There are stories we only tell ourselves about ourselves – they’re what we really believe.

I remember taking a couple of social studies classes in my teens that were very instructive – you didn’t just rely on one source or narrative to discover the truth – you examined disparate accounts and opinions, and then pulled together the true history from the intersections. It’s helpful outside of books, too.

Nicknames usually come from other people, and so you hope they came out of a good place, rather than something negative. I’ve had some myself – Uncle Bill, Mister Bill, Bad Bill (Bill seems to be good for nicknames), Snoopy (from my theatre days), Sneaky Pete (from my grandmother because of how I played canasta), The Threat (from my wargaming opponents – there’s conflict about how this developed. One friend told me it was because I seemed to win an inordinate amount of the time, no matter how many people were playing; another said it was my attitude, that no matter how badly I was being beaten, there was something obnoxious in my demeanor that said “I know something you don’t, and I can still win this”; take that either way you like, that’s why I was THE THREAT, and why the other players would most often gang up against me.)

That last nickname ties into other stories I tell about myself, early stories about my minimal, but meaningful (to me) sports exploits, how I never tip my king, how Words with Friends is never decided until the last tile is played, and you never know what I might pull off. My stories revolve around NEVER GIVE UP! NEVER SURRENDER, and I have an affinity for underdogs and miracles.

What stories do you tell about yourself? Make sure you set the narrative you want.

Just saying…


immortalcover“Immortal” is now available on preorder:

Riddled with a more than terminal disease, Commander Solitaire considers an extreme way to protect the Earth. There’s more than one way to be immortal.

“Immortal” is a speculative flash fiction (that means it’s VERY, VERY SHORT), which borrows slightly from Richard III (see if you can spot the influence.) The official release date is February 10th, but you can preorder in various places, including but not limited to:




collectivecoverWilliam Mangieri’s writing, including his latest publication “The Collective Is All” can be found in many places, including:
• Smashwords:
• Barnes & Noble:
• Createspace (if you prefer physical books):
• His site on WordPress:
• “William Mangieri’s Writing Page” on Facebook at:
• His Goodreads author page:
• Or on twitter: @WilliaMangieri


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