Things My Dad Has Done to Freak Me Out

Resolution Friday:  So another week of changing the ordinary has come and gone.  I’ve read for pleasure every day, which was by far the easiest of my resolutions.  I also read more Susan Shapiro Only as Good as Your Word and am still laughing out loud.  Lastly, I wrote another wacky family memoir.  You can read it here.

So, it’s a new week, and I’ve been given much to think about.  Thanks to Kristen Lamb’s blog and a few others I’ll be adding as a mash up, I’ve been challenging myself to think about how I blog and how I write.  It’s natural to go with what you know, and most of what I’ve known has been write-your-ass-off-and-pray.  Ooooooooooooom.  But Kristen says I can’t do it that way, and I believe her.  So, that means hunker down and get ready for a bumpy (best new year) of your life.

So if you’re like me, beginning to write again after a hiatus in sales, may I recommend Preparation.  Preparation is that thing you do before you actually have to do it.  It’s meant to help you, seriously.  It’s where you can lay all of your pretty little ideas out like paper dolls and mix and match their clothes to see what works and what doesn’t.  Hey, lay off my metaphors, I told you I’m in sales, and yah it’s retail!  But, Preparation offers you several options, ones you can see in advance, and it gives you time to craft the end result.  For example, do I want to wear the sequin top with the plaid wool skirt and capri leggings?  Repeat after me, NO!  But that sequin top looks great next to those dark wash denim jeans and metallic flats.  What’s that?  You’re adding hoop earrings in a brushed bronze metal?  I LOVE IT!!!  Metaphor aside, take time to write down ideas for both blogging and writing.  Plan ahead for both when you will write and what you will write.  Otherwise, you’ll start blogging some remake version of “The Night Before Christmas,” oh wait, I already did that.

If you’re having trouble figuring out how to start a story, try making a list of things you like, or character traits about a friend or family member.  Does anything on that list remind you of a good story you would tell someone in conversation?  Now how would you tell it if you were writing it for someone?  Take all the ideas that come to you and write them down.  What pieces seem to fit together in a fresh and exciting way?

If you’re still struggling with idea starters, here is a list of ideas I came up with for future memoirs, or even an essay collection, if you titled it, Things My Dad Has Done to Freak Me Out.

  1. Incessantly sneak up on me from behind and scream “What are ya doin’?!”
  2. Innocently spell my name wrong on my birthday cake, for the last 20 years
  3. Pushed me into a man dressed like a Troll, and cried “Take her!”
  4. Left me in a haunted house by myself
  5. Left me in a corn maze by myself
  6. Left me buried in the snow by myself
  7. Forced me to learn to ride a bike without training wheels
  8. Forced me to learn to swim without swimming lessons
  9. Hid a creepy plastic nativity scene donkey in my bedroom
  10. Got me to eat gravy that had giblets in it

What are you waiting for?  Get writing!


13 responses

  1. Umm, what’s wrong with number ten? You got a problem with gizzards or something?
    And actually, I really liked your little twist on A Christmas Carol. Don’t let yourself be swept away by every blog you read. Even Kristen Lamb, as great as she is, doesn’t have the final word on what your blog should be. Up until now your blog has reflected a depth of personality that takes it far beyond a simple writing blog. The key to blogging success is making a personal connection with your readers, getting them invested in you, so that one day they’ll be invested in your work as well.

  2. This blog brought up many fun memories for me, among them eating haggis in Scotland (It was the Scotland part that was fun, not neccessarily the eating of innards) and my dad’s quirky parenting style. See “Picking Gravel out of My Knees”

    (Yeah, I know, that sounds like loads of fun.)

    Regarding the blogging, I have been reading a lot about the subject, including Kristen’s blog. Albert’s comment above calmed me a bit. My issue is my blog doesn’t have a focus. It’s all over the place. I blog about writing, life, the occasional rant, a recipe now and then. So, who really is my audience? I have much thinking to do on this topic.

  3. You’ve both calmed me down a bit. Thank you! I feel like my writing is a little all over too, or too self-absorbed. But I began it as a way to track my progress getting back into writing, so more or less, that’s my go-to. Is this what I want to do? And hopefully, the ridiculous things in my life will inspire others to give it a go!

  4. P.S. I recently read my parents the last two memoirs I wrote about growing up. My dad laughed like a madhatter and my mom’s only reply was, “I didn’t know these things were happening at night.” As if that matters?? Then she said, “Well, it makes good reading.”

  5. Thanks for visiting my blog which led me back to yours. Your dad sounds like he was really hands on and fun. My dad was not quite as involved as I was growing up, but his colorful character has given me much writing material! We take what we can get, huh?! I have shifted with my blog writing…originally I was all about humor and somewhere along the way I started discovering much about myself and it has turned into a soul journey of sorts. What I’ve discovered after fourteen months of blog writing is that I just write within. I’ve stopped checking stats and I don’t direct at any audience (though as writers we are supposed to perceive our audience and write accordingly). I write what is on my heart (though I do try not to embarrass or hurt those I love with giving out too much info). I write for me, and I’m more satisfied this way. I somehow also have put my fiction on the backburner and am leaning toward memoir…I would never have guess that happening a few years ago! Looking forward to your future posts!

  6. What a fun family life you had! Tons to draw on for your writing for sure.
    I’ve found blogging to be such a fantastic way to keep myself writing. Ideas grow and multiply and others’ comments help shape the topics.
    I think preparation is great to get started and then it’s a matter of riding the wave.

  7. I found your blog through a comment you left on mine recently. I loved the memoir ideas – your dad is hilarious. What’s the fun in having children if you can’t scar them for life?

    My dad was pretty reserved, but I had a ‘crazy’ uncle who had no shame. In high school, I went to an overnight school function at a miniature golf/game place. This uncle threatened to come back later in the evening with a sign that he was related to me and hop around like a gorilla (scratching his armpits, squealing, etc.) I was SO scared he would actually do it, but thankfully, he didn’t 🙂

    1. Oh, I’ve got an uncle like that too! For years, at family get togethers there was a terrible display of “theater” put on entitled “The Whistling Belly Buttons.” Don’t ask. And once, said uncle followed my then boyfriend into a public restroom to interrogate him on his intentions. I had to have my cousins drag him away! *shakes head in shame*

  8. This post is great. It’s your Dad’s job to freak you out, by the way!

  9. Because of #3 alone I think I can officially declare that your dad is the Coolest Man On The Planet.

    1. I fear for your children.

  10. Your dad’s very funny and, yes, he’s cool! And I’m with Albert Berg. If I had to follow Kristen Lamb’s and others’ advice on what to write/finding your niche to be a successful blogger, I wouldn’t be here coz I’m no expert on anything, lol. That said I’m not a “successful” blogger and I don’t have thousands of readers, but I’m happy blogging my own way and it serves my purpose.

  11. […] Day, I thought I’d share a story about my father with you all.  Sure, I’ve made a Top 10 List of Things My Dad Has Done To Freak Me Out, I’ve shared about our trips to the zoo where we never actually went inside the zoo, […]

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