Sunday, December 4, 2011

No matter how good my intentions.....

Memoir should come first, but has been superseded by a cookbook, a time eater, absorbing me since August, allowing only brief encounters with my blog. Bummer. Finally imprint, after countless hours transcribing, proofing,and editing, feel as if I have done it all but setting the type. It's not all me;I have a fine marketing team, a good sales person, and behind me sixty contributors who did a fine job to create a money maker that will fund a missionary from our ranks who teaches orphans in Guatemala for the past fifteen years. Very worthwhile, and useful for me too since it can help flesh out my bio along with this blog if only I attended it better. And if more readers would make themselves known I'd be ever more legitimate.

At my current stage I'm analyzing each chapter for it's purpose and it's meaning. Why does the memoir need this chapter...what does the reader need to learn, what action occurs, and does each chapter flow to the next? Or must I surrender it? It's a very informative process for a writer, one I sm truly enjoying. Defining the plot seems to be difficult for me but I'm working through it and beginning to feel comfortable doing it.

What is more joyful has been to work with Sheila Bender of Writing It Real, and Jami Shapiro, a wildly successful movie critic and writer about to seek to publish a novel. Learning the mechanics of building the great story into book sense so a reader can follow the story, remain interested, want to keep turning the page, and learning something from every chapter is a formidable goal, but even more important is to come to terms with the whole reason for writing my life in the first place. And to fall in love with a couple of kids valiant and creative to avoid a toxic mother and her well intentioned but emotionally crippled new husband.

I suppose most of us lose a little interest and walk away, but for me, even after two years, waking up with my head stuffed full of words is still the norm. Writer's block does not happen here. I do not anticipate a sequel, I think my story will be the only one I'll birth. And I am not sorry, though what I will put in it's place is a mystery yet. I really suspect I'm a one book writer. That is deemed to be a limitation. I don 't know. I don't need to know. I just need to getvthis one out of my inner box and send it off to market.

I am getting better at submitting work to editors. Brevity rejected me. That was right after Creative Nonfiction gently let me down. I am surprised, for though not winning contests, nor getting picked up for a mag edition, I find myself neutral about rejections. Indeed a Brevity rejection is a prize framed now and hanging on my wall. Undaunted, I will continue to submit to them because they are quality. High end. I want my work read there. Such a goal is a needful thing connoting some level of achievement on my part.

What does puzzle is the subjectivity that seems based on nothing more than oh, maybe whim, or a bad day, or abiding one, or I just don't like her costume. Oh. Sorry, that's about judging ice skating. You know, when the girl on the blades is flawless in her execution, or perhaps not a blonde enough blonde, or her costume is the wrong color. That day.

I'm sure this must mean I just don't understand the business end of this business.I just know I don't do vampires. Or Amish romance. I simply talk about my life. A child abandoned to an orphanage, a late arrival to same who is identified as a brother she has no memory of, a world war that yields a wounded broken would-be daddy who lacks any parenting equipment go bolster his good intentions. A mother ill suited to a back water town with absolutely nothing to do, working her decades forward to the culmination of employment as the school janitor taunted by the townie snobs who speak of her as Toilet Tilly. What do they know of her overcoming, her dogged perseverance, her sheer will power, her toxic personality? She doesn't care. Her disdain for them is powerful. She has decimated far worse than these two bit penny ante pretenders. She's got their number if only they knew how far beneath her they are.

My own story is richly peopled with women and men of loss and gain, triumph and defeat, in an atmosphere of uncertainty and brokeness that permeates nearly all the world. The stuff tumbles out, rolling in great waves over the pages, needing only the marshaling of the thoughts and the words that gladly tell the story that no longer stays silent, living in the dark place. Light is truly cleansing. My hope is that there will be someone with a brain, who gets it, feels it resonate, can't wait for more chapters, hopes no one else picks it up.

Wow. I've come such a long way. Look at that confidence! Listen to that self assurance! I was not this person two years ago. Way too unsure then.Too frightened, angry,ashamed.

That suppressed, abused and forlorn but very angry child pushed and demanded and muscled her way to the surface and told me exactly where up was. I look at the words I write and know she tells her story through me. I'm just a conduit. And I know the complete pleasure of the work. Plowing the ground of my life at the hands of a whisp of a girl is risk and sweat and a deep desire to know all her aspects.

To come face to face with the child that is me.

It's a journey of the soul.

1 comment:

  1. Nice work, Barbarann,

    It is amazing to see how far you have come!!!! And your greater confidence--what an achievement!

    I'm now spending more time working on my goals, technique, and confidence as well, and I agree that this is a worthy journey.

    All the best--and best of luck with everything!!!!