Wednesday, October 10, 2007

My "Place" Writing Example

based off of Tammy's journal prompt 10/10:

San Francisco. It's the only place on the west coast where I actually took up residence and for the shortest amount of time, for that matter.

I always thought I hated cities, feared cities, got overwhelmed by cities. It wasn't the case with San Francisco.

No more towering skyscrapers and shadowed sidewalks. No more metal scaffolding posing as obstacles. No more trying to keep up with the sea of gray and black power suits.

Here. Here I saw color. Here I could crane my neck and get a glimpse of both the Golden Gate Bridge and the Bay Bridge. Here I heard the sea otters. Here I heard the trolley's click-clack on its tracks. Here I smelled the Pacific and steaming chowder in sourdough bread bowls.

I can still trace the curves of Lombard Street.

San Francisco led me to Napa, Yosemite, Monterey, Tahoe, Muir Woods. I spent my golden birthday here. I tried an avocado on my sandwich. I rode the bus.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

You and Yours Follow Up

James McBride's The Color of Water is one, exemplary work of this theme for piece two. He intentionally juxtaposes his mother's experiences with his. In essence, he has created two stories.

You certainly do not need to develop yours that fully. It could just center around the relationship / intersection between the narrator [you] and new person.

"Situational Madness"

The idea that the writer or artist has a stereotype - one of eratic behavior, addictive personality, and mood swings - scares me. Why? Because I call myself a writer. I usually say that in secret or in a whisper, but I am a writer. So am I automatically one of those who has a labeled mental disorder? Who lives a life full of drama strung together by traumatic events? Does that mean I'll live in infamy long after my demise?

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Inventing the Truth - Q2

In "Lifting the Veil", Gates offers some advice to memoir writers: "be prepared for the revelation of things you don't even dream are going to come up" (148).

1. Can you comment on this advice in relation to your own writing? If so, when you have "lifted the veil", what revelations, insights, truths, epiphanies.....have you discovered? Elaborate.

Inventing the Truth - Q1

"The best memoirs, I think, forge their own forms. The writer of any work, and particularly any nonfiction work, must decide two crucial points: what to put in and what to leave out" (41).

According to Annie Dillard in "To Fashion a Text", she decided what to put in -her parents, Pittsburgh's history - and what would not find its way in - her summer in Wyoming, previous gentlemen callers. She was able to divorce her nostalgia with her childhood in order to create a piece of literary nonfiction.

1. Thinking of memoirs you've read or are currently reading - do you notice the authors deliberately piecing together a life or including every memory for memory's sake? In other words, have they been willing to "cannibalize their own lives for parts"?

2. [follow up] Are you willing to cannibalize your life for parts? If so, did you attempt that in your first piece or in a draft of your second piece? How hard is that?

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

My First Blog!

I am a blogger.
I am currently blogging.
I totally blogged today.