Thoughts while reading: Snaps, Scraps and Snippets of the Past and Present

Book: Snaps, Scraps and Snippets of the Past and Present: How to Retrieve the Lost Pictures of Your Past by Lois J. Funk (When I last checked it cost approximately USD6.00)

‘Memories are nothing less than bits of gold waiting to be mined from the veins of life.’ But, how to mine those bits of gold and turn them into stories that others will enjoy reading? In this nonfiction how-to, the author sets out a brand new set of writers’ tools to help you do just that. 

Another book I got from the Kindle Store, this one really started out as a “research” book for Porselein (in which I play around with memory/remembering/forgetting a lot), but I soon realised that it is the perfect way to learn some skills in writing creative non-fiction.

The book itself is divided into three parts; Looking Through the Viewfinder, Finding the Focus, and Using a Wide-Angle Lens. (I am only busy with chapter 3 at the moment, though, hence the title of the post.) Each chapter is filled not only with explanations and exercises, but also with examples from Funk’s own work which really pulls you in and makes you want to write yourself. They actually remind me of Audrey Blignaut’s essays that she wrote for one of the local Afrikaans magazines — which is a very good thing!

What I also enjoy about the book is that Funk let’s you focus on the “small” memories we all have. Those special moments that we remember that may not have been some huge event like a marriage or a death. Rather we are confronted with recalling those moments that we may have thought of as insignificant, but still have stayed with us for decades. Those memories of places and people who may not be in our lives anymore, but which still left an indelible mark. It’s not just for those who want to write a memoir, per se, but also for those who want to leave more meaningful behind than just digital detritus.

I’m sure I’ll do a proper review of the book once I’m finished, but, for now, I can only say that the book really is helpful and definitely worth what I paid for it.

By Carin Marais

Bibliophile, writer of speculative fiction, non-fiction, and maybe-fiction, language practitioner, doer of stuff.

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