Story #5 – 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]
All week now, we’ve been talking about StoryMap:The Neverending Writing Prompt™. We’ve also been sharing our first-ever, StoryMap-inspired adventure, “Snow Moon, No Moon.” And today it’s your turn to get into the story, but first…
Matilda and I have had fun telling our story about Five Points, OK, and their fabulous Snow Moon Festival–a Cherokee tradition. I’ll be honest, I’ve been “playing” my placemat story game for years, but until we created StoryMap, I hadn’t tried using this technique as a serious part of my writing process.
Recently, Matilda and I have been using StoryMap for short storytelling sessions and longer writing exercises. (“Snow Moon No Moon” is the longest bit of fiction I’ve ever written). I feel my skills growing and expanding to my creative nonfiction and memoir writing. I can set 15-minute exercises for myself…practicing dialogue, character development, and description.
I can push my creativity for a few minutes each day and once I get my flow going I turn back to memoir and nonfiction, and the effects are striking.
We’re already getting great feedback…
This past October, at the Association of Personal Historians Annual Conference (Las Vegas) Matilda and I taught StoryMap for the first time ever. Success. And what fun we all had. The creativity that came out in our students’ stories was so freeing.
JUDY WATTERS, one of our early memoir-writing students bought StoryMap. After it arrived, she posted this on Facebook:
“Just received the StoryMap: The Neverending Writing Prompt ™ from Women’s Memoirs. What a great idea for writers’ block. I didn’t expect any less from Matilda and Kendra. I’m going to take it to my writing group Monday night and tell everyone it’s a must-buy for under their own Christmas tree. Thinking I might have it laminated and use it as a desk place mat. Thanks to you two great gurus.”
Another writer-friend, JESSICA BARNES, recently received her copy of StoryMap and wrote us to say, “I’ve never had so much fun with writing exercises…StoryMap has me really thinking outside the box.”
Just because writing is work doesn’t mean you can’t have fun
Here’s the bottom line: Writing takes practice. Lots of practice. Robert Southey–the English poet of the Romantic Period–summed up our reality: “By writing much, one learns to write well.”
Matilda and I are all about inspiring our writing students and helping them hone their skills. We counsel practice, but try our best to make it fun.
StoryMap is the result. In developing our fictive Five Points, OK, with all its fanciful businesses, unusual people and emotional and sensory stimuli, we believe we have the most powerful, most inspirational tool for writers. So join us by telling a story.
Join in storytelling games for the holidays
If you’re getting together with family and friends this holiday season, StoryMap is a fun family activity for all ages (well, at least for every age that can read). Bring out StoryMap and get everyone storytelling. We’ve tested this on kids as young as eight, and the stories they created have been more imaginative than anything we could have invented.
Order your copy of the beautiful 11 x 17 full-color StoryMap today, and we’ll get it off to you within 24 hours.
Today is your day to begin writing an ending to our story
As we post our final installment of “Snow Moon No Moon,” I promise to leave you hanging… and ready to write your own conclusion. Then email us your installment, and we’ll publish it on Women’s Memoirs. You’ll find instructions at the bottom of today’s blog post.
StoryMap is the most fun you can have honing your writing skills.
NOW, BACK TO OUR STORY IN FIVE POINTS, OKLAHOMA…TODAY WE TURN THE STORY OVER TO YOU!
And if you missed the first four installments, here are your links:
Snow Moon, No Moon
By Kendra Bonnett
“What was that all about?” Matilda visibly shivered. “Let’s get out of the cold. I’m freezing and even this hot tea isn’t helping.” The two women looked up at the tree one more time then headed east out of the park. They didn’t see the two fox squirrels that were cautiously making their way toward the pile of spilled food. Alice hadn’t been able to eat it all, and now the squirrels were going to feast.
Moving as fast has her short legs could take her, Brandi, with Alice trotting by her side, crossed Five Points Circle Road and headed toward her shop. When she arrived at Curl Up & Dye, the lights were on and her first client was inside. Wynnie was talking with Gail while she waited. Waited for Brandi to arrive.
Brandi approached the door but didn’t open it. As Gail and Wynnie watched, Brandi just stood, hand on door, but not moving. Her brain, on the other hand, was racing. She thought about the busy day ahead of her. She thought of the foils, the cuts, the perms. She thought of the money she would make today. In this economy that was a big consideration. But her thoughts kept coming back to the missing snow globe that was supposed to be perched high atop the loblolly pine in the park.
“Who would do such a thing?” Brandi focused for a minute on Wynnie who was smiling and waving at her from inside the shop. She had a decision to make. Should she go inside and try to focus on hair or send out the clarion call among shopkeepers, town mothers, town fathers, and the citizens of Five Points that they had to find the snow globe…and fast?
Her mind was filled with questions:
Who would do something like this? Where had the snow globe gone? How will we find it by Saturday…when Chief of Police Mary Awentia–Grand Marshal of the Snow Moon Festival–was supposed to flip the switch, lighting the great globe?
There are strangers in town, Brandi remembered; she’d already met two in the park. Surely this was the kind of thing that only a stranger could do. While she knew that teenagers were certainly capable of pranks…this just didn’t seem like a joke. “This wasn’t even a bad joke.”
Alice barked. Brandi thought again about all the women who would be coming to the shop today. Maybe her customers could spread the word. “Everyone in town calls this place gossip central,” she said. “Maybe I could make that work to spread the word.”
She leaned into the door. As she started to go in, Brandi realized that the answer to one critical question could solve all her other questions. How? How did anyone get the snow globe down out of a 90-foot tree. “Yes, that is the central question,” she said. She pushed on the door. “Hi Wynnie, sorry I’m late…”
AND NOW IT’S YOUR TURN. TELL US WHAT HAPPENED NEXT. THE TOWN OF FIVE POINTS IS IN YOUR HANDS.
HOW TO ENTER OUR FIRST STORYMAP CONTEST
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. Beginning Monday, 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 rice.
- Read the installments of “Snow Moon, No Moon” all this week. Today, we’ve left 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 Snow Moon, No Moon unfolded, you found I worked both Matilda and me 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.
We’re looking forward to reading your stories. And once you get your copy of StoryMap tell us what it does for your creativity and inspiration. Now get to writing.