February 18, 2011

New Feature: What I Wrote

In an attempt to keep myself honest and motivated, I'm going to start posting each Friday a snippet -- usually a paragraph, maybe longer, maybe just one long convoluted sentence (I'm fond of those) from the writing I accomplish each week.

Also, I'm currently writing long-handed on yellow legal pads, so seeing the words typed up onto the white screen is sort of an interesting process, too.  

As I've mentioned in passing here, I'm working on a memoir -- which is sort of a cringe-inducing statement to make. Isn't everyone working on a memoir? Isn't the blog self-confessional enough?   Well, long story short: for years I worked exclusively in the short-story form.  I do love me a well-written, elegant short story.  But after completing my MFA from here, where I delivered a book-length collection of short stories in fulfillment of my degree, I felt sort of tired of the form. And after I had my daughter, and stopped writing for literally years, I found it harder to get engaged and excited by the often dense prose and clever structures of short stories that I read.   Also (and this is the heart of the matter): I grew quite weary of fictionalizing and creating different characters and plots for things out of my own past.  Especially events from my family and childhood. 

Well, enough throat-clearing (as we used to call belabored introductions, back in workshop).  Here's what I wrote this week.

They [my parents] trailed me down the carpeted hallway, watched as I stood in the doorway of my bedroom.  It was transformed.  Gone were the the head and footboard of my bed, gone the long white dresser with its thick coat of glossy white enamel paint.  In their place was a set, a suite, a symbol, I  understood almost immediately, of their acknowledgement.  Yes, they were saying: we've made you say good-bye to hard-won friendships and near-normalcy in Whittier, moved us all to sun blasted Bakersfield, and so here, here is a set of matching, creamy yellow furniture.  There was a curved headboard with an inset of woven wicker lattice, a long dresser with ornate white handles and a tall  mirror hanging above. A low bureau of three drawers, and upon it a hutch with two shelves.  The top shelf displayed my collection of ceramic Josef birthday dolls, the other a stack of yellow Nancy Drew spines, my growing number of Dell Young Adult paperbacks, and all of my Judy Blumes (had mom flipped through and read any pages of Forever? I worried). 
This isn't my dresser, but an image from the web of a dresser a lot like mine, and the same exact color.
Ditto the Josef doll.  I still have them. Somewhere.


  1. I happened upon you blog as I was looking for a good memoir. You have made a very good start here. I'll be back for more. :)

    I just finished a great memoir called "Major Dream: From Immigrant Housemaid to Harvard Ph.D." by author Jin Kyu Robertson Ph.D. The title pretty much says it all...very inspiring!

  2. Why thank you, Betty! The memoir you suggested sounds very interesting. Thanks for stopping by.

  3. These kind of post are always inspiring and I prefer to read quality content so I happy to find many good point here in the post, writing is simply great, thank you for the post


Thanks for commenting! :)

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