I got one! The first story of my road trip! Many of you who read my blog know that I am on the road driving back to Arizona. My family and I make this trip at least twice a year because with kids, it's cheaper than flying.
This time, I decided to do something fun and collect at least one story, minimum, per state. That would require me to talk to people, and pry their hands from their phones. The first one, I collected from Champagne, Illinois. I won't say at which hotel, though many of you know where we prefer to stay. Let's just say the name rhymes with Truly, and I had my three complementary margaritas last night. LOL.
The first story comes from one of the workers here. My husband and I have talked to this wonderful person before, but when I told him about my writing challenge he was like, "I am the story! Right here. (He points to himself) It came out in the paper recently." Of course, he got my immediate attention.
Story Giver #1, is a tall young black man, well over 6 feet tall. From the outside, he could be in his thirties, but is probably in his early twenties. He is also very built, although his physical size is not imposing and not what people notice. His eyes are kind, and he always has a smile on his face, even when other hotel guests are bristly and downright rude. He is warm and generous to my children, and I daresay, a wonderful human being, which is why his story took me by surprise.
The cautionary tale is a typical one that needs to be told. Essentially, when he was going to high school he was the town football star and on a football scholarship. Unfortunately, he tore his ACL his senior year. That was it for him. No more scholarship from the university, no more promises of a bright future. And what is more, often his high school teachers would let him slide by, which put him at a grave academic disadvantage. That revelation made me truly sad.
Well, to make matters worse, his parents got a divorce his senior year, and he went through a lot of hardship, more than any young man should endure.
But, there is a happy turn to that story. Our brave Story Giver #1, decided he needed to come into his own and discover who he was. He decided to enroll at a community college, so he would be away from everyone who knew about his lost football scholarship. He needed to succeed and come into his own. Thanks to those amazing teachers at his local college, he was able to excel academically with honors.
Now, he is finishing his university degree and going into real estate. This is his last semester. I am so proud of him and grateful that he shared his story.
**I hope you enjoyed this first bit. I captured as much as I could between interrupting hotel guests.**
In the next couple of days, I will be grading essays and creative writing portfolios, all wonderful, so my writing escapades will be short. However, I have something magical to tell you, well two magical things. (1) I got feedback from my editor, and she says the main character is no longer fundamentally unlikable! She had positive, very positive things to say about "La Bruja del Barrio Loco" and (2) That beta reader I hired, she is going to look over my story, and I am going to copy edit hers! That has made my week! Isn't that amazing?
Collect stories today and share them with the world. You may just make a difference to someone. #Resist
Dr. Jesú Estrada,