Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Memoir-izing

As always, first things first - the girls.  (I should just start every post with "FTF" since that's pretty much how I start.)  Actually, today's FTF is "the kids." 

1.  The Elder is a brand spankin' new 7-year old, and don't all gasp loudly now, but that doesn't make me one bit sad.  Nope.  I'm a big fan for being happy with whatever stage of life you're in, and that means that I've no trouble being thankful for our spunky little kid as she is right now rather than the squishy little squish'um that she was.  Plus, our siblings are still popping out their own babies off & on, which mean I love on 'em and hand 'em back with diapers fully loaded.  Case in point: This weekend...1 game of chase with toddler nephew and 1 cuddle to sleep time with baby nephew.  I lurve it being the aunt.
2.  The Younger did what 3-year olds do and tripped on her own puppy feet while walking from point A to point B on the sidewalk, which resulted in some well-and-good skinned knees.  After the first 5 minutes of the tears, I tried to pass her off to the boy so that I could continue doing what I needed to do, seeing as how she was going to live and all.  And with sobby gasps, she wailed "NOOO!  My legs will fall off!"  Props to the boy who had to keep a straight face since she was looking at him.
3.  While I'm sitting here, I'm watching a mama starling feed her two baby starlings some regurgitated what-have-you's.  Those babies look happy, and I don't care how brown a bird you are, when you're all cuddling up with your mommy bird to slurp up some sludgy worminess, it's a pretty sweet moment to spy on.

***Wrap-up and transition to my main point today (I have nothing clever to take us there, so this'll do).***

I love memoirs.  I love them.  I have a couple of degrees in literature, and frankly, I don't really get into reading the never ending drivel and bad writing that gets published today.  Snobbery, perhaps.  But I'll stay within the parameters of the classical literature canon any day.  Many a time, I have started [insert name of best seller book] only to slog through 20 pages and groan when I see there are 382 left.  What the what, modern day authors?  Do we no longer have any grace or art?  Must we resort to never ending spare allusions?  To saccharine and cloying description that is less clever than horrid in its attempt to be different?  [Irony here?  Should I take a closer look at my own writings here?  Nah.  I'm not trying to get you buy in on my rambling.  And, no one's clambering to publish it.  I shall carry on.]

I'm just not a fan of modern writing.  Occasionally, I'll find a nugget that I happily mined out, and those I'm quite happy to pass along to anyone who wants to know what I've been enjoying lately.  But it's been so long since that's happened that a few months ago, while scanning the stacks at ye olde library, I realized I had no desire to read any of it.  But a good memoir sounded just right, and it has been a mainstay on my nightstand ever since.

Looking back, I see how I have leaned toward memoir-fiction writing through classes and papers and final thesis writing.  And since I've started reading memoir exclusively, I have
1.  read several memoirs about topics of which I have no knowledge (dogs, a botanist, and living in Tuscany/Italy/Provence).
2.  not been unsatisfied even once.
3.  re-visited ideas that began when I was an undergraduate about the connection between memoir and healing.
4.  pondered writing an article for publication. 
5.  considered how it relates to educational theory as well as practical applications for the classroom.

In the meantime, I've jotted some notes down, started exploring some databases, and considered how I'm going to integrate more of this approach in my upcoming classes.  If you have any thoughts on memoir, please share!  That's why we memoir-ize seemingly everything.

But right now, I'm turning this off to attack a 550-piece puzzle because this may be the summer-of-the memoir for me, but I'm declaring this to be the summer-of-the-puzzle for all of us.  And it starts today.  First up - Lucky the cat canoodling with Coco the cockatoo.  It's a lovely way to spend some downtime with the girls, no sugar or devices involved.   

However, the light of reading still shines bright in my early inevitably, memoir has interest and (almost certainly) a lack of lame dialogue. 

1 comment:

Crystal said...

I love a good memoir. I just finished reading a recently published fiction book. And while I quite enjoyed the storyline and even the narrative voice I will not recommend it or the author because I found no less than 3 typos. Ugh.