#52snapshots–Week 1

This week begins a new The Whole Megillah feature based on a Creative Nonfiction webinar given last week by memoirist/essayist Sonja Livingston. She titled it “52 Snapshots.”

Livingston defines a snapshot as a written description of a scene or image (a sound, scent, taste, touch, or sight) that distills and conveys the basic essence of  a particular memory or experience. It captures a moment. By working on these snapshots weekly–hence, 52–one might have a collection by year’s end. Livingston suggests making a plan for the year by:

  1. Giving your project a name (what)
  2. Identifying the days and times you’ll write (when)
  3. Identifying your “sacred space” (where)
  4. Identifying your anchoring touchstones (why)
  5. Noting any barriers

My responses to those five items:

  1. “Branches”–a collection of prose and found poetry about my family tree
  2. I’ll write twice weekly during Amherst Writers & Artists sessions
  3. My sacred space is my front room with lots of lot and a huge computer screen
  4. My touchstone is my paternal grandparents’ wedding portrait. When I placed it near my computer, having scooped it from the family room, I could immediately feel its power.
  5. My barriers are always time.

During the webinar I started to think about my great-grandmother, Bryna Dvorkin Krasner, after whom I’m named. I started thinking about the photos I collected of her in my early days of genealogy. A widower since 1915, she always wore black taffeta and either her sheitl or a kerchief. But photos also showed how much mutual adoration there was between her and her American grandchildren. So, my first #52snapshot will be about these photos.

I’ll let you know how it went writing about this and what I’ll work on for the second week next time.

About Barbara Krasner

History writer and award-winning author Barbara Krasner writes Jewish-themed poetry, articles, nonfiction books, and novels for children and adults.
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2 Responses to #52snapshots–Week 1

  1. Sheila Baslaw says:

    Hi Barbara  I find this weeks post inspiring, creative and encouraging. Working with the photos we all have, love the idea. Thanks for your relentless energy and stimulating ideas. will you be posting these essays? Best  Sheila

    • Thanks, Sheila. No, I will not be posting the essays because that may qualify as self-publishing. I aim in these blog posts to share my process. I am so delighted to hear you find the first post inspiring.

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