I suspected that writers use their life’s experiences to shape their work, but until I began taking classes, I really had no idea just how much they do. Class after class, and piece after piece more and more memories are jogged and become ideas. Some stand on their own, and some are just snippets.
The memories make me smile and sometimes they make me cry, and more often than not they do both.
I would like to share a piece I wrote for one of my most recent lessons. There were several options, but in essence the assignment was to bring a childhood memory to life.
I hope you enjoy.
The Night I was a Princess
“Beth,” a voice called.
“Yes mommy,” I replied.
“There’s a television show about a princess on tonight.”
“There is?” I gulped.
“There is, her name is Cinderella and it’s on during dinner, but guess what.”
I grasped a slender finger and followed her into the living room.
“My rocking chair, it’s…it’s…it’s…it’s in front of the TV,” I exclaimed.
Her blue eyes smiled at my wide-eyed, upturned face.
“You get to eat your dinner in the living room and watch while you eat,” she said.
“I do?!” I squealed and clapped.
“Yes, as long as you promise to be very careful.”
“Oh yes Mommy! I will, I promise!”
I settled into my very special seat and ever so carefully I placed the plate onto my lap.
On every other day it was an ordinary rocking chair, a seat covered with red fabric and had a ruffled skirt that tickled the back of my legs. That night it was not a rocking chair, it became a stool by the fireplace, a seat in a magic pumpkin carriage, and the throne of a princess.
I don’t remember if I ate the mashed potatoes and peas, but I do know they are still favorites of mine. I tingled inside while I watched Cinderella escape from her evil stepmother and fall in love with her prince.
I cried when it was over.
My mother held me. It was not the first or the last time she comforted me as I cried when I had to say goodbye to something, someone, or some place that made me happy, not to mention the times she held me when things made me sad.
I’ll never forget my first TV dinner and the night I was a princess.