Some memories listed are his very personal memories, but others spark memories of my own and I find myself saying, "Hey, I remember that too!"
I remember big puzzles on card tables that never got finished.
I remember vanilla pudding with vanilla wafers in it with and sliced bananas on top.
I remember cold cream. "Tums for the tummy." And Our Miss Brooks.
I remember when someone says something that rhymes, "You're a poet, and didn't know it, but your feet show it. They're Longfellows!"
I remember starting a set of supermarket encyclopedias, but three was as far as we got.This kind of list is a perfect ongoing assignment. It has value on its own, just as a list of personal memories, but it's also valuable as a list of potential stories. You'll find that many of the memory blasts you jot down on the list can be fleshed out into full stories. The list can become a database of story-starters.
I remember, in the morning, my eyelashes glued together with "sleep."
1) Designate a special notebook for your own memory blasts. Keep it near your desk, your bedside or kitchen table—someplace where it's handy anytime you have a memory that you want to jot down.
2) Take 10 minutes to get your notebook started. Jot down as many random memories as you can in 10 minutes. One memory may spark a whole bunch along that same thought line.
3) Try to think of things that people don't do anymore. Include things that were part of your early life, everyday things. For example, I remember making mimeographs and having to turn a handle on the ink drum to make copies one by one.
4) Try to include how you felt. What scared you? What did you think of before going to sleep at night? What did you wish for when blowing out birthday candles?
5) Keep this list going for as long as you can, adding to it over time. Who knows, maybe you'll fill the entire notebook with memory blasts.
6) You can refer to this list for details when writing stories from your life. If you're writing about your grade school years, you might have listed several memories from that time that will add depth and texture to your stories.
7) If you print your stories in a print-on-demand book, you can sprinkle these little memory blasts throughout your book to add variety.
photo credit: Chris Blakeley via photopin cc