humanity / Meandering

Meandering Monday about Personal Narratives

Do you ever find yourself sighing in annoyance as a friend recounts something that happened to them years ago – something that you’ve heard them recite countless times before? This sort of thing tends to happen even more frequently with spouses (although you would be best advised to only sigh inwardly…)

We all have stories that we tell about ourselves – our way of defining ourselves for both ourselves and others. It’s our longer elevator speech – the things we want others to know about us, in story form (because humans are story-tellers) instead of bullet-points (which just aren’t as entertaining or personal.)

Kids are fun. I tell stories of how I like to mess with children’s heads. I made one boy think there was a bird in his ear that wouldn’t come out. Another time I pulled an action figure of Data out of a Star Trek transporter toy when the kids weren’t looking so they thought it had malfunctioned (and I freaked one out that they better not put their hand inside to look for Data, because we didn’t know WHAT had happened, and they MIGHT LOSE THEIR HAND.) I kidnapped my son’s teddy bear and made a ransom note (demanding a peanut butter and jelly sandwich be left in our mailbox), as well as a couple of disguised-voice phone calls (demanding a better sandwich.) He was o relieved when he finally found his bear (tied up on our neighbors porch.)

I haven’t had much involvement in sports, but I carry around memories of sandlot football and baseball games where I did something stand-out and totally unexpected – I was usually one of the last people picked for teams, and when I scored, snagged balls hit eight feet in the air between first and second, or chased down someone for 70-yards to make a tackle, the other guys would give me a look that said “Bill, you’re not supposed to be able to do that.”

In my wargaming days, I earned the moniker of THE THREAT. Whenever I was involved in a multi-player game, people would gang up on me to knock me out of the game before they went after each other. A friend told me it was because I was so hard to beat, but another friend said it was because I was so obnoxious – no matter how obvious it was that I was finished (where a NORMAL opponent would just quit), I would act as though I knew something the other players didn’t, so they better MAKE SURE that they killed me.

My stories seem to be about being a trickster, or never giving up, or exceeding expectations. You should NEVER think you know what I’m capable of, and you might beat me, but you’ll have to work harder than you’re used to to get me to admit defeat.

I bet you have your own stories you have repeated and cultivated over the years – feel free to post in the comments. I wonder if you’ve thought about what you’re trying to convey to others (or convince yourself.) Do you know? Has it changed?

Just saying…


Swordsmaster – my first novel – is available for your reading pleasure:Swordsmaster4

Fate is neither something to run away from, nor something to run towards.

The first bright-eye to be seen on the mountain in living memory, Sandrik didn’t want anyone to think of him as they did the ominous Aurae of legend, so he had worked hard to keep his special abilities hidden. But there was more to Sandrik than even he knew. Now that it was time for him to enter the ancient ruins of Taernfeld and be declared a man, what other changes might he be forced into?

Swordsmaster is a fantasy novel and is available at several online retailers, including, but not limited to:



(there is also a paperback on Amazon at )


CatsOfWar_IIa_CoverWilliam Mangieri’s writing (including Cats of War II – his latest collection of Herc Tom, Champion of the Empire tales) can be found in many places, including, but not limited to:
• Smashwords:
• His Amazon Author page:
• Barnes & Noble:

• His site on WordPress:
• “William Mangieri’s Writing Page” on Facebook at:
• His Goodreads author page:
• Or on twitter: @WilliaMangieri

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