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

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Journal With Impact: Travel Historical

Workshop: Six Conversations for Writing Creative Journals

“Basically, the origin story conducts our identity….within this story, we know who we are. ….This is where we come from. We came this way. We came by this place.”
                                                                                                              Leslie Marmon Silko

Just as our physical bodies cast a shadow as we walk, historic mirrors can cast a shadow within us—an emotional thread that can twine through time, both real and imagined. It connects an interior map to the external historical details. Which mirror do you hope to understand more or connect with?

For example, an historic landmark can be of value to one individual, or to a nation, or to a continent. The fact that it carries a history makes it personal whether the reaction to it is positive, or negative, or neutral. Sometimes even landmarks can be subtle reminders of a deeper theme, or a key influence. They may be the last witness to an historical event.

Regardless of what whatever detail, or threads, you chose to focus on, the key is to make a personal impact that invades, lingers, and reacts.

Set up a question outline for yourself to help ground your key foundations but be open to the unexpected as well. Here’s one possible way to track traditional landmarks that are a factor in almost every possible location, whether for a forgotten cemetery in a deserted small town, or well-known sites such as the Eiffel Tower.

As you choose your specific historic markers begin by asking these questions of each spot you choose. Watch for both the common links and the unexpected intrusion, or the unusual.

Action Steps:

1. Is it natural?

2. Is it manmade?

3. What is the history behind it?

4. How might different people personally react to it?

5. Is it considered holy ground to some? Why?

6. If so, is it open to anyone to visit or considered forbidden and can only be      viewed from a distance? 

Share: Which characteristics made you curious? Why?

Read deep, marcy


  1. Intriguing blog post, Marcy, thank you for sharing it with us. In researching a bit of WWII Chicago history, I learned that neighborhoods put up street corner markers as a memorial with names of that neighborhood's soldiers who had died in the war. This small historical detail struck me so deeply that I inserted it into my own novel when my heroine meets her soldier boyfriend in Chicago, just after she's learned her dad's been MIA. This small detail added depth to my scene.

  2. What a great discovery, Tisha. We become familiar with the well-known historical sites over the years but the personal and local memories are important gems to remember as well.


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