Writing Life Stories Session VIII

Writing Life Stories Session VIII

Spring’s hit us here in the Pacific Northwest and we’re all feeling it. Between work, house cleaning, yard work, and hiking, schedules are busy. Remember this coming Tuesday deals with the final product you want to create with your stories.

Along the Salish Sea. Photographer: Lenee Cobb
Along the Salish Sea. Photographer: Lenee Cobb

Last Tuesday’s class dealt more with the writing process, avoiding adverbs, and more about how to show and not tell. Each week the class grows more adept at storytelling and more productive as writers.

We also discussed writing about questions our descendants would want our answers on like what is the hardest thing you’ve learned about yourself and why bad things happen to good people. Our answers don’t and shouldn’t indicate things we know for certain because we wouldn’t want to come off as preachy. Yet we can portray what we’ve learned about ourselves in the form of a life story and within that context, we can show and not tell how we came to our conclusions.

I did give an example from my own life. I wrote about a time when I came to realize that yes; it was within me to take a life, especially when defending another. (Those interested can read a snippet of that here.) What I wrote about my own self-realization should come as no surprise to anyone responsible for themselves and others. I hold myself responsible for the lives and well-being of others. Other people hold me to that standard, too, people who’ve placed their loved ones into my care. I will defend those whom I’m responsible for with my life.

This is a subject I’ve given much thought and study to, over the years. It’s a subject that will come up in most everyone’s life. Our children and grandchildren will face this question and they might appreciate some real life scenario from their grandparents or parents from which they can gain insight and resolve.

People I interviewed in my personal study included those in the military and those in law enforcement who are Christians. How did/do they come to terms with defending those whom they are responsible for, including themselves—depending on the situation–even unto death? How can they kill another, even when they know that person is a murderer, for instance?

It isn’t our place to tell others how to think or what to believe. We can only share our story of how and why we came to our decisions.

When we read an excellent book or watch an excellent movie, we deem them excellent because they entertain and because they teach us something. It’s the same with our own life stories, especially when we include our mistakes. If strangers can learn from reading another’s work, how much more our own descendants.

Do you believe in God? Why or why not? Do you believe in the death penalty? Why or why not? What about self-defense, defending others, and community service or service to one’s country? Give real life examples you’ve lived through. Let the reader take the journey with you. This creates understanding and it’s in understanding that wisdom is gained, (Proverbs 9:10, and other places.)


Memory Triggers

Instructor:
•Herbal Essence
•Best friends
•Grandparents
•Tornadoes
•Being responsible for the welfare of others: babysitting, motherhood
•Beliefs
•Threatened

Classmates:
•Suitcases
•Lost keys
•Cherry blossoms
•Mom’s coin purse

Have a great week!
–Coach Cobb

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