story and photos by Deborah Carr
For the past six weeks, a group of community members and Forest Dale Home residents have been gathering on Thursday mornings to learn creative writing tips and techniques for generating memories and getting them down on paper.
What can be better than food, socializing and creative pursuits? Twenty-six people signed up for the sessions, and have been learning how easy it is to write about our lives…when you know some of the tricks.
The work we do requires no special skills, talents or even previous experience…in fact people who have never written creatively before always surprise themselves with the words and memories that spill out upon the page.
She says that she is ‘a list person’, so rarely thinks about descriptions, so this has opened new pathways to memory as she works to describe events, people, and surroundings. Since she has no brothers and sisters, she knows if she doesn’t write down her memories for her grandchildren, no one else will and they will be lost. She’s been very pleased with the memories and stories that have emerged during the sessions.
“This is also time just for me, which is kind of nice.” Garda Clark
We still have two weeks more weeks to finish up, and the finale will be a storytelling session with students from Riverside Consolidated school where participants get to share their stories and memories with a young audience.
And isn’t this really what its all about? We build strong ties and bonds with each other when we can share our stories and pass on the wisdom of our lived experience. This is how we live full circle.
I hope you’ll consider joining us in the fall when Albert County Lives: Writing our Stories starts up again for a repeat 8-week session. Dates are not finalized yet, but will no doubt take place through the October-November period. Please contact Mindy Holmstrom (firstname.lastname@example.org), if you’re interested in taking part or have questions.