Friday was my fifth appearance at WNEP's MAELSTROM improvised story-telling contest (part of their SKALD story-telling festival). There are three rounds to the contest, three-, two- and one-minute in length, and you have to tell stories based on a suggestion that you're told just as you hit the stage. Most people, and myself every previous year, tell made-up stories, usually in character. This year, I had some thoughts about the contest swirling in my brain that coalesced when I was sitting on stage, waiting for the show to begin, into a decision to either tell true stories, or at least to tell made-up stories that could be true, in my own voice. And as it happened, each of the suggestions sparked a memory of a true story. I didn't win the contest (congrats to Deanna Moffitt, who did) but I'm very happy with my stories. I mean, don't get me wrong, as soon as I sat down after each story I immediately knew how I should have told it, but thems the breaks with Lady Improv.