Tag Archives: Write Your Story @ the Union City Library

Write Your Story… A Moment in Time Prompt

This prompt really inspired one of the member to write the outline to her life story…she plans to work on this , however she agreed to share her inspiration because of the prompt.

A Moment in Time/an Aha Event/ Split /second Timing

By Meg Green/ Union City Library Membber

What a thought provoking assignment! Mine have been a sequence of aware nesses, from deciding to accept my parents offer to send me away to college as they awaited 7th baby and took in a foreign exchange student from Bolivia whose host family of 4 didn’t work out.

To choosing a BS in Elementary Education as a major supposing it would be the easiest course of study to obtain a degree in rather than going for Social Work which the head of Dept. said I was more suited for. Consequently, the money did not accumulate as it might have.

To accepting a secretarial position at the University of San Francisco which led to an administrative asst. spot in Campus Ministry for a few years. Later we would use the Faculty Lounge for our wedding reception after marriage in the Mission Dolores Basilica.

To managing the gift shop in San Francisco’s Cathedral of the Assumption on Nob Hill ad  meeting folks from all over the world. Then to selling ads for the San Francisco Magazine which was not my cup of tea but there was told about the Johnson o Conner aptitude Test which was a 2 day test in a human engineering lab to help determine what I was born to do. It shed light on my manual dexterity which enable me to enter Moler Barber College and start a new career with The Barbers I n the St. Francis Hotel. Thought I’d died and gone to heaven.

To getting to hear Mother Theresa gives her talks in 3 churches in San Francisco while volunteering at A Free pregnancy Center. And bursting into tears when she took both my hands into hers saying “God Bless you”

To adopting a sibling pair in our 40s and seeing them striving in their 20s to cathing out their own life journeys with more than a few ups and downs. Whose life is perfect anyway? As my dad once said to me, “We got you to 18 and hoped for the best”. Six of us have at least one degree. But he thought #7 named after himself and who also loved flying earned more money than the first 6 of his children. Tom is a pilot for frontier and takes advantage of free travel.

To teaching for Hayward Unified Older Adult and Substantially Handicapped program later changed to 55+ and then becoming a caregiver with in Home Support Services while serving on the Senior Commission here in Union City.

In my mind’s eye mine had been a “rosary or series of Aha events” which I hope and pray can keep on keeping on free of dementia until my last breath. My mom was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s at Mayo Clinic Rochester, MN but my father never accepted it and was able to keep her at home until her heart gave out. He fulfilled her prophesy that were she to die before him. He’d remarry and go through all their savings. I ‘ve seen too many families fight when large amount money ….

Write Your Story @ Union City Library

Join our library group, headed by Bruce Hasse, for an   informal gathering of aspiring writers of all types of genres. Your writing can be memoirs, creative non-fiction, poetry, song lyrics, science fiction, plays,essays, you name it!  We just want to hear what you have written and support each other as we grow as writers.

Third Tuesday of the Month:  December 19 ,January  16, and February 20

 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

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Write Your Story ….War Prompt

 

WAR

Submitted by Patricia Eng, Union City Library Member

A sentry sat in a guard tower holding his rifle to his side, gazing toward green fields.  It was the middle of July, hot and humid, temperatures rising to 100 degrees.  Past the fields was an estuary and beyond that were the wooded hills of North Korea.  We took snapshots in front of the barbed wire fence that separated us from the guard tower.  There were a few other tourists milling around and a handful of activists talking about the reunification of North and South Korea.  This was one stop in a two-week tour which included visits to Independence Hall (commemorating independence from Japan), the Seoul Olympic Park, and the Seoul Zoo.

I asked my husband if it was safe to be here at the border of North and South Korea.  He said Koreans have been living under the threat of war for so long that nobody thinks it will ever actually happen.  Meanwhile, all the men in Korea are obligated by law to serve 2-3 years in the military after turning 18.  Although there is no active war, many of them are injured or die during training in the rugged Korean wilderness.  My husband was in the Korean army about 35 years ago.   He’s talked about supplementing his meager rations by catching and roasting snakes.  He suffers from hearing loss because a brutal superior hit him with the butt of a rifle.  Occasionally there are confrontations with North Koreans, but more often soldiers are shot by friendly fire.

Recently I asked him how Koreans feel about North Korea building a nuclear bomb and Trumps counter threats.  He still holds that it’s all bravado and the ones that are least concerned are South Koreans. But mothers are still crying about their sons going into the military.

Last month we drove down to L.A. to help my son move into his college dorm.  I was overcome with emotion.  As we were leaving, I gave him a tearful hug goodbye.  My husband said, “Cheer up.  At least he’s not in Korea.”

Write Your Story @ Union City Library

Join our library group, headed by Bruce Hasse, for an   informal gathering of aspiring writers of all types of genres. Your writing can be memoirs, creative non-fiction, poetry, song lyrics, science fiction, plays,essays, you name it!  We just want to hear what you have written and support each other as we grow as writers.

Third Tuesday of the Month:

 November 21, December 19 , and January  16

 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.                                                                                              

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Write Your Story Workshop @ Union City Libary

WRITE YOUR STORY

SATURDAY

November 11, 2017

11 a.m to 2 p.m.

 

Join us for a three-hour writing workshop in a safe, comfortable setting with novelist Anita Amirrezvani and poet/editor Persis Karim.

Through a series of writing exercises, you will be assisted in getting your story on the page as fiction, non-fiction, or poetry.

This creative writing workshop teaches specific techniques to strengthen your writing and offers supportive feedback.

Anita Amirrezvani: Her first novel, The Blood of Flowers, has appeared in 31 languages and was long-listed for the 2008 Orange Prize for Fiction. Her second novel, Equal of the Sun, was published 2012. Anita teaches in the MFA Program in Writing at the California College of the Arts.

 

Persis Karim: She has edited three anthologies of Iranian-American literature  including A World  Between: Poems, Short Stories and Essays by Iranian Americans, Let Me Tell You Where I’ve Been: New Writing by Women of the Iranian Diaspora . Her poetry has been published in numerous national journals and magazines. She teaches literature and creative writing at San Jose State University.

 

 

 

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Write Your Story …The anatomy of a moment

The anatomy of a moment : thirty-five minutes in history and imagination / Javier Cercas ; translated from the Spanish by Anne McLean

In February 1981, Spain was still emerging from Franco’s shadow, holding a democratic vote for the new prime minister. On the day of the vote in Parliament, while the session was being filmed by TV cameras, a band of right-wing soldiers burst in with automatic weapons, ordering everyone to get down. Only three men defied the order. For thirty-five minutes, as the cameras rolled, they stayed in their seats.

Critically adored novelist Javier Cercas originally set out to write a novel about this pivotal moment, but determined it had already gained an air of myth, or, through the annual broadcast of video clips, had at least acquired the fictional taint of reality television. Cercas turned to nonfiction, and his vivid descriptions of the archival footage frame a narrative that traverses the line between history and art, creating a daring new account of this watershed moment in modern Spanish history.

The Anatomy of a Moment caused a sensation upon its publication in Spain, selling hundreds of thousands of copies. The story will be new to many American readers, but the book stands resolutely on its own as a compelling literary inquest of national myth, personal memory, political spectacle, and reality itself.

Write Your Story @ Union City Library

Join our library group, headed by Bruce Hasse, for an   informal gathering of aspiring writers of all types of genres. Your writing can be memoirs, creative non-fiction, poetry, song lyrics, science fiction, plays,essays, you name it!  We just want to hear what you have written and support each other as we grow as writers.

Third Tuesday of the Month:    October 17 ,  November 21, and December 19                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         1 p.m. — 3 p.m.

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Write Your Story— Turning Point Prompt

The Unfamiliarity

 Submitted by Pushpanjali (Urmi), the Union City Library Member

Through out my life, I have always been on move; never sticking to a place for long and trying to adjust to new surroundings. So when I needed to move to Irving, Texas in early 2016, I just packed my bags without any thoughts. After all, I had lived across six states in India while surviving through different schools, colleges, and jobs. ‘It’s no big deal,’ I said to myself.

 

I was wrong. The moment I came out of the airport, it took me a while to realize that the cars on the road were driving on the right side. Back in my country, we drive on the left side of the road! Right there, I was scared like hell. It was definitely not love at the first sight.

Whenever I start residing at a new place, I try to look out for some elements in my surrounding that were common at the places I lived before. Funny as it might sound but it brought me some comfort on staring at a tall, rusty, dimly lit streetlight standing next to the apartment that I called ‘home’ for the next one year. That streetlight sweetly reminded me of something about my parents’ house.

While there were a ton of unfamiliar stuffs around me, I focused on finding out the similarity. Of course, the familiar outlets of Subway, StarBucks, and Pizza Hut assured me that all was well. The hot Texas sun, the cool night sky, and sparrows visiting my patio soothed me and reminded me of some of my favorite childhood memories. Halloween seemed familiar; customs to remember the departed souls exist in every culture. And Christmas was more cheery with cakes, hot chocolates and snowfall. Did I mention that the snowfall was new to me and still I loved it?

But the most important were the people around me; some friendly faces who welcomed me with open arms and hearts, and friends who made me feel at home. I have moved on again, to Union City, California. A lot of things look familiar now. And I’ve realized that the beauty of the nature, and smiles and hugs from people remain the same across geographical boundaries.

Write Your Story @ Union City Library

Join our library group, headed by Bruce Hasse, for an   informal gathering of aspiring writers of all types of genres. Your writing can be memoirs, creative non-fiction, poetry, song lyrics, science fiction, plays,essays, you name it!  We just want to hear what you have written and support each other as we grow as writers.

Third Tuesday of the Month:

 October 17 ,  November 21, and December 19                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1 p.m. — 3 p.m.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Write Your Story…prompt

Missing Person/ Animal/ Cellphone

 Submitted by Pushpanjali (Urmi), the Union City Library Member

I miss my first cellphone that my parents gifted to me after I finished my high school. A very basic Nokia model that was just capable to send messages, and dial numbers. And it also had Snake II — a game that I did not like particularly yet played when I was bored.

I miss that phone terribly. It rang when someone wanted to reach out to me and it delivered messages to my friends I wanted to hang out with. Otherwise, it used to just lay around somewhere on my study table.But that phone was way better than my current smartphone. Why? My current smartphone is similar to a clinging boyfriend; updating me about my whereabouts, notifying me about my daily schedule, making me look stupid by staring at it for hours, and isolating me from my surroundings. Oh! I wish I could get back that Nokia 3310.

Write Your Story @ Union City Library

Join our library group, headed by Bruce Hasse, for an   informal gathering of aspiring writers of all types of genres. Your writing can be memoirs, creative non-fiction, poetry, song lyrics, science fiction, plays,essays, you name it!  We just want to hear what you have written and support each other as we grow as writers.

Third Tuesday of the Month:   September 19 , October 17 , and November    21                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1 p.m. — 3 p.m.

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Write Your Story…Prompts

CHILDHOOD MEMORY                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

by Vanessa Mason/Library Member

“You are going to hate school!”  I can still hear my sister’s voice.  She was one year older and had started kindergarten the previous year.  My own first day of school was rapidly approaching.

 

She painted a scary picture of the school experience.  But this was only her perspective and somehow I realized this and it brought me comfort.  “Don’t get Miss Benson.  She is mean.”  How did she know?  She didn’t have Miss Benson as her teacher.  She had Miss Fox.  Oh well, my first day was here and I knew that from this day forward, my life would be different.

 

I was the youngest of six and all my siblings were already situated in elementary school and junior high.  I vaguely remember entering the school building with my mother.  But at some point, she disappeared and I found myself sharing a large room with several other children.  I don’t remember their faces.  The only face I do remember is the teacher’s.  Finally, I was able to put a face to her name.  Yes, I got Miss. Benson.

 

She was old and somewhat stern, but I stayed out of her way so I never experienced the wrath that my sister spoke of.  Maybe she exaggerated.  I hoped that was the case.  I got through the first day of school.  It felt like a great achievement…the first down payment on a lifelong investment.  That’s how it felt to me.

 

When I got home, all I could say over and over was, “I love school?!  Amazing that I can remember saying this.  Maybe I do because it so sharply contradicted my sister’s warning.  I did love school from that first day of kindergarten to this present day.

BUCKET LIST

by Dennis Smith/Library Member

I just found out what that is, I had never heard the term before.  It is a list of things you want to do before you die.

I had never considered making such a list and am not sure what I would put on it.  Hopefully I will have time to compile and complete a very long list.

There are a lot of places I would like to go, but probably won’t.  There are a ton of things I would like to do, but most are not really important.

I suppose I would be happy with one noteworthy thing, something people might remember.

                                

 

 HERITAGE…DNA STORY

by  Terry Connelly / Library Member

My mom was not a great storyteller. She didn’t read books or magazines or even the daily newspaper. She did watch television news, but only those stories that weren’t about war or killing.
There was one death that intrigued her, that of Princess Diana. For some reason, the tragedy of her death touched my mom.
I think she saw in Diana heritage lost. A genetic pool which would not be carried on. And that was important to my mom.
From the time I was a little girl, my mom bragged about her Native American roots, although she did not use that term. According to my mom, almost everything she did could be attributed to her being “Indian.”
She loved bread because she was Indian. She tanned easily because she was Indian. Her hair did not turn gray and she did not wrinkle because of….
The foods she fixed were, according to her, based on her Indian roots. Her rhubarb pie was a good example, as well as her apple dumplings and fried chicken.
When pressured, she could not name the relative from whom her heritage came. She believed it was from her great-great-great grandmother on her mother’s side, but that person had no name or place of birth.
No matter the lack of concrete evidence, I believed her. I loved the idea of being part Native American, no matter how tiny that part was in reality.
When I was in fourth grade I discovered that the nonfiction part of the library held a treasure trove of information on Native American tribes from all over the country. One by one I devoured the books, looking for any similarities between my mother and a specific tribe.
When I read about the Shawnee, a tribe that lived in the same Ohio region where I did, I was elated. Here was my connection to the past. My heritage that I could pass on to my children and grandchildren.
I drew out a map of their homeland, memorized Shawnee terms, dreamt about their foods, and romanticized their lifestyle.
When looking at old black and white photos of the Shawnee people, I saw a clear resemblance in my mother’s face. Satisfied, I grew up believing that I was part Shawnee.
Well into my twenties I attended my first pow-wow, something in the keening of the songs and the pounding of the drums resonated deep within me. I felt a kinship that I had never felt before, and I really wanted to join in the dance. Until I realized how very white I was compared to all the other dancers.
I have been continued to be intrigued by all things Native American. Several years ago I began collecting artifacts. None of them have any historical value, but I love the dolls, the vases, the baskets and the jewelry. I have enough stuff that it fills an entire cabinet and enough black and white prints of old photos that my walls are covered.
My daughter began researching our genealogy several years ago. As she delved into the past, she was unable to locate a single relative that appeared to be Native American. This was disappointing in so many ways!
Over a year ago she asked me to submit a DNA sample for study. Because I was still interested in finding the familial link, I did so.
A few weeks later the results came in. I have zero percent Native American heritage! This was a disappointing discovery.
It destroyed my beliefs about who I was. It meant that all those years of reading and dreaming were wasted. It also meant that there was no truth behind my mother’s stories, which was devastating.
I hated losing that part of me because it was ingrained by sixty years of believing.
Sometimes I wish that I had not done the DNA test. If I hadn’t, I could continue to naively believe that I was Native American. However, even though I lost a huge part of what I saw as my link to distant peoples, I am glad that I did the test.
It is better to know the truth than to be spreading falsities.

Write Your Story @ Union City Library

Join our library group, headed by Bruce Hasse, for an   informal gathering of aspiring writers of all types of genres. Your writing can be memoirs, creative non-fiction, poetry, song lyrics, science fiction, plays,essays, you name it!  We just want to hear what you have written and support each other as we grow as writers.

Third Tuesday of the Month:   September 19 , October 17  , AND NOVEMBER  21                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1 p.m. — 3 p.m.

 

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