I did not want to move. I was tired of moving. I knew the plan was to move, I just didn’t know the two years would fly by so quickly. I didn’t think I would make so many friends. I didn’t think I would love living anywhere but the small town in Ohio where I was born. When the moving truck pulled up to our townhouse with the blue shutters on the windows, it all became a lot more real to me. I was mad. Mad at my mom for making me move, again. “It’s not your decision to make,” My mom would say. On the first day of our drive I sat in the back and tried not to cry, I didn’t talk to anyone. Not my grandma, not my grandpa, and definitely not my mom. As the days went on, stuck in the car, I realized pouting about the move wasn’t going to take me back to Virginia. To my townhouse with the blue shutters. My first memory of California is driving through the city of San Diego, staring up at all the tall buildings and the fancy cars that were parked on the sides of the road. I thought San Diego didn’t seem too bad at first. We were following my grandparents who were driving our moving van. We had been driving for five days. We were in the neighborhood of our new house, it was then that we lost sight of my grandparents. We had no clue where to go. We were so close to finally being done with our crazy long drive. My mom called my grandma to ask for directions and she just kept spurting off street names. Orange street? Adams street? Neither of us had any clue what she was talking about. I typed the address into the GPS, but the GPS just kept saying “Make a U-turn at the next available opportunity.” We pulled up to the stop light, and right when my mom was about to turn, “Wait,” I said and pointed at the no U-turn sign. So we tried the next turn, and the next turn, and the next turn. “Make a U-turn at the next available opportunity.” “Make a U-turn at the next available opportunity.” “Yes, I understand that we need to make a U-turn at the next available opportunity. There are no available opportunities!” My mom was clearly as irritated as I was with the annoying GPS. We must have passed at least ten turns, and just when I started banging my head on the dashboard, and my mom was seriously debating making an illegal U-turn, we finally found a place to turn. But we still had no idea where we were. We finally got to our new home at least thirty minutes later. It was a small apartment building, a two bedroom, one bathroom apartment. With four people living there. But it was only temporary, anything was better than that car.
For the project, Resonance of Remembrance, I wrote about my mom and how we moved from Virginia to California (Cross Country). The purpose of this memoir was to honor my mom and show how I came to accept the decision she made. Through this project, I learned how to describe the setting in the exposition, describing a characters emotional reaction to an event (how they felt), and how to add sound to enhance a story.
One strategy that helped me when I wrote my memoir was describing the setting in the exposition. Tim O'Brien used this strategy in the book, The Things They Carried, when he talked about Curt Lemon's death. He wrote, "Then he took a peculiar half step moving from shade to bright sunlight, and the booby-trapped 105 round blew him into a tree." I used this strategy in my memoir when I wrote about leaving my house in Virginia. I wrote, "When the moving truck pulled up to our little townhouse with the blue shutters on the windows..." By describing the setting in the exposition, I was able to help the readers/listeners picture what I was writing about.
Another strategy that helped me when I wrote my memoir was describing a characters emotional reaction to an event. Tim O'Brien used this strategy when he talked about how he felt about being drafted. He wrote, "Inside me, in my chest, I felt a terrible squeezing pressure. I used this strategy when I wrote about how I felt about moving. I wrote, "I did not want to move. I was tired of moving." By describing a characters emotional reaction to an event I was able to show people how I felt.
In addition to incorporating O'Brien's writing strategies, the sounds that we included in our memoirs greatly enhanced the stories we told. The most effective sound I used was the GPS voice. I used this sound when describing how my mom and I got lost in San Diego. In my opinion, this sound enhanced this part of my memoir because it made my memoir sound exactly like what I experienced.
By listening to others' memoirs and writing my own, I realized that people should care about others real life stories because it can help them understand people better. They can apply things they heard in other peoples stories to their own life.