Memoir Writing and Storytelling: an overview

The memoir writing and storytelling class is a community-based class that has been meeting once a week for almost 2 years now. Participants write about – or tell a story – about a different topic each week. Sometimes profound – sometimes playful – it is a snapshot into the lives of the students. Most in their 80’s and 90’s – their stories span decades – and are historical accounts of life growing up in the 20s and 30s – and witnessing the cultural and technological changes that have made life 70 years ago, at times, almost unrecognizable.

I facilitate the group – but now I also participate. Last year – I facilitated but didn’t write and although I looked forward to hearing the stories – I was an outsider.  My participation has changed my relationship to the group.  I am now part of the inner circle.

Below is a sample of some of the writing topics we have chosen over the last months and years.

  1. “Games we played.” What games did you play as a child?
  2. What did your father or mother teach you – that stayed with you?
  3. How have childhood favorites impacted you? (toys, cartoons, books…)
  4. What was your favorite subject in school?
  5. What person had the most impact on your life? In what way?
  6. How did the depression impact your childhood?
  7. Which one of your parents are you most like?
  8. Has education played an important role in your life?
  9. What was your first job?
  10. Who do you wish you could see again?
  11. The pets in our lives. (A favorite dog or cat. A childhood memory. )
  12. What is your idea about the perfect experience of beauty and happiness.
  13. How were your belief systems formed? (religion, politics, family…)
  14. To what degree has technology shaped your life.
  15. What do your tastes reveal about you (food, music, clothes, books)?
  16. What will your obituary say about you?
  17. What words would you use to describe yourself and why?

The group has decided they would like to produce a blog with a collection of their writings – organized by topic. This will give family and friends a chance to read their work. In the meantime, I am posting my weekly contribution on this blog. The next couple of posts are samples of my writing.

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One thought on “Memoir Writing and Storytelling: an overview

  1. fabulous Sue! loving your blog! Judy Shintani, Narrator of Culture – the unspoken compels me to create. http://www.judyshintani.com blog http://judykitsune.wordpress.com/ classes: http://www.judykitsunestudio.com

    From: Sue Henkin-Haas To: judyshintani@yahoo.com Sent: Wednesday, March 8, 2017 6:33 PM Subject: [New post] Memoir Writing and Storytelling class #yiv1012580519 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv1012580519 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv1012580519 a.yiv1012580519primaryactionlink:link, #yiv1012580519 a.yiv1012580519primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv1012580519 a.yiv1012580519primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv1012580519 a.yiv1012580519primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv1012580519 WordPress.com | Sue Henkin-Haas posted: “The memoir writing and storytelling class is a community-based class that has been meeting once a week for almost 2 years now. Participants write about – or tell a story – about a different topic each week. Sometimes profound – sometimes playful – it is a” | |

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