Dean Martin recorded “Memories Are Made of This” in 1955. To the iconic hit song I added “and that.” Memories pop up in response to the oddest things. At least mine do. A doctor told her to drink ginger ale for a swallowing issue. Turns out it could be almost any other carbonated beverage. But it happened to be ginger ale that she had with lunch the other day. Pop (a Midwestern pun there) goes the memory. The Variety Bar and Café, 9th street and Hennepin Avenue in Minneapolis. Long since gone, but it used to be there.
What’s that got to do with ginger ale. I was drinking it, in that long gone bar. A memory that hadn’t been in consciousness for many decades. It might have been in 1955, as in Martin’s song. Yes, I would have been a child in the in the 50s. Things were probably a bit looser then. I wasn’t there alone. The unknown part is who was I with. My father died of cancer in 1954, when I was seven. He’d had it a few years already. More likely my oldest brother. Can’t say. All I remember is the bar, the ginger ale—some Juicy Fruit gum and at least a couple more people. Could have been the brother and his neighborhood friend.
Now, I could have posted this on my story blog, John Maberry’s Writing. I put it here because it’s a writing tip. Grab those memories and the word associations that prompted them. They work great for writing fiction or nonfiction. Writing for life is the parlance. Change the names, the places, etc. to protect the privacy of yourself and others—but make use of them. Everything doesn’t have to come from your imagination!
On the story blog, you’ll find a recent post, Derek is Back in Time. Derek is the time traveling protagonist in an SF novel to be published some years from now. I keep puttering away with snippets here and there while accumulating more knowledge from movies, TV shows and books featuring time travel. It’s a challenging thing. I believe I can do it well—no rush, I must take my time (ha-ha). The thing about it is, we time travel often—not physically, but through our memories. Think about that. My current conception is that this is an essential part of the storyline and the reality—if there is any, with regard to physical time travel.