Monday, November 02, 2009

Memoir Prompts

I love reading memoirs. It doesn't matter one whit if the author has ever been famous. In fact, I much prefer reading snippets from the lives of people I know personally. My dad, for example, filled out a book for me that I gave him for Father's Day one year. It's a blank journal except for a pre-printed question on each page to help the writer recall a specific memory. This book is called A Father's Legacy, and is an absolute treasure to me.

Reading that my dad's favorite author is Albert Einstein came as a complete surprise, more because I don't think of Einstein as a writer, but as a wild-and-white-crazy-haired scientist and inventor. But it should not have been a surprise: my dad is an excellent writer, scientist, and inventor. No white and wild hair, mind you, but intellectually (in my childlike bias, at least) my daddy is on par with good ol' Al. In the last couple of years of my dad's career with the Army Corps of Engineers, he invented a new-and-improved chemical filter for mustard gas. Along with it, he wrote a manual, complete with diagrams and explanations that even the layperson could probably understand, because he's had a major beef about writing with such "-ese" (government-ese) that the average Joe --GI Joe--is left scratching his head rather than using it.

So here's my prompt for anyone who wants to use it: Choose a male in your life (doesn't have to be dad) and ask him who his favorite author is and why. Write a post about it. I know I'll learn something from it. Maybe you will, too.

If you do this, please leave a comment here so we can follow you. Thanks.

(The candid above is my dad playing MasterMind in my parents' loft on Christmas Day last year. I'm sure Joel will always keep a fond spot in his memory bank, recounting many times of playing games and drawing cars with Pappaw. My dad's love of children, his seemingly endless patience, and his affinity for art make him a favorite companion to my little guy--and to me.)

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