Thursday, January 30, 2014



Decorative Sign in Marshall's department store
Anything with the words story and home is sure to catch my eye so when I saw this sign in Marshall's in Martin City, Mo., I said "Awwww" and took a picture with my phone.

Then I started thinking about it. Or as Young Advisor says, I argued with myself  about it.

Was the phrase true or not?

What do you think? Does your story begin at home? When and where is home? Does the chronology of the story begin at home? Or can you start it elsewhere? How do you choose where you story begins?

I would love to know what you think.

LAUNCHING PAD: a jumping-off point for your writing

________________ is where my begins. As you begin writing or organizing your own  memoir or life story, what will be the first story or first chapter?

When I first started teaching memoir and life story writing classes, I was asked to lead a class at an assisted living community. The first day of class the residents settled on chairs and sofas in the pretty public living room. Assuming they would begin their stories with their early years, I led them in a discussion about things like first jobs and worst jobs and early school days.

For the second meeting, we went to a room with tables where they could write. A lady who appeared to be the most elderly in the group read what she had written as a first chapter in her life story. She wrote about the assisted living facility, her home now. She wrote of how much she liked it and what she liked about it, what her room was like and the meals. Her writing painted such a beautiful picture of her present life, I knew she was a woman of great love and that she had created a wonderful gift for her family -- the assurance that she was happy in her present circumstances. After that week, she went on to write very funny stories about her childhood, but she had chosen a perfect place to begin to interest her reader and to reveal much about her character.

Where will you begin the story of your life?

To help with ideas, you might want to use the  Life Story Writing Workbook I wrote for you to use whether you are writing alone or in a group.

CHOCOLATE INKWELL - Chocolate helps the thought process. What would I do without Judy to help supply chocolate recipes? I remember she had these at a meeting, but I cannot quite remember who the hostess was. I asked Judy why not just make regular brownies. She said, "You could, but these were cute."
Let's give Judy the title of DCS -- Designated Chocolate Scout. (Thank you, Judy. I appreciate it. As do all chocolate lovers.)

Brownie Cupcakes

2 sticks of butter.     4 squares of Nestle Choco-Bake unsweetened chocolate.   Melt and cool.

1 3/4 c. sugar
l c. flour
4 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 c. nuts, chopped

Mix by hand.  Fill cupcake papers 3/4 full.  Bake at 325 for 25 to 30 minutes.  Makes 18   Enjoy.

After baking sprinkle powdered sugar on the tops. 

They are so easy and they also freeze well if you have any left over.  

For more tips and resources, visit

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