It’s been a long week for me. Although the reason for our family reunion was a sad one it was wonderful to see and spend time with people I truly love. The memories were floating through the air, wisps of love shared. My little sister reminded me of stories I used to make up for her; one she said was about a man that got turned inside out. She said it scared the beegeebees out of her. I really don’t remember doing it, but my little sister took her job as little sister very seriously. She was a full blown brat, (love you Shell), that is a little sister’s job. All my ‘at home’ first prom pictures show me in my prom dress, my date looking dashing in his tux, and my little sister making faces in the back ground. Yes I can see me making up a scary story like that for her.
Memories of my big sister and I as our family vacationed in the Red Woods; hunting for the perfect tree to live in. (Yep, we had just read My Side of the Mountain) or her and I fighting over a book we were both trying to read at the same time. Or school...I remember high school and the time my sister was soooo embarrassed because although I was in a different grade anything you did was soon known by everyone.
My English teacher had given my class a creative writing assignment. He had put up random pictures pulled from magazines and told us to pick a picture and write a 500 word story about it. I liked the black and white one on a beach. A teenager wrapped in a blanket with the wind blowing around him. I wrote a story about how he was trying hard to fit in with the ‘in’ crowd, but it wasn’t working. They hated him. They invited him down to the beach, saying they were going skinny dipping, waited until he was naked and stole him clothes leaving him on the beach.
It was a wonderful story; I had the snotty ‘in’ crowd down perfect, the geeky boy and his feelings as he was left alone on the beach with nothing but a blanket. Well I got an ‘A’, the class was speechless as I read it out loud, and my sweet sister was livid with me for writing a story about a naked guy. I thought it was pretty good myself...wish I still had a copy of it.
I’ve never forgotten that class assignment or my English teacher for that matter. Time and time again I’ve used that exercise to ‘find’ my story. Just have someone find a picture and give it to you and let your imagination run wild.