I’ve noticed that some of the best 1st person narratives- fictional or non-fictional- begin humorously and lead then lead into the real meat of the piece, so to speak. I suppose I understand the necessity of warming up the audience, establishing ethos and creating a small stem of trust on which the audience can grasp onto, but… I wish that it was easier to just spew out the nasty shlack. To just straight up say, “I had a party at my house when my parents were in Mexico. I was assaulted that night.”
This is one of my favorite literary works of all time. I came across this when I was looking for a prose to perform for Speech and immediately related to it; just like the woman in the piece, I am trying to find my plot, my purpose.
Brilliant. The excerpt from Joan Didion is particularly insightful.
If there’s one topic that writers can be counted on to tackle at least once in their working lives, it’s writing itself. A good thing too, especially for all those aspiring writers out there looking for a little bit of guidance. For some winter inspiration and honing of your craft, here you’ll find ten great essays on writing, from the classic to the contemporary, from the specific to the all-encompassing. Note: there are many, many, many great essays on writing. Bias has been extended here to personal favorites and those available to read online. Also of note but not included: full books on the subject like Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird, Stephen King’s On Writing, and Ron Carlson’s Ron Carlson Writes a Story, or, in a somewhat different sense, David Shields’ Reality Hunger, for those looking for a longer commitment. Read on, and add your own…
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Writing, for me, has become a primal necessity.
I have to write as urgently as a four year old on a bus ride from Denver to San Francisco.
I HAVE TO PEE OR I’LL DIE!
Levitate in the water of silence, for a moment.
Viscous- the mind becomes-
in a pool of serenity.
I bought these earrings for my mom a few Christmases ago. Or maybe it was for Mother’s day. I’m not sure. She only wears earrings that cover up the ripped hole in her right ear, because she thinks it’s unsightly. She cares a lot about how she looks, my mother. Very professional. So anyways, these earrings I got her- black with bronze filigree, diamond shaped, 80’s attempted art deco- were never worn by her. I don’t know what it is, but she hardly ever uses anything given to her unless it’s worth utilizing, like a vacuum cleaner, and she never wears any jewelry bought for her, unless it’s something she specifically asked for. And expensive.
Perhaps I take offense to this because I’m a gift giver; I show love through my gifts. Not just trinkets, like those earrings, but necessities, too. ‘Tis more blessed to give than to receive, no?
Why doesn’t she wear anything she’s given? Does the thought not cross her mind? Does she forget she has a certain necklace or pair of earrings because of the overwhelming materialism that we’re all drenched in? Does she order the value of her possessions by their expense? If that were true, she would wear those earrings everyday.
And if that’s true, does she value me? Am I too expensive a burden? She never wears my love, and I can’t wear something saturated in mystery.
But I love her! She may not know it, but I do. The way she laughs uncomfortably and denies my father’s drinking; the way she cries tears of numb rage at the slow dilapidation of our house; the ways she clicks her tongue when we talk about my father’s mother; her childish frustration about her old high school friends’ lives (I don’t think she can come to terms with others’ decisions) and how fat they’ve become, how so and so got married and then divorced after 15 years of glorious matrimony and how Ken came out of the closet; Maybe she judges them as harshly as she judges herself? Like mother like daughter.
suits you nicely, sir.
Tonight, however, I am
Not that you look bad…