Nearly twenty years ago, I was in the rare position to hire someone at my place of employment (this was the only time I’ve ever been in position to hire anyone, and it was certainly more enjoyable than when I had to decide which four out of seven people were going to be laid off at my previous employer.) The person I hired was actually someone from my wargaming past, and none of what I said in this paragraph has anything to do with why I’m mentioning it. Hey – it’s Meandering Monday.
Mike (his name has been changed to protect the innocent) had a habit of relating some experience he had gone through on a regular basis. At first it came across as clever and witty, but after I’d worked with him a while the stories started repeating, and I realized he had a stock set of these that he rotated through. They weren’t just random recollections – they were practiced narrations. Part of it was because he was in Toastmasters, but these stories were really a part of who he was.
I’m sure we’ve all know people like this, who seem to be relating their lives to the rest of us. Have you ever examined yourself and discovered that you do the same thing?
There are stories that we tell about ourselves, as a way of conveying what we want others to think of us. There are also stories that we tell ourselves that are what we think of ourselves. (There are also stories that other people tell about us that show what they think – hopefully, those are light-hearted, or never said in our presence.) A lot of the stories will be about the same incident, but depending on who’s telling it, the lesson is different.
In my wargaming days, I earned the moniker of THE THREAT. Whenever a group of us would get together to play a mutli-player game, several players would get into an alliance and work towards driving me into defeat. Sometimes they would crush me completely, other times it would take longer than we had time to play out the game, and often I could fight it to a draw.
When I tell people about being THE THREAT, it’s to show that I never tip my king (Never give up! Never surrender!), When I think about that situation, what it means to me is that I don’t make friends and influence people well (if I could, why would they gang up on me?)
When Friend A talks about me being THE THREAT, he says it was because I won so often that they felt they had to gang up on me to have any chance of winning.
Friend B says I was THE THREAT because no matter how badly the game was going for me, I always acted as though I knew something that the rest of the players didn’t; I was so obnoxious that they just HAD to crush me into the dirt.
A lot of the memories I relate to people have to do with my determination – usually rare instances of sports prowess (because I rarely played sports, and no one – including me – expected me to be successful at all), but then we’d get into the game, and I’d chase John Milano. 70-yards downfield and keep him from scoring when we had no chance of winning. Of course, my teammates that day would relate that same story to let people know how annoying I can be, making them have to walk all the way done the field so the other team could score on the next play. One man’s perseverance is another man’s pigheadedness. Just saying…
We all have our stories, our own legends that we tell others (and ourselves) to help define who we are. What are yours?
I am participating in Smashwords’ site-wide Authors Give Back promotion, which is being held to show support for people around the world suffering through isolation during the coronavirus pandemic. All of my collections (including my Detective Jimmy Delaney and Herc Tom, Champion of the Empire series) AND Swordsmaster are on sale for 30%-off. The link to my eBooks on Smashwords is here:
The promotion has been extended through May 31st. There’s a coupon on the page for each eligible eBook – ENJOY!
As stated, Swordsmaster – my first novel – is part of the Smashwords Authors Give Back promotion; a fun escape from your quarantine woes.
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 available at several online retailers, including, but not limited to:
Smashwords (discount coupon on the page) at: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/954501
William Mangieri’s writing (including “Imperial Imperilment”, his latest Herc Tom, Champion of the Empire tale) can be found in many places, including, but not limited to:
• Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/NoTimeToThink
• His Amazon Author page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B008O8CBDY
• Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/william-mangieri?store=book&keyword=william+mangieri
To CONNECT WITH HIM (and LIKE and FOLLOW), go to
• His site on WordPress: https://williammangieri.wordpress.com
• “William Mangieri’s Writing Page” on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/NoTimeToThink
• His Goodreads author page: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6893616.William_Mangieri
• Or on twitter: @WilliaMangieri