The Whole Story

There are times when I am talking to someone, when I can’t help but think “They’re probably wondering why in the world am I telling them all this.”  For example, several different people asked me today what I am doing for my long weekend.  This is a natural question to ask someone who is taking 2 days of PTO, right?  Well, I can’t just give a short answer, like “visiting family.”  Nope, it is more along the lines of:  “Tonight and tomorrow I’m just hanging out at home, and then I’m headed to the west side of the state to meet up with a friend, then go to my brother’s house for my niece’s Frozen Movie Party, then hanging out with them Saturday and spending Sunday at home.”  But, actually, it usually goes even further than that; I have to give the backstory:

I decided at my last really stressful job that there is too long a stretch between New Years and Memorial Day with no paid holiday, so I made it a personal tradition to take the first day of spring as a PTO day.  This year, it falls on a Thursday, and there’s no way I’m coming back on Friday after having Thursday off, so I decided to take Friday too.  Tonight and tomorrow I’m just going to hang out at home.  On Friday I’m driving to the west side of the state, having lunch with a friend, and then going to my brother’s house.  I’m really pretty excited about it.  See, unbeknownst to my brother and his wife, about 6 weeks ago, my little 5-year-old Frozen-obsessed niece told all her little friends on the bus that she was having a “Frozen” party that night.  The funniest part was, a little girl and her dad actually showed up at my brother’s house for the party.  The misunderstanding was easily cleared up, and since then my sister-in-law and brother have been planning to have a Movie Party once Frozen was released on disc.  They only told my niece about it about a week or so ago; they were keeping it a secret from her.  I’m really excited to see 9 little girls most likely-singing singing and dancing their hearts out while watching the movie.  Then Saturday I’m just going to hang out there for a while and come home Saturday night.  And Sunday will just be at home.

Yep.  That was pretty much the story.  Every single time.  And I just did it again!  Are you thinking “why is she telling me all this” yet?  You see, I seem to suffer under some sort of affliction that makes it necessary for me to tell “the Whole Story.”  Part of it may be my “storyteller’s” instincts, though I usually don’t tell the story particularly well when I’m actually talking to someone.  But I think it is also because I always like to know the whole story.  I am always curious about what led up to a particular moment or event, or what happened next.

This is probably why many of my Facebook posts are more like short stories and I don’t even bother with Twitter.

It is why I occasionally write fanfic, mainly for TV series that I felt were cancelled before their time, before the whole story was told (such as Firefly/Serenity).  I haven’t written any Browncoat fanfic, but I’m dying to know the rest of the story: what happens to River and Simon?  What is Shepherd Book’s history (that one really drives me nuts)?

It is also why I don’t mind long movies and (most) sequels.  I am picky about sequels, though, because the story has to lend itself to a sequel (I hate when a sequel is tacked on to a movie with a “finished” story just because it did really well in the box office).

Wait.  Did you see that?  I just did it again.  I could have just stopped after “(most) sequels.”

I love long books and series precisely because I get to know the whole story.  Tolkien is my favorite author for at least a dozen reasons, but high on that list is that he knew the entire history of Middle Earth.  He told most of it, from the creation story through 3 long ages of time.  At the end of Lord of the Rings, and in the appendices, he continued the tales of each member of the fellowship until their particular tale came to a conclusion.  My guess is, he knew even more of the history of middle earth than he ever wrote down.

I think this is also why editing my NaNo novel has been a bigger chore than I anticipated.  As I read and worked on editing, I kept getting stuck on details that will probably never make it into the finished novel, but I had to know them anyway.  I probably spent hours just staring at my words, trying to figure out how the world I’d created had become what it was.  I have notes, of course, but most of that never made it into the narrative.  (I’ll be doing a separate post about my editing journey in a few days).

So, my apologies to everyone who got to hear my ridiculously long answer to “What are your plans for the long weekend.”  Or any other day when I offer unnecessary information/backstory that makes you think “Why is she telling me all this?”  You have been a victim of my need to know (or tell) the Whole Story.

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