Tuesday, March 30, 2010

My Truth and an Excerpt to Prove It

Almost every lie I wrote yesterday held a grain of truth, but there was nothing false about the two that were true. Of course, I've written stories about the most harrowing of my life's adventures, so my Tuesday Teaser will follow, a snippet from that story. But first:

1. I earned my doctorate in Rhetorical Speaking from the State University of New York at Oswego. Nope. I earned a Bachelor's in Rhetorical Communications from that school.

2. We have seven pets: a Shitzu puppy named Sammy, a Himalayan Persian cat named Pumpkin, an African Gray parrot named C.J., two love birds called Happy and Mango, a Betta Fish called Mr. Odie, and a frog named Jeremiah that hatched from a tadpole we caught in the pond out back. False! We have a Betta named Mr. Odie, but the other pets ALL live with my sister.

3. A ten-foot-long shark swam right alongside me while I was looking for seashells in water up to my knees on the Florida coast. TRUE! I was beach combing on a six a.m. walk, and I thought it was a dolphin in the water. I couldn't believe I was that close to a dolphin and in my excitement, I waded further in and walked alongside it. When it didn't surface for air I became suspicious, but when it thrashed its head I was sure: it was a shark, trolling the shore for breakfast.

4. I trained for three months and won at the regional level (Southeastern U.S.) of the Fitness America Competition. No...but I did place third!

5. I was kidnapped at gunpoint by machine gun-toting rebels during an African civil war. 100% True. See excerpt below.

6. One summer, I juiced three cucumbers a day, and drinking the juice made my hair grow six inches in three and a half months. No way.

7. In 1991, I shook Madonna's hand on the red carpet when she arrived for the premier of Truth or Dare in Hollywood, CA. Untrue-ish. I was there, and Madonna stepped out of her limo fifteen feet in front of me. But I didn't shake her hand.

8. I speak four languages: English (duh), French, Spanish, and an African dialect called Sango. Nope, I only speak three languages. No hablo Espagnol.

I apologize in advance for only offering a short excerpt of the following. In the Face of Danger, which tells the story of my abduction by rebel soldiers during the 1996 mutant army uprising in the Central African Republic, is currently submitted to The New Millennium Awards contest in the category of Creative Non-Fiction. For this reason, I can't publish it on the web. And, for the same reason, this excerpt will only be up for one day.

Here's the set-up: I was a Peace Corps volunteer with only a few months of service left before finishing my two year, three month tour of duty. My husband Christian, who was then my fiancé, and I met there. At the time of this story, he was living ten kilometers away on his company's construction base. When the war broke out, the Peace Corp issued a country-wide evacuation, and we were to follow the Emergency Evacuation Plan implicitly. This included volunteers in the region locking ourselves in the predesignated "Safe House" and awaiting further instructions. We were not to leave under any circumstances. I did. Here's what happened:

Excerpt From: In the Face of Danger
by Nicole Ducleroir