A couple days ago, I was reading this webpost about advice from famous authors. I never got to finish it and I can’t find it back–you see, I was trying to read it and work with dogs at the same time and we all know that’s never successful. I ended up losing the article from my phone and by the time I went to look for it back, my phone refreshed all of it’s featured articles. However, one thing I do remember from the article is a writing exercise one of the author’s suggested to the creative mind flowing or just keep you writing in general. Just start with the words: “I remember…” Because apparently that’s a hard sentence to NOT finish. The author suggested keeping a journal and have each page start with “I remember…” However, you shouldn’t link memories. Don’t let the memory from the day before dictate what you write the next day. Change it up.
Well, I started thinking about that exercise and honestly…I don’t want to write what I remember. Not only will I probably remember wrong, but I couldn’t remember anything at the time that I wanted to write about. How would my memories help progress my writing anyway? So, I decided to change up the exercise. I’ll remember something, but not something from my life specifically.
You remember Justin? The main character from my novel (which I will someday publish)? Check it out:
I Remember; Justin’s Favorite Treat
I remember, as a kid, sneaking out in the middle of the day. My father was in his lab working on whatever alchemists do and my mother was cleaning the house from top to bottom since we were going to have company that night. I was bored. My father didn’t want me in his lab, but he didn’t want me leaving the house either. I tried helping mother, but I ended up just getting in her way. Eventually, I noticed my best friend across the street. He was waving his arms to get my attention. From the look in his eyes, he had an adventure planned. It wasnt hard to sneak out. My father never paid me any mind and my mother was too distracted. I was able to slip out the front door.
My friend ended up leading us to the main market of the city. We both liked browsing the stalls and fantasizing what we would buy if we had any money. Our favorite shop was the blacksmith. We’d go there and drool over the swords or listen to stories from the travelers or soldiers who were stopping by the shop for new equipment. One time we even met a squire doing an errand for the knight they served. He had great stories.
Anyway, this particular day–when I snuck out–we didn’t go to the blacksmith. My friend ended up leading us to the baker’s stall. He had a lot of desserts out in preparation for the Warrior’s Festival–a time when the entire kingdom comes together to enjoy jousts and other tests of warrior skills. I remember the smell of the vanilla tarts that day. They were fresh from the oven and even had almonds sprinkled atop them. I wished I had money. Those tarts from the baker were the best dessert this side of the castle walls. My best friend was drooling over the chocolate pudding cups. Unfortunately, our lingering was upsetting the baker and we were shooed away.
I suggested we head to the blacksmith, but somehow I ended up at the market fountain by myself. My friend ran off. He did say he would be back, but he was gone for quite some time.
When he did come back, he had a vanilla tart and a pudding cup in his hands and he was grinning like a fool. I asked how he got them and he said the baker just gave them to him! He handed me the tart and started eating the pudding. I couldn’t believe it! Yet, I should’ve known better.
I was halfway through the tart when the baker brought soldiers to the fountain. He pointed right at my friend and called him a thief! Called both of us thieves! In my confusion, I defended myself, but my friend couldn’t hide his guilt. It was hard to believe he stole those treats, but he was always the one getting us into trouble. The soldiers warned us that thieving had a penalty of us losing our hands, but they were willing to let us off with a warning. They grabbed us by the arms and dragged us to our homes.
We reached my friend’s house first. When his father found out, he was more annoyed than anything. My friend ended up having to help him strike the butcher’s block for the next week. Apparently, since his hands were free enough to steal, then they were free enough to work.
I dreaded every step back to my house. My mother, naturally, was worried and she had started looking for me when she realized I was gone. She was relieved seeing me with the soldiers. My father, on the other hand, was furious. He took one look at soldiers and realized that I was in trouble. He didn’t even ask what I did! He just grabbed me by my shirt, pull me into the house, and I was beaten as punishment and warning to never commit a crime again. I stayed out of his way the rest of the night and when our company came over, I kept my head down and kept out of the way. Whoever they were, they were important to my father. I think they were other alchemists, but I’m not sure.
The next day, I figured I would stay inside and stay on my father’s good side. However, my mother had other plans. She got some money from my father so she could go to the market and pick up food for the week. I got to with her. The first place we stopped at was at the Baker’s stall. She spent what we were supposed to be using for food on a vanilla tart just for me! She said it was our secret. We wouldn’t tell my father. When we came up short for the week, my mother just explained to my father that the market prices went up. He never questioned her and to this day, he still doesn’t know. I’ll never forget what my mother did for me.