best story wins

After my talk about writng novels in Deadwood, South Dakota, I met trial lawyer Jim McMahon. I had told the group that all writing is rewriting and that memory is a fiction; it's the past refined and distilled, and it can be false. I said the imporatnce of stories is evident at trials where the best, most coherent and compelling story wins. Et cetera. Jim told me he'd tried 376 cases and had never written a good first draft of any brief and never had two witnesses tell the same story about an event. (Maybe he said 213 cases.) 

I also learned from a couple in the wonderful Pumphouse coffee shop in Deadwood that I look exactly like a guy named Kenny O'Donnell who lives in Billings, Montana, and may work for Sysco. So alike they thought I was Kenny.