Thursday, August 11
Today, I wish to discuss another source for story ideas - family events or stories. I attend a family reunion every year. As usual, I volunteered to build a reunion newsletter which will consist of family stories, recipes and photos.
This year, one of the stories pertained to a life-sized doll that a cousin talked my aunt into making years ago. Using an old book on doll making as a guide, they took left-over cloth, stocking material and rags to build the doll.
When they got finished with her, Ellie, the human-sized doll, had a face with nose, eyes, lips and a chin. My cousin even put lipstick, a wig, and a hat on her. My aunt placed a pair of shoes on her feet as well.
Believe me, at first glance, she looked real. I said hello to her twice because I saw the silhouette out of the corner of my eye as I closed the front door. It turned out to be this doll sitting in a chair. I was not the only one who had done so.
On one occasion, my aunt had the doll in the back seat of the car because she had to store it someplace. She decided to give the doll to her daughter after she went to the store one day. Upon returning to her car on that hot day, she found confronted by a group of people who seemed to be worried about the “mom” who sat in the back seat of the car. They wanted to know why she left her in that hot car. One person even mentioned breaking the window.
When my aunt opened the car to let them look at “mom,” most got a good laugh out of it though some seemed to be embarrassed. She offered “mom” to anyone in the crowd who wanted her but no one took her up on the offer.
Then there were all of the capers of my cousin and her daughters pulled in an attempt to get rid of the doll. On one occasion, my cousin and her youngest daughter placed Ellie on a park bench with full intentions of leaving it behind forever. They got a good laugh out of the event but then felt guilty for abandoning Ellie and went back and retrieved her.
Eventually, Ellie found her way back into my aunt’s hands. She said that she just could not murder her and place her in a trash can. She donated the doll to an organizational garage sale and has not seen her since. We just hope she found a good home.
I remembered the first time I saw Ellie, the human-sized doll, and my reaction to her. I built a short story around her. My plan it to get that story out and finish it up. But, this is something I believe I could build as a part of a story somewhere.
Do you have a family story or event that you can pull a story idea from? I have many more of them, so be prepared to read them from time to time.