Monday, October 6, 2014

What To Do If You Are In a Parade


What on earth is going on in this picture?
Photo by Carol Newman
Where are we? Who are the people? What are they doing? Where should we look first? How many people are in costume? Is that traffic light important? What about the child in the red shirt? And the woman in the Smokey the Bear hat? Is that a costume or a uniform? Why is she with this group?

This photo is like your life story. There are many elements. It is up to you, the writer, to explain, describe, and sort them out for the reader.

Who or what is most important to the story? Which elements cry out for more detail? What elements are distraction?

What is the meaning of this photo? Do you have an emotional or intellectual reaction to the photo? Why are these people doing whatever it is they are doing?

Ask the same questions of your story.Stand back. Examine the elements. Expand, eliminate, and make a story.


This Launching Pad reminds me of the picture puzzles in Scholastic magazine: hidden pictures in the picture.

From the above photo choose one element to be most important.

Choose two elements to remove.

Add two more elements of importance.

Now write a practice story.

I think I would keep the Native American woman dancer on the far left and the Native American woman on the right who is walking. I would also keep the child in the red shirt. I would write a story about past and present lives and dress of Native Americans and how they feel about parading in front of this child. I would tell about the dancer's tribe and her dress and that it was sewn by her grandmother.I would tell how she learned a traditional dance. The young woman in jeans on the right would be her sister who doesn't like the "old ways."  No need to include the fact that they ate lunch at Subway or walked through the intersection when the traffic light on the yellow was red.

See how that works.

Now do the same for your own story elements.

Chocolate Inkwell

This cake could not be easier, and it has the magic ingredient -- chocolate chips. I actually saved this from Facebook from a few weeks ago. The source for the recipe and photo is Today's Mama.

Lazy Cookie Cake Cookies:

1 box yellow or white cake mix 
2 eggs beaten 
5 T melted butter 
2 C mini chocolate chips

Mix together,  Put in a greased 9×13 pan or glass casserole and bake at 350 for 20 minutes. 

Note: Looks as if chocolate chips are sprinkled on top but the recipe doesn't mention that. Maybe they just arrange themselves that way. Another thing to love about chocolate chips -- they try to be helpful.

Click to buy  Write Your Life Story Workbook

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