Spark #1: In Search of Memory

Photo: gnome baby upcycled dolls by SewnNatural

A few years ago, I was teaching the art of memoir to a room of senior citizens. I encouraged them to write down the earliest memory they had …

One lady wrote down the story of her parents and grandparents during a time in history when people were killed by the thousands for their ethnicity. She read her entry with tears rolling down her cheeks.

The next week, I came back and encouraged the group to write another memory–something about their family or friends–whatever struck their creative genius.

Again, this dear lady wrote the story of her parents and grandparents. Again she cried.

It didn’t take me long to realize she was trapped in memory. Over the course of my teaching this group, this dear lady wrote and re-wrote the story. And I became a believer that memory can be as real years after the incident as the day the incident happened.

SPARK #1: Write about a childhood memory. Good or bad. 100 to 200 words.

Feel free to share it with me. Share it with the group. Keep it for yourself. Whatever you want to do. Just write it down!

I will share my response to SPARK #1 in the Facebook group soon.

Keep it simple.


  1. Memory is as real years later, as it was at that time. I ask my students to interview family members about world events they have lived through witnessed. Memories from the earthquake of 1989, and the fire in the Oakland Hils to Tiananmen Square, immigration through Angel Island, and the Japanese invasion of mainland China in the 1930's all come pouring in. Sometimes the first time grandparents have shared their experiences.
    Excellent prompt!


Speak Your Mind