Wednesday, June 10, 2015

ROW80 Weds check-in . . .

I'm starting to read Natalie Goldberg's, Old Friend From Far Away, (2007)when a sentence from the introduction made me stop. She writes that we are drawn to writing memoir because: "We know the particulars, but what really went on? We want the emotional truths under the surface that drove our life."

That's me in glasses, about 8 years old
Again, I reminded of Adrienne Rich, Diving Into the Wreck, that phrase yet resonates because this is what Goldberg wants us to do. Dive into the wreck of our lives, peek underneath the surface, look unflinchingly into the mirror of what makes us. Not the accomplishments. Not necessarily the successes. But that rich emotional life that for so many remains private, sometimes unexpressed.

Typically I back away from conflict, even in fiction. Revelations are sleight of hand. Subtle, if at all. I took one of those find-out-who-you-are tests back in the 1970s. My aunt said the test results were absolutely wrong, but I remember the summary that said I hid behind curtains, that no one knew me, that I may not even know myself. So perhaps that's why I'm drawn to this memoir project. The first step, postponed again and again, to simply begin.

ROW80 Weds check-in. I'm saving the color-coded update for Sundays and will simply report a little progress here.

Writing: No progress at all on Rivers of Stone or Reaching. Edited 3 chapters for Mothers Don't Die. By Sunday: Write 250 words a day on ROS. Edit at least 2 chapters in Reaching, one more for MDD. Prep for Sunday's memoir workshop coming along fine.

Other: That darn heat wave (up to 97 yesterday) led to ice cream, no walks, no swimming, and elevated blood sugars. So, back to SparkPeople on the premise that writing stuff down DOES make a difference -- and a commitment to exercise 2x before Sunday. 

My friend's husband is now in hospice. We're meeting for breakfast in 15 minutes. Last night I watched the basketball playoffs with dear hubby (ever more grateful for each moment together). Cherish the time for writing and for those you love. Make it a good week!

Check in with other ROW80 writers HERE because this online community does make a difference.


  1. That's quite a way of looking at memoirs and writing. I never really thought of it in that way. I was always about writing stories and poem (which are extremely short stories in a way).

    Sending you happy thoughts for a great week!

  2. I strongly avoid conflict in life, but in fiction, I embrace it. Good luck with meeting your goals.

  3. That must be why I love reading memoirs - looking through the window into the wreck of other peoples' lives. And being glad that there is that glass between me and them.

    I will continue to keep your friend and her husband in my thoughts and prayers. The hospice nurses I have worked with here are all wonderful. It is a great program and rewarding when the end is near to know that one is taken care of with dignity, surrounded by family and friends in their own environment. Hugs!


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