Sometimes our monthly topics are rather tricky - 'If only I...' was one of these. Marg McCrohan described her ambivalence about writing on a topic which had caused anxiety and loss of sleep, while Joy reframed the topic by beginning ‘If only I had NOT… I would not have … (positive outcome)’. Barry’s story could have been titled ‘If only I’d … listened to my parents’. Ray wrote two captivating vignettes – ‘If only I’d known … (there were 263 steps to the top of the tower)’ and ‘If only I … (hadn’t become distracted)’, while Bev’s story ... 'If only I'd... learned French at School' had a humorous twist. In a memoir piece written at a deeper level, Michelle shared a moving story ... 'If Only I'd ...stayed with my aunt and uncle'.
It was lovely to welcome Marg Nelson back and to hear her 'Crash', 'Curved Ball' and 'Stock and Land' stories.
Coming up in October, our first topic ‘This (……) Life’ draws upon The Australian Weekend Magazine’s ‘This Life’ story format. The brief - Write a 500-word story under the broad theme of 'This Life', inserting your theme in brackets in the title as the topic emerges. Examples in the Weekend Magazine have included ‘This (Downsizing) Life’ by an 80+ year old about planning to farewell loved home; 'This (Number 8) Life’ about growing up as ‘Number 8’ in a family of nine children. If you are having trouble getting started, check out last year's stories at u3abenalla.weebly.com/this-life.
Our alternative topic is ‘A test of courage’, the brief - ‘Has your courage ever been tested? Tell us a story of your bravery, or when you should have been brave but couldn't summon the courage'.
Some additional information: Has life ever presented you with a situation that forced you to dig deep, to do something that put you at risk? Maybe it was a split-second reaction when you helped someone in harm’s way, or something you deliberated over for years, like a love letter. It could be as personal as telling a friend a difficult truth, or as public as protesting against what you believe is wrong. What was at stake, and what strengths did you need to draw upon in the face of pain or grief? What did you learn about yourself from doing something that was frightening?
If you would like to read some stories on 'A Test of Courage', here's the link to search results from our home page - https://u3abenalla.weebly.com/apps/search?q=A+Test+of+Courage.
It’s taster time – if you would like to join us in October and November, perhaps bringing a story chosen from one of our monthly topics, you are most welcome.