Art at home

With the Author of Ridge Stories

This workshop is scheduled for December 12, 2020.

[click here for details]

Gary Jones

Take time to smell the flowers!

A memoir functions much like a photograph album, a series of figurative snapshots, each evoking a specific memory. It is not a chronological autobiography, but rather a composite, like pointillism dots, and the farther a reader steps back, the more the entire picture comes into focus.

In this workshop students will launch a memoir that offers several points of entry. I will nudge them into the writing process with prompts intended to evoke memories, much as Marcel Proust’s childhood memory of tea and cookies that led to his A La Recherche du Temps Perdu. I will offer suggestions not only for developing a memoir, but for sustaining the project to completion.

In addition I will share with you my own journey in writing Ridge Stories, project development, publication process, and promotion. For me, writing is not sweating blood, but rather an enjoyable activity both introspective and contemplative.

You are invited to let me tag along with you in exploring your past on December 12 at Shake Rag Alley.

In the meantime until bookstores and libraries reopen, you may order Ridge Stories at Amazon.com; read “The Mick Hill,” one of my ridge stories, at driftlessroadtrip.com; and visit my Facebook book page at Gary Jones, Author.

Don’t worry about filling anyone else’s shoes!

Writing Prompt

The people we grow up with, extended family and community, play a role in shaping the adults we eventually become. Choose from your childhood someone who played a part in your life and write a narrative in which you introduce this person as a character in a particular setting and develop incidents that you recall as part of a story line, using the dramatic approach of showing rather than telling, allowing your reader to draw conclusions.

In my Ridge Stories book characters from my past included my first grade one-room rural school teacher who went sledding with students during recess, a neighboring farm wife who put fertile peacock eggs under a setting hen, and a grandfather who insisted that I wear his shoes for my eighth grade graduation – you get the idea.

As you write, remember that you are creating clay that will eventually be modeled into statues. This is a work in progress; compose now and edit later.

Relive your life high on the hog!