Aug 222013
 
Keeping up appearances don't make for good stories

Keeping up apprearances ?Dignity is overrated

We all want to look our best and present ourselves in a positive light whenever we can. Keeping up appearances and putting your best foot forward is great advice going into a job interview, but it’s not the legacy you want to leave for your loved ones in your writing.

Keeping up Appearances is Boring

Perfection is boring, which is why I avoid it so ardently. All kidding aside, perfection does little to connect you with others. Continue reading »

Aug 172013
 

Measure a small thing A Small Thing: A #FiveMinuteFriday Meditation

I wasn’t sure I felt up to going out until my friend called to say, “I’ll pick you up.” A small thing, but it mattered—a lot.

Buying a souvenir in a tourist shop in New Orleans, a youth wearing a mission trip t-shirt heard the words, “Thank you for not forgetting about us. Thank you for coming to help.”  Just a small thing, normal southern hospitality, but two sentences made an 18-hour trip worthwhile. Continue reading »

Aug 022013
 
Our story

Our story isn’t a book that’s already written

Our Story — A #FiveMinuteFriday Meditation

Telling our story implies narrating a book that is already written—the setting and characters are in place. Everyone is just waiting to see how it ends.

That might be right for a novel or memoir, but when we tell our personal stories, it’s not just about the ending. Every part of our story–our whole story–resonates. Continue reading »

Jul 292013
 

write a letter to a nemesis To encapsulate your past and/or process your feelings, try this: Write a letter to past or future self, past nemesis, or anyone with (or about) whom you have unresolved feelings. Such rhetorical letters are a great way to share and process your past. The “recipient” doesn’t have to be able to receive your letter for it to make sense for you to write—and share. Continue reading »

Jun 212013
 

Scrapbook little traditions When we think about traditions, we think about the big ones, like holidays and family reunions.  Listening to 8 Years Lost,” Paperclipping.com’s Round Table interview with Jackie Wood, I was struck by her yearning to remember the everyday routines and the little traditions. (Read Jackie’s Guest Post Eight Years of Memories Lost. ) Continue reading »

Jun 102013
 
My Mom THings I want to Remember

My mother posed for her mother. The photograph is torn, but the memory is still intact.

In her “Treasure Chest,” my grandmother wrote an essay entitled “Things I Want to Remember.” In it, she briefly dwelt on her memories of each of her children. What makes this such a gem, however, isn’t simply a mother’s descriptions of her growing children, but rather the way in which she allows her readers access to those scenes in her memory as if she were leaving a snapshot in time. Continue reading »

May 302013
 

Treasured Moments Matter

Treasured moment: My graduation

My grad school graduation

Memories, whether pivotal experiences or small moments we treasure, reflect our lives, the lessons we have learned, and the paths we have chosen. In many lives, everyday events are just as likely as milestone events to serve as epiphanies and turning points. These treasured moments matter! When you write about  both  commonplace and life-changing events, you grant readers a wide-angle view to your memories. Continue reading »

May 242013
 

Five Minute Fridayis a great writing exercise even if you’re not blogging your treasures (memories). Your spontaneous thoughts on a given subject can reveal your personality, daily life, beliefs, etc. If you are blogging, I encourage you to join in! If you want to connect on Twitter, use the hashtag #FiveMinuteFriday.

This week’s Prompt: View

Prayers of Praise–How to Give Words to Your Heart Continue reading »

May 202013
 

Me at my childhood home Last month,  we looked at Writing about your Childhood Home.   “Come with me back to my Childhood Home” was the title that my grandmother used when she left us a piece about one of the homes of her childhood in her “Treasure Chest of Memories.” (See My Story: The First Treasure Chest of Memories.) She was feeling ill and used her writing as a distraction as she took her readers back in place and time. Continue reading »

May 132013
 

My Time Capsule When we’re anticipating a milestone event, we focus on the event itself, not what is going on in the world around us.  Later on, however, it’s fun to look back in context of what was happening in the world around us. For those that read about our memories decades later, such a written time capsule can increase understanding of the event itself. An understanding of the historical context will definitely help readers visualize the days surrounding the event.

Some people enjoy making an actual time capsule. If you have the time and inclination, a simple Google search will yield many instructions like this one from the Library of Congress. Another good idea is to use a Pinterest board to illustrate the circumstances surrounding the event. (See Pinterest Primer.)

You don’t necessarily need to find time to write or journal about current events while you’re planning your wedding or in between Lamaze classes. You may have to wrack your brain a little more if you’re writing to fill in historical context later, but constructing a written time capsule with the benefit of hindsight also gives you an idea of what trends and devices have become iconic. Hint: Internet search engines can be a big help if you can’t quite remember something.

Format: Of course, beautifully written, logically constructed paragraphs will always be appreciated, but this is a time when bullet lists will also work nicely.

What to include in your Time Capsule on a Page

In the newsConsider headlines in news magazines. What important events are going on in the world? Who is in office? Are there any major stories breaking locally?

Mention a couple of status quo’s. What’s the price of gasoline? How much does it cost to fly or buy a Coca-cola? What has the weather been like?

Home

A glimpse of my mother’s kitchen.

What’s your home like? Who lives there? If you look around in your living room or kitchen, what do you see? Is it immaculate? Cozy? Uncluttered? Give others a taste.

Include fashion trends.This is easier in hindsight because we know what has really gone out of style. Just think of the 1980’s for example—big hair, big glasses, shoulder pads, etc. What styles do you favor? Is there a particular style that is absolute torture for you?

Write about friendships. We think we’ll always be close to all of our friends, but the truth is friendships ebb and flow. Who do (did) you lean on? Rant to? With whom do (did) you share secrets? Drink? Play sports? Commiserate?

Include photos if you can. Though I looked (and probably was) totally peeved at my mother taking a picture of me with a hair dryer on my head and green gook on my face on the morning of my wedding day, I like having it now (not enough to share it though). Snap a few photos or dig through your archives to shed light on the days around your big event. You can also pose some shots, like one of yourself surrounded by your favorite things (or people).

Try jotting down some notes about what was happening when you were born, graduated from high school or college, got married, or had your first child.

Add Comment Icon Do You Have Other Ideas or Comments? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

© Laura Hedgecock 2013