This struck me with such force because a few days earlier something else struck me: I need to write one more memoir. I had already decided that before I die I needed to write my spiritual journey memoir for my children and other family, including close friends. But I got a strong impression to write it for possible publication....at least, to try, even though there are only a few LDS (Mormon) publishers. If it didn't get published, I would still have done what I felt very strongly I should do for my family. Either way I win, so I'm going to relax and enjoy this (probably) last writing journey.
Main audience: Mormons, who wouldn't be confused by the "jargon,".... and anyone else who might be interested. There's a movie distributed nationally that doesn't really have much "jargon" in it: The Saratov Approach that's on Netflix, the story of two Mormon missionaries who were kidnapped and held for ransom while serving in Russia.
But what really interests me is that there will soon be a movie distributed to national audiences about a man in Salt Lake City who in February of 2007 was injured in a car crash by a young man, almost 18 years old, driving drunk, who ended up responsible for the deaths of this man's pregnant wife and two of his four children; a man who unconditionally forgave this young man after "hearing" a voice tell him to "Let It Go," the title of the book, published in 2012, on which the movie is based. This story that I finished yesterday also struck me like a sledge hammer...because in my long life I also have had to learn how to "let go"....and let God, as the AA motto goes.
There were some "Mormonisms" in my memoir In the Mirror (that some objected to or wanted more of (shrug: you can't please everyone), but my "spiritual" one would involve much, much more of these, especially what we call "priesthood" blessings, as well as many, many "miracles." A woman, a stranger, who reviewed In the Mirror several years ago, said she thought there was a good story with my daughter (she was interested in this, though there was much in In the Mirror that she didn't like; shrug again: you can't please everyone). I've wondered how she would react to the "spiritual" aspects of my journey with Jen, my parents, and my brother. But as both Denise Covey and Karen Gowen quote at the beginning of their blogs:
"Write something to suit yourself and many people will like it; write something to suit everybody and scarcely anyone will care for it." ~Jesse Stuart
I say don't worry about what the reader might think. Just write, and you'll discover that writing is self-discovery, whether you write fiction or non-fiction. In this last memoir, I want to discover who I've become through 29 years of taking care of my disabled daughter....
Therefore....Back to Denise's post. "Islands are single scenes, or snippets of information, or a setting description, or a character sketch. They do not necessarily have a beginning, middle, and end." You don't use an outline or chronology.
I got even more excited when I read this: "Islands are single scenes." I have scenes, scenes, scenes I've accumulated since my daughters' accident.
I've decided I have to:
First, determine the main theme, and
Second, make a rough outline to determine where the SINGLE SCENES go. Within those scenes I can flash back to fill in necessary information about the characters. I can even flash forward. This is, after all, a memoir. Back and forth can work. The outline, of course, can be flexible; but I've learned from long years of trying to write a memoir that it will reduce the stress considerably if I do an outline.
And humor is good. I need to remember the humorous times with Jen.
And what will my daughter JEN do while I'm pacing myself? While I'm not sitting too long at a stretch at the computer so the sciatica I got about a year ago won't flair up, and praying that I'll get the first draft well on its way while visiting those of you who will be doing the A to Z Challenge?
Jen will be playing her favorite computer game Bookworm, that I have to stay away from because for me it's too addictive and rolls around in my brain when I fall into bed, and I get furious at myself because I feel afterwards like I could have better used my time. It does make Jen feel good when I watch a favorite show with her, such as A-Team, one of her favorites, so I'll do this to relax. (Sorry about the photography. I need a new digital camera. And I also need to learn how to use the latest computer photoshops...which ain't gonna happen at my age!)
She tends to lean left, which isn't good for her neck.
Must get her to bed soon.
The View from Jen's Hospital Bed
I'll make sure Bookworm isn't on the desktop of the computer I'll be using, and I'll try not to watch Jen's computer screen. She doesn't like me to suggest words, and gets very annoyed when I do. She shouts at me, "I want to do this myself," and I remember there isn't much she can do herself, as her brain stem has never healed enough so she can get herself out of bed, or out of her wheelchair without help.
It's been a long journey that isn't over yet. And thus the story begins....