Writing Practice and Meeting up with your Muse
Writing Leap #70
You know how the flash of a memory can suddenly bloom in your heart, full of feeling and clear visual details? These beams from the past can illuminate rich, loamy soil for story-growing. Another source of inspiration!
For me, the moment comes unbidded, unlike moments I may search to remember. That’s the beauty of a memory beam. It’s our muse whispering in our ears from deep down. I’ve found the moment usually carries a lot of emotion. I’m there. I feel it in my pulse.
I’ve even wondered if these memory flashes appear to writers for a reason. To push us to write? To understand? Or for me, this time, to relive a loving closeness between me and my then six-year-old son, G.J., thirty-three years later.
G.J. and Mama in Vermont. As it Really Happened and Brought Back by a Memory Beam
The long farm table in the small country dining room was set at one end for just four people; G.J., me and the husband and wife proprietors of a small inn near Sugarbush, Vermont. We were the only guests, there to ski.
Was that LASAGNA I smelled coming from the kitchen?! I looked at the wife as she brought in the warm fragrant dish and set it down in front of G.J. “Your Mom told me this was your favorite, favorite thing to eat. I made it special for you.”
I looked up at her sweet face. “How kind and wonderful. Thank you,” I said softly. The atmosphere called for softness. G.J.’s big brown eyes grew wide and his smile was sunshine on his adorable face. (I’m allowed this. I’m his mother.)
“Wow,” He said. “That’s a lot of Lasagna! Thanks!”
And later, “She doesn’t even know me and she made me Lasagna.”
After a day of skiing we tromp back into the Inn covered with snow. We had left a copy of “Charlotte’s Web,” a book we are reading together on the night table. The husband says, “I saw your book, G.J. Hope you don’t mind that I read it. One of my favorites from when I was your age.”
This tickles G.J. who was feeling so good about his runs down the mountain. He was a great little skier, advanced for his age, and I was hoping he believed me when I praised him and that he really felt it. Like most children, he had a little shy streak. I looked at him taking off his boots. I felt our special time together.
At some point the doorbell rings at the Inn and the couple greet friends. “Evening Brother John. Evening Sister Mary. Come in!”
Perhaps they were Quakers. I don’t know. But they created an environment where G.J. and I were so happy. I love thinking of them. I cherish the memory of our trip to Vermont, just G.J. and Mama. Thank you, my muse, for bringing it back in such a gush.
So Writers. If you like, create a story around a spontaneous memory. As it happened or as inspiration for your fiction. You never know when a memory beam will light up an idea. Here’s to your very own muse,
LINKING THE ARTS
Books: Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White
Sharing a book with a child is an act of love.
Word: Kindness. As shown by the gentle innkeepers in Vermont. The spontaneous whoosh that flows out golden and can make a child feel much loved.