Creative Writing and Memoir Writing Classes
Notes from June 2, 2021 for June 9, 2021 by Carol Brennan King
Hello Ladies and Gentlemen,
As you know my brother passed last Wednesday, and I had to miss our afternoon class at the library. I am hoping that this week’s class goes well, and I am hoping we are cleared (by the weathermen) to enjoy the picnic table under the awning at the library.
Wednesday, right after the afternoon class, I will head home to finish the packing for our trip to Tennessee where my brother will be buried with full military honors. I do plan on returning in time for our class the following week
To help you prepare for this week’s class, I am going to give you a couple of prompts. First, for the morning students, this might sound familiar, but this time you have more than five minutes to write. Secondly, whether you are writing fiction or nonfiction, remember that your life is a mine full of experiences that could show up wearing different clothes in your fiction.
So have at it:
- Choose a building to introduce yourself. Think of something that took place in a building that was significant…
It was just a green house; in fact, that’s what we call it now nearly seventy years later, the green house. It’s not green anymore, but the stone and concrete front patio that my father laid is still there, a sort of bedrock for my awakening to choices. Like the first time I remember willfully deceiving my mother. She told me not to wear my patent leather Mary Janes outside except to church or other important events. But I wanted to walk around in them and admire my face in the shiny leather. So I did. Wear them out in the hay field next to the green house, the field where a bird sitting on the wires high over my head let loose some white stuff that smeared across my new shoes. I learned a lesson that day.
My dad worked in this fire tower for twenty years, and it figures in a couple of my memories: of climbing those steps, and Daddy killing a rattlesnake just under them.
- Or Choose an event to introduce yourself. Think of some event that was or is significant to you and that made a difference in your life. Again, here’s a first paragraph of such a story.
She wasn’t there. Sunday School was over and my big sister was supposed to find me so I could sit with her in church. But she never showed up. I looked everywhere inside that little Methodist country church, exactly like all the little Methodist churches that dot the country side, but I couldn’t find her. I was five in first grade, and suddenly I had to make a decision. She was not here so she must be at home, and I would walk there across the little village, across the busy main street, across one more big road, and then up the hill through the country side to the green house. I knew I would recognize it. So off I trundled, growing more tired by the minute. Then this car stopped beside me and a man offered me a ride the rest of the way.
Here’s another prompt I used to write something about my childhood, when I was Miss Monroeton and rode in the parade almost too long ago to remember.
But you will write your own stories, perhaps to be part of your memoir or maybe it will find a home in your fiction.
Think a five – ten minute read in class.
I am looking forward to seeing you all again in just a few days.