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Day 7 - Dear Carmel - I remember the party...

In all our non-fiction work there are the good and the bad topics.  There are the topics you might prefer to avoid and the topics you feel compelled to tell the world.  I'm guessing most of us all have memories of things we are less proud of than others; and this is reminiscent to my next memory journal topic of  'I remember the party.'  This story makes me smile as I recall the shenanigans I got up to, I hope you enjoy my recollection.

Dear Carmel,

I remember the party, the long awaited and anticipated thirtieth birthday party of a work-colleague Jess. The Moulin Rogue theme had guests frantically sourcing the short sexy flapper dresses, the kind that hung well above the knees and talked up every male of legs and fishnet stockings.  The high heels and plumped-up hair styles, the bright lippy worn pursing cigarette holders and hands hidden beneath the rough sequins of elbow-length gloves  heightened our enthusiasm for a good night.
  Pre-dinner drinks were planned.  Stashe…

Day 6 - Dear Carmel - I remember the shop...

As I continue to study Writing the life of your story by Carmel Bird, I feel I'm already edging towards the writing of my memoir (or many) with more confidence and knowledge in how to shape my stories.  These exercises in remembering life events through free journal writing may not be the perfect, most well-written pieces, and I don't think they're meant to be; instead they provide valuable lessons for using your thoughts and feelings as a basis for a full length work, work that would be edited and re-drafted until of course you were completely happy. 
Some of these 'Dear Carmel' writing exercises ( well all of them thus-far), have given me inspiration for my memoir construction, they have even perhaps shown me what could be my guiding metaphor.

Guiding metaphor's are I suppose a common theme for your writing, something that links all your stories together, structuring them as a constant reference point, pulling everything together.

Here's Day 6s entry on r…

Day 5 - Dear Carmel - I remember the funeral...

Today's topic is one close to my heart; everyone I would imagine must have a funeral that resonates with them regardless how heartfelt it must be.  This next addition to my memory journal is a poignant part of my life that could never be forgotten.  It is an event that shaped my adolescence, it changed things dramatically within our family then and forever.

Dear Carmel,

  I remember the funeral, it was my brother Craig's.  He died way to soon, joining the growing statistics of a nation's road toll.  I remember how unexpected it must have been, how it tore my mother's heart right out from under her ribs, no warning, no nothing.  As for my father, his soul was robbed in vein, hopeful it would reach and protect his little boy who was now lost forever.  And for me, well my life became empty, insignificant, guilt creeping through every artery, reminding me I have a future and he doesn't.
  At eighteen-years of age Craig had lost his life, the autopsy proved a ruptured …

Day 4 Dear Carmel - I remember the kiss...

The topic's keep rolling in for my Memory Journal and today I'm about to revisit an experience most people will tell you they never forget and I believe that to be true.  It didn't take me long to recall the very first real kiss I had and whom I was fortunate enough to share it with. 
Remember the point of these exercises is to use free-writing, to recall a time and pour your thoughts out onto the page; who knows one day soon it may just go towards writing that memoir I long to produce.

Dear Carmel

I remember the kiss, the very first experience that left a flurry of butterflies swarming from the pit of my stomach, rising to a point where the poor boy on the other side of my mouth may have accidently caught one or two, his tongue projecting, capturing them like a Venus fly-trap. 
  Who was this boy who made my heart sing so loudly, who left such a tangible effect that has become a measuring stick for every other boy thereafter?  We were just kids, ten or eleven at the tim…

Day 3 - Dear Carmel - I remember the grandma...

Day 3 and my draw card is remembering 'the grandma.' The grandma is appropriate in this case as I grew up only ever knowing one grandma.  Read on to find out what an amazing woman she was and,her influences on me as both a child and adult.  It was great  re-visiting some of the most happiest and sad times of my life and how it conjures memories that had escaped me temporarily.

Dear Carmel

  I remember the grandma who took me to toy shops, who introduced me to my first ever hobby - collecting swap cards.  My favourite destination for swap cards was Tim the Toyman.  You couldn't find another store like it in Melbourne.  With ten-dollars tightly tucked away within my small fist - a luxury my grandmother became famous for - sent me into the toy store anxiously searching for the only thing I had desperately waited to invest in.
  Grandma wasn't big on conversations, instead she would take me on imaginary journey's through her garden filled with prize winning Dalia's…

Day 2 - Dear Carmel - I remember the dog...

Well here is day 2.  I have been eagerly awaiting to get back to the desk and begin my second writing exercise, or should I say my Memory Journal.  It's true walking the dog in the morning refreshes the creative juices, my mind talks to me a million miles an hour. I wish my brain had a built in Dictaphone, recording all the thoughts, the lines, the words I come up with; the dog must think I mad talking to myself.

Dear Carmel

 I remember the dog, I remember his first day.  There standing with chest pushed out and a look of mischief slightly hidden beneath his apprehension, was a dog who finally had a home.  I don't know how long he'd been lost, a while I reckon by the look of his wiry ginger coat, the thinned-out hair almost completely missing - a lack of nutrition I presume.
  The dog home named him Banjo, it's not a name I would have chosen, but don't get me wrong I like it and think it suits him.  The funny thing is when he first arrived home, he didn't kno…

Day 1 - Dear Carmel - I remember the boat...

Follow my entries - 'Writing the story of your life' - Entry One Dear Carmel,

  I remember the boat, the one that saves lives.  It hangs from the side of the Rhapsody the welcoming cruise ship I spent ten awesome days soaking enough summer sun to fill me with a lifetime of vitamin D.   The boat is actually a life-raft, but to me it looks more like a boat.  Who would've ever imagined such a lifesaving vessel could act as boat, a boat that took us on a wider journey across the seas of the Caribbean to what otherwise would remain isolated. The Island is filled with atmosphere, presence, culture of men and women and their children, their adorable coils of tight knit hair, their skin the colour of chocolate you could easily eat, enjoying them, swallowing their bright smiles, taking it all away with you never to forget.
  The pristine waters are like no other, they are clear and I mean clear like a well chlorinated swimming pool.  The sands are crystal, glimmering in the days w…

Writing the Story of Your Life

As a member of Writers Victoria, I am always lucky to get the very latest news of any up-coming courses and competitions that may stir my creative juices in writing.  My latest ambition is to nail 'Writing the story of my life,' and it just so happens to be the title of Carmel Bird's ultimate guide to writing memoir successfully. 

   I have always had a preference to write non-fiction, usually in the form of opinion pieces or essay. So when I tell you Carmel's book is no coincidence sitting within my bookshelf, otherwise gathering dust,when I recognise her name as one of the inspiring mentors listed in Writers Victoria's workshops being offered for season two, you will understand the elation I felt when I finally made a conscious decision to embark on a new adventure of writing, the adventure of writing my memoir.
  As you would imagine I have taken my copy of Carmel's book out from the chaotic filled shelves lining my office wall so that it is given new li…

Writer-in -residence

writer-in-residence noun noun: writer-in-residence; plural noun: writers-in-residence 1. a writer holding a temporary residential post in an academic establishment, in order to share their professional insights. Just blogging this as I was a bit confused with what a writer-in-residence's role actually was.  Is the writer-in-residence the writer or the mentor? I was under the assumption a writer-in-residence was someone who spent time at some luxury hide-away working on their own latest novel or sought after biography or anything that what would amount to a new publishable piece. What I've learned is that a writer-in-residence possibly shares their views, thoughts and experience for another writer, providing their perspective on writing at such venues as Literary Festivals, where they obtain selected pieces from other writer's work and offer editing and sharpening of plot and structure. I still remain a bit confused with the whole writer-in-residence thing; I still have alot to l…