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Childhood memories
Category: Site News

I’m always amazed when I read other people’s childhood memoirs. How do they remember all that stuff! My childhood is a vague fuzzy distant thing with few details. I recently read two fabulous childhood memoirs by Amelie Nothomb. She writes a whole book, The Character of Rain, from before the age of five; her life in Japan, her family relationships – loving her sister and detesting her brother, almost drowning - all sorts of little and big details. Fabulous writing, but what amazes me most is that she can remember so much – or at least make it sound believable. She says somewhere in the book that although her parents tell her she can’t possibly remember some of these things, she really does. My mother, like so many others, has written a book about her childhood. She spent time with her sister and old friends to help stir up memories.  I also know her well enough to know that she does a lot of embroidering on the basic memories, but still… she is 30 years older than me and remembers enough to fill a book. I have to scratch around to get enough for a poem!  In fact the details of things that happened 10 days ago are often decidedly rusty.

In Bird by Bird, Anne Lamott encourages writing about childhood as a way to get started on writing or to break through writers block. She suggests there is enough material in anyone’s childhood to write several books. Maybe… but I wonder if there are vast differences in how much people can remember from their early years? How much of what we think we remember is based on family stories and pictures and those legends – more or less true – which become part of every family’s history.  How much can we stir up if we get started; stirring up old memories, looking at old pictures, visiting the old places? Something I hope to explore over the coming years… if just I can remember to get started!


This Week on Writers Abroad
Category: Site News
Tags: Writers Abroad writing

I have been around even less than usual recently, having spent a fantastic week on our 5th visit to Corsica. I had no access to the internet during that time, which I must admit made a refreshing change. Although I didn’t do any writing, I felt energised and picked up a number of ideas which I have carefully filed away for later use. Another absence is coming up, as we go to the UK shortly for my nephew’s wedding.

The first issue of the Writers Abroad Magazine seems to have attracted a lot of readers so far but only a few have completed the feedback questionnaire. This is probably not unusual, but we could encourage comments from people we know by other means as well.

Here's the link again for readers who'd like to take a look:

Val has supplied our Monday Muses this week, inspired by her recent experiences in Oman. Her prompts are about change, cultural misunderstandings and losing something important – things that are familiar to us ex-pats. I hope you retrieved your passport and found out where you are supposed to live, Val!

Rilla is down to write this week’s blog, which I’m sure she’ll post up soon.

The September challenge is still open, with a variety of competitions to choose from. Or dust off that poem, short story or other piece of work that you’d like some feedback on. Rilla has posted a piece on which she’d be grateful for further comments.

The Bragging Stool has been a bit quiet of late as we pick up our autumn activities again after the summer break, but no doubt that will soon change.

The next Formal Chat is on Sunday 28th September at 11h00 CET on Skype with Chris N in the chair. Agenda to follow this week - items to Jo, please. I have to give apologies this time.

Let me know if I’ve missed anything. 

This Week on Writers Abroad
Category: Site News

Here's the latest action here at Writers Abroad!

Alyson has provided our Muses - reminding us it's time to get our Valentine stories written, asked us to think about our holidays and provided some pictures. 

I've written a very short Blog about my break; away from home and the Internet.

There are a few people occupying the Bragging Stool: Marit with her returning Shamelurkers, John (aka Glyn) has been asked for a follow up to Ssh, his poetry collection and Jill has posted a link to her successful submission in the Global Short Story competition.

The September Challenge is still open, Rilla has posted a piece so if you have time please check in and provide some feedback.

I'm not sure how the WA magazine is going but I'll check it out this week.

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