Thursday, March 29, 2007

True Stories

Woman holding a book (or wax tablets) in the form of the codex. Wall painting from Pompeii, before 79 AD.

Woman holding a book (or wax tablets) in the form of the codex. Wall painting from Pompeii, before 79 AD.

"How many of us know the true stories of our parents and grandparents? How many of us share the stories of our lives with our own children? What a loss to the children if we don't. What are we but our stories?"
-- James Patterson in Sam's Letters to Jennifer.

A few days ago I mentioned in the hint section of this blog about beginning a journal.

I think that's important for everyone. What rich history is being missed and forgotten because many of us fail to pass on the heritage (good or bad) that has been ours? I know some would prefer to forget theirs. But is that wise? Of course, only each individual can decide.

For me, I love the early 1900's. I have at least two novels planned for that period, with one of them, hopefully, being developed into a three book series.

I call this one "With Music In Their Hearts." It's about a three redheaded sisters (one copper red, one mahoghany red, one strawberry red). The oldest one (named after my mother) is featured first and is based on the premise of a true incident although that's the only similarity.

The other one is about a (I think it will be . . .) a lawyer whose wife and baby is killed during a house fire. He is so bitter that he leaves everything and begins a life as a hobo. Interesting, huh? We'll see.

What am I getting at?

Pictures and word stories from my mother. I have one special pic of Mom that I love. It's of her and a friend picking apples in an orchard, with these (I call them) aprons to put the apples in. She is so-o-o pretty and young and happy. Remember, Bro?

Those stories Mom tells me are rich in information and little facts that help to make my stories come alive. I love knowing all about that time. The hard times, the jobs she had, the friends she liked and didn't like, the drinking father . . .

I don't know too much about anything before then--don't know if I'll ever discover anything--but at least I have that.

And my novels are a form of a journal I'm writing for my boys and family and friends. It gives me a satisfaction that is deep and real.

Have you begun yours yet?

Keep looking and reading. Cindy Woodsmall has agreed to be interviewed on my blog in the near future. Her first book came out last year and I was one of her promoters. Her second book is due out shortly. WHOOEEE! She's also agreed to give away an autographed book to some fortunate person. Will that be you? Get those friends and family members to reading Sunnybank Meanderings! (and thanks to those of you who recently let me know you're promoting my blog! You're great!)

Here are some good ideas to help you write in your journal. Try them. All of us who call ourselves that have used them at various times. Most of all, enjoy yourself!

  • Good times to write: early in the morning before any one else rises. Even if you do it only a couple mornings a week--you've got that much done.
  • One afternoon a week. Turn on answering machine. Or go to the library, park, etc.
  • Use waiting time: doctor's office, waiting on spouse, kids eating, or waiting on kids from school.
  • If you like music, choose something special while you write.
  • Meditate.
  • Read aloud a few sentences of what you've already written to get you in the mood. Don't wait for inspiration. Just write. Don't worry about grammar and getting every little detail correct. Just write.

Life is short: Break the rules, forgive quickly, kiss slowly, love truly, laugh uncontrollably. And never regret anthing that made you smile.



yumanbing said...

Yes, I have a copy (electronic) of that picture. I would love to have recorded the stories of our parents and grandparents. Makes me wish I lived closer so I could visit those remaining relatives and listen to their life stories.

Caroline said...

Me, too. Can you imagine what's happened in the past that we'll never know? "They" say that they can record conversations from the past (someway. Ex: like A. Lincoln's voice). Wouldn't that be something to hear?

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