Check out Brevity (the magazine and blog) for Flash Nonfiction

For several years now, I’ve been intrigued with Flash Nonfiction, specifically the subgenre of Flash Memoir. What’s that? By my definition, tightly-focused, scene-based, observant, true stories from life. That’s mostly what I publish here on True Stories Well Told, just because of the short form required of a blog. And it’s what I like to write, for a break from 100,000-world long-form creative nonfiction.

Speaking of which, I’ve spent the last couple of weeks deeply immersed in completing my book project started on the Big MFA Adventure, and–IT’S DONE! First draft, needing many more passes through the sander, but it’s done. What a great feeling to write a final sentence, type a period, push back from the keyboard. I stumbled blinking into the light of a Labor Day afternoon, my labor done.

I want to relax, yet keep writing. I’m in the mood to do some Flash Nonfiction. Want to join me?

If you feel like writing for publication, try the Brevity magazine or blog. Guidelines here.

Want some insight into what they’re looking for? Read this essay by Brevity Editor and celebrated Creative Nonfiction guru Dinty Moore: Focusing on Flash Nonfiction: An Interview with Dinty Moore – River Teeth Journal

And if you’d like a quick course in Flash Memoir right here, right now, check out this four-part post series right here on True Stories Well Told.

  • Sarah White
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Circe

By Suzy Beal

This is the 13th episode of a travel memoir that is unfolding, one chapter each month, here on True Stories Well Told. Stay tuned for more of the adventure as teenage Suzy’s family moves to Europe, builds a sailboat, and takes up life on the high seas circa 1961. Click here to read the earlier episodes.

She was to become our home, sleek and fast.

“I’ve got it, I’ve got the perfect name for our boat,” Dad announced one afternoon. “Circe” he said. We looked at each other in question. Who or what was a Circe? Dad explained he’d just learned from the guys at the local café, Circe was a siren from the Homer’s “Odyssey.” She sang to the sailors passing her island and enchanted them to come closer and closer until they went aground on the rocks. Folks in Mallorca believed that Mallorca was her island. Dad and Mom knew this was the perfect name for our boat. We’d been trying for weeks to find a name. Everyone had offered up suggestions, but none stuck. “Circe” did.

Dad had purchased the plans for our boat before leaving the States. Frances L. Herrshoff designed our 58-foot ketch with center board instead of a deep keel. With the center board we could sail into shallow waters if we wanted to or we could raise the center board if we found ourselves in trouble in shoal waters.

Dad commanded the respect of the maestros at the boat yard by his knowledge of boat building and willingness to commit folly with his pidgin Spanish.

Señor Bernardo managed the boat yard, the workers, and the work flow as they were working on our boat and another at the same time. Señor Pepe was the master craftsman who over saw the quality of the work and supervised the actual building. Dad worked directly with him.

Señor Pepe, master boatbuilder, with Dad

Dad ordered the metal parts such as screws, nails, and fittings from England. Once he told the maestro, “We need 5,000 putas” instead of puntas. He’d ordered 5,000 prostitutes! The hysterical laughter from the men in the shop told Dad he’d blundered. Two and one-half years later when they launched Circe, the maestros were still teasing Dad about it.

Work on Circe moved forward, with Dad and the boys going daily to the shop. Hank at the age of fifteen and sixteen took on the job of all the wire rigging, which meant he cut and spliced it to the correct lengths. Carl at age thirteen did odd jobs around the shop including scraping glue, a job he hated. He worked with Dad making the fiberglass tanks to hold water and gasoline. Brother Tom spent time at the shop, but his interests were elsewhere. He started an English book exchange with the English-speaking community in Puerto.

Mom, Jan, and I didn’t go to the boat yard often, because we were busy at home knitting sweaters for the men, teaching Conrad and Frank, and planning the linens we would need on the boat.

I didn’t have the same experience of our boat as my brothers who worked on Circe. They started to talk about her as if she was a person. They developed a love for the boat that I didn’t. At sixteen, my life was elsewhere.

Built mostly by hand, Circe had 40,000 man-hours (hours not using machines) in her by the time she launched. The woodwork was elegant, with over twenty kinds of wood used. Hand carvings on each of the bunks stood watch over us as we slept. The craftsman also carved a figurehead for the bow. She was the siren, “Circe.”

Our boat would sleep nine of us with Carl in the engine room, Mom and Dad in the salon, Conrad and Frank in bunks on one side, Jan and I in bunks on the other side, and Tom and Hank in the fo’c’s’le.

From Mom’s letter to her sister.

Our boat is coming along quite nicely now but will not really be ready to go before about the first of May, so we will probably be here till the first of June. Wish I could get the beautiful carpentry work in a house that is being done on the boat. The fellow who is doing the finishing work inside is a furniture maker, and the work is really exquisite. Everyone who sees the boat tells me how lucky we are, but stupid me—all I can think of is nine of us living in an area somewhere around 36 feet long and about 6 to 8 feet wide. The boat is 58 feet long overall, but engine room, etc, make up the difference. Well, we shall see. Won’t be too bad during the summer when we’re on the move all the time, then when winter comes, we can always find a house if it gets too bad. At this point we are planning to be up on the south coast of France next winter so that the children can learn French and go to school there… you better plan to make us a visit.

 

Three photos of the Circe under construction at MYABCA….

Dad, Mom, Hank, Tom, Carl, Suzy, Jan with Anitra, Conrad with Rusty, and Frank

© 2019 Suzy Beal

Suzy Beal, an occasional contributor to True Stories Well Told, has been writing her life story and personal essays for years. In 2016 Suzy began studying with Sheila Bender at writingitreal.com.  Watch for new chapters of her travel memoir to be posted! Please leave comments for Suzy on this post.

 

 

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4 Ways to Develop Better Writing Habits in 2019

By Desiree Villena

To quote a line from Charles Duhigg’s famous book, The Power of Habit:“There’s nothing you can’t do if you get the habits right.”

And I couldn’t agree more.

Human beings are creatures of habit — what we do every day sets the direction of our lives. But here’s the thing: not all of our habits are good. And if the goal is to become an accomplished writer, it’s important to distinguish which habits are helping us move closer to our goals and which ones are keeping us from achieving them.

In this post, I’m sharing four actions that have helped me build stronger writing habits in 2019. If you dedicated yourself to writing a memoir this year, but have found yourself struggling for motivation, I hope that these tips help.

1. Commit to writing every day.

If you’ve read your share of articles by now about developing writing habits, then you’re probably sick of this advice. But there’s a reason that it exists — even if every fiber of your body tells you that writing everyday isn’t worth it.

To wit, it’s just like exercise. There’s no way for you to get fit if you don’t move your body. And if you don’t write, you don’t build up your writing muscles: both the ones in your fingers and the ones in your brain. If you need a goal at the end of the tunnel to keep you focused, consider submitting your experimental pieces to writing contests! Quite a few are geared specifically towards creative nonfiction.

Get in what you can. If you have plenty of free time, aim to write at least 1000 words a day. Otherwise, I’ve found that a smaller and more attainable number like 300 is more realistic.

2. Discover what approach works best for you.

There are two popular disciplines when choosing topics to write about: tackle the challenging stuff, or write about what comes naturally to you.

Both can do wonders to improve your writing. You can schedule days where you write about your passions, and on other days you can tackle topics that are outside of your comfort zone.

Personally, I think it’s best to do both instead of sticking to one. Writing about what you know builds confidence in writing, while the second approach improves both your research and writing skills.

3. Find a good writing group.

Writing groups aren’t just great for getting feedback. Through them, you can find conferences, join writing discussions, and give advice to other memoirists who are struggling to refine their craft just like you.

It’s also a terrific place to find experienced writers who can critique your work, so that you know what to improve — whether that’s an inconsistent point of viewor shallow character development. You shouldn’t be afraid of critics (although a lot of writers naturally are). As painful as it can be to have your work mercilessly picked apart by the professionals, it helps you build humility and character, and you’ll need plenty of that, especiallywhen you need to deal with editors.

It’s not hard to find one, either. For instance, Sarah leads great “Remember to Write” workshops here. If you don’t happen to be nearby one of them, you can search by interest on www.meetup.comto find a local writing group. Online, Facebook or a friendly writer’s forum are popular places to go hunting for future writing buddies. All of this to say: they’re everywhere if you look, so give them a try if you’re having a hard time finishing your work. A good writing group will hold you accountable — and, more importantly, give you motivation to keep writing.

4. Don’t stop reading.

You won’t know what quality writing looks like if you don’t read. For this reason, I can’t stress enough the importance of reading different kinds of material for the niche in which you’re writing (or would like to write for).

Study the works of the masters and find out what they’re doing differently that sets them apart. If you’re not well-read, it’s going to be transparent in your every sentence and you risk not being understood by readers the way you want your work to be understood.

Writing is a personal experience, especially for memoirists. I’d never say what works for one writer is going to work for you. But the great thing about life is that you have plenty of time to find out what special mix of practices will reap the most results.

Have the courage to try different approaches, including ones not mentioned here. Stick to that routine, and before you know it, you’ll have a published memoir on your hands. And I’m looking forward to seeing it on the bookshelves!

© 2019 Desiree Villena

Desiree Villena is a writer with Reedsy, a marketplace that connects authors and publishers with the world’s best editors, designers, and marketers. In her spare time, Desiree enjoys reading fiction and writing short stories, and is always looking for ways to improve her craft.

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Halifax Redux

By Sarah White

I’m taking a four-part self-guided workshop with Creative Nonfiction this month, titled “Playing with Patterns: Crafting the Braided & Collage Essays.” The intent is to draw us into examining the creative potential of juxtaposing themes through collage and braided techniques. I’ve never experimented with anything like that. I’m having fun with it.

An exercise in Week #2 was, “Write a short collage piece that uses sensory image to draw us into either (1) a seed of life narrative about three different places you have been connected to; OR (2) three seeds of narrative about one place you’ve been connected to. (By “seed of narrative” instructor Sharia Yates mean a hint of a story, or a window into a story using a few suggestive images or one scene.)

I chose #2, and chose to use my past two years’ Big MFA Adventure as the subject of my creative experiments in this short course. Here goes.

Halifax, MFA residency #1, August 2017.

Starting at the base of Maslow’s Pyramid, my first graduate school residency in Halifax was bedeviled by uncertainty. The need for physiological safety and security was uppermost. I’d arrived from Wisconsin at 4 a.m. due to a flight delay. Where was my dorm room? Waking from a quick sleep, where to find food? Every sense was unsettled by neediness. Through the two-week residency I was always half-hungry, unsatisfied by the food I did find—stupid baby carrots, flavorless goat cheese, packaged crackers. I soon tired of to-go carton meals, developing a deep aversion to the bendy tines of plastic forks, the futility of plastic knives.

I walked around the campus feeling unsafe around all the construction barrels, tangling with the safety-orange webbed fencing strung across crumbling sidewalks. I learned to find my way like a spelunker, turn by hazardous turn, to the pub in the basement of the Dalhousie administration building, only to find it beer-smelling and humid, its foods the grubbiest of pub grub.

The days were hot for Canada, but comfortable enough for this Midwesterner. I laughed at the sandwich board outside the convenience store that said “24 C – air conditioned! Come in for respite!” (That’s 78 degrees Fahrenheit.)

 

Halifax MFA residency #2, August 2018

The return to Halifax placed me higher on Maslow’s pyramid. By this time I carried a nifty little plastic case containing a real metal fork, knife, and spoon. I’d learned to Google “groceries near me.” I’d thought all year about what to buy, to make my dorm picnics more palatable.

Belonging and esteem were now my needs. I greeted returning classmates, renewing friendships with my Canadian fellow students, but sensed I stood a little outside their circle. I was one of only two Americans in the program, and not the charismatic one.

But I remembered how I enjoyed the attention of the upper-classmates who befriended me the previous year, and I took some under-classmates under my wing, especially the dramatic J, who was having trouble fitting the experience of residency to what she had imagined since acceptance. I invited her to visit Africville with me, purposely filling the weekend between classes for both of us, which I remembered as particularly lonely my first year. I was the only second-year on a dorm floor with seven first-years, and I became their mama and coach.

Together we survived a year of record heat and humidity—85 degrees Fahrenheit at midnight in my room, no fans to be had. I’d wake to swab my naked self with a wet washcloth I kept in the fridge at the foot of my bed, thinking of the irony—this dorm wing was named “North Pole.”

 

Halifax #3: Graduation, May 2019

Attending graduation wasn’t strictly necessary and wasn’t in the budget, given what I’d already spent attaining my MFA-Creative Nonfiction from University of King’s College-Halifax, but I wanted to roll that phrase on my tongue a little longer, extend this exquisite stimulation for one more run at Maslow’s pyramid. Here was my chance to see the view from the pinnacle, self-actualization.

I cooked up a scheme to cover my costs by running a writing retreat at a Nova Scotia farmhouse in the days before graduation. I was able to recruit some of my writing students from Madison.

I didn’t anticipate how grateful I’d be for my entourage when we rolled in from the countryside on graduation day. Everyone, including the other American, had a posse of family. I would have had no one—my family vaguely supported my whim of enrolling in an MFA but not enough to hie them hither to Halifax.

Perfect weather rewarded us for our two years of study, a day of sun and breezy cool piercing a month of rain. My regalia marked me as one of the celebrated, even if my too-large tasseled cap made my face strangely chipmunk-like in the photos.

Graduates processed behind a bagpiper, my class falling so far behind I couldn’t hear him, out of solidarity with our classmate E, whose disability made walking slow. After the ceremony, my writing retreatants gave me a dozen yellow roses, which made me secretly peeved at the waste until googling told me I could bring them home on the plane.

I cut down a plastic water bottle for a vase, wrapped a washcloth around it for stability, and placed it on the sink-counter in our shared bathroom—we had taken over the same floor in the North Pole—where it doubled to two dozen in the mirror. For the flight home, I swaddled the stems in stolen washcloth, thinking of my midnight swabbings the previous August.

Will I see Halifax again? Having finished my climb up Maslow’s pyramid, would it only disappoint? The only way to know is to go.

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Cry Me A River

By Melodee Leven Currier

After having writers’ block for several months, while driving to an appointment I asked my angels to give me a sign about what I should write for my next article.  

My thoughts quickly darted to one of my pet peeves – the crazy number of people on television who cry about seemingly nothing.  By the time I arrived at my appointment, Roy Orbison’s “Crying” was playing on my car radio and I instantly knew that was the sign I was waiting for.  

It seems you can’t turn on the television any more without seeing someone cry.  I always wonder – why in the world are they crying??  Usually it’s something that wouldn’t make me cry. And often they aren’t even crying at all — wiping “dry” eyes, pretending they’re crying, trying to elicit sympathy. Three reality shows that seem to encourage pretend crying are Dr. Phil, Paternity Court and The Bachelor.  

According to the NY Post, the average woman will cry six times a month, twice as much as men.  The last time I remember crying was four years ago when I heard that Dr. Wayne Dyer died.  He had been my guru since the mid-70’s when I started reading his books.  I even met him twice — once he sat next to me in church.  When I told him he was my guru, he replied, “No, you’re your own guru.”  

The hardest I ever cried (Oprah’s “ugly cry”) was thirteen years ago when our 18 year old cat, Shibui, died.  And the most I ever cried was in high school during my first serious relationship.  I’m sure I cried a lot more than six times a month then, more like six times a day.  

People cry because of sadness, grief, frustration, nervousness and joy – even hormones play a part.  And some payoffs for criers are that people might feel sorry for them and they may get their support or sympathy, it can soothe and relieve stress, it aids sleep and you can feel better afterward.  When I’ve cried, it is usually without warning because of grief or frustration.  

Your unique perception of a situation will determine if you cry.  For example, often people cry at the thought of losing their job, but I see it as a new beginning, often as a blessing and an opportunity for a new adventure.   Finding another job can be a stepping stone to more money, meeting new people and learning something new.  

Hundreds of songs have been written about crying and I have even been known to cry, or be on the verge of tears, while listening to some of them – Tears in Heaven, Big Girls Don’t Cry, Cry Me A River, Crying in the Rain, Lonely Teardrops, Tears On My Pillow and Don’t Cry Outloud are just a few.  If we listen to Dr. Seuss who said, “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” the crying average per month would drop considerably.  

As for me, chances are I’m not going to cry as long as no one I know dies.  I guess I need to listen to Dr. Seuss and not cry because they died, but smile because I knew them.

© 2019 Melodee Currier

Melodee Currier left corporate America in 2008 where she was an intellectual
property paralegal.  Since then she has devoted her time to writing and has
had three eBooks (www.amazon.com/author/melodeecurrier) and numerous articles published on a wide variety of topics.   Her articles can be read on her website www.melodeecurrier.com.  Mel is an occasional contributor to True Stories Well Told.

 

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Wallace Stegner’s “Crossing to Safety” and the Rolling Now

By Sarah White

While staying at Windhorse Farm leading a writing retreat in Nova Scotia in May, I ran into an old friend—Crossing to Safety,Wallace Stegner’s 1987 novel and one of my favorite books of all time.

I began reading it again, and noted the page on which I stopped when departure day came. I have the same edition on my bookshelf at home, and once home, I picked up where I left off.

I first discovered this book early in the early 1990s. I recall reading it three times over, in quick succession. This was just as I was returning to my childhood writing ambitions, and Crossing to Safety was the book I wished I were author enough to write, the book written in just the literary style I hoped someday to master.

It’s a novel about “a long, not-always-easy friendship between two couples,” the back jacket of my first-edition paperback states. Early chapters take place in Madison, Wisconsin, where I live, and perhaps that’s the “hello” it had me at on that first reading.

But more, it was that not-always-easy friendship that gripped me. This was the first time I noticed how character drives a story forward. Here were four people—six possible relationship dyads—and Stegner developed them all.

I wasn’t yet in the grip of creative nonfiction when I first read it, but even then I suspected it was more than a little autobiographical. These people just rang so true. About that: Stegner told VQR magazine in 1991 that he began the book as a memoir.

I was just trying to get some friends of ours down where I could understand them. It turned out to be a novel because I invented a whole lot more than I intended. I was going to do this one right straight from life but I can’t do that. I’m not to be trusted with life; I keep inventing it.

It was more than the little thrill of reading about streets and buildings I know, the larger thrill of seeing the curtain pulled back on what goes on in adult relationships, that held me. It was the technique with which Crossing to Safety was written—the deft moving around in time that Stegner accomplished.

After last August’s MFA Residency, I started thinking about reading Crossing to Safety again, because Mentor Ken McGoogan had just introduced me to the “Rolling Now” literary technique. (See “The End” here on this blog, about that.)

Crossing to Safety comprises 341 pages of “Rolling Now.” After this latest reading, I was so intrigued by Stegner’s polished use of the technique (he leaps back and forth through four decades) that I started analyzing it from the beginning and mapped out exactly where/when he made those leaps.

My sticky-note time map of Crossing to Safety.

I finally saw the “why” of it all laid out before me. I saw how each flight back in time layered in details about the two couples whose friendships form the central theme of the book. I saw the skillful quickening of pace as the end approached. I was inspired by the roadmap for how I might approach some future piece of long-form writing. I’m playing with “The Rolling Now” in my writing and diving deeper into braided patterns in my writing studies (alas, now self-guided–farewell, U-King’s Big MFA Adventure!).

I admire what Stegner achieved with Crossing to Safety immensely. I hope someday a book I write can give as much satisfaction to a reader as Stegner has given me.

 

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Paris and Christmas Holidays

By Suzy Beal

This is the 12th episode of a travel memoir that is unfolding, one chapter each month, here on True Stories Well Told. Stay tuned for more of the adventure as teenage Suzy’s family moves to Europe, builds a sailboat, and takes up life on the high seas circa 1961. Click here to read the earlier episodes.

Dad, Grandma, Aunt Mim in France, 1923

Grandma and Jack made preparations to return to the States.  They wanted to be home for the Christmas holiday.  Dad wanted to take Grandma back to visit Hyeres, France where they had lived when he was just a child of seven.  Brother Tom and I went on this trip.  I think Dad took me along so I could accompany Grandma.

We flew to Marseille, where Dad rented a car and drove to Hyeres on the Mediterranean Coast.  On arriving in Hyeres, Dad purchased sweet dried fruits for Grandma, something they had treasured years ago.  He found the house where they lived and parked the car so Grandma could just look at it and eat her candies.  I looked over at her and she had tears streaming down her cheeks.  She said, “Oh Tom, Oh Tom,” and I knew her words were for Grandpa, who had died five years ago.  A sadness came over her that afternoon and even being in Paris the next day didn’t relieve her pain.  Dad stayed with her in the room during the days so Tom, Jack, and I could see Paris. I stayed with her in the evenings and at night when Tom, Jack, and Dad went bar hopping.

Tom’s idea of seeing Paris was to head down into the subway system and pop up where ever he chose.  Once we came up and spied the Eiffel Tower and Tom headed for it.  I hated heights and feared going up, but Tom insisted.  I stepped into the elevator, but huddled in fear on the floor.  We got out at the first stage.  Tom thought if I looked at the view I might change my mind about being up there.  I passed out and everything was a blank for a few seconds.  Jack came to my rescue and took me back down in the elevator.

Dad had purchased tickets for us to see “La Boheme” in the Paris Opera House the night before we were to leave, but Grandma’s depression and sadness was still keeping her to her room.  She just wanted to go home.   We took them to the airport a day earlier than their planned departure and parted with them.   Dad, Tom, and I changed our tickets to fly back to Mallorca, giving up our La Boheme Opera tickets.

Our first Christmas on Mallorca was approaching. We had a tree, but most other families didn’t.  In Spain, the Three Kings bring all the presents for the children on King’s day, January 6th.  They celebrate Christmas Eve with everyone going to midnight Mass.  There was only one church in Puerto.  It was Catholic and everyone attended.  They held Sunday services, weddings, and special services such as Easter and midnight Mass on Christmas Eve here.  We kids wanted to go to midnight Mass because all our friends would be there.  Mom came with us.  Dad was an atheist and wouldn’t have put his foot in a Catholic Church for anyone. Dad had never prevented us from going to church, but he had no place for organized religion in his life.

 

Noche Buena – Christmas Eve

Here we were, at midnight Mass, in a little country church in the town of Puerto Pollensa on the Island of Mallorca off the coast of Spain. All the Christmas carols were familiar because they were the same Christmas carols we sang back home, but we couldn’t sing them in Spanish.  Into the crowded church filed the little Spanish boys and girls, dressed as shepherds leading real sheep.  The three kings came in on real donkeys and Joseph and Mary carried a real baby. They formed a picture of the manger scene in real life.  The musicians played Silent Night, “Noche de Paz.”  I sang, under my breath, in English.  Tears welled up in my eyes.  I looked over at Mom and she, too, was crying and singing in English.  I wondered who and what she was thinking about.

The evening ended with us all going to Brisas Bar for a Spanish tradition called Chocolate y Churros.  They piped the churro dough through a tube into circles in a big vat of oil then cut it into pieces and sprinkled them with sugar.  It seemed like the entire crowd from the church walked into Brisas Bar with us, although I know Iru and Cactus bars were full, too.  We scurried to find a table and ordered our Chocolate y Churros.  It was a special evening because Mom joined us.  The waiters hurried from table to table with trays of steaming chocolate and plates piled high with churros.  I heard the swishing sound of the coffee machine heating the milk for the chocolate.  It was so thick when you dipped the pieces of churro in it, it came out almost like pudding. Sweet and warm, it filled us with a sense of solace in this new environment. Elbow to elbow in Brisas Bar we celebrated Christmas Eve, our first in Spain.

 

Feliz Año Nuevo – Happy New Year 1962!

The New Year’s celebrations included everyone going to a local bar or restaurant for dinner.  Then on to dancing in the streets, going from Brisas Bar to Iru Bar and Cactus Bar.   Young and old alike attended these festivities.  It was cold outside, but the hot Spanish chocolate and churros, which were available throughout the Christmas holidays, warmed us to the core. Since there was no age limit for drinking we even tried hot cognac that came flaming to our table.

 Puerto Pollensa – Brisas Bar, Iru Bar, Cactus Bar, 1961

 

El Dia de los Reyes – King’s Day

On King’s Day, the families wrapped and addressed the presents with the children’s names, then rushed them to the church where they loaded them into a truck.  On the evening of January 6th, the packages rode to the top of Formentor hill outside Puerto where the truck turned around and headed back to town with the torch lit. The procession made its way slowly down the hill with the Three Kings on horseback, trucks full of presents, and dozens of people dressed as Arab “slaves” to deliver the presents.  The children of Puerto could see the Three Kings coming from far away and their excitement grew as the Kings descended the long road and approached Puerto.  Conrad and Frank got caught up in the drama unfolding in the streets.  When the trucks passed our street, several “slaves” delivered packages to our house.  Conrad and Frank could hardly contain themselves with excitement.  It was such a wonderful way for the children to receive their gifts. It seemed real, compared to the way we did it back home, believing Santa Claus came down the chimney.

© 2019 Suzy Beal

Suzy Beal, an occasional contributor to True Stories Well Told, has been writing her life story and personal essays for years. In 2016 Suzy began studying with Sheila Bender at writingitreal.com.  Watch for new chapters of her travel memoir to be posted! Please leave comments for Suzy on this post.

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