Topic Post — Week Three, March

Live To Tell The Tale

By telling stories, you objectify your own experience. You separate it from yourself. You pin down certain truths. You make up others. You start sometimes with an incident that truly happened, like the night in the shit field, and you carry it forward by inventing incidents that did not in fact occur but that nonetheless help to clarify and explain. – From “Notes” in The Things They Carried, by Tim O’Brien.

Tim O’Brien dared explore the unmentionable truths of soldiers at war. His is not a tale of glory-seeking patriots, but of regular guys with regular lives, most who considered themselves decent and civilized before the threat of being labeled a coward forced them to become sanctioned killers.

This is not the typical war story chock full of muscular American heroes fighting for the greater good. It is one of guilt, crushing peer pressure, aimless musing, shame, mundanity, and cold fear. This is war.

O’Brien achieves something far greater than realism in his collection of war stories — he captures an enormous amount of emotional motivation swirling behind the dark eye of reality. The Things They Carried is humanity at its worst, and most resilient. It is art from ashes, life from death, clarification.

Can you objectify your own worst experiences? Can you put a human face on war, domestic or otherwise, and move on with hope to never witness such vulnerability and brutality ever again?

Tell me your war stories.

Entries are due by 11:45 EST, Sunday, March 22nd.
Please submit your entries here:


About brigitsflame

Brigit's Flame is an ever-evolving online writing community. We offer writing prompts and inspiration while sharing our own writing and reading observations with an audience of writers, poets, and readers. We encourage peer readership and constructive criticism for all of our members. Our motivation is simple -- creativity is a precious resource to be nurtured and the results of the creative process can grow into something beautiful when shared. All writing you share with us remains your property. Come check us out on Brigits Flame Writing Community on Wordpress and be sure to follow our activity on Brigits Flame on facebook, Brigits Flame on tumblr, or Brigits Flame on twitter. We are everywhere you are.
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7 Responses to Topic Post — Week Three, March

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  7. brigitsflame says:

    I just entered and the survey required me to put the link to my Just For Fun entry as well as the contest entry. It would not go through until I did. So I put my link there and said I am not playing Just for fun.


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