Thursday, July 22, 2010

A Haunting Childhood Memory

Remember the last assignment?  The Ugly Me essay? We held in our hands the shard of a vulnerable, shaming or painful experience and learned that by putting it in words, we took away its power.

Digging deep and taking more risks are high on the list for becoming a great writer. When you dig deep to face your truths, you begin to care less about what your critics think of your writing.  You tend your creative garden and empower yourself.

I have another "assignment" I would like to suggest for the August 14 read-around, "A Haunting Childhood Memory." Haunting, perhaps, because it still elicits fear or anguish.  You can remember it as though it happened yesterday. Or hauntingly beautiful like a lovely photograph  that has barely faded with time. You decide.

My "haunting moment" starts like this:   It seemed that  one of the mothers in our neighborhood, Mrs. Sloan, a short, heavyset woman whose lips wore a perpetually nasty sneer, had decided I was responsible for her daughter falling off her bike and hurting herself. In actuality no such thing was true. I had no idea why I had even been accused. Was it because I was the tallest girl on the street or my parents didn't belong to a country club?  Or maybe Mrs. Sloan just didn't like me, even though I was 10 and she was 40. "We're not allowed to play with you anymore," my friends taunted. In that moment I felt shame. In that moment, I learned how vicious girls can be to other girls.

I'm not going to impose a word count, although 1,000 words, give or take, is a pretty good place to be.  As always, if you prefer not to do this, bring whatever your muse inspires.
All the best to my Sisters in the Writing Circle,
Susan
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