Thursday, November 24, 2016

Childhood Stories for the Holidays

I met Michelle through My Book Therapy. She is a regular instructor for the Monday night chats. I couldn't wait to meet this wonderful lady in person at the conference. She manned the My Book Therapy booth, reaching out to writers to encourage them. At the MBT Western Theme Pizza party she wore her duds and had fun, even took a pic with me. She is a cheerleader, a supporter, an encourager, and someone who knows how to make you smile...and today Michelle shares this with us:

Childhood Stories

Photo by Mary Vee
If you’ve ever lived in a small town, you might understand how I began to love stories. Small town folk are required to have an active imagination if they're going to stay busy. 

As a pastor’s daughter, I spent a lot of my years in small towns. I saw the stories of families told at local cafes and the exaggerated tales of giant fish, 12 point bucks, and big foot. 

People can light up the room when they tell a story. Everyone is drawn closer to hear the tale and enjoy knowing the adventures of each others lives. I lived those adventures in my imagination taking me places a young girl could never go. Words poured out onto my journal pages full of thoughts and funny things that happened to me.

There was the time we got snowed into a hotel while driving to our cousins for Christmas. We used my Dad’s fingernail clipper to remove the legs of our jeans so we could swim in the pool.

Our kid contests on vacation testing who could jump into the freezing lake in early May or chasing June bugs, catching Cray fish, or sitting on boat cushions while motoring faster than we should have to stir up the water.

Going fishing with my dad early in the morning on a smooth, glass-top lake only to be startled then soaked by the angry otter that belly-flopped next to our boat. These images and sensations are as real in my mind as it was when I was there. 

The environment around me sparked ideas that turned into complete stories. We all have the ability to find stories or good memories to tell others in our world around us.

Whether you are inspired by people, settings, or an amazing idea, share them this holiday season with those you know. 

What is your favorite childhood story?

Mary here, I'll start us off. Well, I can't say I have one favorite, I was known as the rascal in my family and managed to find myself in interesting problems many times. My mom also tells me stories I must have been too young to keep in my memory...or have chosen to forget. So, the one I'm sharing isn't the typical fond memory you might expect, but it is one that makes me laugh at myself. 

One year at college, I was attending a big event. My date took me to a fancy restaurant beforehand. You know the kind. Reservations. Corsage. Etc. I wore my sister's gorgeous, floor-length dress, (I was number two and rarely had my own). Dressed up fancy, at a ritzy restaurant. I'd never been to one with so many forks! Yeah. 

I ordered tea. Soon after, the waitress brought sizzling hot tea in a delicate, Chinaware cup  set on a saucer. So elegant. 

I gestured with my conversation and...yep. The tea splashed across a sparkling white tablecloth. Thanks to my date's quick response, he cornered the puddle with the dazzling white cloth napkins before any went on my dress. I was mortified and as red faced as my fair completed date. Yes...these are the memories made for retelling.  

Okay...Your Turn

and by the way...

Michelle Lim is the author of the new book Idea Sparking: How to Brainstorm Conflict in Your Novel. Also a romantic suspense author whose manuscripts have earned recognition in The Rattler Contest 2012, the Genesis Contest 2011, and the Frasier Contest in 2010. Michelle is the Brainstorm/Huddle Coach at My Book Therapy and serves as Vice President of MN N.I.C.E., a local chapter of American Christian Fiction Writers.

Idea Sparking: How to Brainstorm Conflict in Your Novel, gives you tricks and strategies to up the conflict in your stories with new ideas and specific methods. It is designed to be a resource you pull out time and again to find a strategy to apply to your manuscript.

Thank you Michelle for joining us today. What a treat to have you with us.


Connie Porter Saunders said...

Hi Mary and Michelle. I enjoyed the stories you shared. Even though I am having a hard time relating a specific story I have been reminded of the great storyteller that I called Daddy. He was funny, as was his mother, and I can still see him telling a story and laughing so hard that he cried. I haven't inherited his sit but I do laugh until I cry. During the last few years of his life I often spent Sunday afternoons with my parents and I heard stories from his youth that I had never heard. I will forever be grateful that I was given that chance. Precious memories! How they linger.....

Mary Vee Writer said...

Those are my favorite stories to hear. My mother-in-law had a gift for story telling. Hours would soar by before I realized the time. Hah. Loved hearing them.