Thursday, May 19, 2011
Writing a Story in 60 minutes
In memory of Jasper, who sat next to me as I weaved my stories.
(Is May 21 Judgement Day? My friend Susan, writes on the topic--click here.)
My friend Debby is writing a novel in one month. You can read about it here. It's a good project for a writer because it teaches you NOT to edit, but to just let it flow. Editing can come later. (lots of editing!)
I don't have a novel in me...but I have articles/personal experience stories in me. Normally it might take me two weeks or more to get an article down. And another 2 weeks to hone it. So I thought...Why not "write an article in 60 minutes".
With that in mind, I remembered that Chicken Soup for the Soul is looking for stories about Caregiving family members. I want to write about my experience caregiving my mother-in-law. That was an 8 year experience. I can't seem to get an angle on it, so I thought I would just start writing haphazardly. So here is what I produced in about 15 minutes.
Her favorite food was cottage cheese and rice crispies. Her hair was sandy brown and she always made sure she had her glasses on in pictures, because it made her look smarter.
I would go grocery shopping for her every Monday morning. By the time I was done, I could barely push the cart. Especially with my chubby baby sitting in the cart’s little seat eating a banana the produce man gave him.
“I’ll watch the baby,” Kathryn would say. But I was afraid to leave Corey with her because she couldn’t walk without her walker. She couldn’t pick him up and hold him. But she kept insisting. So one day I left Corey with her. He lay in his bassinette in the middle of the coffee table. Kathryn sat in a chair next to him. Toys were resting on the floor. She cooed at him and made faces. “Go ahead and go! We’ll be fine.” That was the fastest grocery trip I ever made! But when I got back, sure enough, she was still cooing, and making faces at him. He kicked his legs and smiled.
As the days past, Kathryn needed more help than just grocery shopping. She could no longer drive, and needed to go to the doctor. And on Thursdays she got her hair done. Soon the errands were too much for me. I had another baby boy to care for now. My husband and I wondered what to do. As if God had heard our thoughts, the house next door went up for sale. It was a small place with wooden shutters on the windows, two bedrooms and a big back yard. Grandma Kathryn sold her house and bought it. My husband had it painted to her specifications and she moved in.
Well THAT WAS FUN. I'm not sure what I'll use it for. I'll keep going on this as practice. Oops I can see things that need changing already. But NO. I'll keep moving forward. Maybe I'll hit upon a memory I can submit to Chicken Soup for the Caregivers Soul.