Sunday, 6 January 2013

Storytelling Sunday "Pick Your Precious" - January

This year Storytelling Sunday asks you to "pick your precious".  This is how Sian described it ...
Start looking around, see what you love. Pick Your Precious is for short story tellers and for long. You can take the idea of simply a photo with a few words; or, if you are a can't-stop-yourself storyteller, you can expand as much as you like. The thing to keep in mind is that at the end of the year you'll have a permanent record of the little things you hold dear - and your family will know why you are holding onto them! Doesn't that sound like it might be worth it? No more "Do you really need that?"
Please join us this year.  It only takes a minute and even if you only write a story or two, that will be two more of your stories written down.  Click HERE to find this month's stories :-)

January's Precious

On the top shelf of my closet is a small stack of old shoe boxes.  This collection of "stuff" (or "junk" as my mom calls it) began in a small drawer in an equally small bedroom.  It was the only drawer that was off limits to everyone else, and the only place that was safe from my mom's clear-outs.  As my collection grew it expanded to the brown shoebox you see on the top of the pile.  Looking at the pile of boxes to take this photo reminded me that those shoes were the FIRST pair of shoes I bought with my own money.  They were a tan pair of leather Rivers boots and they cost a small fortune!  But I digress, this collection of precious possessions has followed me from house to house and country to country.  Last month they emerged from storage after almost four years.  Everything there holds some meaning to me, some happy and some so painful that I don't know whether I will be able to actually look at them.

My Precious (very Lord of the Rings! LOL)
This idea of Sian's to tell stories about some of the things we would save if our house was burning down brought these items to mind first before anything else other than my family :-)  So this year I am going to go back through these boxes and see what memories get stirred up.  I am both excited and terrified of the idea at the same time!  So lets start this series of stories with a story.

Amongst the papers at the top of the stack is a story I wrote when I was 14.  That year I had the most inspiring English teacher (Mrs F).  Mrs F's son was in my class and I had known her since I was small, but in class she was all business and she loved to see us all expressing ourselves. (Mrs F is now the high school librarian where my sons go to school and she finds that very strange!) At the beginning of one class Mrs F walked around handing out pictures torn from magazines.  We all wondered what had gotten into her when she announced that our assignment was to write a story inspired by the picture.

My picture was of a wedding dress.  I think that most 14 year old girls are a bit romantic and melodramatic, even a tomboy like myself.  So I wrote a tragedy all woven around an old wedding dress.  Reading it now I roll my eyes at the stereotyping and completely ridiculous plot but Mrs F deemed it good enough to enter it in a state wide writing competition.  I didn't win but I felt honoured just because Mrs F had liked it.  If it wasn't so long (5 pages and embarrassingly corny!) I would have typed it out for you.

This Christmas my mom spotted a book by Rachel Hauck called "The Wedding Dress".  It made her think of my story and the minute I opened the present I was taken back in time to when I wrote my story.  I have read the book and really enjoyed it, but the most ironic part was that we both chose the same name for the leading character - Charlotte.  How strange is that?!?!?!?!

The covers of the two stories.
This is definitely a story I shall have to turn into a layout.  Maybe next week I will find the time to finish unpacking my new craft room.

Look around you ... do YOU see "your precious"?
You do?
Great!  Jump in and write about it!

Until next time,
Chipper :-)


  1. What a wonderful story to start the year. How fascinating that there were two Charolotte protagonists! I like your idea of going through these boxes a little each month & recording stories to share with us.

  2. What a great start to your storytelling year, Christine...I love that your mum gave you the book for Christmas....I must get my own 'box of Memories' is now a huge, heavy thing which lives on the top of my wardrobe!
    Alison xx

  3. What a great story and what a coincidence that both of you chose the same name for your character!

  4. What a wonderful story this is! I'm getting pretty excited myself now at the thought of you going through your boxes and I can't wait to see what you unpack through the year. You make a great point about the bittersweet nature of some of our treasures too: that's very true.

    Thanks for this Chipper - it's great to see you back for 2013 and I can just tell you are going to have some brilliant stories to tell. I'll be looking out for a layout about that wedding dress one - you need to show off the fancy cover you made!

  5. Hi Chipper,
    Thanks for your comment on my blog. It's really cool that you'll be sharing the content of your boxes all year long. It's bound to take you down Memory Lane for a while. It'll be interesting to gather all of your stories at the end of the year. Happy 2013 and hooray to old boxes!
    Cheers from Bordeaux, France

  6. I love how your 'old' boxes contain all your 'old,but precious' memories.They are all going to come pouring back as you look through the boxes....I'll enjoy joining you.

  7. What a great idea to focus your stories around all the things in the boxes. I am excited to see what comes out! x

  8. Your story reminds me of some boxes I have stashed somewhere filled with old papers that I wrote - as far back as kindergarten! Great story and fascinating coincidence about the name Charlotte!

  9. What a wonderful story x
    I look forward to you sharing further memories from your boxes.

  10. Oh I'm looking forward to hearing all the tales you've got - yeah, bittersweet as well as bad sometimes the objects are there for unhappy reasons. Think it is cool that you value the boxes too - now to find a photo of those 'cost a fortune' shoes ;)

  11. I love this story! How great thatnyounatill have the story you wrote then - a layout would be a great idea. Looking forward to seeing more of your precious things from those boxes over the coming months xx

  12. At 14 I think we all wrote in stereotypes and cliches! It is truly wonderful that you remember the writing assignment and the affection you felt for the teacher. Enjoyed reading about your precious item.

  13. Such a precious tale and I love that you were able to photograph The Wedding Dress books together too. Definitely deserves a lay-out! Can't wait for more memories from those boxes.

  14. Ooops, my first comment didn't post. It looks like you've always been a writer then. And don't discount that us older girls wouldn't enjoy a bit of melodrama too!

  15. What a great story! I loved the ending---and it's almost spooky that both stories had the same main character. I'll be looking forward to seeing what else comes out of the brown box.

  16. That book looks so familiar to me. I'll have to check my own library to see if I own it. I would love to read your story. Maybe when you do the layout you can post it and the journaling. I'll look forward to it!

    Thanks for stopping by my blog. I've added yours to my reader!

  17. Lovely story. It is amazing that Charlotte is the name you both picked. It's wonderful that you kept the story you wrote. Fun to see how your perceptions have changed.


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