The best way I have gotten to know people is through their stories. I love a good story and ask people to tell me theirs if I ever get the chance. The complexity of human life shines through these stories about how someone met their significant other, how they made a certain choice, or how they grew up. I’ve heard almost every story from my family members, but I haven’t run out of questions.
The other day I found out my grandfather who passed away over ten years ago loved vegetables and my grandmother would always pick out his clothes.
Stories immortalize and shape us into who we are. Memory is quite a faulty thing… I can vaguely remember the stories my mom references to me about my childhood: I loved reading to my younger sister, I was very serious sometimes, and I got a black eye going down a light blue water slide. During nap time my mom would lay next to me and I would recite the beginning of Snow White to her, because I needed to tell stories too… even though I was too young to have any of my own.
My favorite thing is to come home to my roommate when I have a riveting story to tell about something that happened to me at school. I tell it dramatically, I use too much detail, and my hand gestures are all over the place. I love telling stories, but it’s even better to listen to them. It’s better to understand someone based on their experiences. Learning how people act in situations is also important to me as a writer. I’m sure my fellow writers can relate to hearing a story and thinking “oh that would be great to write about” or “that’s an interesting character trait.” The notes app in my phone is full of random sentences like “a bunch of divorced women tied stones to his ankles and threw him into the pond, so he had to apologize for his thoughts” or just “sunset traffic only.” These little snippets of people’s lives are floating around in my head, I know I can create something beautiful with them.
I am so excited to be a part of Sundress Publications and to be able to read people’s stories, whether they be fact or fiction, and to be able to contribute in having their voices be heard.
Bethany Milholland is a senior at The University of Evansville majoring in Creative Writing. She is the former Co-Editor-in-Chief of The Evansville Review. She is also a former intern for her University’s magazine The Crescent. In her spare time, she enjoys earning a cat’s love and shopping at every thrift store within a thirty-mile radius.
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