Introducing: Thursday SPARKS

Check out this rendering of a row of beautiful brownstone houses by claudiagpearson! Lovely.

I love stories. No surprise since I work in an industry where story is king.

No doubt, my grandpa had a hand in sparking this love of story. He told the best stories. When I was in college, I decided to ask him if, in lieu of a traditional Christmas gift, he would put some of his favorite memories on an audio tape. I supplied him with a 60-minute tape and told him that he didn’t need to feel like he was supposed to fill it. But that anything he put on it would be special to me.

Well, he didn’t fill it. Instead, he filled 12 90-minute tapes, front and back, with the stories of his life. I have listened to them—in their entirety—several times. And each time I listen, I feel like he is still in the room … even though he has been gone for over a year.

Those memories are a gift.

My husband lost his grandma this past Monday. One of the greatest gifts she left her family–in my opinion–is the stack of notebooks she filled with family history. I have looked through them and hope to read them in their entirety soon.

Journaling–specifically writing down memories of days gone by–is a gift to future generations. (As well as an exercise in therapy. Trust me.) I believe so whole-heartedly in journaling memories that I have given workshops and aided retirees in writing down their stories without collecting a penny in return.

Today I am announcing a change to this blog. Beginning this Thursday–and every Thursday for at least the next year–I am going to offer prompts here on the site called Thursday SPARKS. Grab a notebook, open your computer, find a tape recorder … I don’t care how you do it. But each Thursday, I am going to post a SPARK on the blog that you should consider recording your answer to, whether or not you are “a writer.”

What is a SPARK?–a writing prompt that illicits a memory that is: 

Simple, Personal, Actual, Recordable, Keep-worthy.

Come back Thursday for more information. I think you’ll be glad you did.


  1. Anonymous says:

    I was sorry to hear about your husband's grandma. I love the spark idea though. What a priceless treasure she has left you!

Speak Your Mind