The crux: What is the blog about?
Success it seems comes from niche, excellence, and passion. An avid note taker, I filled a few more pages of a notebook with advice. The question, however, rattled around in my head all weekend. An answer would come, sooner or later.
What is it that I am good at? What do I have the authority to comment on? What is it I am actually trying to do each Monday morning when I compose my post?
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.
Winter in Kyneton, cold but clear
Although the clouds gathered the weather held off.
A small group of us stood by the war memorial,
Some had red flowers
…a Flander’s poppy.
Writing ‘Schicksal,’ I often came to dead ends. My three children inadvertently helped. I’m sure their intentions whilst pure were never intended to be so far reaching. Some months after my father’s death I packed up the unit that had been sold. The process incredibly painful for me left some things undone.
On NYE, I sat on the floor, determined not to bring unfinished business into a new beginning. The ‘too hard basket,’ as the white plastic laundry basket became known, contained items I had no idea what to do with.
Among these random things were two old Benson and Hedges metal boxes containing photos.
I began to write Schicksal five years before its publication. Now a year after publication another epiphany dawns …….
I remember NYE when I sat on the floor before a laundry basket; dubbed the too hard basket. The unit had been packed up after my father’s death and I purchased a house by the sea, realizing a dream.
Growing up can be confusing. Our mothers the bulwarks of our beings guide and love us. Our fathers love us too but often the responsibility of work, family finances and survival of our family unit takes them away from the home.
Writing Schicksal, I found myself in a place of deep divide. From my mother I had only ever received one perspective of my maternal grandfather.
Unfortunately this perspective was harsh, fueled by the anger of desertion; a child hurt and trapped in a past where forgiveness eluded her.
“An idea of the closeness underground.”
Well here in the southern part of Australia, it cold very cold. Whilst sluggishly hibernating I got sick this year. Its common:
- sore throats
- sore joints
- cold sores
Not long after my father’s death, I met a brother and sister also recently bereaved. We stood on the bow of the boat with the cold winter air blowing in our faces, when the woman said, “So we are adult orphans now.” Her comment resonated deeply within me, although until that day I hadn’t heard the term used.
Recently my publicist asked me to write an article for ‘Adoption Today’ on becoming an adult orphan. Now eleven years after the death of my remaining parent, I still found the task daunting. I wrote it many times, uncertain of the result. Although the darkest valley of grief was behind me, describing the process was quite intense.
Quite often whilst writing ‘Schicksal’, I regretted not having asked questions when my parents were still alive. This seems logical now but the trauma of war silenced them. I grew up very aware of the fact that insensitive probing would open wounds deep and barely healing. So their silence silenced me also.
The skeleton of my novel stood like a marionette, loosely hinged, far from self supporting. To do the story justice my role included creating a credible stage upon which to play each scene.
I began a journey nearly six years ago that would see me change so much that I barely recognised myself anymore. To write this memoir about my parents’ lives in Europe spanning forty years, ensured I delved firmly into the unknown. This tale came from mainly my father’s recitations forcing me to connect to the young child who viewed the world through trusting, big, brown eyes.
It was like biting into a ripe fig, full of anticipation but knowing the skin would prickle the tongue ever so slightly.