Story #3 – Women’s Memoirs, StoryMap: The Neverending Writing PromptTM – Kendra Bonnett and Matilda Butler
[NOTE: Our special discount on StoryMap ends Sunday, December 11, 2011 at midnight (Pacific time). The price increases from $12.97 to $14.97, our sale price for the rest of December. Then January 1, the price returns to its usual $19.97]
StoryMap: The Neverending Writing PromptTM will inspire you to tell one story after another, after another.
While that’s good for your writing in general, you may be wondering what it will do for your memoir writing.
The answer: A LOT.
Writing about ourselves is hard. Whether it’s:
- Learning to describe ourselves with the same degree of detail that we use to describe fictional characters…
- Getting comfortable digging into our emotional state and noticing subtle changes as a scene unfolds…
- Finding our voice in dialogue…
- Capturing our interaction with the world around us…how it tastes, feels, sounds, looks and smells…and expressing it in the descriptive details of our stories…Or
- Seeing ourselves in the context of time and place…
…these are the elements of memoir writing…and writing about them takes practice.
But there’s no law saying it can’t be fun. StoryMap makes writing about yourself very entertaining.
While StoryMap is a fictive journey, it’s an opportunity to put yourself into the story. And because it’s fiction, you can feel free…feel safe…unleashing your creativity…your imagination…your capacity to look inward at your self.
StoryMap is the most freeing exercise you can use as a memoir writer. Interact with the residents of Five Points, OK. Talk with them…hear yourself talk, then write it down. Visit the businesses of Five Points…take yourself on sensory tours, then write it all down. Dig into your emotional reactions, and above all describe yourself in great detail. And then write it all down.
Spend 15 or 20 minutes writing about your experiences in Five Points, then turn back to your memoir writing feeling freer to write about yourself and the people, places and experiences that are YOUR story.
Get your StoryMap today (and save almost half off the regular price…but only until December 11, 2011). Then write yourself into our story “Snow Moon, No Moon.” Submit it to us, and we’ll publish it on Women’s Memoirs. (See rules at the end of today’s story.)
That’s only the beginning because we’ll be inviting you to participate in more StoryMap contests all through 2012.
Now that’s a worthy resolution for 2012…Make it the year you get published on Women’s Memoirs.
NOW, BACK TO OUR STORY IN FIVE POINTS, OKLAHOMA…WE’RE GETTING CLOSER TO THE POINT WHERE WE’LL TURN THE STORY OVER TO YOU.
And if you missed the first two installments, here are your links:
Snow Moon, No Moon
By Kendra Bonnett
By the time Brandi had closed and locked the door behind them, Alice had already navigated the 14 steps to the ground and was snuffling the snow with her big black nose. Brandi trotted down the steps with a jaunty step, exhaling in great puffs so she could see her breath. She loved starting her day with a brisk walk.
Reaching the landing, she ignored the front door of her shop and headed toward the coffee emporium for her morning fix. She stepped carefully, half wishing she hadn’t decided to wear cowboy boots. The slight film of ice beneath the powdery snow was slippery under the leather soles of her boots. Fortunately she only had a few steps to go.
As she started to push open the door to A Brewed Awakening, she turned to Alice, “Sit. Wait. I’ll be right back.” Alice sat, cocked her head and looked alert. It was a pose that always made Brandi melt. “Yes, I’ll bring you something, too.”
The bell attached to the front door announced the hairdresser’s arrival. Jenny, the young barista, smiled at Brandi then tried to see around her to catch a glimpse of Alice before the door swung shut. “Kona cappuccino,” Brandi sighed, doing her best impression of a dying woman who had only minutes left to live unless she got a cup of the steaming hot coffee down her throat…and soon.
“Yes, Ma’am. Coming right up, Ms. Alvarez.” Brandi cringed at being called ma’am; at 35 she just wasn’t a ma’am yet. But before she could correct the young woman, Jenny redeemed herself by handing Brandi a day-old scone. “Here, this is for Alice.”
“Thanks, Jenny, she’ll love it.” She accepted the stale pastry and slipped it into her sweater pocket. “I’ll wait and give it to her when we get to the park. It’ll help to distract her from the you-know-whats.”
Brandi only saw the back of Jenny’s head nod as the young barista was busy twisting knobs and checking dials on the giant Rosito & Bisani espresso machine. Brandi loved watching the vintage machine at work. She thought it looked like what the Star Wars robot R2-D2 would have looked like if transformed into a copper and brass coffee machine. She giggled to herself just as Jenny released a hot blast of steam then filled a paper cup about halfway with coffee. “You like your cappuccino wet, don’t you, Ms. Alvarez?”
“Yes, thanks, Jenny…and it’s Brandi.”
Jenny steamed the milk, then gently poured it into the paper cup, taking care to float the foam on the espresso. She handed the cup across the counter to Brandi who, having already placed five ones on the counter, accepted the cup and immediately brought it up to her lips. She sipped, then let out a long sigh, “Ahhhhhhhhh. Now I’m ready for the day. Thanks, Jenny. Alice and I have one more stop before we open the shop.”
“You’re headed across the street to the park to check out the tree. There must have been 40 of us decorating it for the past three days. I think you’ll approve.”
“Well, yes, I do want to get a closer look at your handiwork. But I’m also on a mission of mercy.” She raised the paper sack and gave it a quick shake.
Jenny laughed. “They’ll love you for it, I’m sure. By the way, do you still have a few open slots for later in the week? I’d like to get a cut before Friday night.”
“I think that’s possible. Call over to the shop after nine. Gail can check the appointment book. Are you going to the ball?”
“Yes, Tommy Thibodeau has invited me. And thanks, I’ll call Gail.”
The two women exchanged good byes. Brandi headed for the door…coffee in one hand, paper sack in the other. Hands full, she was about to consider how she was going to get outside when the door opened. A slight woman with gray hair pulled back and held in place with a black ribbon tied at the nape of her neck was preparing to enter when she saw Brandi. “Here let me hold the door for you.” The stranger smiled, let Brandy pass then entered A Brewed Awakening herself. Brandi heard her inquiring about green tea as the door slowly swung shut.
Coffee, sack, scone still tucked in her pocket, and Alice following close at her heels, Brandi quickly reached Five Points Circle. It was still early and few cars were out and about. Alice and Brandi crossed the street and entered Will Rogers Park.
HOW TO ENTER OUR FIRST STORYMAP CONTEST
We’ll pick up the next installment of “Snow Moon, No Moon” tomorrow. But, as promised, here are the rules for writing your own Five Points story:
- Because all Five Points stories are based on StoryMap: The Neverending Writing Prompt, YOU MUST HAVE your own copy of StoryMap. We’ve made that very easy. We’ve slashed the price this week only. StoryMap regularly sells for $19.97. From now through Sunday, December 11, 2011, you can have your copy for just $12.97. After December 11, 2011, and through the end of the month, the price goes up to $14.97. Then, on January 1, 2012, the price will goes back to $19.97. So hurry…save…and get to writing.
- Follow this link to our Women’s Memoirs store to get your StoryMap at our SALE price.
- Read the installments of “Snow Moon, No Moon” all this week. On Friday, we’ll leave the story hanging and invite you to get creative and write a conclusion for our story. Remember, you’ll need a copy of StoryMap to participate.
- Because we are Women’s Memoirs, we want to tie this contest to an important aspect of life writing…writing about yourself. So, you must work yourself into the story. As the Snow Moon, No Moon unfolds, you’ll find both Matilda and Kendra worked into the plot. You’ll need to do the same. Come join us in Five Points.
- Email us your ending for our story by Wednesday, February 29, 2012, and we’ll publish your story, showcasing your work here on Women’s Memoirs. Send your story conclusion to Matilda (at) WomensMemoirs (dot) com
- Keep writing and using StoryMap to stretch your creative storytelling because we’ll be announcing more contests and StoryMap writing activities.
Remember, come back tomorrow (and all week) to read Five Points, OK: Snow Moon, No Moon. Then, after Friday’s installment (and with your own StoryMap in hand) you can begin writing your fabulously creative conclusion.