Year nine rewritten, another section of my novel awaits; year ten when grumbling discontent pecks at the ritualistic nature of my anorexic, adolescent existence. I read it over noting the schism between the words on the page and the words I’d like on the page.
I’d love the writing to convey the essence of my experience, clear, varied, unique and unforgettable. I remind myself of the beauty of the creative process. Sometimes it’s frustrating. On those days I sit here, looking out at the rainbows cast by a crystal hanging on the porch and trying to get the words to flow.
Last Saturday braving the wind sucking up the alleyway, I attended day 2 of a 4 day memoir writers course with Sian Prior at Writers Victoria. Her skills for publication list included the ability to perform as a writer in public.
What did she mean? The rain, full moon and unanswered question roused me. I struggled with pinning it down; to perform as a writer in public. How?
What entices you to read a memoir? I would love to hear your thoughts.
What makes me want to write my second memoir? The unscrambling follows please read on.
Researching this genre, I find an elegant and confusing list of memoir attributes. These hope to unite those impassioned writers who want to share something about their lives, often a deep revelation of some hardship overcome. Writing to heal or healing to write; who knows.
This past month I spent time with my family. The birth of our first grandchild: a gift on many levels. Pushing through my inertia, I forced myself to enrol for a copyediting course. Usually, I procrastinate when something significant is looming on the horizon … something I don’t want to consider.
Last week I retired from my professional career. Like all change it left me torn, wonder and expectation tussled with emptiness and dare I say it, fear. For so long the role of physiotherapist clothed me. It gave me something, some one to be.
I see myself a s a story teller, my head full of quirky tales amassed over the decades. I want to release them and free myself, creating space for the new to enter. So having written Schicksal, I felt pretty chuffed. Little did I know I stood on the top of the slippery slope.
I had dreams; big ones, bold, at times unrealistic but clear, or so I thought. Easy. I just wanted to be an internationally acclaimed author. Now what’s wrong with that? Dream Big, that’s what all those feel good, new age sites advise, isn’t it?
I woke early; the cuckoo clock told me it was half past something. Coddled in the warmth of my bed, I wondered half past what. The night outside black and windy gave no clue.
I wondered would I go back to sleep or hear the clock chime the upcoming hour?
My wondering grew, engaging me in the senseless thought that lies between awake and asleep.
When I booked my place at the Clunes Booktown Festival, a pocket full of dreams came with me. Crossing uncharted waters, I ventured into the unknown hoping to sell the left over hard copies of Schicksal, my first novel.
I felt a sense of foreboding mixed with excitement. This strange mix of emotions often dawns when a breakthrough is in the wind. The déjà vu unsettled me but I try to stay calm, philosophical and above all open.
I’ve been chugging through the past couple of weeks, flat and low. A trip up to Bendigo, to see the Marilyn Monroe exhibition seemed just the thing. The summer temperatures ebbed away and the shade felt cool, pregnant with the coldness of the winter to come.
Autumn leaves along the way boasted their impending demise, bold in the face of death. Maybe they were screaming and I couldn’t hear them.
I find trying new things an amazing idea generator. After the initial discomfort. A firm resolve to move forward reaps unexpected rewards.
Some days, a cup of tea by the computer seem preferable.
When I finished writing ‘Schicksal’, I rather naively thought that I had accomplished a great deal. Balboa Press the self publishing wing of Hay house helped me to understand that publicity and marketing were my next area of growth.
My parent’s memoir continues to enrich my life. Already I have embraced so many new experiences. I have learnt about social media, blogging, and book launches. Librarians have been very supportive and helpful. My public speaking confidence is growing daily.
I like talking to people about my book.