memories

NaNoWriMo Tips: My Favorite Things

Do you remember the song “My Favorite Things” from The Sound of Music?

Raindrops on roses
And whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles
And warm woolen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with strings
These are a few of my favorite things

Cream colored ponies
And crisp apple strudels
Door bells and sleigh bells
And schnitzel with noodles
Wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings
These are a few of my favorite things

Try this writing experiment:

  1. Number a piece of paper from 1 – 25.
  2. Set the timer for 6 minutes.
  3. Now, make a list of your favorite things – exclude spouse and children.

When done with the list, look at which of the five senses are predominant. Taste of food? Smell of weather?

Be aware of how you remember things, and incorporate those descriptions into your writing, remembering to expand your favorite things to include all the senses, too.

You can find more writing tips, NaNoWriMo prompts, and writing tips for NaNoWriMo on our Writers in the Grove site.

November 3 Prompt – The Sniff Memory

The following prompt is from one of our Writers in the Grove members for our NaNoWriMo prompt-a-day project for November 2016.

Your prompt today could be done from your perspective or the perspective of your character(s).

When I smell [blank], I remember [blank}.

Start filling in those blanks.

Check out our list of prompts for even more inspiration.

Prompt: Forget About Today Until Tomorrow

From Mr. Tambourine Man by Bob Dylan:

Then take me disappearin’ through the smoke rings of my mind
Down the foggy ruins of time, far past the frozen leaves
The haunted, frightened trees, out to the windy beach
Far from the twisted reach of crazy sorrow
Yes, to dance beneath the diamond sky with one hand waving free
Silhouetted by the sea, circled by the circus sands
With all memory and fate driven deep beneath the waves
Let me forget about today until tomorrow.

Baker City Wildfire

The following is written by Writers in the Grove member, Patti Bond. She often shares her memories and memories with us.

There was a wildfire near my grandparents’ house this weekend. I heard them telling us to stay away from the fire. But there are too many memories in these homes.

The red house on street, number 2706, is where my dad lived with his three sisters, my Aunt Kathy, Aunt Gayle, and Aunt Marilyn. Unfortunately, or fortunately as the fire threatened, Aunt Marilyn is no longer with us. That’s not the only memory at risk from the fire. My mother grew up in Baker City, the place where her biological father left her with her mother alone, just the two of them.

My mother was very active in theater and drama, and she loved Rainbow Girls. She was also very smart, skipping the third grade as she grew up. She and her mother, Zelene, moved several times, finally meeting Herbert Kelly and marrying him, giving them a place to settle in Baker City. Dave and I spent many years traveling to these homes visiting grandparents. I can remember hearing Daddy say that as long as the grandparents were alive, we were going to Baker City for Christmas. Grandma Kelly would greet us upon arrival every time saying “I hope Old Man Winter would give us a break.”

There are just too many memories in the houses up there, near the fire. Many are pleading for access to their homes to collect their precious memories before the wildfire consumes them. So many legacies remain, and wilt in the hearts of the many people who’ve lived in those houses, including my family.

They say the fires were started by lightning, normal for eastern Oregon. If I had unlimited resources, I would work day and night to save the livelihood and memories of my family’s heritage.

Please Lord put out these fires. Protect our memories and legacy in Baker City.

Senses by Susan Schmidlin

April 20, 2015

The earth between my fingers
Dark loam that crumbles at the touch
Warmed by the spring sun
Just moist enough to dampen my knees.

Visitors in the form of potato bugs,
Worms, bees, and slugs
Come and go as I toil
Leaving mere bits of memories in the stillness.

I notice something in the breeze
That distracts me from my work
Makes me pause and I breathe in
As the lilacs begin to sing.

Inspired by the Prompt: Senses.