Write a three paragraph response that answers in detail one of the prompts from the list of topics for the Remembered Events and People journal exercise.
If possible, copy and paste your prompt into the journal space.
Remember to answer ALL the questions posed to you.
The following questions are adapted in part from Anne Bernays and Pamela Painter’s
What If? Choose only one to which you will respond.
1. Describe in detail all the places you have lived. You may want to be very specific. Were you happy or unhappy in these places? Why?
2. Describe important family members: brothers, sisters, grandparents, uncles and aunts, cousins. What are the dynamics of your immediate family? Your extended family?
3. Who are people in your life that you consider as important to you? Explain how this person/these people became important to you.
4. Do you remember your first crush? When did it happen? How did you know? What did this person look like?
5. What did I care about when I was five? Ten? Fifteen? Twenty? Twenty-five? What do I care about now?
6. Did anyone ever give you advice that changed your life? What was it? Who gave it to you? What effect did it have?
7. We all have someone we feared, hated, resented, or envied. Think about your childhood and try to recall someone whose memory, even now, may evoke strong, negative feelings in you. Write down details about a person who has elicited these reactions in you. How did this person look? Did you have encounters with this person?
8. Describe in detail your favorite object you own. What does it look like? How did this object come into your possession?
9. Do certain smells, sounds, places or songs evoke certain events in your life? (i.e. Every time I smell beer I think of an ex‑boyfriend. Every‑time I hear a certain song, I think of the day an ex‑boyfriend moved.)
10. Fill in the blanks and use this as a starting sentence for your piece: The first time I heard __________________ (song title), I was down/up/over/at ___________ (place) and we were doing _________ (action).
11. We live in the age of selfies and cameras everywhere. Select a moment you may have chronicled with a selfie or a picture and tell the story behind the picture.
12. Fill in the blank: Let me tell you about the time I …
13. Have you ever had something happen to you that you thought would make a good TV show or story?
14. In the age of funny videos, do you have a moment that you wished you could have captured on tape?
15. What is the most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to you?
16. Have you ever been in a situation that you swore you’d never be in again? Write about it. How did you get out of it?
17. Ever had one of those “Someday we’ll look back on this and laugh” moments? Look back on it; hopefully you can laugh now.
18. Have you ever been in a situation that had you saying either: “If I knew then what I know now, I would have…” or “I wish somebody had told me…”?
19. What has been the most frightening experience of your life?
20. Do you believe in fairy tales? Have you ever had one happen to you?
21. What is the worst date you’ve ever been on? The best?
22. What is the most thrilling experience of your life?
23. Ever learned a lesson the hard way? Tell me about it.
24. What’s the most interesting job you’ve ever had?
25. What is the best vacation you’ve ever taken? The worst?
26. We’ve all had to confront people in our lives. Who have you had to confront? Why?
27. Ever been dumped? Tell me about it. Ever been in love? How did it happen?
28. Tell me about a time catastrophic weather had an effect on you.
29. In the early days of television, a reality documentary show called This Is Your Life featured a retrospective of a notable person’s life, told by colleagues, friends, and family. Consider that you are a featured guest on the show. What story will make viewers laugh? Cry? What will inspire viewers? What will help them?
30. If you could invite anyone to dinner, who would you invite and why? What would you do? What meal would you serve your guest? How would you spend the evening? Your guest does not have to be alive; however, you could do a living guest and an “angel” guest if you wish.