Facebook jogs my memory about products, foods, entertainment, and practices common when I was growing up. The emotions these things evoke startle me when I consider people born two or three decades after me have little or no idea what it was like during that time.
As a writer, I can use these experiences to enhance my stories. When something traumatic occurs in the present - a new event for younger individuals - I can reach down and recall the first time life tried to throw a knock-out punch at me.
Another interesting use of nostalgia or bad situations is to write about that time period. Somehow, it's daunting to think of yourself as living during a historical period. While I'm not prepared to do this now, I've begun gathering material:
1. Pinning fashions from the 1950's and 1960's.
2. Decor from that period.
3. Jotting down bits and pieces from my own life.
4. Remembering historical events from the era.
5. Thinking about society during those times and the turbulent era of the 1960's.
Even if you don't write a full-scale novel or non-fiction article about your life and times, this information could come in handy when referencing older characters or for comparison purposes.
Just think, the first smartphone will one day be remembered the way we recall party lines and telephone booths now.
Writers: Do you keep a file with historical references or life happenings? Please share.
Readers: Would you enjoy novels/articles with events or products that create nostalgia about your past? Please share.
Photo Credit: W. Szabo Peter
Keeping a file is a good idea. I should start one. This reminds me of the info I wish I knew - like from my parents' and grandparents' pasts. As a kid and young adult, I didn't pay super close attention to certain stories and whatnot. Now there are details I wish I knew. Have a good week! :)
May I echo Karen. There are some things I remember from my childhood. The ice man bringing blocks of ice to our house. We actually had an icebox, (yes, I'm that old.) We also had some man who came through the neighborhood selling strawberries. He would carry a large box on his shoulder and yell, "Strawberries." I got into trouble trying to emulate him with mulberries from a tree in our yard. I didn't have a box, so I put a bunch of them in my skirt and held the hem out in front of me. Yep, I got into trouble.
I did start a file many years ago but did not continue with it. It is a great idea. And, just the other day a friend commented how our phones will be in a museum one day, just like the typewriters we used in schools! And like Karen, I wish I had payed more attention to my parents stories when they were alive.
Hi Karen - My big problem with this type of file is maintaining it. The task can become "one more thing I gotta do."
Hi Quiet Spirit - The things we took for granted as kids are today's history. I enjoyed your delightful story.
Hi Lynn - Yes, as I said above, consistency is a problem. It's one reason I like putting things on Pinterest. It's fun and saved for future research.
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