Welcome to Day 26 on the journey through The Joy of Writing Journal. Here I share an excerpt from my journey and I hope you will share something about yours—an excerpt, an insight, a challenge, a joy…
Today’s prompt invites you to choose a favorite or least favorite room in your home. Then imagine a bizarre or humorous story happening in that room before you moved in.
We moved into our house 21 years ago, when my oldest was three months old. Before we lived here, my husband’s grandmother lived here. And before that—several of my current neighbors.
It’s a funny thing about Saunderstown. When you move into your first home here, at least a half dozen neighbors will tell you about when they lived in your house, or played in your house as a kid, or summered in your house, or built your house and planted the trees! People may outgrow a house here, or downsize, or raze a house and plant a new one, but they don’t easily leave!
In my journal for Day 26 I wrote about how the energy of our house changed over time as we reclaimed it for our own and made changes—some big and some small. I’m a bit bored about what I wrote. I don’t feel any insights from it. I suppose I could just give myself a pass—and that’s okay. But I’m thinking now it might be fun to imagine a few things that might have happened here:
- I imagine Ginny, who built the house with her family, painting her beautiful watercolor Christmas gift tags, sold at St. John the Divine’s holiday sale as a church fundraiser each December. Where would she have painted? I imagine the living room—the one large room in the house. And I realize I can ask her!
- I imagine Seth, Ginny’s son, walking the property with his parents and sister choosing where to plant the tiny weeping cherry tree, which has become the largest weeping cherry I’ve ever seen, by a factor of three! They chose the perfect spot where we can enjoy it from the living room and deck, or lie in a hammock underneath blossoming branches while the carpenter bees chase the hummingbirds away from the tree’s pale pink blossoms.
It’s interesting how the exercise—which seems so wide open to fiction—becomes quickly rooted in some things I know about the house. Like I’m afraid to go too far since so many of my neighbors lived here. I know who lived here and I don’t want to imagine anything too strange! Maybe I should try this exercise with a different house I lived in!
Perhaps this points to the difference between truly journaling for your own experience and typing something in a blog that you know others will read.
My conundrum also reminds me that if, in writing about something you feel stuck, find another way in.
Share an excerpt from your Day 26 exploration in The Joy of Writing Journal: Spark Your Creativity in 8 Minutes a Day. If you don’t have a copy, you can buy it here.
Honestly, I’m hoping you get more experimental than I did!
What room did you choose? How bizarre or quirky did you get with it?
Please share a phrase, excerpt or insights as a comment below.