I told this true personal story at The Moth StorySlam in Los Angeles on June 6, 2017. The theme was “Mystery.” I came in third place, for which I won: nothing…except pride in getting better at this art form every day. I love oral storytelling. What an exciting way to connect with community, share what we all have in commoon, and increase our understanding of one another! If you’re unfamiliar with live storytelling, I recommend you check out The Moth and listen to either The Moth Radio Hour, which also plays on many NPR affiliates, or the online podcast. The stories are funny, moving, surprising…and addicting.
I’m having a blast in the world of oral storytelling, and you can hear me tell my latest story in the podcast Two Truths & a Lie. In this live storytelling show, three performers share personal stories. The catch? One of us is lying. For this episode, the topic is: Cheats. Can you guess who the liar is?
You can listen to my sexy flash-fiction story, The Afternoon Sleepwalk, in the latest No Extra Words Podcast, Episode #81: You Looking at Me? This episode features three fun stories, plus two writers describing their cool writing spaces. But, just FYI, I read my story at 19:20:
Happy 453rd Birthday to the Bard, who has given our language so much. A few of my favorites:
“We are such stuff as dreams are made on…” – The Tempest
“Though this be madness, yet there’s method in’t…” – Hamlet
“Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more…” – Henry V
Let us all celebrate the day of William Shakespeare’s birth with my favorite sonnet:
“When, in disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes,
I all alone beweep my outcast state
And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries
And look upon myself and curse my fate,
Wishing me like to one more rich in hope,
Featured like him, like him with friends possess’d,
Desiring this man’s art and that man’s scope,
With what I most enjoy contented least;
Yet in these thoughts myself almost despising,
Haply I think on thee, and then my state,
Like to the lark at break of day arising
From sullen earth, sings hymns at heaven’s gate;
For thy sweet love remember’d such wealth brings
That then I scorn to change my state with kings.”
– William Shakespeare
By Cara Lopez Lee
I’ve been getting rid of them this week. The extra words. I often say too much. My obsessive compulsive disorder makes this so hard to control that sometimes it feels like I only have two options: say everything or nothing at all.
Sometimes I write a Facebook reply in an attempt to connect, some comment about an experience I once had that’s similar to the one a friend has described. Then I ask myself: are you sure this person shared their story in hopes of hearing yours? What then shall I write? “I understand”? Won’t that get lost in the thread? Shall I ask a question? “And what happened to you after that?” Too intrusive perhaps? I give up, delete all my words, and hit “like,” or the surprised emoji or laughing emoji, admonishing myself to be sparing with the heart emoji so they know I mean it.
In case you missed it, my short personal story of love and marriage, called Smelly Make This Bed, makes an appearance today at The Manifest-Station, a beautiful online journal “On Being Human.” This Valentine’s Day, let it remind us that whatever challenges we face in our lives, somehow, somewhere, some way: love survives. Happy Valentine’s Day to you!
In this month’s edition of Long Story Short, I take a personal look at a sacred yet strange space, the marriage bed: “…when you spend years sleeping with one person everything that happens in bed is too much information.” Please check out Smelly Make This Bed (if you haven’t yet). Thank you as always, my friends, for supporting the power of words.