My buddy Val keeps threatening to write a memoir. I know very little about writing memoirs but I believe they must be the polar opposite of writing fiction. Only stands to reason. Fact vs. make-believe, so I feel insufficiently experienced to guide her but I can make suggestions. And Val loves my suggestions. She is always saying, “What do you suggest?”
I made myself laugh just typing that last sentence. My suggestions are never useful (I rarely participate in the real world), but I will persevere in offering writing tips because, though my attention span is short, I never tire of sharing advice I’ve read from experienced authors. Like the tip from Stephen King suggesting not to use the same word repetitively. Like I just did. A variation of suggest, five times. I live to break the rules.
Suggestion number one: Read a lot of memoirs. The ones that don’t grab you right from the beginning — chuck’em out. Then figure out why they didn’t grab you. I just finished (just is another overused word, watch for it) Jenny Lawson’s mostly true memoir and loved every page. Ms. Lawson has problems, very real life-altering problems, but, bless her, she is so funny.
You know all those memories, from your childhood or teen years or even right up to the present, that make you cringe whenever they attack? Ms. Lawson can top every one of them. If you gain nothing else from reading this book, I can almost guarantee this; your life won’t seem so screwed up. You will laugh, you will feel better, and you will have learned something about how to write a memoir.
That’s it for suggestions. Yup, just the one. You’re welcome
As for miscellaneous; Maple is much better. Here is a picture of her with a brand new bandana donated by my cousin, Karon. Karon owns a pet shop in Leek, Staffs, England, full of lovely rabbits and birds and fish.
I just returned from England (what are we up to? Are you counting? Paying attention at all?), and to prove it, below is a picture of my cousin, Steve, attempting to climb a wall. Why? Because the sign says the building has been painted with anti-climbing paint. Seriously. The English are quirky. I should have got a closer image of the sign but I was in a hurry to get the picture before anyone saw my demented cousin pretending to be Spiderman. I embarrass easily.
And that’s about it for news. My new love, Brad Parks (see previous post) and I have been corresponding (I am attempting to be a subtle stalker), and I have arranged for a signed copy of his latest book, The Good Cop. He will be the toastmaster at a writing conference in California next year so I must get a job. If one is to be a stalker, one shouldn’t be a penniless stalker. That is just wrong.
Frank is fine with my stalking aspirations as long as he gets to go to California with me, and I’m okay with that. But if I don’t get a job soon, it will be just more make-believe.
And that makes it seven. What? HA. You just have not been paying attention.