This may be a strange compound question from me, as I have been capturing a story of my own for a few years. I think I’ve figured out a little more about why they are written, they seem to be therapeutic for the writer. In my case it just happened. Loss cracked me open and the words came out. I started smearing these memories on paper and while watching them dry I found that preservation made me feel little better. Discovery became compulsion and grew. The spirit of my dog led me down this new path and I just kept going…
Why do people want to read Memoir?
Often I wonder why do strangers read other people’s life stories. Many are tragic and share deeply painful moments. Are readers looking for a similar experience while hoping to gain some insight? Find hope? Learn something? Follow someone back from an edge? Does a common thread need to pull them together?
For me these questions will hang on lines – like yesterday’s laundry in today’s rain, waiting for tomorrow.
He stops to stare at the large word painted on an old brick building
Steel-blue letters with sharp black edges and gray shadowing
Silent breeze plays with his hair
Rain touches his face
Smiling – he walks on
“It doesn’t rain at the end of July, the forecast is wrong. My motorcycle trip to the coast won’t be cancelled.” I declared one beautiful sunny day.
“Okay, well yes it’s raining, but it’ll stop – it is July.”
Mike stared at me in silence.
Are Norwegian’s more stubborn that Swede’s? Ah who knows, I laugh at such things.
We put our rain gear on in silence and rode out into it. My open-face half helmet allowed the drops to hit me with a blinding sting. Twenty minutes later we stopped to buy a better helmet at the Harley Davidson shop in Tacoma.
“You riding in that?” asked the pretty cashier.
“Oh – really? Be careful!”
After the monsoon experience on Interstate 5 we stopped at a Barbecue Restaurant to warm up, eat and pour out our boots. No one said anything – everyone looked.
“It’ll let up, has to” I laughed.
“Sure, it’s gonna” Mike laughed back.
After the winding roads and fresh tarred construction we stopped for a beer at a Peninsula Dive Bar.
“Cheers to stubborn!”
As always I learned while enjoying the “Rain” writing workshop at the Fort George Brewery on January 23rd 2015.
Matt Love lives and teaches in Astoria, Oregon.
I chose Happy.
A couple of years ago I saw a blog post (sorry I lost track of the source) promoting the idea of selecting a word for the upcoming year. Despite never embracing the practice of making New Year’s resolutions, this annual fresh start appealed to me. I liked the idea so much that I went back a few years to give them a word and then started. Basically you pick a word that represents what you want, need or hope for the year. It can be a wish, goal, dream, etc. whatever appeals to you.
I keep the list on a wall in my office where it can stare at me and catch my eye on occasion.
2011 – Write
2012 – Survive
2013 – Rebuild
2014 – Blissful
2015 – Prosperous
2016 – Balance
2017 – Happy
2018 – Energized
This year when I added the new word I took a closer look at my list. The first ones were accurate thanks to hindsight but the rest seemed off a little. As I focused on this it occurred to me that they seem to take shape more clearly, after the year is over and even well into the next.
Is it some kind of time-release power of a word?
What’s your word?
Patiently held in time.
A Bed and Breakfast lives nestled against guardian trees – near a water’s edge.
Agelessly creaking as feet move through and pause.
Themed rooms reflect different light, casting moments.
Old world escapes the kitchen, changing fireplace air.
Refining pieces and capturing thoughts; quietly the compulsion unfolds.