Jun 042016
Daddy with childhood dog

Animal stories reveal character. Think about your family members and which animal stories you could tell.

My neighbor Frank likes to say that the way people act around dogs shows what type of person they really are. He’s right. Animal stories reveal character. Frank has never gone so far as to say that if someone doesn’t like dogs, they have questionable friendship potential, but I suspect that thought has crossed his mind.

How Animal Stories Reveal Character

John Grogan’s memoir, Marley & Me: Life and Love with the World’s Worst Dog is a great example of how animal stories reveal character. In Your Life is a Book: How to Craft & Publish Your Memoir, Brenda Peterson and Sarah Jane Freymann explain the popularity of the yellow lab as a character. “One of the reasons Marley is such a beloved character … is because Grogan reveals his dog’s flaws as well as his joys.” The same holds true for the author. We don’t just love Marley. Continue reading »

May 062015
Emotional furniture of your memories of your first home

As you write about memories of your first home (or any other place), include some emotional furniture.

When I first heard the prompt “Write about your memories of your first home,” my first reaction was, “Oh yeah, write about the place I can’t remember.” I wasn’t alone. The woman next to me offered aloud, “My first home after I got married?” She grew up as a military brat. She couldn’t even remember the number of home she had lived in, much less any details about the first one.

Of course, she was right. There’s several ways to adapt this prompt into something that will resonate with you and your readers. The point is to get your memories to paper and to connect with others through your stories. For instance, in addition to writing about your actual first home, Continue reading »

Oct 102014
Aiming and putting down roots

Putting down roots isn’t a random decision.

The place we choose to settle and put down roots has far reaching (no pun intended) consequences. It’s the community our children call home. It’s the environment in which they form their worldviews. Frequently, it becomes the place children and grandchildren choose to start putting down roots. In other words, it’s something that will matter to future generations. But it’s often a story left untold—especially when it comes to our ancestors. Continue reading »

Aug 192014
Reminders of home sheets

Reminders of home can include soft sheets. Of course there’s a risk they’ll be used for a toga party.

As kids embark for college, we want to provide them some reminders of home for their dorm rooms. It’s not only for their benefit. As much as we want them to be happy and successful, we also want them to think fondly of the home we’ve provided them for the last 18+ years.

When I was a college freshman, my mom helped my roommate and I set up our dorm room. After her bargain hunting, we not only had matching comforters, but matching curtains as well. I don’t know what happened to my comforter, but twenty-years later, my roommate’s dachshund had possession of hers. Continue reading »

Jun 172014
In this house now and then

The Crymes house then and now. Many wonderful things happened in this house.

Homes are the settings for our stories. With the passing of years, we become emotionally attached to the building itself. The house itself is akin to a repository of the thing that happened within its walls. Years ago, I saw a van stop on my street to disgorge a group that stared wistfully at my house. Since my house is relatively unremarkable, I immediately knew they were former residents of my home. My husband and I went outside and heard stories come tumbling out of each of them. We received an education about things that happened in this house during the fifties and sixties. Continue reading »

Dec 102013
Write about your home and include the yard

The critters that pass through my yard are part of what makes my house a home.

Write about your home as you share your memories. Your stories of events that happened in your house will make more sense against the backdrop of your descriptions of the place you live. In addition, your readers will be able to understand you better when they understand what home is like.

When a house becomes a home

There is a point that a house becomes a home. Not a building or structure, but the place we belong. It’s the place that our identity resides. Continue reading »

Jun 152013

Blog Hop Scrapbook Tutorial Today’s post is part of the June Blog Hop and offers a scrapbook tutorial for my interpretation of our “What June Means to Me…” theme.

What does June mean to you? We hope our interpretations will provide you with some inspiration. If you’re coming from Cindy Murray’s Crafty Neighbor blog at http://craftyneighbor.blogspot.com/2013/06/june-blog-hop.html, you’re at the right place.

Continue reading »

Jun 052013

Originally posted April 17, 2013; updated June 5, 2013

Traveling Down Memory Lane:

Memory LaneDwellings in which we spent our childhood years take on a prominent role in our memories. Perhaps it’s that the layout of our homes dictated much of the rhythms of our daily lives as we grew up, or perhaps it’s the plasticity of the developing child’s mind that causes the memories to be so deeply chiseled there. Continue reading »

May 232013
Our ancestors tell family stories

What we know (or don’t know) about our ancestors is part of our family story.

Writing your family history sounds like a daunting task. However, if you start with small, episodic memories and narratives, it doesn’t have to be hard.

Your Family Story is Your Story

Don’t worry about documenting a comprehensive history of all your ancestors and relatives. Instead, tell your own story with your family and its history as a backdrop. Start your family story in small installments—your memories (what else?).

 Here are five super-easy prompts, each of which makes a great place to start writing about your family story.

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 »