My very first story

Other posts in Rhobin’s Rounds

Rhobin wants to know how I developed my first story.

Way back when I was a nursing student, I had to make a choice. My place of training was too far from home for me to commute, so I lived in a nurses’ home, coming home on my days off. And this place was full of gorgeous 18 year olds.

Was I going to make a fool of myself, running after them? No. I needed something to take up my time, thinking and emotional energy. I was well established as a nonfiction writer, and decided it was time to move into fiction.

We were given a single lecture about something called Validation Therapy. Given my background in psychology (though this was long before I considered myself to be suited to be a therapist), the idea grabbed me.

I went to bed, thinking, I’ll try my hand at a short story about Validation Therapy.

In the morning, I was in that magical place between dreaming and wakefulness, which was not a good idea, given I had a shift starting at 7 a.m. My dream was actually a flashback to when I was 16 years old, and managed to get a job during the summer holidays by lying about my age. I learned to handle very hot objects, how to seem busy when there was nothing to do but wait, how to fit into the rough but friendly world of working men — and I saw a man die, as an unfortunate reaction to a practical joke.

As I was hurriedly dressing, I asked myself, “What if I’d met that practical joker many years later?”

This was in the pre-computer days. I spent my lunchtime scribbling.

The story, Peace for the Joker, won a prize in a contest, and is one of the 26 stories in my anthology, Through Other Eyes.

One of my occasional ways of entertaining my visitors is to publish a short story. So, I’ve done that. If you click on this link, you can read the story, right now. It’ll teach you what Validation Therapy is about.

Please leave a comment about the story, but also I’d appreciate a comment here. Then, do visit the other participants in Rhobin’s Rounds:

Rhobin L Courtright
Margaret Fieland
A.J. Maguire
Skye Taylor
Connie Vines
Marci Baun
Beverley Bateman
Judy Copek

About Dr Bob Rich

I am a professional grandfather. My main motivation is to transform society to create a sustainable world in which my grandchildren and their grandchildren in perpetuity can have a life, and a life worth living. This means reversing environmental idiocy that's now threatening us with extinction, and replacing culture of greed and conflict with one of compassion and cooperation.
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13 Responses to My very first story

  1. Dr Bob Rich says:

    Thank you, Judy.
    Well, writing is the chocolate icing on the cake of life.


  2. judyinboston says:

    Great story about distracting yourself with writing fiction. I really liked that. The magical moment must have been “What If?” Fun post.


  3. Dr Bob Rich says:

    Oh, that’s an entirely different story. Will you write it, or will I?


  4. Connie Vines says:

    To watch someone die and be unable to help. How very heartbreaking. Your story was a healing of transgressions for George and your readers. But it leaves me wondering how Ted’s family handled his untimely death.


    • Dr Bob Rich says:

      By the way, I did do something like that once. Had a story about an artist, and a victim of domestic violence healing each other. Then I wondered what happened, so wrote another story when the woman’s son was an old man. Both stories are in Through Other Eyes.


  5. okwriter says:

    Bob, I enjoyed your short story and the emotions it evoked. I also relate to the time between sleep and waking. A lot of my ideas for writing come at that time.


    • Dr Bob Rich says:

      Thank you, Beverley. Mine sometimes come in the middle of the night, which means I need to grab my computer and note them down (can’t read my own handwriting — should have been a medical doctor).

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Marci Baun says:

    What a wonderful way to take a horrifying experience and use it to help yourself and others through something like that.


  7. Skye-writer says:

    I can’t even begin to imagine the trauma of watching someone die as the result of a practical joke at 16 or any age. I can only wonder how I’d react to meeting that joker years later, but I have to think it would be with an awful sympathy for what they were living with every day.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Rhobin says:

    Witnessing someone die as a result of a practical joke had to be a very difficult experience at 16. To write about George finding self-forgiveness and peace had to give many readers the same experience for their transgressions, real or imagined.

    Liked by 1 person

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