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How to share & write memories (contest)

Share your family stories before it is too late.  That’s my motto in a nutshell. I believe everyone has a story to tell.  It’s just a matter of digging deep to find those memories. Of course, proof is in the puddin’ - alright, no more tacky clichés - I'm about to issue you a challenge:

  • Grab a pen and paper.
  • Number your paper from 1 – 13.
  • Write down the top 13 experiences you had in your life before age 23.

It’s a cinch to write down casual highlights: driver’s license @ 16, first kiss, prom-date-from-hell, the drunken college escapade – you get what I mean.  But I want you to go deeper.  Allow images to come forward; the moments in your life that have impacted who you are today.  Let go and when you do, you’ll start to remember words, images, smells, colors, tastes, and emotions. 

To complete the challenge:

  • Select a memory you are willing to share.
  • Find someone to share your memory with, better yet, have them reciprocate!
  • Stand up while telling your story, this will allow movements and emotions to come into play.
  • Here’s the clincher:  You must begin with an action.
  • Once finished, write it down.

Here is my example:

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A lopsided summer night – age 13

The air was humid as I stood outside the movie theater with my two friends named Tina and Tina.  I wore a lavender polo, with the collar up, and white denim shorts.  The place was packed with mid-summer hormones.  It wasn’t long before the lights dimmed and Sixteen Candles took over the big screen.  I felt the soft tap of popcorn hitting the back of my head and heard snickers from behind as two boys, at close range, tossed the greasy morsels.  I watched scene after scene in a fog; I barely cringed when on-screen-Grandma reached out to feel Molly Ringwald’s "perk-ys".  Tina on the left and Tina on the right, giggled uncontrollably. 

The movie ended.  I lost my balance as I walked along the curb.  It was after 9:00PM, the sun sat low in a dusty pink sky.  I remember thinking, how is the sunset so beautiful?  How can I hang out with friends, point out cute boys and drink a slurpee when tomorrow is her funeral?  I couldn’t imagine saying goodbye to my sweet grandmother.  She was the fashion designer of all things Barbie, maker of the most heavenly blueberry pies and the sole-person who allowed me to smuggle one or two (ok maybe three) barn kittens into her farmhouse. 

It was a lopsided summer night.

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The Share-a-Memory Contest/Blogfest:

Now it’s your turn.  Goal: share a memorable family story in 250 words or less.  Now, to those I’ve successfully challenged, you have two options:  you can post your story in a comment below or post your entry on your blog by adding a link within the comment section below.  The Share-a-Memory Contest/Blogfest ends August 13, 2010.  Four winners will receive a gift card to Amazon or Barnes and Noble (winner’s choice).  

And…action!