April 22, 2013

Hello, Monday {Mirrors}

I pinky-swear I'm not going to start every single post for the rest of the year talking about writing, but indulge me again today. It's what I've been up to, so there's that.

Also, we've been laying pretty low as a family, not doing too much or going anywhere. We have soccer practices 4 nights a week (2 kids, doing Tues/Thurs  and Wed/Fri), plus 2 games every Saturday. So that alone has eaten up a huge chunk of free family time. (Also, I'm already sick of our quickie dinners that we prepare and choke down by 5:30 on practice days.)

So, the writing and the soccer are looming large as part of my routine.  With all the time spent alone with pen and paper, and the time spent alone on the sidelines, or in my car during practice, I'm feeling even extra introverted and thoughtful.

As I've mentioned to a few people and here on the blog, I'm writing a memoir. Because navel-gazing and oversharing here on the internet is just not enoughI need more!  (That's a joke.)
But it does mean that I'm looking at myself, my life, my story, very closely.  Not to give too much away, but one could say that I had an awfully interesting childhood.  And it wasn't because I was (or am) so very interesting myself.

Conversely, I give you this Flannery O'Connor quote:  "Anybody who has survived his childhood has enough information about life to last him the rest of his days."  We've all got a story to tell, whatever the amount or lack of perceived drama.

What is proving difficult is writing about people who have the gall to still be alive and leading their own interesting lives.  I mean, the nerve, right? And I'm trying to temper what I know now, with what I knew then, and who I was and who they used to be. Confused? Yeah, me too.
As I look into the rear-view mirror of the past, I want to be kind. I want to be large-hearted and take the longer view, rather than the short-term one, which easily could lead down a path of anger and bitterness.  Lord knows, there's been enough of that in my family to go around.

On the other hand, I think of the great line of advice I got up at the memoir retreat last month: Write as though you've been dead for 6 months.  Dead, where nobody's wrath or disappointment or disagreement with what you have to say can touch you anymore. You are floating above the fray.

So hello this Monday, to remembering that honesty is one of my best traits. And hello, to knowing that avoiding conflict is one of my worst habits.  Hello to wrestling with both, up in my brain and down on the page.

Hello and hurray, to finishing the first draft of an essay that I hope to submit to an anthology. Even if writing the last sentence made me cry.

Hello, and hurray, to deadlines. How else would this procrastinator get anything done?

Hello to sunny days and breezy evenings, watching my children run and run after a ball. Such a simple thing, and I'm grateful for these simple days, of sun and soccer and trying everyday to do and be your best self. Emphasis on the trying.

Linking up with Lisa Leonard for Hello, Mondays


  1. You know, I never ever ever write about my relationships with certain people on my blog because it is much easier to not talk about alive people unless it is in a thoroughly positive manner. Can you write under a pseudonym? Or write the full version and then pare back if necessary? Or the Augustus Burrows "this is a fictionalized version of my life" type of thing?

    We will have to do lunch so I can hear more about this memoir.

    1. Lisa, you're so sweet! No, I'm not going to write under a fake name, or assume I'll edit much out. I just have to put on my big-girl pants & be brave, & refer back to some of my favorite writers when I need courage.

      And I would love to go to lunch after you're all settled, but I certainly don't want to talk about me,me,me!


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