Telling My Tales

Stacey Curran
4 min readOct 18, 2019

I’ve spent pretty much my entire conscious life narrating to myself. I cannot control writing a story inside my head. If I stopped to write everything down I phrase in thought, I’d get nothing done.

Yet, somehow I stopped writing years ago. I kept up my inner narration, but I stopped getting anything on paper. I’m not sure exactly why. I’d been a journalist and so writing was a job, even though it rarely felt that way. I could write news stories by deadline comfortably. I would do my research and my interviews effectively, even though this was before the internet was in wide usage. I did write on a computer, but regular email use was just emerging, and most of the newspaper layout was done by hand. Thus, I had to call to interview people and I had to go to the library and search microfiche. I had to set up appointments and attend meetings in person. Although I was busy writing for work, I also wrote fiction stories and poems. Then, I just stopped.

I could blame adulthood I suppose. I switched careers and became a teacher, so I needed to go back to school. Then I got a full-time teaching job and got married and had kids and did all kinds of grown up stuff like cooking, and food shopping and laundry and driving kids places.

I kept right on with the stream of consciousness storytelling in my head. I would see interesting things happening and write a lead paragraph internally. I would read books and newspapers and websites and mentally rewrite the work. I would think of angles in stories that the writer left unexplored. I’d research the subject matter further and imagine it as a play or a TV show or a novel without actually writing one line. Sometimes I’d even imagine who could play the parts. The plots continued evolving in my brain but existing nowhere else.

I have never thought of myself as imaginative, because I associate that word with whimsy. But these stories I conjure up must be caused by an active imagination, albeit a realistic one. There are no unicorns or maidens trapped in towers or talking animals in my tales. I mostly think of my daily interactions as plot points in an endless novel, of which I am technically the narrator.

In case this internal soundtrack sounds like I’ve lost touch with true reality, trust me that is not the case. I just like the way words can twist lyrically to retell an occurrence or occasion. I have an involuntary habit of caching key words in my memory. When I tell a story verbally, I remember the ones from the interactions…

Stacey Curran

Former journalist; few N.E. Press Assoc. Awards, few Boston Globe essays, few anthologies, @TheBelladonnaComedy @Slackjaw @BostonAccent, so many grocery lists.