Hi! It's Aliza here. Welcome to the first Saturday in October! That means it's time to talk a little about writing, so let's get right to it. Today, I'd like to tackle some of the challenges of documenting in-jokes: the silly jokes and funny stories that leave you and a select few rolling on the floor laughing (ROFL, for some of you younger folks), and that leave everyone else, scratching their heads, and smiling awkwardly. (STHASA?)
The Challenge of Long Stories
All around my apartment, there hang several copies of this sign: (Luckily, we have not been affected by the government shut down.)
Now, I find these signs hysterically funny, as do my husband and children, because there is a long story surrounding why they came to be. But, the story never seems quite as funny to outsiders, and the main reason being that, "You had to be there." Some of life's funniest momenst are like that. So what is a scrapbooker to do? I wanted to document the origin story of The Deutsch National Park, but I had to accept that this story is just for me and my husband and children. Sure, I'll share it with you all, but it might not make sense to the greater scrapbooking community (sorry, folks), and it might leave future generations wondering about their crazy ancestors. And that is okay. Once I determined who my audience is, I felt free to tell the story the way it needed to be told. As long and rambling as it may be.
Which leads me to the next challenge. Long stories can be difficult to fit onto a scrapbook page, what with photos, pretty papers and embellishments. To solve that problem here, I wrote and printed my journaling first, and then designed the rest of the page around the text. It's not my usual MO, but it needed to happen here.
Make a Long Story Short(er)
A beautiful outcome of the size limit of a scrapbook page, is that it can help you trim down your story to the most essential details. This next layout tells a funny vacation SNAFU, that we tell each other over and over again without ever tiring. When I sat down to write the story, I ended up with almost a full typed page. I had already printed my pictures, and made my title, and I was feeling a little stuck. Essentially, I scrapped myself into a corner. So, I went back to the story, and the more I looked at it, the more I discovered which details were essential, and which ones could be left out. I don't feel like anything is missing, but I don't think I could have written this short paragraph first. I needed to write a long story and then strip it down. Process is important.
Look For Your Stories
So many of our funny, family anecdotes began during our two week long road trip. I suppose the combination of being in close quarters and away from home produced the perfect recipe for some good stories. Think about your travels, and some of the vacation stories you tell over and over again.
Sometimes a joke is not a long story, but a silly nickname given to a loved one:
Sometimes it's a made up song that no one else but you will ever sing:
Whatever it is that makes you laugh...write it down.