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Saturday, April 30, 2011

Journaling Topic: Memoir



I'm beginning my tour as co-moderator of Blissfully Art Journaling this week, and kicking it off with a memoir study to inspire our writing.  Using the book When I Was Young in the Mountains by Cynthia Rylant as a springboard, we will have a week of journal prompts to trigger childhood memories -- something we can then easily journal around. 


The text of the book starts out this way: "When I was young in the mountains, Grandfather came home in the evening covered with the black dust of a coal mine. Only his lips were clean, and he used them to kiss the top of my head." She goes on to remember the simple pleasures of her country life in the mountains of West Virginia: the swimming hole, taking baths in the kitchen, and meeting up with a snake.


I'll post a quote each day this week of something I'm thinking of, along with a specific journal prompt.  If you'd like to join in the fun, come back each day this week for a new quote and writing prompt.  You can journal your memoirs, too.



Quote:  When I Was Young and Still Growing, I often visited my grandma. She lived around the corner so it was a short trip. I loved to watch her bake bread. She would make a volcano shape with flour on a wooden board, and in the middle she would pour eggs and oil. Her kitchen always smelled so good.

Writing Prompt:  Do you have memories of visiting a special relative?



14 comments:

Brenda said...

Where do we go, Teri. I would like to participate. Sounds like fun.

teri said...

You don't have to join the art journaling group to do this activity. I'm planning to put the posts right here all week. (But if you do want to join, email me and I'll send you a link.)

Elena said...

Well this is very cool!! I didn't know you were doing it. Childhood memories are not always good though.... We will see!

Claire M said...

Sounds like a very interesting idea. I'll try to make some time to participate sometimes.

Holli said...

This is REALLY cool Teri.... does it just have to be art journaling or can I just journal it? In the group I mean.....

teri said...

Oh thanks for asking. No you don't have to do art journaling. Often we just chat about the prompts. I have a journal where I mostly write, but then I glue in things sometimes like ticket stubs or old pictures. You could do that too.

Melly Testa said...

As usually happens when I visit your blog, I come, read and bounce off to a link that I wasn't expecting. I won't be participating in any prompts but will continue to watch you expand and grow.

Brenda said...

When I was a young girl, we went to South Jersey, Barrington, to be exact, where my aunt lived in the country, which it really wasn't, but to me a city girl, it was! I liked that her house was all on one floor, and we could run around outside and hide. She was actually my Great Aunt Ida, and she was always nice and talked to me in a raspy voice, and of course, being Italian, she was a fantastic cook. The smell of meatballs and flowers wafting by are a childhood memory that still delights me even when they are coming from my own home and kitchen.

teri said...

Oh gosh -- I forgot about this, but I, too, recall the smell of meatballs and gravy in a very fond and comforting way. Thanks for reminding me!

Holli said...

When I was Young and Still Growing I spent a lot of time at my grandma and grandpa's house. They are from Alabama and so there was always a pot on the stove simmering away and cornbread in the oven. My grandma's house always smelled of ham hocks and white beans, stale cigarette smoke and burnt coffee....

I loved to watch my grandma do alterations for people. I would sit on the cool linoleum in the kitchen while she measured and pinned up slacks, tilting her head just right so that she could see over her glasses to stick the pin into the hem.

I can see my grandpa in his chair by the sliding glass door.... the sun shining on the top pf his head... his head bent over the newspaper with books and magazines stacked on the floor around him.

I miss those days.

Thauna said...

I remember going to my grandma's house when my cousins came to visit. She lived close to me but I didn't go as often as I should have. But when my cousins came to town it was a whole event, all of us on the farm. It was a dairy farm and my grandpa also grew wheat/grain something. My grandpa who didn't say much more than hello, always in the fields or in the dairy, I remember he's irrigating boots. My grandma almost always in the kitchen, cooking, cleaning...her house was always spotless and she waited on everyone. Old toys for us kids to play with and baby cows to feed with big bottles. I guess I should copy this to a real journal. :)

teri said...

I love reading these comments. Thauna, your grandparents sound just perfect! Isn't it funny that you remember your grandfather's boots?

I hope you will copy this to a journal.

Anna Micciulla said...

Teri, I have read this book to my little girl for ages... I think I actually bought it for her before she was born. Your pages are beautiful!

Trece said...

OMG - this is one of my favoritest books ever!!! I love that you know it!!!!