Sunday, April 7, 2013

Memoir Monday: Galileo in Walmart

Good morning friends and welcome to my little corner of the web 
for another Memoir Monday!


If you are a new visitor, 
 some of us have  been sharing within the craft of memoir.
And, blogging friends, 
please link up your memoir posts below...
I am honored to host the grace and beauty of the posts shared
 during previous Memoir Mondays.


Rather than a personal reflection piece today, I'm sharing with my friends
 some wisdom from a book I've been lucky enough to find
which guides the writer through crafting memoir.
 Whether is it a blog post, a note slipped into a birthday card,
 or a chapter within a book one  is authoring, 
the piece by piece guidance within 
is worth its weight in gold.

The author is an accomplished writer who has taught a memoir crafting course for quite some years, sharing her insight and solid tips chapter by chapter.
I've been carrying this gem in my computer bag for some time and "never"
have time to take it out and delve in.
Well, this Saturday at practice before the season's first baseball game, 
I took myself and my little garage sale fold up in a bag chair
 and huddled in a freezing-wind -whipping- pull-your-jacket-around-you-even-tighter- how could-this-possibly-be-April  kind of  huddle behind the bleachers.
Literally behind the bleachers, with a notebook, my Dixon Ticonderoga and this gem.
It helped that one kid was off having a catch with friends, 
his game being over at this hour  and that the hubby 
was busy coaching our other kid's team. 
So no guilt on the 'please don't talk to me, I'm indulging my creative side' front.

We have so many grand friends in our baseball league and then so many friends who are kind and pleasant in a walk along the periphery of our lives way.
Yet I knew if I didn't make time and a place to lift a delicious morsel of 
memoir writing-with-intent  tactics, I'd scream.
A frigid baseball field during practice was it.
My soul really needed to be guided and nourished  so as to be at least fractionally
 better able to capture the small moments meaningfully and not rife with drivel.
The drivel I feel is creeping into my reflections.

Because as  Mrs  Smith cautions on page 41,
"It's the little stuff that matters. Never disrespect its power."


Not that you, my friends, are feeling the twaddle creep into your posts or your journals at all.
Yet maybe you are.
If some of my readings can enrich your writing life as well, wonderful!
In so doing, it helps me to gather and organize my thoughts as well.

So here are a few pearls I found  huge. 
A few words of advice lifted off her pages.
Perhaps we all  might  savor and write off of our lives,
 bringing precision to the indistinct with a touch of this wisdom.


 "Play hurt"
Mrs Smith refers to a landmark book on creativity, 
in which the author states that real athletes 
learn to play hurt, doing "their jobs" even when injured.
How does this apply to memoirists?
Well, do we fully intend to write a piece of memoir just as soon as
 we understand the meaning of our lives?
As soon we get it?
The potential writers within us 
"suffer needlessly since the marvelous truth is that you can take on life in bits, at any age, under any circumstances."

To write a compelling piece, we need only be amazed by "mere flashes," for that is all the understanding we need bring to the writing table.


"Galileo in Walmart"
Imagine the master amid the coffee filters, icicle lights, eye shadow, iPad displays and 
Tombstone pizza of the mega store.
He need only one small part to perfect the telescope,
 thus convincing us to see the world the way he does.
He requires one small thing to prove one big theory and our assignment as 
memoirists is no different.
We must carry a "custom made magnet, attracting merely the smallest, precisely charged metal shavings. Mastering the skill of a good quick-grab is essential to our success."

Just like Galileo, we need a pair of "custom made lenses through which to choose only those items we need to tell a precise tale."
...which, Mrs Smith says, is "precisely why people write badly about life's big events."

I suppose that how we look at what we live 
consists of individual moments through which to tell life's truths.


There are so many, many "guidelines" such as these.
But these few are probably enough for us to process, digest and apply for now.
I'll definitely share more during another of our Memoir Monday hops.

Thank you for stopping in to share life's stories 
and 
 our lives' stories.

 Until next time,

~Chris



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