In fifty years of being adults, who are we now? And how did we get from there to here?
Some of us barely knew each other back then. Unless we had a class together or interests in common or friends in common, we may have never met. Our common frame of reference is that school, in that community.
In 50 years, high school cliques, social status, and angst of adolescents don’t apply, except in hindsight to its influence, and catalysts to what came after. We all took our own path creating a grown-up life for ourselves. Some by choice, others by circumstances we stumbled into, we’ve become who we are now. And those are our stories. None better than anyone else’s. All roads we traveled, necessary experiences we lived, that led us here to now. At least, that’s how I see it, frame it.
A Book of Stories
I invited my classmates to write a chapter in a collection of stories from the class of ’73…because I can and know how, it feels like fun, and it’s a giving back thing. It’s also voluntary for those who want to add their chapter.
Ideas on what to write (your story or stories).
Some idea-starter notes. (These might work as Q&As and conversations starters at our reunion, too. I like multi-purposing. It’s kind of like recycling; a maximizer thing.)
These are in no particular order. No pressure or required anything. Use what’s useful; ignore what’s not.
- Personal collections and or quirks or hobbies (i.e. art fair coffee mugs that match what I’m wearing)
- Who do you need to thank (or apologize to)
- Professional / work roles you’ve held
- Volunteer gigs, causes you care about
- What class in high school turned out to be much more useful than you ever imagined back then
- Where have you traveled and or lived
- Defining moments, things that changed you
How to write your chapter.
Make it EASY (Energizes And Satisfies You) on yourself. A chapter in a book can take many forms. And they come in different lengths. And this is not an English Comp class assignment, so there are no given requirements or grades.
Go with what works for you. Some, for example, like bullet points and lists. Others prefer writing paragraphs. It’s perfectly fine to use a mix, also.
Technology can make writing easier. Google docs and Microsoft Word are often used, because they make it simple to add, rearrange, delete, make bullet points, and generally play with your story creating. You can go back and change things, add something else you thought of later. It doesn’t all have to be done, finished, written in one sitting–unless that’s how it works best for you or flows out in an inspired moment of creating. Go with it.
These tips will make life much easier when adding your chapter to this anthology:
- Do not use tabs to indent paragraphs
- Do not use extra carrier returns to separate paragraphs
- Use built-ins for paragraphs and spacing
- Use built-ins for headings
- Use built-ins for bullet points
If you’d like my help with Google docs or Word, ask.
- No whining, blaming, or complaining
- Be positive, please; be kind.
- Turn in your chapter / story early if you can (i.e. before mid-February).
- You do not have to be at our reunion to have your chapter included in our class anthology book.
- Digital copies (PDF and EPUB/ebook) will be given to classmates for our 50th in August next year.
As a classmate, I’m sincerely looking forward to reading these. As a muse, coach, classmate, writer, and human being, I get that sharing one’s story can be a courageous thing. I’m in this with you, and for you.
Let’s have fun with this. And make it something worthwhile. Maybe you’ll even ‘multi-purpose it’ somewhere sometime… Fifty years of adulthood holds lots of stories and lessons learned.
Happy writing – Anne Wondra