More memoirs for monday. My writing resolution this week came to me from my sister who asked if I would write a birthday prayer or poem for her daughter’s birthday this next weekend. I have no idea how to recount the life of a two year old, but I’ll give it my best go.
I’ve said before that I don’t remember that far back into my childhood. My mother saved a letter I once wrote to the Eater Bunny in which I made him a friendship bracelet out of sewing floss. In exchange, I asked him for tomato soup. My sister tells me, my niece, Sonja, is fond of asking for apples and butter. To her relief, she learned Sonja meant peanut butter and not just straight up margarine mayhem!
For her birthday, I suggested a simple, dramatic reading of I Like You by Sandol Stoddard Warburg.
But if that won’t do, I guess I’m back to Butt-in-the-Chair Approach and making lists about my crazy family.
Things About Sonja That Make Her Unique
- Say the word ‘bath’ and she’ll run to the bathroom, fill the tub with toys, and begin undressing.
- Applesauce is definitely a hair product.
- The television is meant for toddler’s reflections so they can see themselves dancing in the screen.
- Eat with old people, they love her schtick.
- Singing and shopping go hand in hand.
- Xylophones are to be played with greatest zeal.
- BFF = giraffe head, named Rafi
- Avacado smoothies are delicious.
- When mad, shake your whole body like a maraca
- When happy, smile like a total cheese
I think I could manage a haiku, but a sestina???
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.
- Incessantly sneak up on me from behind and scream “What are ya doin’?!”
- Innocently spell my name wrong on my birthday cake, for the last 20 years
- Pushed me into a man dressed like a Troll, and cried “Take her!”
- Left me in a haunted house by myself
- Left me in a corn maze by myself
- Left me buried in the snow by myself
- Forced me to learn to ride a bike without training wheels
- Forced me to learn to swim without swimming lessons
- Hid a creepy plastic nativity scene donkey in my bedroom
- Got me to eat gravy that had giblets in it
What are you waiting for? Get writing!