MURDER AT THE ZOO FINALIST IN MYSTERY/CRIME CATEGORY:
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Sarah E. Burr
"This is wonderful, Marcia."
"Thanks for so many nice comments. What great publicity for my books."
"Wow, Thanks Marcia, Inspires me."
This Blog* and My Memoir Workbook are meant to encourage, inspire and motivate you to write your unique story. Don’t keep your memories hidden or secret any longer.
Marcia Rosen, Author of 11 books, including My Memoir Workbook, has presented Memoir Writing Programs and Encouraging the Writer Within You Presentations for over 16 years, from New York to California and New Mexico!
My Newest Book, "Murder at the Zoo" is now available
A LifeStory Memory
Each Blog shares a portion of someone else’s LifeStory that we hope will entertain and inspire you to write and share your own.
Submit yours with your name and email to: MarciagRosen@gmail.com.
August 7, 2023
It was the hottest I've ever been, but instead of sweat, a chill ran down my spine. Is this a good idea? How safe can this be?
I stared down the square, dark, man-made tunnel plummeting deep into the ground.
"Lady, lady, fifteen dollar. Fifteen dollar!" the incessant voice chirped behind me.
I tossed an exasperated look at the young boy, who couldn't have been much older than ten. "I said, I'm all set, thanks. Shouldn't you be in school?"
He grinned at me. "Gotta make money, lady. Fifteen dollar!" He held up the miniature statue of the Great Sphinx once more as if I'd missed seeing it for the last fifteen minutes he'd been hounding me in line.
My gaze turned back to the claustrophobically small opening before me. After listening to this poor kid's selling pitch, I'd do anything to escape him. Here goes nothing.
Telling him once again I wasn't interested in the tiny replica (one that I'd seen on display in the gift shop for only seven US dollars), I took a steeling breath and crouched down. My scandals scraped against the ancient stone as I dragged myself across the threshold of one of the Great Pyramids of Giza.
My back grazed against the ceiling, and I struggled to contort myself into a tighter position. The last thing I needed was to get stuck. My college classmates would never let me forget an incident like that.
I huddled against the right side of the tunnel, making room for the group coming up from the bowels of the structure. It was a group of senior citizens, and I marveled at their athletic prowess, crawling on their knees to ascend the steep incline.
One of the men in the group must have seen my impressed expression. "It's much easier going up than down, little lady, trust me."
I smiled politely, as there was nothing "little" about me, and held my tongue. I focused back on the slanted stone before me, wishing I had worn shoes with more tread. My fashionable gladiator sandals skidded every few feet as I hugged the side of the tunnel, praying I didn't slip and plunge into the group moving a few yards ahead of me.
Head down. One foot in front of the other.
It was painfully slow going. Everyone around me was fixated on their descent into the Great Pyramid. Grunts and wheezing were the only noises that filled the tunnel, along with the occasional gasp from someone losing their footing. At least I wasn't the only one nervous about tumbling a hundred feet below the ground.
I gripped the rope that acted as a railing, my hands already raw from the twine rubbing against my skin. This had better be worth it. At least I'd managed to shake my pesky personal shopper.
The sunlight seeping into the tunnel from the opening barely penetrated the darkness this far down. All I had guiding me was an orangey glow in the deep distance. The burial chamber.
I gulped. If Cairo was hit by a sudden earthquake, it would also become my final resting place. A pleasant thought.
The guide at the top told me the descent wouldn't take more than ten minutes, but I felt like I was quickly reaching eternity. My breathing became fast and shallow the farther away I climbed from the surface. This was a bad idea. I'd never done anything like this before. Maybe I could find a spot to turn around and—
My foot slipped, and I skidded over another threshold, feeling like I'd been dumped into an oven. I opened my mouth to gasp for help when I realized the walls around me had disappeared, giving away to a humungous chamber. Lights glowed overhead, a small electronic box indicating the temperature of the cavern. Fifty-seven degrees Celsius. One hundred thirty-five degrees Fahrenheit. Yes, this was definitely the hottest I'd ever been.
But the heat didn't feel as crushing as I expected. Perhaps I was so swept away by the story displayed on these walls that I hardly noticed the heat. I stared in awe at the images carved into stone, the living record of Egypt's incredible history. A time when pharaohs ruled the land and gods filled the skies.
I could have stood there all day, enchanted by this earthy tomb, but eventually, the prospect of a cold drink beckoned me. There was still more of this fascinating country to explore. I took one last look at the ancient chamber before grabbing the rope railing, my footsteps leading me toward the light.
And yes, it was much easier going up.
Bits and Pieces of Your Life
Write 100 words or less about a funny situation, a strange or unique happening, or a “meet cute” story you experienced.
Sarah E. Burr is the award-winning author of the Glenmyre Whim Mysteries, Trending Topic Mysteries, and Court of Mystery series. She currently serves as the social media manager for the New York chapter of Sisters in Crime and is the creative mind behind BookstaBundles, a content creation service for authors. Sarah is the co-host of The Bookish Hour, a YouTube series featuring author interviews and book discussions. When she's not spinning up stories, Sarah is singing Broadway tunes, reading everything from mystery to manga, video gaming, and enjoying walks with her dog, Eevee. Stay connected with Sarah via her newsletter: https://bit.ly/saraheburrsignup
Writing Your LifeStory Hints, Tips, and Advice
Be Your Own Memoir Detective
A good detective needs to be tenacious, patient, look at the truths of a situation and ask questions that get to the heart of the matter. Exactly what is needed to write a good memoir. How do you search for clues about your history and their impact on your life?
A memoir is a true story about your life. You can write about the whole span of your life or one specific episode. Writing a memoir can be a daunting and, at times an emotional experience. As you move through the process of writing your memoir you can determine what is most important for you to include and what you prefer not to share with anyone else.
How you did you live your life? What are the truths about your choices and experiences? Why you made them? What are your best memories? What are you least favorite memories? Who are the main characters in your LifeStory and how did they impact on how you lived your life?
Following is part of my LifeStory:
My Gangster Father and Me (Excerpt )
Some fascinating and incredible women have inspired me. None, who by the way had a physical beauty, but surely an inner beauty. Being inspired and inspiring others provides us with shared strengths giving us opportunities to be more than we are as one. Those who inspire us, in the process, influence us by their intellect, accomplishments and wisdom.
Eleanor Roosevelt and Golda Meir have been two of my role models. Author Gertrude Stein and many other good writers have influenced me. These are people who have dared to go beyond the ordinary, a desire I have long had. They are not willing to t accept limitations society or family have set upon them. What does all this have to do with me and my dad? Quite a lot in fact. His actions inspired me. In doing so they influence my actions in many ways. He almost never gave up at times when it would have been easier to do so. My younger son and I have enjoyed his influence of generosity and taking risks.
Once asked what characteristic I think most important in a partner, my response: generosity. Oh, not only financial. I also mean by being generous in expressing feelings and communication, being generous in kindness, thoughtfulness and love. Many people are stingy and withholding of them, they and their relationships have lost so much in the process.
My father mostly showed his love and affection, maybe it’s why writing, and words matter so much to me. There should be no doubt how much words matter. Cruel and thoughtless words sting. When I owned my nursery schools many parents would say goodbye to their child with, “you better be good today,” “don’t be bad today.” Well, you get the idea.
I would ask them please, not to do that and just tell their child, “Have a good day,” and better yet, “I love you.” A simple action or a few words can influence a simple action or a few words can inspire. My dad both influenced and inspired me.
For more stories about me and my gangster father, check out the book The Gourmet Gangster.
*To subscribe to My Blog, email MarciagRosen@gmail.com