I can hold my dad’s professional and passionate pursuits in my hand. They are an assortment of medals with pens with strong insignia. Red and gold Maltese crosses, bugles, and axes show the authority of a man given the responsibility and honor to protect and serve.
I’ve been studying first lines and first pages of memoirs. I’ve rewritten mine at least a million times. Well, maybe not that many, but at least many times as I’ve rewritten the intro for this blog. We all know that openings matter. People need to be wowed to keep reading.
Ask a writer why they write and you’ll get a thousan answers or at least a thousand essays. I’ve written nearly that many responses to this age-old question since I started writing as a hobby maybe 20 years ago.
Leigh Stein is my role model, despite being 10 years younger than me. I adore her the way I assume younger women worship Instagram influencers. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, the New Yorker, the Washington Post, and every other publication worth writing for, was co-founder of Out of the Binders/BinderCon, is a memoir and fiction writer, and coaches other writers.
Just when I thought I’d read every memoir there was to read about brain injury, another one dropped into my consciousness. This one, from 2012, is from a fellow Midwest author Louise Krug. Like me, she was featured in the #Midwessay series on Essay Daily. She explains so well what it is like to be Midwestern in her essay by describing all the things she does not say. Her book, Louise: Amended describes what happens after a cavernous angioma appears at the base of her brain and has surgery to remove it.
As a Midwesterner my whole life, I can’t tell you how excited I am about a series of essays appearing on Essay Daily Titled #MidwessayWriters from the Midwest have been contributing essays describing what the Midwest essay looks like in 2021.
I read a lot of memoirs. I read a lot of memoirs about people with diseases. But when I read Between Two Kingdoms: A Memoir of a Life Interrupted by Suleika Jaouad, I was still surprised that I was reading so much about a woman’s journey through cancer and not more about her actual journey after cancer.
Although 2020 has kept me away from loved ones more than usual, as a self-proclaimed writer, I still get the same question no matter how long it has been when I see one of my fans.
A little more than a week away from Christmas, it finally hit. The spirit. I propelled me as I drove from store to store looking for a tiny tree that I could place in my living room. I bought one of the half-sized trees last year when the fake tree I had seemed too much of a hassle and just too ugly to put up.
I recently had a chance to review What’s the Story? Building Blocks for Fiction Writing by Melissa Donovan. I know it sounds like hyperbole to say that this book has everything you need to know about writing, but it really covers a lot.