The Stories I Tell ~ from The Word Cellar

Stories. Anecdotes. A free round of words for everyone!

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Location: Pennsylvania, United States

I love stories. I'm the one at social functions with a dozen new anecdotes. But I worry about hogging the conversation. Sometimes I tell myself that I'll be quiet and let others do the talking. But no matter how hard I try, my stories insist on bursting out! Here I can let my stories (the classics that I tell again and again, as well as new ones that unfold along the way) run free. I'm a professional writer and editor, and sole proprietor of The Word Cellar. I write for a variety of publications and clients on everything from green buildings and nuclear reactors to entrepreneurship and the arts. If you need words written, edited, or enlivened, I can help. Contact me.


True Blue: My First Talent Show (6th 1st)

Way back in May, before anyone was thinking about the holidays, before farmer's markets sprouted up and gave us the joyful fruits of summer, even before I went on and on about that conference I went to in Chicago, a few of you participated in the First Official Readers' Poll and voted for the final installment in my mini-series of Firsts. As you may recall, there was a tie between my first night as a sorority girl and my first talent show. So now, without any further ado, (although I love ado, don't you?), I bring you: My First Talent Show!

I think the elementary school talent show started out as an idea in our classroom's suggestion box. Our teacher, who was in her early 20s, was pretty much the coolest adult I'd ever met. We were her first teaching job and she treated us like real people. For our school play, in which I played the role of the Forget-Me-Not Lady, she gave me one of her old prom gowns to wear. (I later wore it to a Halloween party and ruined it during the egg toss.) She once invited our whole class to her house for a cook-out. She lived just a few blocks from me, and didn't seem to mind if my best friend and I stopped by on the weekends or during the summer, even after we'd graduated from elementary school.

For the talent show, my best friend and I decided that we'd do a dance routine, set to Madonna's song, True Blue. We went to Claire's Accessories and bought one pair of electric-blue lace gloves, one glove for each of us. I can't picture the rest of our outfits, but I'm sure they matched and suspect they involved leggings.

I'd been tap dancing since the age of 4, but we decided to do a jazz/contemporary routine because it seemed more appropriate to our stature as cool fifth graders who ruled the school. We choreographed the whole song, pantomiming lines like "Your heart fits me like a glove," and "No-whoa more sadness, I kiss it goodbye!" and stealing bits of a routine that I saw in a jazz class at my dance studio. There may also have been some lip-syncing involved.

What happened next is foggy (as these things often are). I seem to recall that each student could only be in one act. And some adult in my life, not understanding the current popularity of lip-syncing, dance routines, may have mentioned that perhaps I'd have more success in the talent show by playing a song with my band friends. (More success? How do you define success in a school talent show? Were their prizes? Maybe a free book or a pack of pencils?) This is where it gets cloudy, because my best friend was also in the band. But I think I abandoned her. And somehow or other, a group of us budding band geeks formed our own mini-band for the talent show.

We held rehearsals at each other's houses, which I'm sure our parents just loved. When it was my turn to host practice, we moved the dining room table off to the side to create a studio space. I had my flute, Brian was there with his saxophone, and Tawnya had her trumpet. When our drummer showed up for practice, he forgot to bring his snare drum with him. I think my dad gave him a bucket and some spoons to use instead. Despite this, we were a well-oiled band machine.

Looking back, I can't remember what song we played, if we won a prize, or even what my best friend said when I backed out on our act. But I remember wishing I was up there with her as she twirled around to the hottest Pop music of our time. I even remember some of those sweet dance moves. Most of all, I remember this when I weigh two options or consider two paths: It's better to be true blue to your heart than to seek out the approval of others, even when they mean well or sound sensible.

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add to kirtsy | 9:13 PM


Blogger Jason said...


I saw a link to your site on a comment on the Small Business Trends site (on Manga).

Your info looks interesting - I didn't know you could hire someone to write for you. Pretty cool. Can you ghost write technical articles for us? That is, write under our name? Just curious about the possibility.

I'm blogging at but am not very good at it yet. I'm trying to stay consistent. I'm going to try to "hang in there" as marketing fodder for my CPA firm at

We'll see how I do.

Thanks, Jason M. Blumer

11/25/2007 9:14 PM  

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