|Yes, I did catch this big guy!|
My youngest granddaughter, Jordan, spent Sunday fishing at a neighborhood pond with a group of kids who live near her. They often fish there but rarely do they catch one the size of the bass she caught. Around 8 pounds! How, I wondered, did she land it?
Her mother told me during a phone chat that when the fish took the hook, Jordan could feel the big pull and she hollered. Then, boys to the rescue! A couple older boys helped her reel him in. What an exciting time it must have been for all of them, since they normally hook pretty small fish in that pond.
I doubt that Jordan, who is 8, will ever forget the day she caught the big fish. It left a major impression and has initiated a lasting memory for her. I have visions of her telling her 'fish story' to her children and grandchildren someday. Do you suppose the fish will grow a little over the years?
I've had readers ask me how I can write about childhood memories with such clear vision. How in the world do you remember what happened so long ago? I've been asked more than once. I think the answer is that you remember very clearly the events or situations that impressed you a lot. Those things don't fade with time, they stay in the recesses of your mind. All it takes is some small thing to trigger the memory, and it floats back as clearly as if it happened yesterday.
It might be an especially happy thing, or it could be some tragic occurrence. When you've suddenly learned one of life's lessons through an experience, it stays with you. I learned a great deal about dignity and courage during a fleeting moment during my grade school years. It so impressed me that I wrote a story about it decades later. One of Life's Lessons is still a favorite story of mine because of what I learned and the way it happened.
The experiences you've had in life from early on can be great bases for the stories you write. Start writing with a long-ago memory as the beginning, and you'll be surprised at how the clarity expands and brings you right back to the moment in time.