Today I’m going to start a Fave-O-Lit of my own! I’m joining Lisa-Jo Baker’s friday ritual of a five minute writing exercise on a topic she gives. I find the less time I take to blog the less inspired I feel to do it or get back to it. When I’ve been absent from here and I go back I stare at the screen feeling critical of all I missed putting down and last as to where to start. The less inspired I feel, the less I think in terms of stories and then the less I remember. It’s a way of thinking really, thinking of my life in terms of stories. It’s one I enjoy and one I want to give to my children as a gift. My excuse of late is that I’m too tired to get up early and find a photo and wax on about it poetically and when I do feel inspired, the children radar in on that light in my eye and want my attention and it rightfully goes to them. Unfortunately when they tire of me, they leave me tired. So this exercise will take me out of my usual patterns and hopefully stir up that inkwell in my head. If you care to join in come here
Today’s topic is story and here we go:
When I was little I felt like I had no story to tell. Or more to the point I felt critical of my storytelling ability rather then accepting. Each year for 3 years in a row my Grandmother gave me a 5 year diary. It was a gift that I couldn’t understand at the time. I always had my nose in a book so it would only make sense that I would like to put my own stories on paper. I tried a time or two, but then I would go back and read it and feel like it hadn’t been worth the paper it was put on and I would stop recording. Then I would try again when the start of the 2nd and subsequent years came up in the diary. Each with the same results of a few entries, a few rereads and more than a little disappointment.
Instead I would write on end in these little yellow notebooks that had blue lines in them. And what I wrote were scripts for the shows I watched. For me it was The Smurfs.
What’s funny now is my daughter Zuzu and I have a little activity we both enjoy. I pull up a photo file and she picks one out and dictates a story to me about it. At first I found myself irritated that what she told me were plotlines to Dora the Explorer or some princess doll she happened to be playing with. Then I noticed that if she hadn’t recently been watching TV the scripts were versions of our day where someone went to time out, someone needed taxi money to get to work or someone had to pump their milk for the baby that they had. Hearing these stories made me smile and made her feel important. Now she has moved on to dictating her stories and illustrating them in what she calls her “Chapter Books” at school as well. I hope she always feels her stories are worth writing down and it doesn’t take her as long as it took me to get there; whether those stories come from Dora the Explorer’s land or her own.