Stories Are Everywhere by Lena Hartsough

I see stories everywhere. In every face I examine, in every short phrase I overhear, and in every label or sign I read.

For instance, one day I was at my friend’s house with her and another friend. We were finishing her enormous carton of Odwalla®, and I noticed that on the back of the carton it said, “Separation is natural – shake it up!®” For some reason, I found this hilarious. I pointed it out to my friend, while our host sorted records on the floor, and she laughed too. We thought up scenarios for the phrase, including quite a few puberty classes. She thought that it would be the puberty teacher telling students that it’s natural for boys and girls to grow apart as they grow older, and I said it was a world where humans are born without a butt crack, and the separation spoken of is when the buttocks separate from one into two.

I think the reason we attributed the simple sentence to a puberty class was because it seemed a bit condescending. The exclamation point made it sound like an overexcited teacher when we read it out loud.

Although that situation was comedic, this penchant of mine for seeing stories has often helped me find inspiration for my writing. Many of my ideas for pieces to write come from songs or smaller stories that I find. In fact, as I write this post, I quickly type down another idea onto my list of story inspirations. It came from a song I just heard.

Lena Hartsough, class of 2019

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