How to Participate in Memoir Mondays:
All of you need to get a cheap, black-speckled journal at Walmart, Dollar General, or wherever else. If you already have a journal, that’s okay, too. But toward the end of the year, I’ll share tips for decorating and altering a simple composition book to turn it into an illustrated journal. But for now, let’s simply write. Don’t worry about messing up your journal. I am not a neat person. I suspect that the journal that I begin writing in today will be a temporary journal. Later, I’ll probably rearrange the entries and decorate the pages. But, hey! Composition Notebooks are cheap. Use your book and abuse it, if you need to do that. Above all else, don’t worry about ruining your journal. If things work out well, this will be one of many journals that you create. Use it.
A few days ago, I asked you to title a page Home and to begin listing some words that remind you of your childhood home. I have added to my list, and here is my list now:
- Cotton Patches
- Cotton Lint Flying in the Autumn Air
- The Ben Franklin Dime Store
- The Corner Grocery Store
- The Tiny Library in My Hometown & Reading Chicken Little Repeatedly
- The Book Mobile
- Swimming in the Lake
- The Weeping Willow in My Backyard
- The Empty Lot 2 Houses Down from My House
- The Little Empty House on the Empty Lot
- My Grandmother’s Flower Gardens
- Walking to my Grandparents’ House
- The Rose-Colored Chenille Furniture in My Grandparents’ Living Room
- Spending the Night at My Grandparents’ House
- Breakfast at My Grandparents’ House
- Watching Gunsmoke at My Grandparents’ House
- My Grandparents’ Feather Bed
- My Grandparents’ Back Sunporch, Where Grandma Washed Clothes in a Wringer Washer
- Outside Clothes Lines & the Smell of Laundry Dried Outside
- The Little Den in My Childhood Home
- The 60s-Style Vinyl-Covered Couch in the Den of My Childhood Home. It Was Orange.
- Watching the Wizard of Oz with My Dad
- My Dad was Like the Wizard of Oz
- Going to the Woods with My Dad to Gather Wild & Natural Foods
- Wild Acorn Bread
- Deep-Fried Wild Elderberry Blossoms, Covered in Powdered Sugar
- Watching the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show
- Surviving Lawrence Welk Shows on Television
- Watching Captain Kangaroo
- Eating My First TV Dinner on a Tray, While Watching Television
Keep this List Open. You Will Continually Remember More Things to Add to the List.
I have listed 33 things that will become 33 separate writing prompts for my journal.
Your list should be growing, too.
For Today’s Home Prompt, Pick One Item on Your List and Write about It,
Describe it. How old were you at the time of your memory? Why was this thing or place important to you? Force yourself to write as much as you can about this thing or place. Write quickly in a stream of consciousness. Don’t stop to correct your grammar, check your spelling, or make any corrections at all. Just write quickly and freely. Empty your mind.
- When you have written about at least one of the things or places on your list about home, draw a map of your childhood neighborhood. If you lived in the country, draw a map of the route toward your childhood home.
- Make a list of the important places or things in your childhood neighborhood.