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Writing About October Memories

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Written by Marge Bitetti

October is a month filled with pumpkins. They seem to be everywhere. It is fairly easy to see pumpkin patches in most neighborhoods. Autumn also brings crisp sweater weather, pumpkin desserts, spiced pumpkin coffee beverages and even pumpkin beers and ales. The smells of pumpkin pies baking in the oven can trigger childhood memories for many people. October also stirs the memory about trick-or-treaters, bonfires, parties and pot-lucks. So many rich memories to remember research, and write about.

Another event that is popular in many communities are cemetery walks to remember dead ancestors or visiting the aging graves of founding fathers of many communities.  October is a time to share ghost stories and visit community haunted house attractions.

When you start to write about memories of past October events, you can make the past events more alive by spicing your memories with similes and metaphors.  Using a metaphor or a simile helps to make your memoirs easier to read.  You can use a simile to create a picture with words by comparing two things that are different. An example of this is “her cheeks were as red as roses.” Here is another example “Your eyes are like the sun”.

For example if you grew up on a farm you might have had the experience of milking a cow.  This would be a foreign experience to most people who only lived in large cities.  You might want to describe this experience using an example like this; “when I was young one of my jobs was milking the cash cow.”  This of course refers to the fact that this particular dairy cow required low maintenance and therefore provided a good source of income.  You could also write that when you went to a party, the prettiest girl in the school was the center of attention and milked all the attention.  These examples help to paint a picture for the reader and perhaps stir memories for you as you write.

She was as cold as ice.  The snow covered the grass with a gleaming white blanket.  He was hungry enough to eat a bear.  These statements are all examples of metaphors.  These figures of speech are common in every day conversations, but often not recognized.  A metaphor is a technique that conveys a comparison between two things that are unrelated but in some way have similar qualities.

Aristotle defined a metaphor as, “The act of giving a thing a name that belongs to something else.” Using metaphors can spark and enhance your writing when you write your family story or your own story.  Metaphors make the writing seem livelier. Metaphors can be used to describe difficult situations, complex emotions or events.  Many of the best know authors and poets in the world used metaphors to enhance and spark their writing.

Here is another example “You are my sunshine” is a metaphor whereas “Your eyes are like the sun” is a simile.  Now as the leaves are starting to change color and pumpkins are in an abundance at the local markets, you might use this time of year to bring your children or grandchildren, nieces or nephews to pumpkin patches. It might be a good time to write about your past Halloween experiences or harvest events such as hay rides.  Perk your writing with a few similes and metaphors.  A website that can help you write your family history is the family education website http://life.familyeducation.com/genetics/writing/29762.html


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