This is Part I of a two-part blog series. Part II will be posted tomorrow.
"How many of you like to tell stories?" A professor asked one morning. Every hand in the room shot up. Of course, this is a creative writing class.
"How many of you like to hear stories?" Again, every hand went up.
"How many of you like to hear your parents or grandparents tell stories?" A bit hesitantly, the hands raised themselves into the air.
"Only the first time," Chelsea whispered to me. A little bit of laughter erupted from our side of the classroom. She'd voiced my exact thoughts. Only once do I really need to hear about how you walked to school everyday through the snow. Yes, I realize it was up-hill both ways.
However, there are some stories I don't mind hearing over and over again. Toddler Dad being brought home by the school girls because he had lost his clothes somewhere in the neighborhood (I like to think this was a recurring story and therefore truly happened as often as Dad tells it). Or how Mom's boyfriend took a flip off of the roof into a snowbank and a passer-by thought it was Grandpa.
I am blessed to have four grandparents and two parents, all healthy. Unfortunately, they're 900 miles away not telling me stories as we sit around and chat. Sometimes I miss that. Somedays I miss dinner being interrupted by a "Hey, did I ever tell you about the time our family cow followed me to school?" Yes, you have, only every day since I was old enough to remember but please tell it again!
As a writer, you never know when these stories are going to come in handy. Maybe they're the substance you need for a good poem, a great situation to plug into your novel, an amusing blog post, or even something to write about when you're suffering from writer's block. Recording and rewriting these stories in your Writer's Notebook is an excellent exercise.
What's a Writer's Notebook? That's tomorrow. See you then!
Go write about your family's classics,