Tag! You're It!

“Tag! You're it!” Remember playing tag when you were young? Sometimes we played on the school playground, but more often we played with the neighbor kids. When we first moved to Los Alamos, our house was on a mesa top two lots deep, with a steep grassy slope down to the street. The front yards didn't have much flat space, so the game got interesting as we scrambled up and down the slope in chase or eluding pursuit. I don't even remember all the varieties. I just remember plain old tag and freeze tag, and the details of the latter elude me.

All these years later, I've discovered that the blogging community plays tag too, and the playing field may be as narrow and sloping as the one on Walnut Street. Pat from Pat's Place tagged me in a game of Name Your Quirks tag. According to the rules, I'm supposed to
  • Link to the person who tagged me.
  • Mention the rules in my blog.
  • Talk about six unspectacular quirks of mine.
  • Tag a new set of six bloggers by linking to them.
When I first discovered I'd been tagged, I didn't see how disclosing my own quirks fit with the purpose and focus of a blog on lifestory writing. But ... a tag is a tag, and as I thought about it, I saw a path between the rocks and down that hill! Each quirk carries the germ of a story, but you don't need to get that involved — you can cache quirks in corners of random stories. Any story will become more personal and juicy if you work in a quirk or two of your own or someone else's. Let me load my list, and then I'll show you how.
  • I love chili peppers, the hotter, the better.
  • Our ticking grandfather clock makes me crazy, but I miss it when it runs down.
  • I dislike making phone calls but love getting them.
  • I prefer assymetrical balance.
  • I use recycled glass jars for storying leftovers in the refrigerator.
  • I hate the words “fridge” and “nuke” (as in use a microwave).
So, if I'm writing a story that has a scene in the kitchen, I can make it glow with personal presence by sliding in a reference to putting those leftovers in an old salsa jar to stick in the refrigerator. Or, I may have a little dialog in that scene where I cringe at hearing someone else talk about the fridge or nuking the frozen peas.

You don't have to stick to your own quirks. To add depth and make other people in your stories seem more real, tell how your uncle's mustache glistened with droplets of his spluttering when he got excited, or how your sister always twirled her hair while she watched television. Few things add color the way quirks do, and it's not nearly as complicated to add a few as it may seem.

Now I hope to read about quirks from Linda at Cherry Blossom Memories, Ybonesy and QuoinMonkey at red Ravine, Janet at Riehl Life, Tara at Soul Blessings, Susan at
Sue's Muse, and Rev at Your Neighborhood Reverend.

Write now: about six or more of your own quirks. If you remember, tell how they originated. Explain how they shape your life, and what impact they have on you. Have you ever tried to change or drop a quirk? What happened? Have you ever been teased about a quirk? Write a couple of practice sentences for each that includes the quirk as a form of personal description. Or, write about playing tag. Who did you play with? When and where did you play? What were the rules?


Janet Grace Riehl said...

Sharon, how funny...I just came to comment on your blog and found the quirks tag.

I hope you do an entire blog entry on assymetrical balance. I suspect we're sisters in compositional preference on that one.

Janet Riehl

Ritergal said...

To do that assymetric balance blog, I'll have to take a picture of the wall at the end of our living room. For over twenty years I've sat and gazed lovingly at the order on that wall, and it always soothes and settles me and a way that formal balanced symmetry never could.

Tara said...

Love your quirks :)

I just finished mine. Hope you are doing well!

Pat's Place said...

I like the way you handled the tag thing. I usually don't like those either, but that one caught my fancy and I saw a writing opportunity with it. Glad you accepted the challenge also. I also like the way my daughter-in-law, Kara, handled hers.

Linda Austin said...

Alright, Sharon, I just responded to your tag on my blog. It was kinda fun and only a little annoying! Say, is that you on Facebook?