Sunday, July 01, 2007

Memories

Every time I go home to Arkansas I experience an almost overwhelming surge of memories from my childhood. And often I'll get my mom or my brother started and they'll mention other things that bring the old days back. I tried to get my mom to do this as therapy because she was a bit depressed during and after her recent hospitalization about not being as active as she was used to being. I find that happy memories restore me a bit, reenergize me. At least they are fun to recall. I thought it might work for her too, and she did smile a lot as I brought up things.

I keep a "memory journal" that I put such memories down in. I'm working today on expanding it from my recent trip. You may wonder what this has to do with writing. Well, I think it has a lot. A writer's memories and experiences provide the imagery and detail that he or she uses in constructing their stories in the here and now. I've used scenes or tidbits from my memory journal in many stories, and if you don't keep such a journal I suggest you start. I wish I would have started it when I was young so that I'd have the greater richness of detail, but in those days I was convinced I'd never forget. Don't be fooled. You'll forget too.

8 comments:

Steve Malley said...

I really should do this. My memory's like a pot of potatoes boiling in India ink.

Stuff pops up to the surface and sinks away again without a trace...

Rachel said...

Yeah - I always thought I'd never forget.

miller580 said...

A few years ago I discovered a pile of letters from a friend who joined the navy. As I read the letters, memories flooded back. Then the last two letters talk about a fight, and my friend writes how sorry he is. Since I found those letters I have tried to remember what the argument was about...because it seems to be the reason for the demise of our friendship. What's my point I don't know. I guess I was agreeing with you. Funny thing is I used to journal alot, and I know my answers are there. But there is a chunk of books missing. I've moved around alot during that period of my life, so I might have thrown them away.All I know now is if they can't be found by me, and only me, I pray they are never found.

the walking man said...

Huh, excuse me? Pardon me, I had something to write here but I forgot what the post was about.

Peace

TWM

etain_lavena said...

What an awesome idea.....I pull from every emotion I have, and memories, but never wrote my memories down, that can actually work well.

Thanks Charles.:)

Avery DeBow said...

I was just struggling with lost memories last night, trying to remember my high school schedule and whether we took the same classes every day or had a rotating schedule. I couldn't remember. For something that was such an important part of my formative years, it's just slipped from my mind like it never even existed.

Sidney said...

I think it is valuable because every character needs a back story. You never know what granule from your past might serve as a nucleus for a whole story line.

Cheri said...

I think that that's a really good idea!