Happy Official First Day of Summer!
That’s right, June 21st, also known as the Summer Solstice, is the longest day and shortest night of the year, and the gateway to fun in the sun. It’s that time of year when I happily open my backyard office (aka The Adirondack Chair, or sometimes, if I’m lucky, The Hammock), and move my writing work outside. Oh yeah!
And this year, the Summer Solstice also happens to coincide with June’s Saturday Story Starter.
As those of you who have participated before know, Saturday Story Starter is purely for fun, just as a way to exercise those writing muscles (think of it as Heather’s Literary Gym). There are no prizes, only the simple joy of putting words on paper (well, OK, computer screen). Also, I won’t be offering critiques, just brief words of encouragement, but I will read all your entries, that I can promise! (And if you’d like to read some of the earlier stories that have been shared, click here and here and here and here and here and here and here to browse to your heart’s content.)
Before we get started, last month I promised you a real story to go along with May’s picture. Remember what it was?
This is my great-great-aunt Rebecca — or “Aunt Reb,” as she was always known in our family. She lived to the ripe old age of 105, all but the last bit of it on her own steam, in her own home. What a firecracker! She was my great-grandmother Sarah’s sister. They grew up, along with eight other brothers and sisters, on Nantucket island, off the coast of Massachusetts. Sarah and Reb were both redheads, and everyone on the island called them “those red-headed Smith girls.”
Rebecca was born in 1883. This picture of her was taken when she was about 16, right around the turn of the last century. I love how feisty she was, even then. I can imagine that it wasn’t considered very ladylike to ride a bicycle in 1900, even on freethinking Nantucket!
I also love the local color in the background — the sailors, the boats with their resting sails, and the American flag flying from the mast on the right. I can almost smell the salty breeze, can’t you? I love it that Rebecca is right in the thick of things there on the wharf, too. Her father, my great-great-grandfather, ran the livery stable on the island for many years. Maybe she’d ridden down from the family home on Center Street to visit him.
Tip of the week: Family photos tell stories. YOUR stories, stories that are part and parcel of who you are. Old photo albums are treasure troves, especially if you can get a parent or grandparent or great-grandparent or great-aunt or uncle to tell you the stories that go along with them. Write them down! And be sure and write down people’s names, dates, locations and tidbits on the back of old photos, so future treasure hunters will be able to piece the stories together, too…
OK, onward to our Story Starter. Here’s this month’s photo:
Isn’t this a FABULOUS building? This is what I WISH my backyard office looked like! (That’s me, lurking in the bottom right corner, vigorously wishing.) And yes, there’s a story to go along with this picture, but you’ll have to wait until next month to hear it.
Tell us about this house. Where is it located? Who built it? What does it look like inside? Who lives here? What do they do for a living? What events has this house seen in its day? Tell us its story…
Ready, set, WRITE!