Writing Practice and Meeting up with your MUSE
Writing Leap #67
WRITERS AND FAMILY MEMORIES
One place our muse seems to like hanging out is anywhere she can hear family stories. A casual comment about an ancestor heard around the dinner table sets her imagination flying.
We can pluck these stories and hazy memories and let them creep into our writing. We can use them for writing practice, just to try and make beautiful sentences, fictionalize them or create a longer piece.
Little snippets of writing practice every day can teach us what writing is all about—even when we are already writers. Especially when we are already writers. It’s writing for the joy of it. It’s sinking so deep into the moment and swimming around in our unique selves to bring up words that only we can put together in quite this way. It’s when one o’clock becomes three o’clock in five seconds.
Here’s my ancestor, fictionalized
The idea of buildings that scraped the sky and New York, America, made seventeen-year-old Eva’s heart flutter. It was 1909 and of course her parents were not about to let her embark on such a journey on a ship stuffed with who knows what kind of people with possible diseases. She could just stay right here in Ukraine on the farm with her nine brothers and sisters.
“But Mama, Papa, please! I have an idea. I’ll marry the pig farmer (so old and smelly) like you want me to. I will. And he can take me to New York!”
So Eva and her smelly husband boarded the ship and sailed for America. Eva couldn’t stand him. His beard was scraggly, like a drenched squirrel’s tail, but she had skyscrapers and the Statue of Liberty on her mind. With the flaming torch.
When Eva and her scraggly-bearded husband walked down the plank at Ellis Island and their immigration papers were in order, she took a sharp turn to the left and he took a sharp turn to the right. They never saw each other again. Eva went to distant relatives in upstate New York.
A month later Eva said to Harry, her handsome young man from Kiev, brought up in a monastery, “Yes, Harry, I’ll marry you! We’ll live in New York City. Next to the Flatiron Building on Fifth Avenue.”
She wasn’t at all troubled by the fact that she was already married. So what! It’s America!
Happy family-memory-exploring, writers! And give yourself the gift of daily writing practice. Just snippets. That’s enough.
LINKING THE ARTS
Eva and Harry in love in America
Eva crossing the Atlantic with smelly husband
Wonderful word: dreams, as in follow them one way or another. Like Eva, don’t let them slip away.