Weekly Writing Challenge: I Remember

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The challenge: I remember

You’ll need an egg timer or a some sort of stopwatch for this challenge. Set a countdown timer for 10 minutes, choose one of the writing prompts below, and just start writing. Whatever you do, don’t stop for ten minutes. Keep your fingers typing. Write what you remember. It need not be accurate — it’s your memory. Do not judge. You got this.

  • Your earliest memory. Capture every detail. Document the quality of the memory — is it as sharp as HDTV or hazy and ethereal, enveloped in fog? Write for 10 minutes. Go.
  • Your happiest memory. Tell us the story of the happiest memory of your life. What happened? Get it all down, no detail left behind. The clock is ticking — get writing.
  • Your worst memory. Record the pain, the anger, the shame, the terror, the hurt. You’ve got ten minutes to relive it. Keep your fingers typing.
  • Freestyle memory. Write I remember at the top of your post, hit start on the timer, and write about the first memory that comes to mind. Ten minutes. Don’t stop.

If ten minutes feels too long, start with five minutes. If ten minutes seems too short, go for 15 or 20 minutes. You can shape this challenge to suit you. Then, once your post has had a chance to sit for a day or two, revise it and shape it as you see fit. Cut the dross. Trim the fat.

You can do the freestyle memory exercise every day if you like, as you mine your memory and write what comes to mind. Use the freestyle memory prompt or any other of our Daily Writing Prompts and go for ten minutes without stopping. Don’t judge the output, just keep practicing.


I Remember

I remember living in the big white house. It had a huge wrap-a round porch in front. It had great big bedrooms. I slept in one of those monster bedrooms upstairs with no one else around.

I remember being scared and sticking my head under the covers. Seeing shadows bouncing on the window panes, I was so sure monsters were waiting for me to go to sleep so they could come get me.

I remember walking from that house through the alley down to my aunt’s house. A friendly little dog that I thought was big and vicious used to come out to greet me as I passed by. I remember standing, frozen in form, screaming at the top of my lungs for someone to save me from the big bad wolf.

I remember when Mom and Dad first married and they moved into a two-story house. I do not remember Al at all, which I find rather odd. I do remember hiding behind the big chair in the living room when I was five years old. I can still hear my real mother and my step-mother arguing in the front doorway. They were talking about me. They were discussing why and why not I should not be allowed to go with my real mom. I can remember being real scared.

I can remember when my parents moved to a little white  house on a lane. It was almost to the end of the lane and I became friends with so many of the neighbor kids. I can remember getting in trouble for playing the new game, Doctor and Nurse. I could never figure out why Mom didn’t want me to play that game, although now I do know.

I can remember getting off my bike at the little tiny store. Taking my earned change inside and buying a Hostess Twinkie, if I had enough money. But usually I was able to buy some penny candy. I used to buy Bazooka Bubble gum and entertain myself for minutes trying to blow the biggest bubble.

I also remember the big oak tree that took up half of one side of our tiny front yard. I can remember having Mom help me carry my home-made cradle outside with all my soft, cuddly baby dolls. I would play for hours it seemed. I was always the mommy . I changed their clothes and fed them from the invisible bottle. Do you ladies remember those bottles? You tipped the bottle and the white milk disappeared. Soon after that they would wet right through the hand-made diapers my Grandma used to make my dolls. I would have to change them again.

I remember getting a brand new Schwinn bike for my birthday but I got it taken a way from me for two-week. I had went with my friend without permission to the cemetery. She and I would lay beside the fresh graves and guess how tall the people were. Boy when I look back on that I think how stupid I was.

I remember lots of giggles and reading and skipping rope and my hoola hoop. Life was free. It was easy. There were no concerns of late bills, or broken hearts or even death. Life was what I can dream about today and yearn for once again.

Time is up on the writing exercise.dscf4163