Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Neighborhood

Below is another excerpt from my booklet. As you can see, those I am posting here are not in order listed in the booklet, but are some random topics to give you the range of ideas and approaches to writing your childhood memories and family stories. This particular topic developed from a teaching strategy and was written in 2003. It is a wonderful subject for many, many stories, and some of my writing students have used it as an underlying theme for their entire memoirs. Even if you lived in several neighborhoods, this can section your life in to various units and allow you to write many memories within the time span, giving the reader an entire picture of your life.

"Memoing" My Memories Topic 8:

The Neighborhood

As we have discussed your childhood home/homes in Topic 4, let us focus on the neighborhood in general and the activities and the events surrounding it. No doubt this could result in countless stories, so we’ll start with a great brainstorming technique to give you the bases for future writings, as well.

If you lived in more than one home, pick one for now, but try this with all of them, if you can. A neighborhood could just be the block on which you lived or the few houses surrounding your rural home.

First, think back to what your neighborhood was like. Was it rural, urban, or suburban? Did you live in a large or small town, in the middle of the city or on the perimeter?

Who were the neighbors? Can you remember their names? Which houses were theirs?

Was there a unique member of your neighborhood...a kind person who asked you to do errands and tipped you enough for a candy bar or ice cream...a grouchy person whose yard often harbored your baseball or balsa wood airplane...the person whom no one knew well…? Was there a bully on the block? (Even if it was YOU!)

What games did you play in the street or yards with neighbor kids? What games differed from the summer through the winter? Where did you play—a vacant lot, the end of the street, a particular yard? Did everyone get along?

After thinking about these things, draw a map of your childhood street. Add some features unique to each house and the names of the people in the houses. Now choose an event centered on this area and write. Be certain to jot down other ideas on which to write later. There is no doubt many great stories to tell….

©Aulicino, Sept 2003

1 comment:

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