Sep 302014
 
Lists are not just for Santa

Lists aren’t just for the big guy with presents. Start making your own.

My scattered brain loves lists. They calm and organize my distractible why-did-I-come-into-this-room brain. When my brain isn’t preoccupied with finding my glasses or coffee cup, lists feed my creativity.

Lists can be the memory-collector’s best friend. To illustrate this point, I found myself making a list about making lists.

Lists help you remember

Lists, if you don’t forget where you put them, are more permanent than memory. They can become an Idea Bank to store your ideas. (Hmmm… That’s a section of Memories of Me: A Complete Guide to Telling and Sharing the Stories of Your Life. ) Continue reading »

Aug 212014
 
Throw back Thursday

Throw back Thursday: My boys and I

I keep seeing my life—well at least the last eighteen to twenty years of it—flash before my eyes.

It’s probably because my nest is emptying next week, as my youngest heads off to college. Everywhere I go, sweet memories creep into my peripheral vision, denying me focus. Part of me is sad that they’re just memories, that times have changed and the kids are grown. Part of me is grateful for their presence, however ephemeral. I like playing the old filmstrips.

Passing a soccer field reminds me of all the practices and games. As I ride my bike through a park, I remember countless days on the hiking trails, looking at bugs, running from bees, and ending up on the play structures. I remember watching my kids and their playmates swing and slide while talking to the other moms. Continue reading »

Jul 222014
 
Writing about bullies of childhood

Writing about bullies is a way to open up your past to your readers.

Writing about bullies doesn’t come easily. We want to put that behind us. We wonder, “Who wants to read that?”

Probably most people.

Whenever we get together and share memories and stories, encounters with belligerence, arrogance, or outright bullying invariably come up. It’s always a compelling story.

Our listeners commiserate. They respond with their own stories. This happens when we write too. When we write about bullies and persecutors, we connect with readers and start conversations. We see new facets of each other’s personality. Continue reading »

Jul 172014
 
Use Fiction to tell true stories

It’s not just either or. You can also use fiction to tell true stories.

How do you communicate your story without having to tell it? One way is to use fiction to tell true stories. Writers often use this tool when they (or their editors) feel that real life fails to produce great literature. (Julie Schumacher’s Turning Real Life into Fiction explains some of these quandaries.) Continue reading »

Jul 022014
 

Craft Squad July 4 TraditionsIn my project for this month’s blog hop, I’ve tried to highlight my families 4th of July traditions. Welcome to my Treasure Chest of Memories blog. It’s all about preserving and sharing personal and family stories, whether you’re scrapbooking, writing, journaling, or augmenting your family tree. If you’re coming from The Crafty Neighbor, you’re in the right place. Continue reading »

Jun 302014
 

Various Roots Roots by Another Mother…

When we think of roots, we think of family trees. If we’re from a loving, supportive family, we think of those roots supplying stability and nourishment. If we’re from an atypical—or even dysfunctional—family, we think of them as hidden, dirty, cavorting with worms and grubs.

Those roots are great to write about. But, we have other roots. Some of them have nothing to do with family. Bear with me as I beat the metaphor a little longer. Continue reading »

Jun 242014
 
What you were doing was right street sign

Those times when you knew what you were doing was right make great stories!

Have you ever had moments of extreme confidence—times in which you knew that what you were doing was right? As a person who, on her best days, still lacks confidence, such occasions of complete certainty have been relatively rare. On the other hand, the scarcity of those times makes them doubly precious.

The circumstances of knowing what you were doing was right make for great stories to share and pass down. They can give your readers great insight into your personality. Continue reading »

Jun 102014
 
Elopement memories happy couple

Our elopement memories don’t include photos, but this was taken around that time.

In my book, I intersperse ideas on what to write about with memories of my own. Today, I feel moved to do the same here on my blog.

Twenty-six years ago today, my husband and I eloped but didn’t call off the wedding. Looking back, I regard that decision to be one of the best I ever made. Not just marrying Matt—the whole thing. We treasure having elopement memories. It was a day to remember just between the two of us—but we’re also glad we have wedding day memories as well. Continue reading »

Jun 022014
 

Craft-Squad-I-doWelcome to my stop on the Craft Squad’s “I Do” Blog Hop. If you’re coming from The Crafty Neighbor you are in the right place.  If you want to start at the beginning, go to Roxie’s Stamping Rooms at http://roxiesstampingroom.blogspot.com/2014/06/june-blog-hop-i-do.html.

Ideally wedding pictures should do more than memorialize the event. Photos and scrapbook layouts should tell a story–a story that began long before the ring was offered on bended knee. This scrapbook layout takes advantage of a wonderful photographer who came up with a way to help the bride always remember wedding dreams coming true.

Continue reading »

May 152014
 
Story of my hero.

My hero jumped into the fray without a thought for her own safety. Image credit: Krzysztof Szkurlatowski

I probably owe my life to a woman in Gates, New York. I wish I’d thought to get her name.

We all have heroes in our past. Maybe it was someone who put you on the right path. Perhaps it was someone who literally saved you from a burning building. Alternatively, it could simply be someone who stood up for you at a time when it made all the difference.

Stories of heroes make great reading—as do the stories of needing rescue. Writing and sharing these stories accomplish a triple purpose. You can process the event of your past as you reveal a “road not taken” incident in your life. It also allows your readers to connect with the person that was there for you when it mattered. Continue reading »