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Writing Around the Table Using the DTS MasterClass Writing Process

Updated: May 24, 2022

Diana Reyers, Founder of Daring to Share Global™

I am restarting my blog, focusing on sharing my perception of the world experienced through my internal lens as an author sharing her story. As I move through the writing process of my upcoming published memoir and beyond, I will share first draft excerpts describing how I experienced situations and people throughout my life in the way that my mind interprets them. These are my perceptions and I am grateful to you for honouring them. My hope is that they inspire you to find clarity about what and how you perceive the world and those who have influenced who you have become and how you show up in the world.



Writing chapter one was tricky, and it may end up being chapter 2... I am undecided with how and where to start my story. Is it with the classic birth story; how I came into the world fast and furious? That sounds far to chronologically conforming, and that is not who I am and never has been. Or, do I go with my gut by sharing what pops up in my head - that significant event that keeps introducing itself, envisioning myself sitting at the kitchen table for family dinner as a young child - around the age of five I think. Where will that take me? I don't know, and that is what I must trust, that I do not need to know, but just need to trust. Yes, I'm going with that one; the little girl at the table!! Here is the beginning of my story.

Excerpt from Around the Table: Daring to Share My Perception

"There I sit at that retro sixties yellow Formica kitchen table with silver aluminum legs and matching yellow vinyl cushioned seats that stick to my bare legs when I reluctantly agree to wear a dress. There is one sibling beside me and one across from me. My mother sits at one end close to the stove, counter, and sink, and my father is at the head of the table at the other end, closer to the door. Pausing with that vision, emotions bubble up as I see my clumsy self knocking over my glass of milk. Spilled milk; it's such a simple thing, yet it creates such a big mess and I feel the surge of opposite energy my mother intended when she prepared our meal. Everyone jumps up at the same time, avoiding the white liquid landing on them - the chair legs scraping along the linoleum makes me shiver, and I nervously look at my mother for reassurance. She is quick, having done this cleanup before with me as the infamous milk-spiller in the family. She takes the time to smile at me between wipes, "It's ok, it's just milk." I feel ashamed. Why do I always spill my milk?! I glance over at my father whose expression reflects discontent, but he doesn't say anything. That's a good thing - saying nothing is a positive measurement of how he feels about my dinner table accident - I'm fine without the conversation surrounding why I seem to always spill my milk because I don't have an answer, which makes it that much more confusing for me. But I'm also very aware that just because he doesn't say anything, doesn't mean he's ok with what just transpired and that I caused; it just means he's probably working the day shift and had a good sleep the night before. Like many who work in factories, he's very affected by inconsistent sleep schedules due to the gruelling four-days-on, four-days-off scheduling, but I'm a kid and don't understand that - I just know that sometimes he's in a better mood than others, and I'm best to respond to him accordingly. Spilling my milk never supports the night shift state of mind and is better tolerated during the day shift scenario. Sleep deprivation can make people grumpy my mother explains; I need to be more understanding; he doesn't mean it, he's just tired. She continues to sop up the remaining bit of milk that also flowed through the crevices where the extra slat sits to make the table bigger - for a family of five of which I am the youngest. My mother finally sits down and asks me if I would like a glass of milk"

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1 Comment

OMG Diana - I feel your story here so much. Maybe not the yellow Formica table but the table for sure. My Dad’s quickness to anger and my Mom‘s quick jump to grab a cloth to clean it up quickly and similarly say, “it’s okay, it was an accident - I’ll get another”! The shame of having it happen and feeling my dad’s fury still makes me shudder sometimes! Ever since, as an adult, whenever ANYBODY spills something (many people do in the restaurant industry) I mimic my mother and calmly get something to clean it up and replace the “lost liquid”. Thank you for that image.

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