Great Stories Have Memorable Scenes

I just finished reading A Million Miles in a Thousand Years. It is very good, and very quotable. Take this for example:

A good storyteller speaks something into nothing. Where there is an absence of story, or perhaps a bad story, a good storyteller walks in and changes reality. he doesn’t critique the existing story, or lament about his boredom, like a critic. He just tells something different and invites other people into the new story he is telling.

Or this:

No girl who plays the role of a hero dates guys who uses her. She knows who she is.

I don’t want to get into the book to much here, you should read it. It did inspire me to make a little list though…

So, I have often thought that I have lived a sort of un-interesting life. Don’t take that to negatively. I live a good life which i like, but not a lot of crazy stuff happens to me. I don’t have nearly as many funny stores as Cass, I did not almost burn the last living grass in all of Australia like Rhett. In the book Donald Miller talks about memorable scenes. A good story has memorable scenes. Im learning that its not so important to have lots of memorable scenes, just that the scenes be important, and that you let them shape you. So, from birth to now, here are a few memorable scenes from my life:

My first memory (I think), was of a box fan getting blown out of a window during a storm. It was very scary.

I remember hikes in the woods behind our house in MA. I remember a boulder that we could climb on, and an really cool pine forest. I still love the woods.

I remember my brother sledding into the creek in the middle of winter, and I remember watching the snowplows at night.

I remember making huge snowballs. In my mind they are bigger then 4 year old me. Probably not. I still love the snow.

I remember having to evacuate the church because of a fire in the heater.

We moved to Arkansas, on our drive there we saw the Statue of Liberty, made snowflakes for the van, I got a really cool toy truck for christmas. My cousin Brian got a bow.

I didn’t want to go school at all. I got in trouble the first day at a new school for something I did not even know was against the rules (I climbed on top of the monkey bars), then i got lost trying to find my classroom. I hated school I think. I know I hated to read. I got a big sad face on my homework.

Ms. Nelson let us take apart a water pump. And she taught me to read. I still love to read.

We almost burned down the Haak’s farm.

There were people who I wanted to like me, but i didn’t think they did.

We got a dog.

One time Daniel and I were playing on our flooded back yard and i jumped into the water and cut my knee. I still have the scar. Really, there are countless scenes with my brother in them. Playing army, beating computer games, jumping from couch to couch being Peter, Edmond or Caspian.

My parents read and sang to us almost every night. I still remember those songs. Horris the Horse is still an inspiration to me, and if you ever run across a magic wardrobe please call me first.

I played in Mark’s hay barn, went to Luke’s birthday party, and borrowed Daniel’s toy riffle

I made 100% on a spelling test. Two times. other then that, i worked really really hard to spell well, but never, ever did. I still don’t spell well. I won the science fair. Twice. I still like science (nerd..sure).

I went to NLR…there are a lot of scenes from NLR, and it sets up an entire Act.

I went to Mendenhall Mississippi, where I saw inequality, and people trying to make the world better.

I remember a homeless guy coming up to our car on vacation while we were in the drive through at McDonalds, i was confused then about how you should react to somebody asking for money. I still am.

My freshman year of college actually has a lot of good scenens, but they probably would seem really boring if you were watching from the outside. Stuff like always being the last ones out of the dinning hall after dinner. Throwing napkins in the toaster (well..that could be exciting), eating pizza and watching Buffy (Cody was obsessed), playing basketball and shooting 22s with Zak and hanging out with Andrew. Eating snow ice cream, and driving home to Siloam Springs with Chandle. Amy helping with my first ever design class, and playing Frisbee with new friends (and getting destroyed at our first tournament). These are really important to me because it represented starting over with new people, and i guess in a lot of ways a new me.

I went to Europe. Traveling has a way of creating good scenes. Ill just share one. Brooklyn and I were stranded in some city and there were no hostels or hotels open. So we walked the streets for a night. I actually learned a lot that night.

Ok, another one from Europe, I almost jumped out of a moving train. The conductor grabbed me and held me on. That was kind of crazy,

NLR does of course have a lot fo scenes. Here are two: I met Beth. She jumped into the creek with her shoes on (not because I met her…). Heath and I climbed Jacobs Ladder. We both had something to learn from each other.

Josh, Dusty, some other guys and I got lost in the dark and rain at Sam’s. Then our flashlights started dying.

Sam and I climbed the Chapel at JBU.

Beth and I got married, but i dont really remember that. Weddings are kind of like that. Ill have to watch the video.

Chase and I drove across Colorado so I could visit Daniel and he could go to a funeral. Colorado is a beautiful place.

Luke and I drove the Outback way up into the mountains. It was amazing to see some of the most beautiful land created. Then we broke the sway bar on the car, and were really late getting back to the cabin…

Cass and i stayed up until 6 in the morning (or something like that) building a new recruiting display for camp. Actually Cass is a part of a lot of late night (or early morning) scenes. He is also part of a lot of projects, learning, and growth in me.

Beth and I climbed a mountain together.

We moved to Tulsa, and all our friends were really generous to help.

We tried to dig a well at church.

I met Margen and was honored to hear her poetry.

Our friends recited half of Oklahoma while standing around a camp fire. It was really funny.

Jared captured the attention of a crowd at an open mic night. That’s not easy and is kind of incredible to watch.

Just today, we walked in the snow, watched ice float down the river, and saw an amazing sunset.

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