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“You enter the extraordinary by way of the ordinary.” ~Frederick Buechner

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Strategy # 3 Historic Landmarks: Mirrors

Build Your Story: 8 Strategies for Writing Innovative Setting with Impact

We usually mark our memories of these ‘map’ journeys by the images that stay like photographs. Sometimes they extend to family archives and history and cultural mores. As I quoted from Jane Yolen in last week’s blog: “It is a series of image-repeating glasses, a hall of mirrors that brings past and present into focus and call it the present. ”

Just as our physical bodies cast a shadow as we walk, these mirrors cast a mythic shadow within us. Or an emotional thread that twines through time, real or imagined. That requires an interior map.

The following is quite a long essay and not everyone may be interested in reading it. However it is not only a study of communication through language but also shows how place and story can intertwine creatively.
1.     Describing a place with history. Language and Literature From a Pueblo Indian Perspective
a.     What style does Leslie Marmon Silko use? (reflective or emphatic, didactic or philosophical) How does her choice affect your interaction?
b.     How many of you have experienced moving from one place to another or re-visited a former family home?
c.      What are the ideas or images that you find familiar and can relate to in this essay?

2. Note how it includes a very organic way of passing on family history through story, language, and landmarks, as emotional and literal maps.

“Basically, the origin story constructs our identity - within this story, we know who we are. We are the Lagunas. This is where we come from. We came this way. We came by this place. And so from the time we are very young, we hear these stories, so that when we go out into the world, when one asks who we are, or where we are from, we immediately know: we are the people who came from the north. We are the people of these stories.'”  Leslie Marmon Silko (underline emphasis mine)

1. If you had to pick one landmark from your family history to share what would you choose and why?
2.     What makes that place have a lingering effect?
3.     Now ask your main characters the same questions.

Share: What did you choose?

Read deep, marcy

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