Monday, November 23, 2009

Follow The Watch...

This month's issue of "Writer's Magazine" focuses on the memoir as literary device and stumbling block. I thought a lot of the tips and tricks offered apply equally to blogging as this is memoir in it's most instant form. The articles suggest to write everything down. Don't worry about story just get memories on the page. How much should you leave in, what should you leave out? How important are the feelings of your subject?

I worry a bit about how the sometimes subjects of my blog will react to what I've written, but never enough to not write what I want to say, simply how I'll say it. I was torn this weekend with an amazingly idiotic story I heard, but decided against retelling it as it did not happen to me or around me. Hersey is not admissible in court and therefore not in my blog. We'll see how long that rule lasts...

The best thing I took away from reading these articles were tips from successful, published memoirists. Most agreed that the best thing you can do is document. Whether it be in a notebook, on 3x5 cards, loose leaf paper; start recording your memories of events both big and small. This is where the blog is, I feel, the perfect medium. A quick note here, and longer story there. You're free to readdress a previous post, to expand on or correct any points or errors. For this, the blog is perfect.

I lay in bed last night struggling to fall asleep. Just moments before I was visibly yawning, now I'm tossing and turning (It always seems to work out this way for me). I keep thinking about the little things, the memories that float in and out of our minds at rapid speed. The ones that don't belong to any significant event but are burned into our cortex all the same.

In my earliest memory, I'm one. The vision is fragmented. I feel like I'm in "The Matrix"- a tv with two club chairs facing it in a never ending white room. I'm in the living room of our apartment in Whitehurst. There's foil on the half moon window to keep the light out. My mother, pregnant, lies on the couch with a wash cloth over her eyes. That's it. I don't know what she was wearing, what the couch looked like, what or who else was in the room. Only that she was pregnant and not feeling well, that there seemed to be a yellow light pushing past the foil and into the room. Perhaps it was afternoon...

When I was three, or at most, four; my sister and I played hide and seek in the living room of a duplex we shared with faceless neighbors. I remember nothing about them except that I was jealous of their kid. He had a motorized car that he would ride around and around the front lawn in. I wanted one so badly. I got a Big Wheel instead.
[side note:Now, when I think of duplex's my mind immediately wanders to the story of "Pyramus and Thisbe".]

My sister and I would take turns hiding behind the couch, the bookcase, the table, then jump out at each other. It seems the concept of hide and seek was known to us, but the execution was still a ways off. Around and around we'd go. Finally, we jumped out and discovered two figures standing at the large picture window in our living room smiling and waving. We screamed bloody murder. It was the first time I had ever been scared. My father ran in to see what had happened, who was hurt. We must have scared my poor grandparents even more. They had driven down from Louisville to surprise us. When they saw us playing, they stopped to watch for a while before knocking. How horrid then and how funny now!

1 comment:

  1. See, you've distilled the essential elements of those memories expertly. If I were writing mine I'd have twice as many words and still not be finished describing the drapes.