I hope you enjoyed my travel stories.

To review: last Saturday I announced a weeklong special, Seven Truths and One Lie, in which I proposed a fiction-writing excersise for myself that you were invited to observe and comment on. Specifically, I was hoping to fool myself into crafting some fiction based on one of my many travel experiences.

Unfortunately, the name of the event led more than one person to expect that I would write eight essays, one crafted from whole cloth. I had never intended to do so, but by the time I realized I’d confused some readers, I was deep into the project and didn’t wish to explain here.

At any rate, now you know: there are only seven tales. So where’s the lie? It’s there; but to be sure, each of the seven tales is also a true and factual account. In a way, I’m disappointed in myself for not being able to get fictional enough, but as I noted at the beginning of the project, I freeze when I think I’m going to “write fiction,” absurdly enough for the man who chronicled the history of Kensapoppin’.

So here’s what I’d like you to do.

Look over the list, with my one-sentence summaries, and compare the stories in your mind. Was there one in particular that felt different or rang false in some way? Feel free to ask questions in the comments section, preferably in this entry so that everyone can benefit. I’ll answer in the comments section, truthfully, and with reasonable helpfulness.

At the same time, feel free to vote in the poll, just below. Currently I have not activated the poll’s lock-out, so those of you who’d like to indulge in the great American tradition of stuffing the ballot box may fire away. The poll also links to the entries. I just set it up; and while the code is straightforward enough it’s, uh, rather tersely documented, so if it blows up real good, I may disappear it.

La Cantina:
In the Nayarit desert, a cinder-block hut serves cold drinks.

In the Sahara, I stand outside the walls of Ghardaïa, Algeria.

An RAF bomber roars past us on a road near Wales.

The Toll:
My father exhibits initiative in dealing with a toll collector.

The Tumor:
A man walks through an urban subway station in Japan, his face disfigured.

Shell craters mark the green hills of France.

The Wind and Rain:
North Carolina’s Outer Banks reiterate the history of anglo North America.


6 thoughts on “The Verdict

  1. Hey! I thought we were going to be able to stuff the ballot box! (just kidding)

    Mike, great job! You have been some really cool places. I was under the misapprehension that one whole episode was going to be a lie. Now that I know better, I am even more impressed with your peripatetic existance.

    In the end, I voted for Deltawinged, because the plane divebombing you guys to 100 feet seemed…extreme. I was considering The Toll, because the episode of the unreal language was hard to believe. But I only get to choose one…

  2. Interesting choice, Felicity!

    And you CAN stuff the ballot box. Or you’re supposed to be able to. It is it rejecting multiple votes?

  3. Yes, it is rejecting multiple votes (id-ing from a specific computer?). The selection boxes are gone, and there is a message at the bottom of the poll box informing me: “You have already voted!”.

  4. I just looked into this, and alas, there’s no easy way settings-based way to get around it.

    So if you’re a REALLY determined ballot stuffer, nuke the cookies that have given you, turn cookies off in the browser, and vote like crazy.

    Otherwise, it’s a one cookie – one vote type deal.

  5. I voted Tumor. Why? I have to admit that I didn’t read each piece in detail, but Tumor doesn’t seem to have a lot of above ground description – it’s underground and urban, which could be just about anywhere. I figured if you had been there, you would remember more emphereal things – smells of the city, colors you saw outside of the train station, etc.

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