It's Tuesday and I'm on the south shore of Lake Superior where my father grew up. I saw my grandmother's grave and I didn't have any particular feeling after all that looking - the nice lady in Wisconsin had sent a picture so that surprise was over. I left flowers, and it started to drip rain. Just then I thought of the scene in the novel that I had written, with John Wesley Morgan (my character) watching his mother be buried. It was a very different place that I'd imaginined than the one I was standing in. But suddenly I felt my father, six years old, in the same real place that I was, watching his real mother be buried. I thought of my six year old father and that loss and I cried. Stories connect us to our past and to what our future can be. They are so very powerful. You have your own stories.
I've uploaded a video of me at Grandma Jensen/Morgan's grave. I'm not a movie star. This will be the first of I hope many videos to help you think about stories. And teachers, I thought about starting this in the fall, but so many of you teach year round I'm just picking up now, where I am. I hope the rest of you will read the blog from the beginning and find some prompts and questions that will help you.
So, after watching the video, think about the grave stone. Why do people make gravestones? What kinds of things do people write on them? Imagine a story with a character who has lost someone. It can be a dog, a relative, an enemy. What would they write on the gravestone? What does this say about them? About the person or pet who has died? Now make a list of what the person/pet was like when it was alive. Try writing a scene between your character and the one who died. What happens, what do they say? Does this give you an idea for a story? If you try this, let me know - post a comment. Til next time. . .