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#SOL20 Day 22 “Bar”

SOL20This March I will be participating in the montOld Friend from Far Awayh-long Slice of Life Challenge. Each day I will be posting a ‘slice’ from my life. This year I am using Natalie Goldberg’s book Old Friend from Far Away: The Practice of Writing Memoir to provide my sparks for memoir writing. Each post will be a quick write using one of Natalie’s exercises to practice the skill of noticing and remembering.

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Funny how my first memory of a bar wasn’t one that I patronized and partied at, but the only one I’d ever worked at. I still remember riding my bike home after closing at 2am and wondering if I should take a shower (and wake myself up) or crawl into bed reeking of smoke and beer and get a few hours of sleep before classes. I think I developed a lot of grit in life from these tough jobs and trying times.  Working my way through school helped me appreciate my education so much more. I truly believe everything we do contributes to who we are!

#SOL20 Day 21 “Time”

SOL20This March I will be participating in the montOld Friend from Far Awayh-long Slice of Life Challenge. Each day I will be posting a ‘slice’ from my life. This year I am using Natalie Goldberg’s book Old Friend from Far Away: The Practice of Writing Memoir to provide my sparks for memoir writing. Each post will be a quick write using one of Natalie’s exercises to practice the skill of noticing and remembering.

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I immersed myself in this quick write and practiced that skill of noticing and remembering but found out just how unreliable memory can be. I mentally put myself there in my room to relive these moments of clock watching and then when I went up to my room to actually look at the clock, after the fact, I discovered my memory of red numerals was inaccurate!!Screen Shot 2020-03-20 at 7.42.04 PM

How many details in my memory are undependable or false? Is that what it’s like for memoirists as they write to remember? Do they grapple with the doubts of inaccuracies? I’m learning so much with these simple exercises…about myself and about writing  memories.

#SOL20 Day 20 “No More”

SOL20This March I will be participating in the montOld Friend from Far Awayh-long Slice of Life Challenge. Each day I will be posting a ‘slice’ from my life. This year I am using Natalie Goldberg’s book Old Friend from Far Away: The Practice of Writing Memoir to provide my sparks for memoir writing. Each post will be a quick write using one of Natalie’s exercises to practice the skill of noticing and remembering.

When I read this prompt today I couldn’t help but think about my current life. There is nothing in my younger days (beyond grieving loved ones) that commanded my attention to Natalie’s prompt than my current life.

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When you think about “no more”, what immediately comes to your mind? What losses have you or are you experiencing? Does this increase your gratitude or your stress?         Is “no longer” forever or temporary?

#SOL20 Day 19 “Bedroom Window”

SOL20This March I will be participating in the montOld Friend from Far Awayh-long Slice of Life Challenge. Each day I will be posting a ‘slice’ from my life. This year I am using Natalie Goldberg’s book Old Friend from Far Away: The Practice of Writing Memoir to provide my sparks for memoir writing. Each post will be a quick write using one of Natalie’s exercises to practice the skill of noticing and remembering.

Today I thought about how remembering isn’t just about recalling exact events, but thinking about our perceptions and our dreams that influenced our lives as well.

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What was outside your bedroom window? Was it really? Is that what matters?

#SOL20 Day 18 “ALONE”

SOL20This March I will be participating in the montOld Friend from Far Awayh-long Slice of Life Challenge. Each day I will be posting a ‘slice’ from my life. This year I am using Natalie Goldberg’s book Old Friend from Far Away: The Practice of Writing Memoir to provide my sparks for memoir writing. Each post will be a quick write using one of Natalie’s exercises to practice the skill of noticing and remembering.

I thought this prompt from Natalie’s book was particularly relevant as we are being asked to socially distance ourselves from others. For some, that will truly mean being alone, and figuring out how to live alone is not easy. Though I am not alone now, one experience with alone-ness taught me that I am stronger than I ever thought possible, and to trust in the adage, “This too shall pass.

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Are you facing being alone right now as we are advised to be socially distant? Are you alone despite the pandemic precautions? All I can say to you is that “this too shall pass” is something to take to heart. I have a friend who is notebooking about this right now and while it breaks my heart to read it, I know one day she will look back and see how she persevered, how she was stronger than she imagined. ALONE is hard to experience and hard to write about. Try writing about it anyway.

#SOL20 Day 17 “Living History”

SOL20This March I will be participating in the month-long Slice of Life Challenge. Each day I will be posting a ‘slice’ from my life. I had been working on memoir and memory practice, but today I will continue documenting my life with the Covid-19 pandemic. I’m trying to incorporate headlines, links to digital resources, photos, and slices of writing to capture our new normal. I ask myself, “What do you wish you knew about a moment in history from someone who lived through it?” and then I try to answer that through my writing and journaling.

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How are you capturing your new normal? Everyone’s experience will be unique-it would be wonderful if everyone found a way to document (slice) the history they are living.

#SOL20 Day 16 “National Emergency Declared”

SOL20This March I will be participating in the month-long Slice of Life Challenge. I’m encouraging everyone I know to keep a journal during this historic moment in time. Our world is changing so incredibly fast and capturing our experience would be an amazing gift to our future selves and future generations. I started a new notebook on Friday (the day the pandemic was declared) and shared that in my slice yesterday. I won’t share all the entries from this notebook, but here is a glimpse at Saturday’s entry. I am embedding QR codes and URLs into my notebook so that I can document some primary sources (videos/websites) that I can’t enter directly into my notebook.

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How are you documenting these strange and uncharted waters? How has your life changed or remained the same? What do you wish you knew about a moment in history from someone who lived through it? Ask yourself that question now and answer it.

#SOL20 Day 15 “Becoming a Primary Source”

SOL20I’ve spent the 1st half of March slicing to memoir prompts from Natalie Goldberg’s book Old Friend from Far Away: The Practice of Writing Memoir , but we are in the midst of some historic times and I felt reflecting on my distant history was less relevant and imperative than documenting and slicing about my current time and experience in history. historianToday I am writing to a New Friend from Here and Now!  My nErDy buddy, Lesley Burgess posted and tagged me in this tweet from a historian that expressed exactly how I feel about this moment in time. I keep a journal every day; have ever since junior high. I am a part of the #100DaysofNotebooking group, and I’ve been saving news clips and writing micropoetry on them for the past 3 years. I am all about documenting and writing, but I want to be much more organized and deliberate during this consequential time. On Friday, I started a notebook specifically dedicated to documenting my experience with the Covid-19 Pandemic (as this was the day it was officially declared a pandemic). I’m not sure if I’ll share these all as slices, but my mental and physical energy is consumed in the moment and I want my writing to be connected to my heart and mind right now.  Here is a look at my first day (how ironic that it was Friday the 13th!)

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How are you recording your experiences? How can you document these events through your own unique and personal lens-the way no one else could? Could you make it multimodal to include photos, links to videos and sites, or other related graphs, information, and images? You could become a primary source for your great-great-grandchildren. I know they would find it a gift. It could be a cathartic gift to yourself, too.

#SOL20 Day 14 “Driving”

SOL20This March I will be participating in the montOld Friend from Far Awayh-long Slice of Life Challenge. Each day I will be posting a ‘slice’ from my life. This year I am using Natalie Goldberg’s book Old Friend from Far Away: The Practice of Writing Memoir to provide my sparks for memoir writing. Each post will be a quick write using one of Natalie’s exercises to practice the skill of noticing and remembering.

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What memories do you have about driving? When you start writing them down, where do they take you? Are they funny? Scary? Somewhere in between? Does this prompt transport you back to 16 the way it did for me?

#SOL20 Day 13 “Quiet”

SOL20This March I will be participating in the montOld Friend from Far Awayh-long Slice of Life Challenge. Each day I will be posting a ‘slice’ from my life. This year I am using Natalie Goldberg’s book Old Friend from Far Away: The Practice of Writing Memoir to provide my sparks for memoir writing. Each post will be a quick write using one of Natalie’s exercises to practice the skill of noticing and remembering.

It is hard not to slice about the coronavirus and social distancing measures that are dramatically altering our personal lives and creating a new societal normal. This prompt from Natalie actually helped me to stay centered amidst this chaos.

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How has SILENCE and QUIET fit into your life?

What role are they playing in your recent days?